First-half goals from Ronan Hale, who netted with a marvellous strike, and Chris Forrester gave St Patrick’s Athletic a fully merited 2-0 win against a poor Sligo Rovers at The Showgrounds.
The pitch was given the all-clear despite the day’s rainfall. Both teams lost their opening round games the weekend before and so had a point to prove.
Sligo retained 10 players from the side that was beaten away by Finn Harps, with St Pat’s making four changes to their starting XI from the team that started against Waterford FC.
St Pat’s were the livelier side of the opening exchanges, with a greater share of possession, but they still didn’t test Sligo’s goal.
Sligo threatened with some dangerous crosses from the left flank by ex-Cork player Johnny Dunleavy.
Ronan Hale seized on a defensive error to give St Pat’s a 26th minute lead with a cracking long-range shot.
Ten minutes later, the visitors doubled their advantage with a well-taken goal from Chris Forrester following good work by Billy King and Robbie Benson.
Just before Forrester netted there was a chance for James Doona but he was thwarted by Sligo net-minder Ed McGinty.
A superb St Pat’s counterattack almost resulted in another goal chance after Robbie Benson and Billy King combined.
Sligo didn’t force a save of any type from St Pat’s goalkeeper Brendan Clarke during the first-half.
St Pat’s nearly scored again four minutes after the restart but Ed McGinty did well to deny the excellent Billy King.
An audacious lob from Chris Forrester was held on the goal-line by Ed McGinty as St Pat’s looked to extend their lead.
St Pat’s had a player dismissed in the 68th minute — when defender Oliver Younger received a second booking — but still remained in control.
SLIGO ROVERS: McGinty; Noone, Seymore, Callan-McFadden, Penningkangas, Dunleavy (Lynch 90); Cawley, Morahan, Buckley; Murray (Devers 46), Coughlan
ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: Clarke; Feely, Younger, McNally, Bermingham; Forrester (Lennon 70); Desmond, Benson; Doona (Clarke 58), Hale (Rennie 78), King
Referee: Neil Doyle