Second half goals beat Rovers in Dublin

St Patrick’s Athletic’s second half performance earned them the three points as they overcame a half-time deficit to beat Sligo Rovers at Richmond Park.

Behind to Romeo Parkes’ opener on 22 minutes, the Saints turned the course of this game courtesy of a Glen McAuley strike on 51 followed by Dave Webster’s winner six minutes from time.

Having both taken six points from their last five games, the sides struggled to provide much in terms of free-flowing football in the opening exchanges.

Glen McAuley carved out two early chances but both efforts were easy for Sligo goalkeeper Ed McGinty to deal with.

The Saints won’t have been happy with what they produced early on, but were the most threatening in front of the target.

Gary Shaw’s turn taking him past John Mahon 20 minutes in, but McGinty was again comfortable.

Rovers, in search of a second win in a week, had their first sight at goal two minutes later.

David Cawley’s strength bought him time inside the Saints area before the Mayo man supplied Parkes. But the Jamaican’s effort lacked accuracy as he fired wide off the outside of his boot.

This heralded Sligo’s purple patch and they made the most of it 22 minutes in.

Kris Twardek was afforded too much room down the Pat’s left as he squared for Parkes who slotted home from close range for his eighth goal of the year.

Harry Kenny’s charges finished the half the stronger but were again found wanting when and where it mattered.

McGinty pulled off smart stop to deny Shaw from point blank, while the same man seemed to lose his bearings as he stooped in his attempt to turn Dean Clarke’s cross past the Scot at his front post.

The Dubliners began the second period much the brighter and were rewarded for their efforts six minutes in.

Having netted his first for the club in the FAI Cup last week, McAuley’s neat touch brought him past his marker before he fired past McGinty from the angle.

Twardek’s snapshot wasn’t far away just short of the hour, while Lewis Banks’ last-ditch tackle deflected Cian Coleman’s shot over McGinty’s goal. This after the midfielder barged his way past Dante Leverock.

Pat’s were well in control at this stage and looked clear favourites for the game’s third goal.

Shaw came close with a glancing header in the pouring rain on 77. While the Showgrounds side spurned a glorious chance to rob one against the run of play.

Daryl Fordyce cushioned substitute Ronan Murray’s cross into the path of the waiting Twardek who could only fire over from six yards.

Clarke and Lee Desmond both went close in quick succession, before Pat’s had their winner six minutes from time.

Webster rising highest to nod Jamie Lennon’s set piece to the net for what was the winner for the home side.

St Patrick’s Athletic: Brendan Clarke; Lee Desmond, Kevin Toner, Dave Webster, Ian Bermingham; Darragh Markey, Cian Coleman, Jamie Lennon; Dean Clarke, Gary Shaw (Ronan Hale 77), Glen McAuley (Jake Walker 89).   

Sligo Rovers: Ed MicGinty; Johnny Dunleavy (John Russell 75), Dante Leverock, John Mahon, Lewis Banks; Kyle Callan-McFadden (Sam Warde 61); David Cawley, Daryl Fordyce; Kris Twardek, Regan Donelon (Ronan Murray 65); Romeo Parkes.

Referee: John McLoughlin.

Attendance: 1,217.