League Report: St Patrick's Athletic 0 - 1 Bohemians

Jordan Flores of Bohemian FC takes a penalty and scores his side's first goal of the match

Jordan Flores of Bohemian FC takes a penalty and scores his side's first goal of the match Credit: Thomas Flinkow (ETPhotos)

A disputed second-half penalty from Jordan Flores gave Bohemians their first win of the season. They stifled the attacking threats of the home side impressively, holding firm as they came under increasing pressure towards the end.

However, it was a disappointment for Pat’s. They had the better of the first half before conceding that controversial penalty. Despite their array of talent, they were unable to breach the Bohemians’ defence.

Unfortunately, the game will be remembered for an incident at the start of the second half, where at least one player was struck by objects thrown from the away end. This marred what was becoming an increasingly heated contest, casting negative attention on the league once again.

Saints manager, Jon Daly, opted for the same side that won away at Galway last weekend, with Ruairi Keating, Luke Turner, and Conor Keeley making their home debuts. Kieran Freeman, signed during the week, was named on the bench.

Declan Devine made three changes from the Bohemians team that salvaged a late point against Sligo Rovers last weekend.

The match began brightly, with good chances for both teams. Kian Leavy showcased his growing profile by evading both Adam McDonnell and Brian McManus to unleash a fierce, dipping shot that just cleared the visitors' crossbar.

At the other end, the Red and Black demonstrated their pressing ability, intercepting Jamie Lennon and setting up James Clarke, only for Pats defender Joe Redmond to block the shot.

Ruairi Keating, the Saints' major signing in the close season, nearly opened the scoring when a clever pass from Jake Mulraney found the striker. But his low shot was thwarted by Kacper Chorazka. Another attempt, this time from Chris Forrester, curled just past the left post.

Bohemians began to adapt to the home side’s formation, which had limited them to long-range efforts. And they nearly scored with the last kick of the half when Dylan Connolly, breaking away, cut inside Carl Sojberg and narrowly missed the target.

The second half was briefly halted when objects thrown onto the pitch by away fans, hit Cian Byrne. The stadium announcer warned of a potential cancellation.

Once play resumed, the tempo  dropped noticeably. The Bohemians midfield stifled their opponents, forcing play through the middle. Keating’s deeper positioning nearly paid off, but the striker's pass - intended for Redmond - was slightly overhit.

Bohemians had a rare chance when Clarke was fouled just outside the box by Lennon. But while Rooney’s free kick cleared the wall, it was too high.

The game’s turning point came when Flores converted a penalty, awarded after Redmond underhit a back-pass. The home side protested the penalty decision, but Flores calmly scored.

This spurred Pat’s into action, but Bohemians, with Byrne and Flores leading the defence, repelled their advances. Keating's long-range effort was comfortably saved by Chorazka.

Despite numerous corners, Pat’s couldn't find an equaliser. A late scramble nearly saw Redmond score, but Chorazka secured the ball, his save cheered almost as loudly as the goal.

Not even ten minutes of added time could produce an equaliser for Pat’s. Bohemians claimed a measure of revenge for their cup final loss and are set to host Dundalk next Friday. While St Patrick’s must regroup before their next match against Derry City.

St. Patrick's Athletic: Marcelo Pitaluga; Anthony Breslin, Conor Keeley (Brandon Kavanagh 66), Joseph Redmond, Carl Sjöberg (Kieran Freeman 84), Luke Turner; Christopher Forrester, Kian Leavy (Mason Melia 72), Jamie Lennon (Cian Kavanagh 84), Jake Mulraney (Jason McClelland 72); Ruairí Keating.
Subs not used: Daniel Rogers, Alfie Taylor, Aaron Bolger, Alex Nolan.
Booked: Ruairí Keating (15).

Bohemians: Kacper Chorazka; Cian Byrne, Patrick Kirk, Michael Lilander, Brian McManus; James Clarke, Dylan Connolly (Daniel Grant 59), Jordan Flores, Adam McDonnell (Martin Miller 59), Dayle Rooney (Declan McDaid 80); Sten Reinkort (Filip Piszczek 65).
Subs not used: Luke Dennison, Jevon Mills, Sean Moore, Oluwaseun Akintunde, Bartłomiej Kukułowicz.
Booked: Cian Byrne (42), James Clarke (63).

Referee: Rob Hennessy.

Attendance: 5,013

extratime.com Player of the Match: Jordan Flores