Conor Kenna 67' -
Sligo Rovers' bid for a first league title since 1977 has taken a major blow after they were somehow beaten 1-0 by St. Patricks Athletic at inchicore on Friday night. Conor Kenna's 67th minute header proved to be the key moment of a game which Sligo dominated.
The visitors took control of the game from the start and they could have taken the lead in the 5th minute. Matthew Blinkhorn passed it to Danny Ventre who found Joseph Ndo. He played it to John Russell on the right and his shot at goal from a tight angle went just over.
Paul Cook's side continued to have most of the play throughout the first half and they came close to scoring again in the 25th minute. Gavin Peers played a fine ball out of defence to Joseph Ndo who played it to John Russell on the right. Russell's cross found Matthew Blinkhorn who’s header deflected off Evan McMillan, which took the sting out of it.
The bit of red should have scored in the 40th minute. Joseph Ndo was involved again playing in a fine cross from the right which picked out Mathew Blinkhorn. The Sligo number nine headed the ball from inside the six yard box into the ground and and it bounced over the bar.
The visitors came close to scoring again just before half time. After Pats cleared a corner, the ball came back out to Alan Keane and his accurate cross found Jason McGuinness, who headed just wide.
There was little to choose between the sides in the first 20 minutes of the second half. However, the Westerners missed another chance in the 64th minute. Sligo broke on the counter attack and Ndo played in Eoin Doyle. Doyle approached goal but, under pressure from Evan McMillan, he shot over.
Pete Mahon's side took the lead in the 67th minute. After Jason McGuinness fouled Daryl Kavanagh, Stephen Bradley took the resultant free kick from the right and captain Conor Kenna headed home.
Sligo dominated the game after Pats scored. In the 76th minute they missed another chance when Eoin Doyle chested it down brilliantly for Alan Kirby, who was through on goal but shot wide from eight yards out.
In the 89th minute Alan Kirby curled one in from the left for Sligo, and his effort hit the crossbar. A minute later substitute Rafael Cretaro's header was saved by Gary Rogers. In the 93rd minute Richie Ryan missed Sligo's last chance, when he hit the post from inside the box.
Pats deserve credit for the way they defended but Paul Cook will be wondering how his side failed to at least get a point from this game. This game demonstrated that at any level of football, a team has to take their chances.
St. Patricks Athletic: Gary Rogers, Derek Pender, Ian Bermingham, Connor Kenna (captain), Evan McMillan (Brian Shorthall 89) Stephen Bradley, Derek Doyle, David Mulcahy (David McMillan 37), Paul Crowley, Anthony Murphy (Danny North 78), Daryl Kavanagh
Subs Not Used: Sean Stewart, Matthew Holland, Ian Daly, Chris Bennion.
Bookings: Mulchay (19), Pender (38), Keane (86).
Sligo Rovers: Brendan Clarke, Alan Keane, Iarfhlaith Davoren, Jason McGuinness, Gavin Peers, Danny Ventre (Alan Kirby, 46), Richie Ryan (captain), Joseph Ndo,Aaron Greene (Rafaele Cretaro 70), John Russell, Matthew Blinkhorn (Eoin Doyle 58).
Subs Not Used: Ciaran Kelly, John Dillon, Derek Foran, Conor Powell.
Bookings: Ventre (31), McGuinness (68)
Referee: Tom Connolly.
Extratime.ie man of the match: Evan McMillan (St. Patricks Athletic).