Sligo Rovers 2-2 St Patrick's Athletic: Saints miss opportunity to go top

Liam Buckley's side missed a golden opportunity to take top spot in the SSE Airtricity Premier Division as they were held to a 2-2 draw

Sligo Rovers' fine run of form continued as they drew 2-2 with St Patrick's Athletic in an action-packed game at the Showgrounds.

Rovers took the lead in the first-half through John Russell, before Pat's pulled one back thanks to Ian Bermingham. The visitors were awarded a penalty, which was scored by Conan Byrne to give them the lead. Sligo Rovers had a penalty of their own on 83 minutes, which saw Danny North tie the game once again.

The home side started the brighter, and came close with a mere three minutes on the clock. Jeff Henderson barged through the St. Patrick’s Athletic defence and found Aaron Greene, but he failed to avoid Brendan Clarke, whose fingertips just got to it.

First-half chances were few and far between, and it was Ian Baraclough’s men who took the lead after 20 minutes through former Pat’s man, John Russell. Alan Keane found Greene on the left who crossed to Danny Ledwith. Russell connected well with Ledwith’s cross to give the Bit o’Red the lead.

It was the visitors who emerged from the break looking brightest, and had the Rovers defence under pressure very quickly. First, Conan Byrne’s swinging cross from the right was just pushed away by Gary Rogers in the Sligo goal. Then, just seconds later, Liam Buckley’s men were back on level terms thanks to Ian Bermingham, who collected Chris Forrester’s pass, made his way into the box and struck to beat Rogers in goal.

Just 10 minutes later, Liam Buckley’s men had the Sligo defence sweating once again, when Byrne did excellent on the right to play it in for Christy Fagan, who was just inches away from getting a touch.

Sligo went agonisingly close on 71 minutes, as Paul O’Conor rose to meet Danny North’s cross, but he failed to keep it down and his effort was way over.

The 2013 league champions were given a lifeline on 76 minutes as they were awarded a penalty when Seamus Conneely fouled Bermingham in the box, and Conan Byrne sent Rogers the wrong way to give the Saints the lead.

The drama didn't end there, as Sligo themselves were awarded a penalty on 83 minutes as Paul O'Conor was taken down by Ger O'Brien in the box. Danny North blasted it past Clarke to bring it back level once again.

The result means Pat's remain in second place, while Sligo Rovers will stay fifth.