FAI Cup Final Preview: Bohemians -v- St Patricks Athletic
- Patrick O'Connor
- Sat, Nov 11 2023
Seven-time winners Bohemians will be looking to update their own history books with an eight title after their clash with Dublin rivals St Patricks Athletic in the FAI Cup Final at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday (kick-off is at 3pm).
They will also be looking to put the disappointment of their sixth- place league finish behind them and end the season on a high note and more importantly gain a route into European football for next year.
They beat St Patricks Athletic in the semi-final enroute to their most recent FAI Cup Final victory back in 2008 (3-1 at Richmond Park) before overcoming Derry City in the final which was held at the RDS Dublin.
A crowd of 10,281 witnessed a 2-2 draw after normal time with Glen Crowe and Jason Byrne (penalty) getting the goals for the Gypsies and Samuel Morrow getting both goals for the Candystripes.
The penalty shoot went 4-2 in favour of Bohs, Lithuanian international Mindaugas Kalonas scoring the winner after City had missed two penalties.
Declan Devine's side had a very productive Cup campaign on the way to the final this year, beating Shelbourne, Rockmount (MSL), Drogheda Utd and Galway Utd, scoring eleven goals and only conceding one goal.
Manager Declan Devine spoke with RTE Radio this week and said: "This is another opportunity; we have worked hard to get here and we certainly don’t want to let it pass us by, because this club needs to be in Europe
"And it is also an opportunity to add silverware, which hasn’t been done in 15 years so it’s a big game for everyone."
He added " there is very little between the two teams, I think both teams play the game the right way and they have matchwinners in their panel. But if you look at all the games, there has been very little between the teams.
"We probably dominated possession in the last game, switched off twice and got punished, but that’s the nature of two good teams going at it, you have to defend both boxes well and attack both boxes with a bit of intensity."
Referring to leading scorer Jonathon Afolabi who has 19 goals so far this season Devine said ‘’His overall play, his ability to hold the ball up and bring other players into play I think will be really important for us on Sunday."
"Dublin teams haven’t been very successful in the FAI Cup in recent history, so the Cup is going to be in Dublin, it just depends what part of Dublin it is coming to.
"A huge pitch, a big crowd, a break from the norm but at the same time it is still a football match, whether 90 minutes or 120 minutes, we have to make sure we’re ready," added Devine.
"It was a brilliant day, It is still very fresh in the memory," said Devine, regarding his previous success (managing Derry City to a FAI Cup Final win in 2012). "But we want to make sure that there are new memories now as this is a new place for me. I’ve been made to feel so welcome so I would love nothing better than to bring the trophy back into this stadium."
ST PATRICKS ATHLETIC
The Saints make the short journey to the Aviva Stadium on Sunday safe in the knowledge that they have already secured a place in European competitions next season by virtue of their third-place finish in the league table.
They will nevertheless be looking to add another FAI Cup win to the four they already have, with their victory in 2021 being the most recent of those.
Their other three successes were in 1958-59, 1960-61 and 2014.
The 2021 win did come at the expense of the same opposition, Bohemians, so no doubt they will be well aware of the revenge factor when they line up at the Aviva next Sunday.
That game ended 0-0 after 90 minutes and all the drama was then condensed into extra time with Chris Forrester (Pats) and Rory Feely (Bohs) scoring within two minutes of each other to leave it a 1-1 after 120 minutes.
Pats eventually won the penalty shoot out 4-3 with Robbie Benson stepping up to take the decisive kick for the winning goal.
Jon Daly’s side had a tough run on their way to the final, having to overcome Longford Town, Derry City (won on penalties), Finn Harps and Cork City along the way.
Daly spoke to The Irish Sun this week and he said they are fully prepared for the game. He said ‘’We’ve tried to box off all of that early (suits, tickets etcc). The suits were done early, really quickly, so if anyone put on any weight they will be struggling.
“Tickets are done already.
“The Aviva trip on Monday was probably more so just for the players to make sure we are not rocking up on Sunday and they walk out to the stadium and are looking around going, ‘Jesus what’s this?’
“It gets that out of their system.
“When we go on Sunday, we are going to do a job and be ready to go.
“We got it done so it is not a focus this week. The focus has been on training. Everything is full focus on the game now.”
‘’We are in that position that should it go wrong on Sunday we still have hit our objective of European football.
“If it goes wrong for Bohs on Sunday there is no European football next year, and we will do Shelbourne that favour that they did us last year that I have heard about.
“Will there be more pressure on them? Potentially. If they are thinking about Europe, yeah 100 per cent because they haven’t got that yet, we have.
“But ultimately it’s a one-off game and everyone will be thinking about the trophy that’s before us.”
Referee: Paul McLaughlin.
The attendance at Sunday’s final is likely to break the record as over 45,000 tickets have been sold already.
Th previous record was set in 1945 when Shamrock Rovers defeated Bohemians in front of 41, 238 at Dalymount Park.
There were 37,000 in attendance when these two sides met in the final at the Aviva Stadium in 2021
Bohemians 23/20; Draw 23/10; St Patricks Athletic 11/5
Bohemians 1 - 2 St Patrick's Athletic
Injured: Keith Buckley.
St Patricks Athletic
Injured: Tom Grivosti, Alex Sjoberg.