Updated: 16/05/18 : 05:43:48
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Sligo Rovers hopes squashed by Saints

SLIGO ROVERS went down to two second half goals by St Patrick’s Athletic in their SSE Airtricity League tie last night, Tuesday.

An under-strength Sligo squad made the Inchicore side fight to the end, literally, in this back fixture.

It was not until the 91st minute that the Dubliners assured all three points with their second goal.

That was a penalty, bagged by Thomas Byrne after Sligo’s Jack Keaney had bowled over Saints substitute and New York native Jake Keegan.

Free Kick

Dean Clarke opened the scoring for St Pats in the 51st minute when he converted Simon Madden’s cross.

Right before that Rhys McCabe hit a trademark free kick just over the bar as Sligo suggested this half might be their lucky night.

Approaching the interval Adam Wixted had come close with a scorcher.

But most of the game’s best chances came St Pats way, two goal line clearances helping to keep the game scoreless at the interval. 0-0.

Subs Combined

But Rovers had real chances — Kyle Callan McFadden was unlucky not to see his first half header from a corner open the scoring in the 25th minute.

Late, late in the game two Sligo subs combined to create a good chance when the game was still finely poised at 1-0.

Raffaele Cretaro, fresh on the field, sent Ali Roy away with ten minutes left but his effort was saved by Pats keeper Barry Murphy.

Perched Precariously

Last night’s result now leaves Sligo perched precariously, 15 points from 17 games and eighth position in a ten-club league with more than half the games still to play.

The past month has been fruitless; twelve points were on offer and the Bit O’ Red bagged none of them. The only consolation was a point in Waterford.

Finally, absolution beckons if the Bit O’ Red can beat the ‘Auld Enemy,’ Shamrock Rovers — back in the Showgrounds next Saturday night. Kick off 7.45pm. 

Maybe the team colours gave a clue last night — black and mustard. They will need to be keen and stop ‘The Hoops.’

                                        Latest Ireland Airtricity League Table

SLIGO ROVERS: Mitchell Beeney, Gary Boylan, Kyle Callan McFadden (captain), John Mahon, Calum Waters, Caolan McAleer, Rhys McCabe, Jack Keaney,  Adam Wixted, Greg Moorhouse and Adam Morgan.

Subs used: Ali Roy for McAleer 60th minute, Lewis Morrison for Moorhouse 68th minute and Raffaele Cretaro for Wixted, 80th minute.

Subs not used: Ed McGinty, Seamus Sharkey, Niall Morahan and Eduardo Pinceli.

St PATRICKS ATHLETIC: Barry Murphy, Simon Madden, Kevin Toner, Lee Desmond, Ian Birmingham, Conan Byrne, Darragh Markey, Jamie Lennon, Ryan Brennan, Thomas Byrne and Dean Clarke. 

Subs used: Jake Keegan for Clarke 55th. Knute, Killian Brennan for Lennon 60th minute and Graham Kelly for Market 83rd minute.