League of Ireland round-up: Shamrock Rovers stay in touch at the top while Drogheda holds St Pat’s


Andy Lyon’s brace put Shamrock Rovers on course to victory over Finn Harps at Ballybofey.

Raham Burke secured the win with a penalty in the 86th minute.

Mark Anthony McGinley was sent off for beating Rory Gaffney and outfield player Bastian Hery went on goal after all the substitutions made in the closing stages.

Two minutes into injury time at the end of the first half, Lyons headed home from the near post after catching a Jack Byrne corner.

Burke had three separate attempts to open scoring in the early exchanges.

In the 23rd minute, Burke turned inside but shot too close to McGinley.

Three minutes earlier, McGinley came from 20 yards behind Burke’s drive after his torso was pricked by a wild effort from Burke in the third minute.

Harps, who gave former Turkey U21 player Erol Alkan a first starting shot, came on narrowly in the 11th minute.

Elie N’Zeyi shot the inside of the post from just outside the box.

Alan Mannus almost didn’t seem to notice as the ball fell off the woodwork back into his arms.

Eric McWoods rolled just wide after escaping Lee Grace before McGinley saved from Burke’s free-kick.

With eleven minutes left, Lyons overcame McGinley to double the lead before Burke finally got his name on the scoresheet.

Finn Harps – McGinley; Carrillo (Timlin 77), Tourist, Webster, Boyle; N’Zeyi, Alkan (Slevin ht); Rainey (Mahdy 35), McNamee (Rudden 80), Mihaljevic; McWoods (Hery 77).

Shamrock Rovers – Mannus; Hoare, Lopes, Grace (Gannon 68); Finn, O’Neill, Byrne, Burke (Kavanagh 87), Lyons; Towell (Greene 87), Gaffney (Emakhu 87).

Referee – R Harvey.

St Patrick’s Athletic 1 Drogheda United 1

Darragh Burns struck a glorious late equalizer for a lackluster St Pat’s as they had to come from behind to salvage a point against a stubborn Drogheda United at Richmond Park.

An opportunistic first-half strike from Dayle Rooney appeared to have seen Drogheda manager Kevin Doherty defeat his former boss Tim Clancy, who is now in charge at Inchicore.

That stubborn retreat was 13 minutes from giving Doherty’s converted Drogheda their first consecutive wins of the season before Burns intervened.

The 19-year-old winger started and ended the move, arriving at the end of Anto Breslin’s cross to fire past Sam Long with his weaker right foot to score his second goal of the season.

Despite a positive start from St Pat’s, Drogheda worked his way into the game and used a weak defense to take the lead against the run of play in the 18th minute.

Darragh Nugent’s low cross seemed to pose little threat but St Pat midfielder Adam O’Reilly missed his shot completely.

Drogheda winger Rooney was ready to collect the loose ball and blast it into the roof of the net.

Struck by the concession, St Pat’s struggled to get back into the game before the break when Doyles, Eoin and Mark all squandered chances.

And within two minutes of the restart, Drogheda should have doubled their lead.

The impressive Rooney played a terrific diagonal pass to put Evan Weir one-on-one with Joseph Anang, who positioned himself well to make a meaningful save with his legs.

St Patricks Athletic: Anang; Scott (Abankwah, ht), Redmond, Grivosti, Breslin; O’Reilly (Murphy, 60), Forrester; Burns, King (McCormack, 60), M. Doyle (Owolabi, 78); E Doyle.

Drogheda United: Long; Poynton, Cowan, Roughan, Massey; Deegan, Clarke; Rooney, Nugent, Weir; Williams (Lyons, 63).

Referee: Ben Connolly (Dublin)

Sligo Rovers 0 Shelbourne 1

Sligo Rovers’ unbeaten start to the season ended in a home loss to a spirited Shelbourne at the Showgrounds.

Daniel Carr’s 33rd-minute penalty separated the teams on a night where Damien Duff’s side showed the greater hunger.

The chances were slim, however, with a snap from Kameron Ledwidge and a half-volley from Aaron O’Driscoll being the only attempts at goal.

But the hosts fell behind just after the half-hour when Brendan Clarke’s spot-on delivery was checked by Farrell, who came into the box.

The ball went to the oncoming Kane, who collided with Karl O’Sullivan and pointed out referee Ray Matthews for the spot.

Carr sent Ed McGinty the wrong way, much to the delight of the fans in attendance.

Rovers suffered another blow before half-time when top scorer Aidan Keena took a hit and had to be substituted.

The Bit O’ Red made four more changes in the second half as they attempted to force a path back to even conditions.

Two of those subs came closest, with Seamas Keogh shooting straight at Clarke from the edge of the box and Paddy Kirk seeing a shot from Luke Byrne.

SLIGO: McGinty, Horgan, Buckley, Blaney, McCourt (Kirk 59), Cawley, McDonnell, O’Sullivan (Bolger 59), Fitzgerald (Keogh 59), Hamilton (Byrne 78), Keena (Mata 44).

SHELS: Clarke, Wilson, O’Driscoll, Byrne, Ledwidge, Kane, Coyle, Dervin, McEneff (O’Connor 81), Carr (Anaebonam 90), Farrell (Boyd 63).

REFERENCES: R. Matthews. League of Ireland round-up: Shamrock Rovers stay in touch at the top while Drogheda holds St Pat’s

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