Sligo Rovers 1
St Pat’s 1
(K Byrne 72)
A wonder goal from substitute Kurtis Byrne earned St Patrick’s Athletic a vital point at the Showgrounds last night.
Byrne fired a brilliant left-foot effort from outside the box into the top-corner on 72 minutes to cancel out Kyle Callan-McFadden’s first goal for Sligo Rovers.
The Donegal native rose highest in the area to head past Conor O’Malley from Regan Donelon’s pinpoint corner after 32 minutes of the opening half.
Christy Fagan and Conan Byrne both hit the crossbar for the Saints, but Sligo sub Vinny Faherty could have won it with the last kick of the game, but his close-range effort flew over the top.
Rovers made two changes from the side that drew with Dundalk last time out, as John Russell returned from injury to captain the side in place of Gary Boylan, and Greg Moorhouse made his debut in place of Chris Kenny.
St Pat’s handed a debut to former Rovers midfielder Paul O’Conor, another former Bit O’ Red, Gavin Peers, remained out through injury and Graham Kelly was suspended.
Pat’s started well with midfielders O’Conor and Owen Garvan trying their luck with efforts from the edge of the box, before Christy Fagan volleyed Michael Barker’s cross onto the top of the woodwork.
But Rovers went ahead shortly after, and deserved their half-time lead.
Conan Byrne smashed a stunning effort off the crossbar midway through the second half, but his namesake Kurtis found the range with an equally superb effort to earn the visitors a point.
Here’s Rovers boss Gerard Lyttle with Ocean FM’s Darragh Cox…
St Pat’s boss Liam Buckley also gave his reaction…
SLIGO: Schlingermann, Adebayo-Rowling, Leahy, Callan-McFadden, Donelon, Roddan (Faherty 77), Russell, McCabe, Kearns (Cretaro 32), Moorhouse (McDonagh 53), Igiehon.
ST PAT’S: O’Malley, Barker, Desmond, Balk, Bermingham, C Byrne (Turner 83), Brennan, Garvan, O’Conor (K Byrne 67), Dennehy, Fagan.
REF: B Connolly.