St. Patrick’s Athletic staged a stunning comeback to turn around a two goal deficit to defeat Galway United 5-2 in Richmond Park on Monday night.
The away side raced into a two goal lead after just 19 minutes with goals from Shane Keogh and Alan Murphy but Daryl Kavanagh and Paul Crowley levelled before halftime for The Saints. Second half goals from Evan McMillan, Derek Doyle and Danny North completed the amazing turn around.
The game opened at a frantic pace. Stephen Bradley played Daryl Kavanagh in on the right side of the penalty area, he swivelled past Galway defender Stephen Walsh but the defender clipped the striker as he prepared to shoot. Referee Neil Doyle waved play on much to the striker’s disbelief.
The opening goal arrived against the run of play after just nine minutes. Brian Cash whipped in the right wing cross and Shane Keogh looked to have fired past Gary Rogers at the near for a surprise lead, but the close vicinity of the defender may also have yielded the end result of the lead goal. Daryl Kavanagh and Stephen Bradley began to link up and both had chances within two minutes. Kavanagh found Bradley but he fired just wide before Kavanagh forced Galway keeper Greg Fleming into a smart save from a difficult angle.
Having kept the home side at bay, Galway doubled their lead after 19 minutes. Alan Murphy’s attempted strike from the edge of the penalty area struck the arms of Paul Crowley as he attempted to block and referee Neil Doyle awarded the penalty. Murphy stepped up and made it 2-0.
The end-to-end nature of the game continued and St. Pat’s pulled a goal back five minutes later. Full-back Jake Carroll launched a long ball over the top and found Kavanagh on the run, he outpaced the defence and slotted past Fleming to half the deficit.
Fleming was called into action again as he saved well from Derek Doyle before the midfielder missed another a guilt edged chance minutes later. The equalising goal arrived six minutes before half time. Stephen Bradley swung in a free kick from the left side of the penalty box and Paul Crowley headed into the far corner for a deserved equaliser.
St. Pat’s began the second half on the front foot and North got to the ball before Galway keeper Fleming but his attempted shot was blocked. They did take the lead six minutes after the break. Anto Murphy, on the pitch just one minute, swung in the long throw from the right side and Evan McMillan rose highest to head past the stranded Greg Fleming.
The home side increased their lead five minutes later and put the game well and truly beyond Galway. Evan McMillan flicked on Murphy's long throw at the near post but the ball cannoned back off post and North followed up with another attempt. Fleming again saved but Derek Doyle was on hand to fire home from close range.
The goals didn’t stop there as number five arrived for the home side four minutes later. Evan McMillan was again at the centre of things as he headed Pender's deep cross back across the face of goal and Danny North eventually got his name on the score sheet as he powered his strike across Fleming and into the back of the net.
The night got worse for the away side when Shaun Kelly collected his second yellow card and subsequent red card for a petulant kick at Danny North. Galway did have a little more of the ball for the remaining 12 minutes but never threatened Gary Rogers in the St. Patrick’s Athletic goal.
St. Pat’s were worth their win on the night with brilliant performances from Daryl Kavanagh, Stephen Bradley with centre-half Evan McMillan involved in three of the goals. For the away side, their defensive display certainly needs some work if they are to move away from an already inevitable looking relegation battle.
St Patrick's Athletic: Gary Rogers; Derek Pender, Brian Shorthall, Evan McMillan (Dave Mulcahy 73), Jake Carroll; Sean Stewart (Anto Murphy 58), Stephen Bradley, Paul Crowley, Derek Doyle; Danny North, Daryl Kavanagh (David McMillan 77).
Subs not used: Chris Bennion, Neil Harney, Ian Daly, John Flood.
Bookings: Crowley (18).
Galway United: Greg Fleming; Gary Kelly, Stephen Walsh (Rory Gartlan 89), Paul Sinnott, Shaun Kelly; Stephen Feeney (Eduardo Dusi 80), Brian Cash, Sean Kelly, Karl Moore; Shane Keogh (Mikey Gilmore 66), Alan Murphy.
Subs not used: Conor Winn, David Cullen, Darragh Duggan.
Bookings: Shaun Kelly (60).
Red Cards: Shaun Kelly (78).
Referee: Neil Doyle.
Extratime Man of the Match: Daryl Kavanagh – All round brilliant display, first half particularly, and good finish for his goal. Well deserved standing ovation when substituted.