The SSE Airtricity League was welcomed back from a the mid season break with a brilliant Dublin derby at Richmond Park as St. Pats hosted Bohs with a crucial three points on offer in the battle to avoid the drop.
Bohs ran out 3-1 winners in what can only be described as the most stereotypical “game of two halves” there has been this season.
The game started at a fast and frenetic pace with both sides guilty of giving possession away too easily. It took until the 10th minute to for the first shot on goal, and it came from the lively Keith Ward following Dinny Corcoran’s hard work to regain possession, but the Bohs number 10 was unable to get his attempt on target. The best chance of the first half came for the home side when Conan Byrne skipped past the challenge of Ian Morris, standing in for the suspended Lorcan Fitzgerald, but his cut back to Markey got stuck under his feet and was unable to bundle the ball home from 6 yards out.
Pats were undoubtedly the dominant side for most of the half with Sam Verdon pulling the strings in the middle, and deservedly took the lead five minutes before the break when substitute Alex O’Hanlon drove at Bohs skipper Derek Pender. The experienced defender showed him down the left wing but the Pats winger had other ideas, skipping inside onto his right foot and drilling the ball low and hard to the far post giving Shane Supple no chance.
Bohs, who offered little or nothing in the attacking sense in the first half, started the second much better with the introduction of Paddy Kavanagh causing trouble down the left. The rejuvenated Gypsies managed to get their equalizer just six minutes into the half. A long clearance from Dan Byrne was allowed to bounce with, neither Ian Bermingham or keeper Conor O’Malley taking command of the situation. Midfielder Oscar Brennan took full advantage of the mix up and slotted home to make it 1-1.
The Gypsies excellent second half resurgence continued and managed to get themselves in front when Keith Ward slipped in Dinny Corcoran with a clever reverse pass. The Bohs front man kept his cool to make it 2-1.
The hosts, desperate to claw their way back into the game, went to two up top with substitute Aidan Keena joining a frustrated Christy Fagan in attack but to little or no avail as Bohs ran in a third following a lightening break.
Man of the match Ward who was finding all sorts of space at this point raced down the left wing before cutting inside to smartly pick out Georgie Poynton and the 19 year old made no mistake slotting into the far post.
Loud boo’s rang around Richmond Park as the saints find themselves in deep trouble now, with Keith Long’s men putting a healthy 7 point gap between themselves and the bottom three.
St. Pats: Conor O’Malley, Ian Bermingham (c), Conan Byrne, Graham Kelly, Christy Fagan, Sam Verdon, J.J. Lunney, Lee Desmond, Rory Feely, Darragh Markey, Kurtis Byrne
Subs: Barry Murphy, Jack Bayly, Ciaran Kelly, Stephen Grogan, Billy Dennehy, Alex O’Hanlon, Aidan Keena
Bohs: Shane Supple, Derek Pender (c), Rob Cornwall, Dan Byrne, Dinny Corcoran, Keith Ward, Oscar Brennan, Fuad Sule, Ian Moris, Georgie Poynton, Kaleem Simon
Subs: Greg Murray, Dean Casey, Eoghan Morgan, Philip Gannon, Warren O’Hora, Jamie Doyle, Paddy Kavanagh