St Patrick’s Athletic battled back from a goal down to grab a point against Sligo Rovers at Richmond Park on Friday evening.
Gary Boylan opened the scoring for the visitors on the 41st minute before a Christy Fagan headed effort saw the Saints record their first league draw since May 2015.
With chances in the opening ten minutes limited, St Pats had the game’s first chance when Billy Dennehy found Darren Dennehy at the far post and he headed possession into the path of David Cawley, but the midfielder could only hook his effort wide.
Soon after, as the visitors who entered the game on the back of a 0-0 draw at home to Cork began to find a foot in the game and John Russell almost gave them the lead but his effort from the edge of the box was cleared off the line by Billy Dennehy.
As the visitors continued to push forward, Jaanai Gordon forced an excellent save from Brendan Clarke. The forward latch onto a ball over the top before evading the defender's sliding challenge, but Clarke stood tall before making an excellent save to deny the forward.
With the home side continuing to struggle to create first-half, their first effort on target didn’t arrive until the 26th minute when Billy Dennehy’s low shot from the edge of the box was easily gathered by Micheal Schlingermann. Soon after Keith Tracey had another effort for the hosts, but his low free-kick was easily collected by the shot-stopper.
Six minutes after Tracey’s effort, Clarke was again called into action when Kieran Sadlier found Gordon, who's headed effort while falling backwards was touched around the post by the keeper.
With three first-half minutes remaining, Sligo took a deserved lead when Sadliers low free-kick was well saved by Clarke, but the keeper could only push possession into the path of Boylan who fired home from close range.
The sides would exchange chances once again after the hour mark. First, Tracey fired wide from outside the box before Sadlier also failed to trouble Clarke from distance - his low effort sailed wide of the goal.
Six minutes later, the Saints grabbed an equaliser when Fagan rose highest to meet an Ian Bermingham cross and the forward made no mistake from close range heading home his fifth goal of the season.
As the game continued to open up and both sides searched for a second goal that could prove pivotal, Darren Dennehy made a brilliant close range block to deny Keohane.
Moments later, Billy Dennehy was next to try his luck, but the Kerry native failed to trouble Schlingermann from distance - his effort sailed high and wide.
Deep in second-half stoppage time the host had a huge shout for a penalty when Shane McEleney went down under pressure from Michael Leahy, but Referee Neil Doyle waved play on.
After failing to win at home for the third time this season, Liam Buckley’s side will be aiming to return to winning ways when they travel to Finn Harps on Monday evening in a re-arranged game.
St Patrick’s Athletic: Brendan Clarke; Ger O’Brien (Michael Barker 50), Darren Dennehy, Shane McEleney, Ian Bermingham; Billy Dennehy, David Cawley, Keith Tracey (Sam Verdon 87), Graham Kelly (Conan Byrne 78), Mark Timlin; Christy Fagan.
Subs Not Used: Patrick Jennings, Sean Hoare, Dylan McGlade, Dinny Corcoran.
Yellow Cards: Christy Fagan (61), Michael Barker (90+1).
Sligo Rovers: Michael Schlingermann; Tobi Adebayo-Rowling, Michael Leahy, Gary Boylan, Regan Donelon; Jimmy Keohane, Craig Roddan, John Russell (Jordan Richards 70), Kieran Sadlier (Mikey Place 88), Liam Martin; Jaanai Gordon (Raffaele Cretaro 70).
Subs Not Used: Ciaran Nugent, Chris Lyons, Gary Armstrong.
Yellow Cards: Craig Roddan (18), John Russell (44), Liam Martin (46).
Referee: Neil Doyle
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Brendan Clarke (St Patrick’s Athletic)