Kurtis Byrne scored a sublime second-half equaliser as St Patrick’s Athletic came from beyond to frustrate 10-man Bray Wanderers at the Carlisle Grounds.

The draw was enough to lift Bray up to second place in the Premier Division table as St Patrick’s remain in the relegation places.

Bray brought skipper Conor Kenna back into their back four after a three-game absence in their only change from last week’s defeat at leaders Cork City.

After a five-week injury absence, struggling St Patrick’s finally had star striker Christy Fagan back while midfielder Patrick Cregg also returned to their starting 11. Though named in the team, Gavin Peers cried off after the warm-up to be replaced by Sam Verdon as Lee Desmond dropped back into central defence.

Bray, who’d beaten St Pat’s in Inchicore on the opening night, started brightly in the seaside sun with Dylan Connolly getting their first sight of goal on five minutes, glancing a header wide from Aaron Greene’s left flank delivery.

Four minutes later, Greene burst through onto a ball over the top with Desmond retreating well to get in a timely tackle and put the ball out for a corner.

Struggling to get into the game, St Pat’s were carved open again on 11 minutes. Keith Buckley got forward from right-back to feed the ball inside for Gary McCabe. His delightful flick put Ryan Brennan in, but the midfielder sliced his shot wide when he should have found the target.

A goal was coming for Wanderers, however, and it duly arrived on 24 minutes as Brennan made amends for that miss.

Greene’s initial free kick was headed clear, but it dropped for Buckley on the right and his arcing cross was headed home by Brennan.

Scarcely in it in the first half, St Pat’s were level just 51 seconds after the restart with a stunning goal as Byrne found the top corner with a brilliant 20-yard shot.

Greene then missed the proverbial sitter four minutes later as Bray blew a chance to regain the lead. Connolly got clear down the left to cross with Greene somehow contriving to shoot wide with the goal at his mercy.

But St Pat’s were a revitalised side since equalising and might have taken the lead just past the hour mark as Desmond’s header from skipper Ian Bermingham’s corner was inches over the home crossbar.

Buckley then took the ball off substitute Billy Dennehy’s toe from Byrne’s cross to deprive Saints a 90th-minute winner.

Bray had left-back Jason Marks, booked for an earlier foul on Conan Byrne, sent off in stoppage time for a second yellow card after fouling Dennehy.

Bray Wanderers: Peter Cherrie; Keith Buckley, Conor Kenna, Tim Clancy, Jason Marks; Mark Salmon, John Sullivan; Ryan Brennan (Anto Flood 74), Gary McCabe, Dylan Connolly; Aaron Greene.

St Patrick’s Athletic: Conor O’Malley; Michael Barker, Rory Feely, Lee Desmond, Ian Bermingham; Sam Verdon, Patrick Cregg; Conan Byrne (Alex O’Hanlon 84), Darragh Markey (Graham Kelly 88), Kurtis Byrne; Christy Fagan (Billy Dennehy 73).

Referee: Ben Connolly (Dublin).