ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC 3 BOHEMIANS 0
It turned out to be a tough Monday night for the travelling Gypsies fans as they saw their side go down 3–0 in the first Dublin derby of the season at a chilly Richmond Park.
Coming into the game, both teams had identical records – a win and a loss each – and were looking to build on good wins last time out with St Pat’s beating Longford 1–0 away from home, and Bohs beating Sligo Town 1–0 at Dalymount Park.
But it was a nightmare start for the away side when the Gypsies found themselves 1-0 down with just four minutes on the clock. Mark Timlin headed home a great cross from Ian Bermingham after a swift move down the left for his first of the season. It seemed as if Liam Buckley’s men had targeted Bohs’ right-hand side from the off with a couple of lovely switches of play dropping just behind Bohs captain Derek Pender.
Pat’s pacey left-hand side of Billy Dennehy and Bermingham continued to cause problems for the Gypsies and just eight minutes later, Christy Fagan doubled the home side’s advantage. Dennehy looped a right-foot volley, from the left wing, over isolated Bohs centre-half Roberto Lopes, for Fagan to nod home. The Pat’s No 9 looked slightly offside but the flag stayed down, much to the jubilation of the home fans. It was the striker’s third in as many games and 50th goal for the Saints.
Keith Long will no doubt be furious at his side’s slack start to the game and bitterly disappointed his side didn’t match the intensity of their Dublin rivals. Despite this nightmare start, the raucous away fans were in full voice desperately trying to lift their side. It seemed to have an affect as they began to grow more and more into the game and looked comfortable in possession.
Kurtis Byrne, who was looking to follow up on his winner against Sligo, hit a nice right-footed volley which was well saved by Brendan Clarke. This was followed by a free-kick from former Saints frontman, Mark Quigley, from about 30 yards out which also hit the target. It was a reminder to the home side that the game was not yet over.
With Bohs desperately trying to claw their way back into the game, Paddy Kavanagh and Ismahil Akinade found themselves in referee Padraig Sutton’s book after some full-blooded tackles.
After what must of been a very stern half-time talking to, Bohs came out and dominated the start of the second half. As a unit they pushed a further 20 yards up the pitch to take the game to the hosts. Eoin Wearen began dictating play and the energetic Keith Buckley was a lot more vocal in trying to organise the side. Pat’s dropped deeper and deeper and seemed to take the foot off the gas a little, protecting their two-goal cushion.
Ex-Irish international Keith Tracey started to show his class in keeping possession, portraying his long-range passing ability, finding team-mates with ease, and in turn frustrating the visitors who were probing but to no avail. That frustration boiled over when Bohs striker Akinade was deemed late on Shane McEleney and subsequently picked up his second yellow of the game and received his marching orders. That seemed to end Bohs’ hopes of clawing their way back into the game.
Long decided to go with three at the back after replacing Derek Prendergast with Ayman Ben Mohammed in one last throw of the dice. The tiring Quigley was also replaced by the fresh legs of Jake Kelly in a bid to liven things up and hopefully pull one back.
But with the game coming to a close, Man of the Match Billy Dennehy got the goal his performance deserved and subsequently rubbed salt in the wounds of the away side by nodding in the third headed goal of the night, following good work by Conan Byrne down the right.
Despite looking good in possession and continuing to fight bravely with 10 men, there will be no time to dwell on this performance for Long’s men with a big game coming up at home to Wexford Youths this Friday and the passionate Bohs fans will no doubt be expecting a big reaction from the players after a night to forget.
St. Patrick’s Athletic: Brendan Clarke, Ger O’Brien (capt), Ian Bermingham, Darren Dennehy, David Cawley, Keith Treacy (Sam Verdon), Christy Fagan, Mark Timlin (Conan Byrne), Graham Kelly, Shane McEleney, Billy Dennehy
Subs not used: Dylan McGlade, Darragh Markey, Jason McGuinness, Patrick Jennings.
Bohemians: Dean Delany, Derek Pender (capt), Roberto Lopes, Derek Pendergast (sub Ayman ben Mohammed), Eoin Wearen, Keith Buckley, Mark Quigley (sub Jake Kelly), Kurtis Byrne, Stephen Best, Paddy Kavanagh, Ishmahil Akinade.
Subs not used: Lee Steacy, Daniel Byrne, David Mulcahy, Adam Evans, Dylan Hayes.
Referee: Padraig Sutton