Bohemians and St Patrick’s Athletic played out a goalless draw in Dalymount Park on Sunday afternoon on a beautiful day for football, though the football on show failed to match the weather.
The Saints, unbeaten so far, faced a Bohs side languishing in unfamiliar territory at the foot of the table with no points registered from three games in. The visitors were dominant for much of the match though it was the home side who almost grabbed victory late on.
After a tame opening in which the side’s traded long balls, Pat’s had the first chance of note in the 7th minute. John Russell played a nice one-two with Greg Bolger before his right-footed effort trickled wide of Andy McNulty’s goal.
A sustained period of pressure from the visitors culminated with the visitors’ best chance of the game in the 17th minute. Ger O’Brien’s long ball evaded the heads of the Bohemians defenders and fell to Stephen O’Flynn who controlled well inside the box before firing over the bar.
Pat’s, missing front man Dean Kelly through suspension, came to rely on O’Flynn as he tried his luck again three minutes later. This effort time from was distance though again the ball soared harmlessly over.
Bohs managed to subdue the threat of the visitors for much of the remainder of the half as Pat’s continued to resort to long-range efforts. Greg Bolger’s strike after 32 minutes was well struck but never truly threatened the Bohs goal.
Lord Mayor of Dublin Andrew Montague was among the spectators at what the Dalymount Park announcer referred to as “Dublin’s friendliest derby”. However, there was nothing friendly about Dave Mulcahy’s robust tackle on Seán O’Connor in the 39th minute. The former Pat’s favourite earned the first yellow card for the challenge on O’Connor who returned to the Pat’s side after missing the 1-1 draw with Monaghan United.
After a dour end to the first half with the home side beginning to come into the game, the second half began with the game’s second card, another ex-Pat’s man Derek Pender finding his way into the book for his tackle on John Russell. The resulting free from Bolger cleared the wall, and then the goal, by some distance. Some smart play from O’Brien and O’Flynn almost had Russell clear through soon after but McNulty came out well to claim. He again displayed safe hands on 54 minutes, getting down low to halt a weak O’Flynn effort.
The defining moment of an otherwise dull game came right at the end, Karl Moore of Bohemians unleashing a sweet, dipping volley from the edge of the box that had Brendan Clarke beaten but cannoned off the underside off the crossbar. It was the closest either side came to breaking the deadlock and the closest Bohemians have come to scoring in the league so far.
Pat’s had the better of possession and the few real chances of a lacklustre encounter. Bohemians, led from the back by skipper Owen Heary, defended stubbornly to frustrate the Saints and earn their first point of the season.
Despite coming out the happier of the two sets of supporters, Bohs fans will not have been reassured by their side’s lack of attacking prowess, Moore’s effort notwithstanding. A point on the board but not out of the woods.
Bohemians: Andy McNulty; Derek Pender (Peter McMahon, 65), Owen Heary, Evan McMillan, Neil Harney; Stephen Traynor (John O’Connor, 78), Dave Mulcahy, Adam Martin, Dwayne Wilson; Karl Moore, Dinny Corcoran (Dave Scully, 58).
Subs not used: Craig Sexton, Sean Stewart, Kevin Feely, Ryan McEvoy.
Bookings: Mulcahy (39), Pender (46), Moore (90+3).
St Patrick’s Athletic: Brendan Clarke; Ger O’Brien, Conor Kenna, Kenny Browne, Ian Bermingham; Sean O'Connor, John Russell (Christy Fagan 60), James Chambers, Greg Bolger, Darren Meenan; Stephen O’Flynn (Ian Daly, 70).
Sub not used: Barry Murphy, Jake Carroll, Pat Flynn, Jake Kelly, Chris Forrester.
Bookings: Kenna (66), Chambers (75).
Referee: Neil Doyle.
Extratime Man of the Match: Owen Heary – the Bohs captain was everywhere that his side needed him, even surging forward late on in search of a winner.