Match Report

Match Info

Date: 20/10/2017
Competition: League
Venue: Richmond Park

Home Team

Lukas Scowron; Michael Barker, Jordi Balk, Lee Desmond, Ian Bermingham; Killian Brennan, Owen Garvan (JJ Lunney 90+1), Paul O'Conor (Kurtis Byrne 24), Conan Byrne (Ian Turner 76), Billy Dennehy; Christy Fagan.

Away Team

Alan Smith; Conor McCarthy, Ryan Delaney, Robbie Williams (Karl Sheppard 46), Sean McLoughlin; Greg Bolger, Kieran Sadlier, Jimmy Keohane, Shane Griffin; Connor Ellis (Stephen Dooley 61), Achille Campion (Gearoid Morrissey 76).

Officials

Referee: Robert Hennessy (Limerick).

Goal Scorers

Yellow Cards

Red Cards

St Patrick's Athletic 4 - Cork City 2

St Patrick's Athletic took a big step towards ensuring Premier Division football for another season with a spectacular 4-2 comeback victory over the champions Cork City at Richmond Park.

The visitors had raced into an early 2-0 lead through Ryan Delaney and Kiern Sadlier, but goals from Jordi Balk, Billy Dennehy, Ian Bermingham and Kurtis Byrne forced a remarkable turnaround.

Galway United's 2-2 draw with Limerick means that the Saints top flight status won't be decided until the final day of the season but a point against Derry will see them to safety and they may not even need that, depending on how results go elsewhere.

It's a year minus a day since the Saints put the kibosh on Cork City's feint title chances with a 3-1 victory at Richmond Park.

City arrived as newly-confirmed champions this time, the guard of honour formed by the struggling home side a sign of how quickly fortunes can change for both sides in 12 months.

There were eight changes for City as goalkeeper Mark McNulty's record of 147 consecutive league games came to an end, meaning former Rangers stopper Alan Smith got his big break.

It was the Saints who appeared overawed early on, ceding space to the makeshift Cork side, and Sadlier showed what he does with space as he whistled a shot just wide of the top corner.

Another nervy moment for the unconvincing summer signing Lucasz Skowron in goal earned the champions a soft corner kick as he flapped at Sadlier's cross before shovelling the ball behind.

His blushes weren't to be spared, however, as Achille Campion rose at the back post to knock down Sadlier's delivery, and a superb shot on the swivel from Delaney saw the ball sneak inside the post.

Pat's could have equalised three minutes later as Paul O'Conor slipped in Conan Byrne, but with Christy Fagan waiting in the centre the winger's cross-shot was palmed behind by Smith.

The Saints were hit with another suckerpunch on 19 minutes as Sadlier turned Bermingham inside and out before planting a perfectly-weighted shot into the top corner from 20 yards.

It was the first time in almost three months that City had scored more than once in a game, and the first time they'd scored in three, as the shackles seemed to finally shake loose.

Again, the hosts responded well, and both Christy Fagan and Dennehy spurned good chances before Balk stooped to nod a free header into the net from point blank range.

And they deservedly equalised three minutes from time thanks to a stunning finish from ex-City winger Dennehy, who took Fagan's pass before checking back inside Delaney and sweeping home.

The turnaround was completed just after the hour mark as a mistake by Shane Griffin in cutting out Fagan's through ball allowed captain Bermingham to nip in and sidefoot coolly past Smith.

The Saints could have gone further in front had Conan Byrne got more weight on Dennehy's cross, and they looked nervy as they knew a win could ensure they maintained their record of never being relegated.

Those nerves were settled 12 minutes from time as another run from the livewire Dennehy saw him pick out Kurtis Byrne, who showed his namesake how it's done with a sublime headed finish.

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