League Report: Bohemians 0 - 2 St Patrick’s Athletic
Macdara Ferris reports from Dalymount Park
Bohs blew their chance to jump above St. Patrick’s Athletic and into third place in the table as they lost 2-0 to the Saints on Friday night.
A Mark Doyle header and a lucky Conor Carty goal late on inflicted a defeat on Bohs that leaves Declan Devine’s men four points behind the Saints who have a game in hand and are in the guaranteed European spots.
The win for the Athletic is a confidence booster for them as they will face the same opposition in next month’s FAI Cup Final.
Storm Babet had hit the other two games in Dublin on Friday night but Dalymount Park was playable and Bohs had the benefit of the storm force wind behind their backs in the opening period.
They were plenty of tackles that flew in as the players had difficulty keeping full control of the ball on a pitch that did cut up under the heavy rain. Bohs skipper Keith Buckley was forced off in the 37th minute when he lost out in a tackle to Mark Doyle.
Bohs racked up the first half corners with Adam McDonnell putting them in under the cross bar from the right and Ali Coote from the left but the ball never fell too kindly for the Gypsies who couldn’t exploit those set pieces.
McDonnell was lively throughout and he got the first shot on target in the game but in the tenth minute his effortwent straight at Dean Lyness who was the busier netminder in the first half. He did really well to touch over a Bartlomiej Kukulovicz free kick on the edge of the area after David Norman took down Dylan Connolly.
On the left side Connolly’s pace no doubt had the Saints supporters worried but the final ball to find Jonathan Afolabi always seemed to be a bit off. When Bohs moved the ball through Coote to Connolly in the 34th minute his cross found McDonnell but Lyness was, once again, up to the task to save the Saints.
The visitors were not without their chances though in the first half with Doyle dangerous cutting in from wide right. Jason McClelland played him through mid-way through the half, only for James Talbot to save.
He then shot wide just prior to the half-time whistle off a Cian Leavy pass. In between Norman had gone close with a header but the teams trooped off in the teeming rain scoreless at the break.
The rain eased at the break but Bohs continued to press their southside opponents. A lay off from Afolabi gave McDonnell a sight of goal but he didn’t get full power behind his effort and Lyness had another easy save.
The duo linked up again with McDonnell’s pull back fizzing across the Athletic’s six yard box just ahead of Connolly as he slid in to try and touch it home.
It was the visitors who took the lead though just prior to the hour mark with a delightful header from a run right across the front of the Bohs defence by Doyle to finish Sam Curtis’ whipped cross from the right.
Kukulowicz stung the palms of Lyness after he dived full length to push away a driven shot that looked destined for the top corner of the goal but that is as close as the Gypsies came.
The win was wrapped up eight minutes from time in fortuitous fashion. Talbot did really well to save substitute Jake Mulraney’s effort as he cut in and shot through traffic from outside the area. The ball came out to Kukulowicz but his clearance was blocked down and into the net by Conor Carty inside the six yard box.
With Derry City dropping two points at home to Shelbourne, the victory in Dalymount moved the Athletic level on points with City but they remain in third place on goal difference.
The win also keeps St. Patrick’s Athletic’s slim chances of winning the league going but they need maximum points in their next two matches – both at home – to Sligo Rovers on Monday and Shamrock Rovers next Friday if they are to keep the title race going.
With just the two league games remaining, the cup looks like it will be Bohemians only hopes of securing European football for next season.
Bohemians: James Talbot; Bartłomiej Kukułowicz, Krystian Nowak, Kacper Radkowski, Patrick Kirk; Keith Buckley © (James McManus 38), Adam McDonnell (John O'Sullivan 77); Dylan Connolly (James Akintunde 77), James Clarke, Ali Coote (Daniel Grant 65), Jonathan Afolabi.
Subs not used: Luke Dennison, Cian Byrne, Louie Holzman, Declan McDaid, Dean Williams,
Booked: Adam McDonnell (30), Ali Coote (62)
St. Patrick's Athletic: Dean Lyness; Sam Curtis, David Norman Jr., Joseph Redmond ©, Anthony Breslin; Jamie Lennon; Christopher Forrester, Kian Leavy (Adam Murphy 76); Jason McClelland (Jake Mulraney 76), Conor Carty (Mason Melia 86), Mark Doyle (Alex Nolan 86).
Subs not used: Daniel Rogers, Ryan McLaughlin, John-Alan McGrath, Ben McCormack, Thomas Lonergan.
Booked: Sam Curtis (40), Jamie Lennon (41), Alex Nolan (90+4).
Referee: Damien MacGraith.
extratime.com Player of the Match: Adam McDonnell (Bohemians)