An outstanding performance by the Supersaints has put the pressure back on Cork City as they returned to the top of the National League after an overwhelming display against Sligo Rovers. The night was capped by Amstel's Man of the Match Trevor Molloy's return to the scoring sheet, as he added another two to his impressive tally.
From the start it looked promising for St Patrick's as they outplayed Sligo with the wingbacks causing all sorts of problems up the wings. The early pressure took its toll on Sligo 'keeper Matthew Boswell as he was booked for time-wasting after only 15 minutes.
St Patrick's broke the deadlock after only 18 minutes. Great vision from Croly found McGuinness at the edge of the box, his quick pass to Molloy created the opening for him to slid the ball beyond Boswell and into the far corner.
Jeff Clarke making his first appearance for the Supersaints this year was very impressive, and his effort from the corner of the 18 yard box just went wide with Boswell beaten.
St Patrick's with the wind at their backs were a potent force with the skills of Morgan and Russell in midfield slicing the Rovers defence to shreds. Boswell in the away goal was kept busy throughout the half and he was called on numerous times to makes saves twice from Hawkins and once from Reilly.
The anticipated second goal arrived just before the break. Morgan fed Reilly with a perfect ball and his powerful header beat Boswell as the Stadium of Light erupted. The second goal came with a sigh of relief with the two goal cushion taking the pressure off St Patrick's.
Expecting Sligo to come out firing on all cylinders for the second half, St Patrick's continued their dominance on the game creating chance after chance as the Supersaints put on a show before the big encounter with Cork City. Just 4 minutes into the second half St Patrick's should have went three-nil up. Martin Reilly's cross went over the head of Molloy but Russell came storming in at the back post but his powerful shot was saved by the legs of Boswell.
Sligo's only chance of the game came after 54 minutes. Hutchinson found O'Grady in acres of space, he ran towards goal and unleashed a pile-driver from 25 yards which was brilliantly kept out by Wood.
This scare restarted St Patrick's as they pushed forward for more. The third goal was of pure brilliance. A perfect ball from Colin Hawkins over the top found Molloy who brought the ball under control with his head, he continued his run into the box and he blasted the ball into the roof of the net.
The excellent display of football continued and a moment of sheer brilliance from Russell almost made it 4-0. Clarke showed great vision as he fed the ball to Reilly, his shot was saved and the ball ended up at the feet of Osam.
With time on his hand he picked out Russell with a perfect cross-field ball. Deciding not to take the ball under control, Russell let fly and from an acute angle his shot was smartly saved.
With St Patrick's dominance taking it's effect on Sligo's defence it wasn't long before number four came. From a Russell corner McGuinness, who was unmarked, headed home to the crowd's delight.
The performance was a timely reminder that they aren't about to give up their challenge for the League title. All eyes are now focused on next week's encounter between the top two.