Aaron Cawley reports from the Showgrounds
On a windy night at the Showgrounds on match day 2 of the 2019 League of Ireland season, Sligo Rovers manager Liam Buckley will feel his team were unlucky losing 1-0 to his former side St Patrick’s Athletic.
While Rovers were the better side over the 90 plus minutes, ex-Sligo Rovers player Mikey Drennan scored the game’s only goal with the last kick of the match to earn the win for the visitors.
Rovers were slow to start the game but the Saints couldn’t take advantage of this. The home team after 15 minutes had the first shot in anger when Romeo Parkes effort went just wide of Brendan Clarke’s goal.
Parkes again was involved in Rovers’ next decent attack when on 19 minutes his pressing of the ball in the Pats box allowed Kris Twardek to chase the ball out for a Rovers corner.
The BitO’Red were dealt an injury blow on midway through the half when defender Johnny Dunleavy went down injured. He was replaced by Lewis Banks who came on to make his Bit O Red debut.
Soon after the Saints put pressure on Sligo when Simon Madden crossed in to the Rovers box requiring a save from Rovers ‘keeper Ed Mc Ginty. Just past the half hour mark Chris Forrester had a shot on the Rovers goal but it went high and wide.
As the teams approached half time, it looked like Sligo Rovers were going to make the all important break through but Jack Keaney couldn’t find the target after he was fouled by Forrester.
The first significant move of the second half came when forward Ronan Coughlan chased a ball down the right hand side of the pitch and his cross in to the box was cleared by the Pats defence.
On 54 minutes McCabe was again causing trouble for the Rovers defence - his cross in to the box was caught by the wind and Rovers keeper Ed Mc Ginty was lucky to see it cleared by one of his defenders after his misjudged the flight of the ball.
This was to set the tone for balls in to the Rovers box for the second half.
Two minutes later Mc abe was at it again, his corner from the left hand side of the pitch was swung in and it rebounded off the cross bar much to the relief of Mc Ginty and his defenders. For the rest of the second half neither team had any clear cut chances to score the opening goal.
Both teams were somewhat wasteful on the ball.
As the game was coming to an end, ex-Sligo Rovers player Mikey Drennan came back to haunt his old team when he scored the winning goal off a Brandan Miele cross to give the visitors a dramatic win and maximum points for the Saints from their opening two games.
Sligo Rovers: Ed McGinty; Regan Donelon, Kyle Callan-McFadden ©, Johnny Dunleavy (Lewis Banks 22), Ronan Coughlan, Daryl Fordyce, Kris Twardek, Jack Keaney, John Mahon, Romeo Parks, Dante Leverock.
Subs Not Used: Sam Wards, John Russell, Liam Kerrigan, Niall Monaghan, Mitch Beeney, Scott Lynch .
St Patrick’s Athletic: Brendan Clarke; Simon Madden, Dave Webster, Kevin Toner, Lee Desmond, Ian Bermingham; Conor Clifford, Jamie Lennon, Rhys McCabe, Chris Forrester (Brandan Miele 76); Mikey Drennan.
Subs Not Used: Barry Murphy (gk), Darragh Markey, James Doona, Ciaran Kelly, Cian Coleman, Jake Walker.
Referee: Damien McGraith
Extratime Man of the mtch: Ronan Coughlan (Sligo Rovers)
It’s safe to say our @mikeydrennan enjoyed his last gasp winner against his old club Sligo Rovers tonight. Great celebrations from our #Saints2019. We can’t show the goal until after it airs on RTE but it was a great header from a @jamielennon98 cross to make it 2 wins from 2 pic.twitter.com/VfQSba7YEX— St Patrick's Athletic FC (@stpatsfc) February 22, 2019