Sligo Rovers
VS
St Patrick's Athletic


Friday, 24 October, 2014
1 - 4
SSE Airtricity League
Sligo Rovers signed off on their SSE Airtricity League campaign with a 4-1 defeat to St Patrick's Athletic at the Showgrounds. 
 
The Saints opened the lead just after the half hour mark through Conan Byrne before a calamitous Richard Brush own goal saw the Dublin side double their lead on 49.
 
Sligo youngster Gary Armstrong replied for Rovers a minute later, but Christy Fagan re-opened Pat's two goal lead on 75 minutes. Byrne compounded Sligo's misery with his second and his side's fourth three minutes into injury time at the end of the game with a well hit volley.  
 
Pat's were the brighter of the two teams during a relatively low-key first half. Chris Forrester was first to go close for the Dublin side, but he could only drag his shot from the angle wide of Brush's goal with just over one minute played. 
 
Saints keeper Brendan Clarke was on an onlooker for the most of the game. David Cawley's shot with a quarter hour played - which sailed wide of the former Sligo net minder's goal - was the closest the Bit O'Red came to an early opener. 
 
Ian Bermingham forced a fine save from Brush with twenty minutes elapsed. The full back's vicious volley from 15 yards was palmed away by the Rovers second choice goalkeeper. 
 
Cawley had to be alert to clear Kenny Browne's goal bound header off the line on 24, before Clarke did well to hang on to Ruairi Keating's powerful effort following the next phase of play. 
 
Pat's went ahead on 32. Bermingham found ample space on the Sligo left before his cross was pin-point in its accuracy as it landed on the head of Byrne at the back post. The former Shelbourne attacker nodding home with ease for his 17th league goal of the season. 
 
Byrne almost grabbed a second shortly after. Keith Fahey made the most of a Danny Ledwith slip up on the left before playing in Byrne who was this time denied by a solid save from Brush. 
 
The Dubliners did extend their lead four minutes into a second half in which they largely dominated. Ledwith failed to deal with Fahey's through ball at the first attempt before managing to wrestle the ball off Byrne. Ledwith then saw his attempted clearance canon back off Brush's midriff before it drifted into the Rovers goal. 
 
Pat's two goal advantage didn't last long however as Gary Armstrong halved the Inchicore side's lead one minute later. Gathering possession at the edge of the area, the midfielder sent his shot beyond the stretch of Clarke for his second senior goal for the Setanta Cup holders.   
 
Fagan struck the woodwork from close range on 50, while Byrne did likewise 15 minutes later when his intended cross took a wicked change of direction as the ball struck the inside of Brush's far post before bouncing to safety.  
 
Liam Buckley's side restored their two goal lead on 75 as his side cruised to victory. Byrne found plenty of space down the Sligo right before his low cross was tapped in by Fagan despite the attention of three Sligo defenders. 
 
Rovers had a late call for a penalty turned down by referee Ben Connolly when Danny North claimed he was upended by a Pat's defender close to goal. 
 
Byrne grabbed his brace three minutes into the injury time at the end of the second half as he latched on to the end of a cross from the left to expertly volley home. 
 
Sligo Rovers: Richard Brush; Seamus Conneely, Evan McMillan, Kalen Spillane, Danny Ledwith; Paul O'Conor, David Cawley, Gary Armstrong (for Ryan McManus 85), Danny North; Ruairi Keating (for Gary Boylan 61), Eamon Zayed (for Regan Donelon 80). 
 
St Patrick's Athletic: Brendan Clarke; Ger O'Brien, Sean Hoare, Kenny Browne, Ian Bermingham; Chris Forrester (for Conor McCormack 65), Conan Byrne, Keith Fahey (for Lorcan Fitzgerald 65), Greg Bolger, Killian Brennan; Christy Fagan. 
 
Referee: Ben Connolly