St Patrick's Athletic 1-2 Crvena Zvezda

St Patrick's Athletic face an uphill task in their UEFA Youth League tie Belgrade in three weeks' time but they can travel with a degree of hope following Ross Fay's late header.

The Saints were rocked twice in the first half as a clinical Red Star side, for so long one of European football's aristocrats, struck twice in the championship minutes through the imposing Marko Lazetic.

The 17-year-old striker has already made the step up the Red Star first team and he gave a glimpse of why with two emphatic finishes at either end of the half.

The Saints we're short two first reamers of their own in Darragh Burns and James Abankwah due to their importance to the first team, but another senior player in Ben McCormack played a starring role in their second-half recovery.

Kian Corbally and Ugochukwu Anny-Nzekwue combine to challenge Red Star's Marko Lazetic

The Athletic were the dominant side for the majority of the game, particularly in the second half, but their efforts looked set to come to nothing until captain Fay glanced home a cross from McCormack.

Red Star defender Stefan Malentijevic had been sent off in the dying minutes as referee Ivar Kristjansson finally ran out of patience following a litany of fouls, both niggly and overly aggressive, from the visitors.

A result of any kind looked a distant prospect on the basis of the opening three minutes, as the Serbian side camped on the edge of the Saints box before getting their reward when Lazetic smashed home from a tight angle.

Pats keeper Josh Keeley pulled off a top-class save to deny Aleksandar Krahvic as Red Star showed how devastating they could be on the counter.

The lesson wasn't learned as Pats were caught up the field in injury time and once again Lazetic found space in the box to pick out the back of the net.

The second half was more of the same as the technically-superior home side continued to boss the ball and build patiently through the feet.

The introduction of McCormack, who had requested a dispensation from first team coach Stephen O'Donnell to take part, at the break added an extra cutting edge.

He came within a whisker of pulling one back two minutes from time, his free kick just clearing the post after Malentijevic had been sent off for chopping down Tommy Lonergan.

It was his cross that yielded the all-important goal in injury time, however, Fay getting the faintest of touches to find the bottom corner.

St Patrick's Athletic: Josh Keeley; Reece Webb, Luke O'Brien, Darragh Dunne, Sam Curtis; Ross Fay (c), Ben Curtis, Kian Corbally; Jack O'Reilly (Ben McCormack 46), Thomas Lonergan (Ian Byrne 90), Darius Lipsiuc (Ugo Anny Nzekwue 79).

Crvena Zvezda: Stefan Marinkovic; Stefan Malentijevic, Stefan Lekovic, Ognjen Mimovic, Viktor Radojevic; Luka Lecic, Marko Curic, Mihajlo Milosavic (Marko Stojanovic 59); Marko Lazetic, Aleksandar Kahvic (Nikola Pantic 88), Mirko Nikolasevic (Stefan Pirgic 72).