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Jackpot for Walker as Pat's quell Harps

St Patrick's Ath 1 Finn Harps 0


WINNER: Jake Walker. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

WINNER: Jake Walker. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile


WINNER: Jake Walker. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Jake Walker came off the bench to score the first league goal of his career as St Patrick's Athletic finally put Finn Harps away at Richmond Park.

The result - just a second win in nine games - moves Harry Kenny's side level on points with fourth-placed Derry City, though with two more games played.

The fifth straight loss keeps Harps bottom.

Decidedly edgy at the back from the start, Harps lived dangerously as they struggled to deal with Simon Madden's crosses early on. Chris Forrester headed wide inside two minutes before a right scramble in the visitors' box saw Mikey Drennan and Gary Shaw have shots frantically blocked.

Then a mistake at the other end almost gifted Harps the lead on 17 minutes. Drennan was dispossessed by Raff Cretaro, who 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.

St Pat's began the second half as they did the first on the front foot with Cian Coleman and Kevin Toner having half chances.

But, as in the first half, 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 keeper.

Boyle then saw his follow-up from the rebound deflected for a corner.

St Pat's then sparked to life with Drennan's long shot tipped over by McGinley leading to a spell of four corners.

And they finally got their reward on 83 minutes.

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.