GARETH MAHER - Sunday, October 31, 2010
Ryan Guy and St. Patrick's Athletic missed out on securing European soccer for next season as they ended their Airtricity League Premier Division campaign with a defeat to Sligo Rovers.
Sligo Rovers 1-0 St. Patrick's Athletic
The target for St. Pat's this year was to improve on last season's poor showing and try to win a cup. While Guy and his team-mates most certainly achieved the first part, the latter proved beyond them as they finished the season empty-handed.
A trip out west to take on Sligo for the seventh time this year was always going to be difficult for Pete Mahon's team, but with a place in the Europa League qualifiers at stake, they were always going to fight to the end.
Ultimately, they ran out of energy as Guy lasted 71 minutes before being replaced and his team-mates struggled to impose themselves on the game with David McAllister's flick on from a Dave Mulcahy free-kick counting as their best early chance on goal.
Derek Doyle then brought the best out of Sligo keeper Ciaran Kelly before the same player denied Mulcahy as St. Pat's tried to snatch a goal on the counter attack.
But they were left feeling short-changed when Gary McCabe won a penalty deep into injury time and Sligo defender Alan Keane stepped up to blast the ball into the back of the net and secure a narrow win.
Guy may not have had an impact on this game, but his season overall has been very impressive with nine league goals scored, a starring role in the Airtricity League XI team and one of the most consistent performers for the Saints.
The San Diego native is still under contract for next season, so it is expected that he will line out for the Inchicore outfit again when the Irish season gets underway early in 2011.
Chris Konopka was an un-used substitute as Waterford United beat Shelbourne 2-1 at Tolka Park to book their place in the promotion play-off against Monaghan United.