A fantastic Daryl Kavanagh goal gave St. Patrick’s Athletic their first win in Dalymount Park in over three years, as Pat Fenlon’s Bohemians side continue their inconsistent league form.
The former Waterford United man's second half strike, via a long kick forward from 'keeper Gary Rogers, gave the Saints the three points and pushes them ahead of their Northside rivals.
Both sides made changes from their last outings, Pat Fenlon was forced to bring in Christopher Forrester and Ollie Cahill for Mark Rossiter (hamstring) and Ger O’Brien (suspended). For the Saints, Pete Mahon was unable to call upon the services of Ian Birmingham and Danny North, midweek Leinster Senior Cup goalscorer Dave McMillan and Neil Harney replacing the duo.
After a quiet opening quarter, the game came to life after the first passing movement from the home side. Working the ball from right to left, and right again, Robert Bayly saw his goal-bound shot blocked for a corner by Pat’s make shift left-back Derek Pender. From the resulting set-piece, Paul Crowley headed away Killian Brennan’s dangerous in-swinging corner.
The Inchicore side eventually began to settle and threaten the home goal, as some good combination play between Neil Harney and Stephen Bradley saw Harney’s cross well claimed by Chris O’Connor, with Evan McMillan waiting to head in.
The McMillan brothers combined well for the Saints on 25 minutes, Evan crossing for Dave, but the striker’s shot went narrowly over the bar. At the opposite end, another Killian Brennan corner was only half cleared by the away side, and Keith Buckley volleyed narrowly over Rogers’ crossbar.
On the half hour, the away support thought their side had the game’s opener through Kavanagh’s deflected cross. However their celebrations were in vain, as Gypsies’ keeper O’Connor managed to backtrack and gather the ball on his goal-line.
Bohemians ended the half strongly though, Owen Heary’s raiding run down the right saw the defender pull the ball back for top scorer Anto Flood, but the striker’s near post shot was well saved by Rogers.
Pat Fenlon made an early second half change as Glenn Cronin replaced Keith Buckley to end his six month absence from league action, however it failed to kill the Saints momentum. On the hour, a long Rogers clearance released Kavanagh, and after the forward stepped inside Liam Burns, he saw his shot saved by O’Connor.
However the home side did not take the threat of Rogers’ long kicks on board and were punished on 76 minutes. Meath born Rogers again quickly kicked the ball from hand, clearing the ball over the head of Liam Burns for Kavanagh who then expertly stepped back inside Burns and saw his left footed strike from 20 yards beat O’Connor.
Bohemians were forced to push on in an attempt to get the equaliser, and the closest they came was on 84 minutes when Owen Heary appeared to go down under the challenge of the Saints’ defender Neil Harney. However despite huge protestations by both the home side’s players and supporters, referee Derek Tomney waved away the claims, awarding a corner to Bohemians and booking Heary for dissent. From the resulting corner from Brennan, Aidan Price headed well over the Pat’s crossbar.
The Inchicore side could have settled the game on 91 minutes, but after Ian Daly released Kavanagh, with just the keeper to beat, the striker was denied by the onrushing O’Connor.
But the Saints easily stood up to anything that Bohemians threw at them and were not to be denied the three points.
Bohemians: Chris O’Connor; Owen Heary (c), Liam Burns, Aidan Price, Ollie Cahill (Christy Fagan, 69); Chris Forrester (Gary Burke, 78), Keith Buckley (Gary Cronin, 56), Robert Bayly, Killian Brennan; Stephen Traynor, Anto Flood.
Subs Not Used: Barry Murphy, Lee Dixon, Daniel Joyce, Kevin Feely.
Bookings: O Heary (83).
St. Patrick’s Athletic: Gary Rogers; Derek Pender, Evan McMillan, Brian Shortall, Neil Harney; Anto Murphy (Sean Stewart, 78), Paul Crowley (Shane McFaul, 89), Stephen Bradley (c), Derek Doyle; Daryl Kavanagh, Dave McMillan (Ian Daly, 85).
Subs Not Used: Chris Bennion, Jake Carroll, Jordan Keegan, John Flood.
Bookings: I Daly (90).
Referee: Derek Tomney.
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Daryl Kavanagh.