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Watch: Damien Duff does a Jurgen Klopp as he celebrates late win ecstatically with Shels fans

Damien Duff’s side had suffered three successive 1-0 defeats to the Saints and it was looking like it would be four when Joe Redmond’s header had 10-man St Pat’s 10 minutes from a big win in the title race.

But Shels full-back Euclides Cabral, who only arrived at the club on Wednesday, made an instant impact off the bench to level matters with his first touch, before Paddy Barrett’s 90th-minute header secured a hugely significant three points, as the Reds target a first European appearance since 2006.

Damien Duff goes wild celebrating with Shelbourne fans after late win over St Patrick’s Athletic

The win was no more than Shels deserved. They had far the better chances in Drumcondra as they extended their unbeaten run to eight and cut the gap on third to just four points with seven games remaining.

For the Saints, it’s a result that puts a dent in their title ambitions, as their first defeat in eight saw them fall to seven points behind leaders Shamrock Rovers.

Shels made a fast start as Hull City loanee Harry Wood fed Evan Caffrey through who forced St Pat’s number one Dean Lyness into his first save of the evening.

The visitors went ahead on 20 minutes after Jake Mulraney’s cross was eventually cleared to Jamie Lennon on the right flank. The midfielder’s fine cross found skipper Redmond, who rose highest to head home his second goal in as many games.

But Shels came back again with Jack Moylan slaloming through the heart of the Saints midfield before Redmond made a superb last-ditch clearance to prevent a leveller. Duff’s men had two good chances to equalise just before the break, as Tyreke Wilson shot wide before Mark Doyle’s loose touch allowed Moylan a sight of goal.

On the hour mark, Moylan embarked on another run towards goal, but it was Jay McGrath who came to the Saints’ rescue this time making an excellent block.

But the centre-half had a moment to forget moments later, needlessly picking up a second booking. His side were reduced to 10 and Shels handed a lifeline.

New signing Cabral made himself a hero by spectacularly netting his first goal for the club just seconds after coming off the bench – the Portuguese native first to flick the ball past Lyness from close range.

More drama followed as Barrett proved the match-winner at the death – his superb header from Wood’s corner finding the top corner to lift the roof off Tolka Park. Europe remains in the Reds’ sights.

Shelbourne: Kearns; T Wilson (Cabral 79), Molloy, Barrett, Griffin; Coyle (Hakiki 73), Lunney; Caffrey (Farrell 58), Jarvis, Wood; Moylan.

St Patrick’s Athletic: Lyness; Curtis, Redmond, McGrath, Breslin; Lennon; Mulraney (McLaughlin 66), Leavy (Murphy 62), Forrester, Doyle (Lonergan 77); Carty.

Referee: N Doyle.

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