ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC 1 – 1 BOHEMIANS
At the end of this nailbiting re-scheduled clash, the chants of ‘Super Dave Mulcahy’ from the travelling fans said it all, as a wonderful individual performance earned the Gypsies a point against high-flying Pats at Richmond Park. The above scoreline could easily read St. Pats 1 – 1 Dave Mulcahy, as the Bohs number 5 put in a truly phenomenal defensive showing, writes KEVIN FAGAN.
How the Gypsies escaped from Inchicore with a point is a question that few could answer – but many will point to the contribution from the big Kilkenny man. He was everywhere – blocking shots, intercepting passes, clearing headers, and even scoring a dramatic equaliser that gave Aaron Callaghan’s men a real bonus point against one of the Airtricity League’s form teams.
Bohs made the short trip across the city without the injured Derek Pender and Dave Scully. Conor O’Brien and Dwayne Wilson were drafted into the 3-5-2 formation that began the game against Bray Wanderers on Friday. Initial signs were good, with the visitors’ tactics seeming to catch St Pats off guard in the opening quarter. Chris Lyons was a constant menace, and he created the first chance of the game for himself after 4 minutes. He collected Andy Mulligan’s cross, swiveled on a sixpence, and fired over the bar all in one movement. How many more points would Bohs have if the former UCD striker hadn’t missed half of the 10 league games so far?
Bohs were definitely the brighter team, with Lyons again causing trouble for the Pats defence. He received the ball out on the right from Wilson, and skipped past the lunging Kenny Browne inside the box. The Bohs crowd in the Shed End begged, nay, implored Lyons to go down, but the honest striker stayed on his feet and crossed for Wilson, whose eventual pass toward Mulligan came to nothing.
With the Gypsies bossing the opening half hour, a sucker punch was almost inevitable, and it came courtesy of ex-Bohs striker Anto Flood. Putting it kindly, Dean Delany is struggling for confidence, and he wont be happy again with his role in the opening goal here. A routine short corner wasn’t reacted to by the Bohs defence, and the cross was floated in by Ian Bermingham. Delany came, flapped, and didnt connect, leaving ‘Bisto’ Flood with the simple task of rising above Luke Byrne to head the Saints into the lead.
The home side’s confidence grew from that point, and they really took control before and after half time. Kevin Devaney came on for the struggling Conor O’Brien at the break, but Pats were well on top by that stage. Delany spilled a Bermingham shot, but recovered in time to collect in front of an on-coming Flood. The introduction of Jake Kelly for Pats added an extra dimension to their game. His slid pass found Conan Byrne who dinked it over Delany, only for Roberto Lopes to clear off the line. Just a minute later, Kelly again found Byrne with a low cross, but the ball inexplicably came back off the crossbar.
A rare glimpse of the Pats goal came for Bohs on 70 minutes when Michael Barker showed great composure to beat two players and let fly with a stinging shot that Brandan Clarke tipped over the bar. From the resulting corner, Ryan McEvoy’s whipped cross was met with blunt force by Dave Mulcahy at the near post. Two men on the line couldnt stop it, and Bohs had smash-and-grabbed an equaliser!
Almost instantly, Pats hit the woodwork again, Conor Kenna’s header was clawed onto the post by Delany, as the home side searched for a winner. Up stepped Mulcahy, who started to produce a string of amazing last-ditch blocks. At one stage, he had been laid out on the ground by a clash of heads with Christy Fagan – but even his prone, spread-eagled body managed to get in the way of a Chris Forrester shot. Jake Kelly blazed over from 8 yards after a slaloming Forrester run, and it started to look like one of those nights.
Bohs almost pulled off an amazing win when sub Shane Fitzgerald crossed for Lyons, but Conor Kenna pulled a Mulcahy-esque block out of nowhere to deny the quiffed forward a fourth league goal. Dean Delany weighed in with a couple of smart injury time saves to deny Fagan and Kelly, and a hard-fought point was amazingly secured. Next up for Bohs, they conclude the first round of league fixtures with a trip to Drogheda on Friday.
St Patrick’s Athletic: Brendan Clarke; Ger O’Brien, Connor Kenna, Kenny Browne, Ian Bermingham; Sean Gannon (Jake Kelly, 60), John Russell, Shane McFaul; Conan Byrne, Anthony Flood (Christy Fagan, 65), Christopher Forrester. Subs not used: Dave Ryan, Aidan Price, Jake Carroll, Stephen Maher, Conor Murphy.
Bohemians: Dean Delaney; Roberto Lopes, Dave Mulcahy, Luke Byrne; Michael Barker, Conor O’Brien (Kevin Devaney, 46), Keith Buckley, Ryan McEvoy, Andy Mulligan; Dwayne Wilson (Shane Fitzgerald, 73); Chris Lyons. Subs not used: Greg Murray, Ciaran Nangle, Michael Scott, Darragh Reynor, Kevin O’Leary.
Bohs Man of the Match: Dave Mulcahy