St Patrick’s Athletic goalkeeper Brendan Clarke scored what turned out to be the winning goal as the Saints beat Sligo Rovers at the Showgrounds.
Jake Keegan had given the Inchicore side the lead with a well taken, first time finish before Mikey Drennan levelled proceedings before the break. Clarke then ensured Rovers’ winless home streak, which stretches back almost five months, dragged on for another three weeks at least.
The away side looked the more dangerous in the opening period as Sligo endured a stuttered start. Ryan Brennan was unable to control a cross from Darragh Markey as he skied his first time volley in front of goal.
While former Sligo striker Achille Campion should have made more of the game’s next opportunity. Rovers goalkeeper Mitchell Beeney came to meet David Cawley’s attempted back pass from the half way line.
Beeney’s clearance only reaching the Frenchman who fired high and wide from 20 yards out. The Saints then deservedly hit the lead as Keegan caught Lee Desmond’s cross first time to guide the ball past Beeney.
Rovers, who haven’t won a league game on their own patch since April, found their leveller six minutes from the break. Paddy McClean had headed Regan Donelon’s corner onto the Pat’s crossbar before Drennan followed up for his fourth goal in two games.
Pat’s hit the lead again on 58 in rather novel circumstances. Simon Madden was tripped as he attempted to turn inside the Rovers area, before Clarke sprinted the length of the pitch to take the ball and send his opposite number the wrong way.
Beeney grabbed a stinging effort from distance from Dean Clarke at the second attempt on 71, while Campion again blasted over with the goal at his mercy four minutes from time.