|Match Report||St Pat's remain top of the Airtricity League Premier Division table thanks to a fantastic David McAllister strike at Richmond Park.|
Meeting for the third time in less than two weeks, McAllister's shot into Richard Brush's top left corner on 57 minutes sealed a third win from those three Setanta Sports Cup and league games for Pat's.
Former Saint Joseph Ndo made his long awaited debut for Rovers but his excellent footwork and silky skills couldn't inspire his side on a night in which they lost Mauro Almeida to a nasty-looking Achilles injury.
The two sides had met twice last week in those two-legged Setanta semi-finals but there was added spice to this third meeting.
With the red tape around his move to Rovers finally cut, one-time Cameroon international and former Saints favourite Ndo finally made his first appearance for the Bit' o Red.
Sligo started well and Padraig Amond did well on five minutes to tee-up John Dillon in the danger area but the Sligo number seven dithered and allowed Pat's defender Derek Pender time to intercept.
A minute later Ndo sent a cracking ball behind the Pat's defence but it flew into touch before the inrushing Amond could connect.
Pat's Ryan Guy recovered quickly from a Gary McCabe tackle on 13, picked himself up and sent a cross into the Rovers area but Gavin Peers headed away before a Pat's man could take advantage.
Ndo then took a great shot from the left of the Pat's box on 15 but sent the ball is ball high over the right hand side of Gary Rogers' goal.
Rovers keeper Brush made a fantastic right handed save on 20 minutes from McAllister after excellent build up work from Guy and Vinny Faherty.
Rovers were forced to make a change on 26 minutes when Almeida came down badly and suffered an Achilles injury. The Portuguese defender was carried off on a stretcher and replaced by Paul Whelan.
A game that had bright spots throughout then became quite pedestrian with fewer chances and they went in scoreless at half time.
On 48 minutes Pat's fans were shouting for a penalty when Faherty went down in the area under Brush's challenge but referee Alan Kelly was satisfied that Brush had made contact with the ball.
The deadlock was finally broken on 57 minutes in dramatic fashion when McAllister took possession on the right of the Sligo area, picked his spot and smashed an unstoppable effort into the top corner of Brush's net.
McCabe had a chance to get the visitors right back in it just a minute later but is rasping shot was blocked by Rogers at the near post.
On 70, a Stuart Byrne free for Pat's was met by the head of Faherty but the former Galway United man angled his header over the bar.
Ndo had his first decent chance of the second half on 72 when he lost his marker, turned and flicked but cannoned the ball high and wide from 25 yards.
Seconds later at the other end the Rovers defence allowed Paul Byrne too much time on the ball and he fired from outside the area but Brush was well placed to save.
Richie Ryan was next to try his look for Rovers on 80 minutes but he shot wide from 20 yards. They had further chances but Pat's held on.
One minute's applause was held before the game in memory of the Leitrim GAA player Phillip McGuinness who died in hospital earlier this week of injuries sustained in a club game last Saturday.
St Patrick's Athletic
Rogers; Pender, Lynch, Kenna, Guthrie; Guy (Cash 82), McAllister, S Byrne, Mulcahy; P Byrne (Williams 75), Faherty (Sinnott 90).
Brush; Ventre, Keane, Peers, Almeida (Whelan 26); Ryan, Dillon (Doyle 69), Doninger, McCabe (O'Grady 80), Almond, Ndo.
Referee: A. Kelly