Conan Byrne rescues point for 10-man Saints on 100th appearance

Longford Town had taken 2-0 lead inside 17 minutes

Conan Byrne scored St Patrick’s Athletic’s equalising goal on his 100th appearance for the club against Longford Town. Photograph:  Donall Farmer/Inpho

Conan Byrne scored St Patrick’s Athletic’s equalising goal on his 100th appearance for the club against Longford Town. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

 

Longford Town 2 St Patrick’s Athletic 2

A goal on his 100th appearance for the club from Conan Byrne saw St Patrick’s come from 2-0 down with 10 men to earn a draw in a thrilling game at the City Calling stadium.

With wins over Bray and Galway in their two previous games, a confident Longford started positively to run up a 2-0 lead inside 17 minutes.

Saints defender Kenny Browne gave the ball away cheaply for the opening goal after seven minutes. Showing terrific composure, Kevin O’Connor pounced to chip Conor O’Malley from 25 yards for a delightful finish.

It got no better for St Patrick’s 10 minutes later. Don Cowan pushed the ball past Ian Bermingham in the visitors’ box with the left back rashly tripping the Longford winger.

Referee Neil Doyle pointed to the spot and home skipper Mark Salmon found the bottom corner from the resulting penalty.

St Patrick’s needed a response and got it with a fine team goal on 23 minutes.

Greg Bolger, Christy Fagan and Byrne worked the ball through for the run of Chris Forrester who skilfully dinked it over goalkeeper Paul Hunt.

The visitors’ revival suffered a set-back on 26 minutes, though, when Bermingham dived in on Cowan again to receive a second yellow card and was sent off.

Despite being a man down, St Patrick’s pinned Longford back in the early stages of the second half with Fagan bringing a good save from Hunt six minutes in.

David O’Sullivan was given a sight of goal at the other end on 55 minutes. But, having been played through by Stephen Rice, he shot weakly at O’Malley.

In an action-packed game, the St Patrick’s goalkeeper had to make a good stop from O’Sullivan after Gary Shaw’s flick put him in on goal on 62 minutes.

But St Patrick’s continued to press and got their reward with another excellent goal four minutes later.

Fagan outfoxed Jamie Mulhall on the left to cross for Byrne to head home at the back post.

The drama continued into stoppage time with Longford having two chances to win it.

First Kalem Simon had his shot deflected to loop over the bar before fellow substitute Ayman Ben Mohamed rattled the bar from 30 yards.

LONGFORD TOWN: Hunt; Mulhall, Sullivan, Tyrell, Powell; Cowan (Shannon, 83 mins), Rice, Salmon (Ben Mohamed, 70 mins), O’Connor; O’Sullivan (Simon, 79 mins), Shaw.

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: O’Malley; O’Brien (McCormack, 72 mins), Hoare, Browne, Bermingham; Bolger; Forrester, Chambers; Byrne (Langley, 78 mins), Fagan (Kilduff, 83 mins), Greene.

REFEREE: Neil Doyle (Dublin).

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