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Saints made hard work of Galway
31 Jul 2015 22:10
St Patrick's Athletic 3-1 Galway United
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Chris Forrester scored his seventh goal in as many games, with Conan Byrne rowing in with a brace, as St Patrick’s laboured to a seventh straight league win in seeing off 10-man Galway United at Richmond Park.
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St Patrick’s gave a full debut to new signing Shane McEleney alongside Lee Desmond in the centre of their defence.
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Galway, with three changes from their home defeat to Bray Wanderers last week, started Stephen Walsh, who had played in central defence all season, up front with Padraic Cunningham in a positive 4-4-2 line-up.
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Brim-full of confidence, with 17 goals in their previous six wins, St Pat’s carved Galway open all too easily to take an eighth-minute lead.
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Killian Brennan swept a diagonal ball wide right to Byrne who slipped past Colm Horgan to cross low to give Forrester the simplest of finishes for his 10th league goal of the season and seventh in as many games.
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If that was easy on the eye for the home faithful they won’t have liked what they saw when Galway equalised just as easily within three minutes.
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Walsh’s through-ball caught St Pat’s square for the run of Jake Keegan, who confidently side-footed past Brendan Clarke to the net.
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Undeterred, normal service resumed at the other end as the Saints bombarded the visitors' goal with a string of chances.
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Brennan and James Chambers had long-range shots deflected off target before Galway keeper Conor Winn was forced into stops from Byrne, twice, and Jamie McGrath.
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Remaining loose and uncertain at the back, though, Liam Buckley’s side had a let-off on 35 minutes. Gary Shanahan’s sublime deep cross was met by Keegan, whose header was narrowly wide of the far post.
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The busy Winn then helped Galway to remain level at half-time with a fine double save from Byrne and Brennan two minutes before the break. But Winn cost his side dearly ten minutes into the second half.
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The keeper’s poor attempted clearance struck Byrne and he then pushed the St Patrick’s winger to the ground after Byrne had raced in behind him.
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Referee Rob Harvey pointed to the spot and gave Winn a straight red card. Byrne drove the penalty to the net despite replacement keeper Ger Hanley diving the right way.
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St. Patrick’s then really struggled to trouble Galway thereafter until late on.
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The visitors got men behind the ball as the hosts didn‘t come close to extending their lead until the 84th minute when substitute Sam Verdon brought a decent save from Hanley with a shot from distance.
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St. Patrick’s finally added a third goal a minute into added time when Byrne’s angled drive found the net after Hanley had parried efforts from him and Morgan Langley.
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