St Patrick's Athletic fell from the top of the table for the first time since May 24 as Bohemians managed to escape from Inchicore with a hard earned draw after Dinny Corcoran scored a late equaliser. Daryl Kavanagh looked to have put Pat's well on their way to another league victory with a well taken first half goal but Bohs pegged the title hopefuls back at the death.
It didn't take long for the opening chance to arrive as a free-kick from Killian Brennan inside two minutes nearly gave Aidan Price the opportunity to put the home side into the lead. Centre-half Price rose above everyone else inside the box but failed to keep his header down.
Just five minutes later it was clear that the game was going to live up to its pre-match hype as referee Alan Kelly turned down a strong appeal for a penalty from Pat's when Christy Fagan appeared to be pulled down inside the box.
However, despite this early dominance, Pat's were still quite sloppy at the back, twice conceding possession cheaply to the Bohs front duo of Conor Murphy and Corcoran. On one occasion, it nearly created an opening for Ryan McEvoy from a free kick on the edge of the box. But unfortunately for the large travelling support and to the relief of the home fans, McEvoy sliced wide.
Kavanagh's goal arrived 20 minutes in when he had the simplest of finishes from six yards out. The goal was created after some good play from Chris Forrester on the edge of the box presented Ger O'Brien with some space down the right hand flank. The attacking defender then slid the ball across the box where Kavanagh completed the move by sliding the ball past Dean Delany.
Five minutes later it was Conan Byrne who became a nuisance for the Bohs back line as twice in quick succession he had shots well saved by Delany. Pat's assumed complete control at that point and should have gone further ahead if it wasn't for some desperate defending by Bohs. With half time just five minutes away the crowd of over 1800 witnessed one of the best moves of the game as Kavanagh performed a lovely one-two with Conan Byrne, but unlike earlier on in the game Kavanagh failed to provide the finishing touch the passage of play deserved.
Owen Heary was evidently not happy with his side's performance in the opening half as he chose to make a double substitution at the break, bringing on Stephen Traynor and Keith Buckley for Murphy and Daniel Byrne respectively. While the changes did encourage an improved Bohs performance in the second half, it still took 20 minutes for them to create a chance of note.
Pat's finally created a chance worth writing about when Fagan saw his shot deflected into the side netting. From the resultant corner Price was the man that rose highest but once again he failed to direct it on target.
It wasn't long after that near miss from Pat's that Bohs scored through Corcoran as the striker superbly latched onto an Ian Bermingham back-pass to round the onrushing Brendan Clarke and score from an acute angle.
Liam Buckley immediately emptied his bench using his final two substitutions by bringing on Anto Flood and Greg Bolger. And the changes nearly ended up working as a Bolger cross was met by the head of fellow substitute Flood but somehow the effort managed to be cleared off the line.
Pats pushed for a winner in the last few minutes but their two best chances came through a defender in the form of Aidan Price. His two efforts however both ended up soaring over the Gypsies crossbar.
That was how it finished with Dundalk now overtaking Pats at the top of the table in a game Liam Buckley will have felt his Saints side should have won comfortably.
St Patrick's Athletic: Brendan Clarke; Ger O'Brien, Conor Kenna, Aidan Price, Ian Bermingham; Killian Brennan, Shane McFaul (Greg Bolger 79), Daryl Kavanagh; Conan Byrne, Christy Fagan (Anthony Flood 79), Christopher Forrester (Stephen Maher 75).
Subs Not Used: Rene Gilmartin, Kenny Browne, Sean Gannon, Jake Kelly.
Booked: K Brennan (43), McFaul (54).
Bohemians: Dean Delany; Derek Pender, Anthony Murphy, Roberto Lopes, Luke Byrne; Karl Moore, Ryan McEvoy, Daniel Byrne (Keith Buckley 46), Andy Mulligan; Conor Murphy (Stephen Traynor 46), Dinny Corcoran (Kevin Devaney 87).
Subs Not Used: Greg Murray, Darragh Reynor, Michael Barker, Chris Lyons.
Referee: Alan Kelly
Extratime.ie Man Of The Match: Aidan Price (St Patrick's Ath).