St Patrick’s Athletic 1 Finn Harps 0
Jake Walker was sprung from the bench to score the first league goal of his career as St Patrick's Athletic left it late to finally put Finn Harps away at Richmond Park.
Just their second win in nine games, the result moves Harry Kenny’s side level on points with fourth place Derry City, though with two more games played. A fifth straight loss keeps Harps bottom.
Harps lived dangerously as they struggled to deal with Simon Madden’s crosses into their area early on.
Chris Forrester headed wide before a right scramble in the visitors box saw Mikey Drennan and Gary Shaw have shots frantically blocked.
Having survived, a mistake at the other end almost gifted Harps the lead on 17 minutes.
Drennan was cleverly dispossessed by Raff Cretaro who then threaded a sublime ball through for the run of Nathan Boyle.
Brendan Clarke was promptly off his line to avert the danger, saving with his feet.
Though St Pat’s began the second half on the front foot, it was Clarke who had to make the first telling save of the second.
Mikey Place got in one-on-one with his shot parried off the body of the St Pat's goalkeeper.
Having rode their luck, St Pat’s sparked to life back at the other end with Drennan’s shot from distance tipped over by Mark McGinley leading to a spell of four corners.
And they finally got their reward on 83 minutes when fellow substitute Dean Clarke got free on the right to pick out Walker, who swept the ball home off a post.
Drennan might have added to that on 90 minutes but for a terrific save from McGinley.
ST PATRICK'S ATHLETIC: B Clarke; Desmond, Kelly, Toner; Madden, Forrester (D Clarke, 76 mins), McCabe (Clifford, 23 mins), Coleman, Bermingham; Shaw (Walker, 61 mins), Drennan.
FINN HARPS: McGinley; O'Reilly, Cowan, Todd; Deasy, Cretaro (Timlin, 71 mins), Harkin, McNamee (McAleer, 86 mins), Russell; Place; Boyle (Boyd, 82 mins).
Referee: Neil Doyle (Dublin)
Sligo Rovers 1 Cork City 1
Sligo Rovers head into the mid-season break still narrowly ahead of Cork City in their mid-table battle despite being held by the Leesiders in an entertaining draw at the Showgrounds.
Man of the match Ronan Coughlan earned the Bit O' Red a deserved point as his strike cancelled out an early Graham Cummins strike for the visitors in front of a crowd of 1,984.
It was a dream start for the visitors with Cummins hitting the net inside six minutes. The striker had two bites of the cherry from a corner and eventually took full advantage when he slipped the ball home from close range.
Cork continued to press after that in a bright opening, but the leveller changed the momentum of the game in the home side’s favour as Coughlan reacted quickest to finish after the ball was headed back to him across the face of goal.
Rovers pressure continued in the second half and they forced the ball to the net on the hour-mark, but centre back John Mahon – back in the team following suspension – was in an offside position as he turned Coughlan's ball to the net following great work by Murray.
Rovers sprung player-coach John Russell off the bench, as they went in search of a winner in the final quarter.
And it nearly produced instant dividends, as Coughlan and Sam Warde combined to pick the Galway native out in front of goal, but Russell's header missed the target.
SLIGO: McGinty, Morahan, Keaney, Mahon, Banks, Warde, Fordyce (Russell, 68 mins), Murray, Twardek, Coughlan (Kerrigan, 84 mins), Parkes.
CORK: McNulty, Horgan, McCarthy, Casey, Comerford (Hurley, 56 mins), D O'Connor (Rainsford, 76 mins), Morrissey, Buckley, Tilley, K O'Connor, Cummins.
Referee: P McLaughlin.