A second half goal from Saints' striker Christy Fagan earned Liam Buckley's side a point in Turner's Cross as Cork City and St Patrick's Athletic played out a 1-1 stalemate on Friday night.
Fagan's headed goal from a Lee Lynch cross levelled the game up after the Leesiders took a first half lead through Garry Buckley on 41 minutes.
The Saints handed a full league débuts to both Ken Oman and Lee Lynch - Lynch coming in for Killian Brennan who picked up an injury in the pre-match warm-up.
City looked to threaten the Saints' goal early on, Anthony Elding heading a Billy Dennehy cross wide of Brendan Clarke's goal.
The Saints meanwhile created a good chance to open the scoring midway through the half - Conan Byrne combining well with Fagan to tee up Chris Forrester in the penalty area, however the Republic of Ireland U21 midfielder pushed the ball just wide of Mark McNulty's goal.
The home side however took the lead minutes before half-time. Dennehy's corner was flicked on by Gearóid Morrissey, the ball breaking for Garry Buckley who stabbed the ball home from inside the six yard box.
The Saints started the second half positively and their bright start was rewarded by Fagan's goal. Good build-up play in midfield play saw Lee Lynch make a great run down the right, and his pin point cross found the head of the former Manchester United striker who headed the ball into the bottom corner of McNulty's goal.
The league champions nearly completed the comeback moments later, as a swift counter attack forward saw Lynch through on goal. However with McNulty just to beat, his lobbed effort went over the goalkeeper's crossbar.
Cork captain Billy Dennehy received his marching orders for a second yellow card for a foul on Saints' skipper Ger O'Brien, however despite the Saints pushing for the late winner, the game finished in stalemate.
St Patrick's Athletic: Clarke; O'Brien(c), Oman, Browne, Bermingham; Bolger; Byrne (Quigley 79), Fahey, Lynch, Forrester; Fagan (Kavanagh 84).
Subs not used: Gilmartin, Chambers, Foran, McCormack.
|11||St. Patrick's Athletic||19||16|
|12||Galway United FC||20||15|