St Pat’s maintain unbeaten start with win over Longford

Chris Forrester scores a fine brace; all square between Drogheda and Sligo Rovers

Chris Forrester celebrates scoring St Pat’s second against Longford. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Chris Forrester celebrates scoring St Pat’s second against Longford. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

 

St Patrick’s Athletic 3 Longford Town 0

Not for the first time in his career, Chris Forrester stole the show, capped with a brace of delightful goals, as league leaders St Patrick’s Athletic maintained their unbeaten start to the season.

A fifth defeat in six games, and without a goal from play during that run, leaves bottom side Longford facing a long season ahead.

After a first half devoid of precious little goalmouth action, St Pat’s coach Stephen O’Donnell introduced both John Mountney and Ronan Coughlan for the restart and it brought an immediate reaction as they were ahead inside two minutes.

Longford defender Joe Gorman completely missed Darragh Burns’ delivery from the left leaving Coughlan with a simple poke to the net at the back post.

Karl Chambers headed over from an Aaron Bolger cross a minute or so later as Longford looked for an immediate response.

Instead, cue the genius of Forrester on 52 minutes to double St Pat’s lead.

Longford completely stood off the home skipper as he collected Coughlan’s ball in from the left.

With the time and space inexcusably afforded him, Forrester didn’t need a second invitation to look up, get the ball onto his right foot and curl it to the top corner from over 20 yards.

Forrester then punished further sloppiness at the back from Longford two minutes into added time, winning the ball to dribble past two defenders to finish from close range off his left foot.

St Patrick’s Athletic: Jaros; Bone, Barrett, Desmond; Lennon (Mountney, h-t), Forrester; Burns (Bermingham, 57), Lewis, King (McCormack, 85), Griffin (Coughlan, ht); Smith.

Longford Town: Kelly; J. Manley, O’Driscoll, Gorman, Kirk (Verdon, 56); Dervin, Robinson; Grimes (Byrne, 77), Bolger (Thompson, 77), Chambers; Dobbs (R. Manley, 70).

Referee: Ray Matthews (Longford).

Drogheda United 1 Sligo Rovers 1

Sligo Rovers missed the chance to stay within touching distance of the pacesetters at the top of the Premier Division as they were held to a draw by Drogheda United.

Goalkeeping errors were the order of the day on Boyneside as first Sligo’s Ed McGinty and then opposite number Colin McCabe gifted first half goals to Chris Lyons and Johnny Kenny.

The visitors started better and brighter at Head In The Game Park but failed to carve out clear cut opportunities to make their early dominance count. In their first meaningful attack of the game, via a set piece, United took the lead.

McGinty misjudged Ronan Murray’s floated free-kick delivery and when Daniel O’Reilly headed back across goal, Lyons was perfectly positioned to steer a header past the defender on the goal line.

Sligo were gifted a leveller when McCabe spilled Walter Figueira’s shot from distance. The goalkeeper was slow to react. Kenny wasn’t and the teenager finished with aplomb.

Drogheda United: McCabe; Phillips, O’Reilly, Massey; Brown, Deegan, O’Shea; Markey, Murray (Clarke, 73), Doyle (Heeney, 53); Lyons.

Sligo Rovers: McGinty; Banks, Buckley, Mahon, McCourt; Blaney; Bolger, Blaney; Gibson, Figueira; Kenny, Parkes (De Vries, 80).

Referee: Rob Harvey (Dublin).

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