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Sunday 25 June 2017

Fagan strike lifts Pat's off bottom

Shamrock R 1 St Pat's 1

Christy Fagan (c) is congratulated by his team-mates after he bagged the equaliser against Shamrock Rovers. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Christy Fagan (c) is congratulated by his team-mates after he bagged the equaliser against Shamrock Rovers. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Chris Fagan's second-half equaliser lifted St Patrick's Athletic off the bottom of the Premier Division as indiscipline once again plagued Shamrock Rovers.

Graham Burke, who fired Rovers into an early lead, incurred his second red card of the season 12 minutes from the end just as the fifth-placed home side were chasing a win they badly required to catch Bray Wanderers and Derry City.

With little provocation, the former Aston Villa trainee tried to kick out at Michael Barker and referee Rob Hennessy punished him with a straight dismissal.

Despite starting brightly, the Saints were caught napping by Rovers for the opener on 18 minutes.

There seemed to be little danger when a pass was played into Gary Shaw's feet 25 yards from goal but his flick-on dissected the Saints defence and Burke cut in from the left to tuck the ball beneath Conor O'Malley.

Pat's then made another defensive error and Rovers were almost handed a gift nine minutes before the break.

Instead of saving a free-kick directed straight at him by Burke, O'Malley parried to Ryan Connolly six yards, only for the goalkeeper to make amends by saving the rebound.

A Rovers defensive mix-up by Connolly and Tomer Chencinski then handed Fagan a chance to lob the goalkeeper from 20 yards but he failed to take it, scuffing his shot horribly wide.

Fagan wouldn't be so profligate when presented with another chance 10 minutes after the restart.

Conan Byrne made a foray into the Rovers half, allowing Jonathan Lunney to thread a pass for Fagan to control and then smash a shot into the top corner from 20 yards.

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