Any non-home-win nerves could have been settled within 4 minutes, with the first clear cut chance falling to Bohs. Lorcan Fitzgerald dithered for Pats, allowing Kevin Devaney to skip to the byline. His cutback just evaded Dinny Corcoran, but fell perfectly for Paddy Kavanagh 10 yards out. Kavanagh couldn’t control his shot however, skewing the effort badly over the bar.
Pats aren’t Champions for nothing, and duly punished the Gypsies with a fine opener in the 10th minute. Greg Bolger won the ball well before exchanging passes with Lee Lynch and then releasing Conan Byrne. Byrne’s delicious centre evaded price, and found Mark Quigley un-marked in front of goal. The curly-mopped striker made no mistake, and there was no denying the quality of the move. More football like that, and Pats might well threaten Polish champions Legia Warsaw on Wednesday.
Perhaps unsurprisingly with that game in mind, Pats were happy to sit back after their opener. Bohs were in charge of possession, prodding and probing to little effect. It’s an unfortunate stat that Bohs hadn’t scored at the Shopping Centre end in the league since August 2013 – so it was only fitting that the goal to break that hoodoo. A patient build-up eventually fell to the excellent Roberto Lopes, who fed Eoin Wearen on the edge of the box. Wearen jinked to the left, and curled a beauty into the top corner with his left boot. It was no more than the home side deserved.
Amazingly, the second half was just 15 seconds old when Dinny Corcoran missed a gilt-edged chance to put the home side ahead. Fitzgerald was again at fault, mis-hitting his backpass straight to Devaney, who stayed cool, and squared it to Corcoran. Unbelievably, from 7 yards with the keeper on the floor, Dinny skied his effort into the Des Kelly Stand. All the threat was coming down the Bohs right, and Devaney was a real thorn in Pats’ side. He went on a mazy run beating three Pats defenders, but his left-footed effort went wide of Clarke’s post.
Liam Buckley introduced the league’s top scorer Christy Fagan to inject some impetus into the Pats attack, and the diminutive striker made an instant impact. His looping header was well saved by an off-balance Delany before the former Man Utd trainee had a goal ruled out on 80 minutes. Luckily for Bohs, he was a yard offside before he slotted home. Fittingly, the last chance fell for Bohs. Lopes won the ball yet again in the middle of the park and released Paddy Kavanagh who reversed it through to Wearen. Unfortunately for Bohs, he scuffed the shot into the ground and it was cleared for a corner.
6 games unbeaten in all competitions for Bohs, who travel to Sligo next week with a spring in their step. That home win is surely just around the corner.
Bohemians: Dean Delany, Anto Murphy, Aidan Price, Dan Byrne, Derek Pender, Kevin Devaney (Craig Walsh, 78), Roberto Lopes, Eoin Wearen, Paddy Kavanagh, Steven Beattie, Dinny Corcoran (Jason Byrne, 83). Subs not used: Karl Moore, Gavin Moore, Jack Memery, Keith Buckley, Dave Mulcahy.
St. Patrick’s Athletic: Brendan Clarke, Lorcan Fitzgerald, Kenny Browne, Ger O’Brien, Ken Oman, Chris Forrester (Christy Fagan, 67), James Chambers, Conan Byrne, Greg Bolger, Conor McCormack (Lee Lynch, 7), Mark Quigley. Subs not used: Rene Gilmartin, Derek Foran, Ian Bermingham, Daryl Kavanagh, Sam Verdon.
Mr Green.ie Man of the Match: Roberto Lopes
Pic by Eddie Lennon – eddielennonsportingimages.com