Saints lose out at home to Sligo Rovers
A couple of familiar faces came back to haunt St Patrick’s Athletic at Richmond Park last night as the Inchicore men were defeated 2-1 by Sligo Rovers in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division.
A top-flight winner with Pat’s during both of his spells as manager of the club – he also won it as a Saints player in 1996 – Perrystown native Liam Buckley is currently in charge of Sligo.
He handed a debut to former Pat’s attacker Aidan Keena and the Mullingar man came up trumps for the visitors.
After Colm Horgan had edged the Bit O’Red in the ascendancy, Keena was on hand to double their lead. Tunde Owolabi fired back for the Saints, but they ultimately came away empty-handed from the contest.
Following an accomplished 3-0 triumph over the newly-promoted Shelbourne at Tolka Park seven days earlier, Pat’s were keen to continue their impressive start under the stewardship of Tim Clancy.
The ex-Drogheda United boss kept faith with the same starting line-up from the Shels game, but it was their north-western counterparts who came storming out of the traps.
Keena was desperately unfortunate to see his early effort rebound off the crossbar while Karl O’Sullivan and Will Fitzgerald also went close.
They maintained their push for an opener and it finally arrived in the form of Horgan’s delicate finish on the stroke of 40 minutes.
A big second half lay ahead for Pat’s as they sought to work their way back into contention.
A two-time FAI Cup winner with Sligo prior to his departure to the UK in the winter of 2011, Eoin Doyle had a sight of goal following encouraging approach play from Chris Forrester and Billy King.
The latter almost conjured an equaliser just shy of the hour mark, but the next goal eventually fell the way of Sligo.
Aided by a heavy deflection, a Kenna strike drifted beyond the reach of Joseph Anang with just 12 minutes left on the clock.
This looked set to put the tie to bed, only for Owolabi to set-up a gripping finale with his first Saints goal.
Jack Scott almost pulled a draw out of the bag for Pat’s in the dying minutes, but his header from close-range crashed off the woodwork as his side fell just short of a positive result.