Monday 11 December 2017

Bohs snatch draw at Pats

GETTING AHEAD: Conan Byrne of St. Pat's in action against Luke Byrne (15) and Keith Buckley of Bohemians at Richmond Park.
GETTING AHEAD: Conan Byrne of St. Pat's in action against Luke Byrne (15) and Keith Buckley of Bohemians at Richmond Park.

HONOURS even, but only one side came out smiling from last night's Dublin derby at Richmond Park as St Patrick's Athletic lost ground in the title race at the hands of Bohemians.

Pats, the long-time league leaders, knew before the game that a six-point haul from their games over the next five days would push them very, very close to a first league title since 1999 and with a first-half lead courtesy of Daryl Kavanagh, Liam Buckley's side seemed to have the first part of that double done.

But a defensive calamity 15 minutes from the end gifted a chance and a goal to Bohs striker Dinny Corcoran, his finish past Brendan Clarke giving the Bohs support in the 1,811 attendance a real moment to remember and a vital point in their battle to avoid relegation – this draw a huge result for Owen Heary's side.

"We thought we had the win, but we let them back into the game, it's disappointing, but we have to take it on the chin and move on to our next game," said Saints boss Liam Buckley.

"We had enough chances in the first half to put the game to bed, but their goal came from our mistake. We are where we are, we're a point behind Dundalk now, so we have to go and win our next game."

It was a night to forget for Pats as their concession of points from what was a winnable game, combined with a win for Dundalk away to UCD, means that Stephen Kenny's Dundalk go top of the table.

Pats can, of course, regain the advantage if they win their back fixture, away to Derry City next Tuesday night, with Derry in apparent freefall – City were beaten 4-1 in Cork last night.But with this 1-1 draw, Bohs were the big winners, the point giving them more breathing space as the other contenders in the relegation zone all lost last night.



Buckley will have to revive his squad this weekend ahead of that trip to Derry as Pats try to work out how, for the second time this season, they have let a lead slip at home to Bohs.

Pats looked like a real threat to Bohs from the start, with Aidan Price heading over from a Killian Brennan free kick in the second minute, while Bohs struggled to impose themselves on the game, although a defensive slip by Pats in the 14th minute almost gifted a chance to Dinny Corcoran.

It took Pats just 20 minutes to break Bohs down. A combination of ex-Bohs players, Christopher Forrester and Ger O'Brien, combined as defender O'Brien sent in cross and while the Bohs defence dithered, Daryl Kavanagh was on hand to force a shot past Dean Delany to give the home side the lead.

Strangely, Pats went into their shell somewhat after that, having lots of possession, but no end product.

Bohs needed something different and manager Owen Heary made two half-time changes, midfielders Keith Buckley and Stephen Traynor thrown into action and they did give the Gypsies some added steel.

Bohs got their lifeline on 75 minutes when left back Ian Bermingham misjudged his back-pass, sent Corcoran free and the forward did well to skip past Clarke in the Pats goal and finish from a tight angle.

Pats almost nicked a winner five minutes from time when Stephen Maher threatened after Anto Flood's effort was blocked, but keeper Delany saved on the line to deny Maher.

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