Patrick O Connor reports from Richmond Park
All the drama in this hotly contested Dublin derby in Richmond Park was crammed into the last quarter of this match, with 3 goals, 2 penalties, 2 yellow cards, 4 substitutions and 1 red card before the home side claimed a 2-1 win that now leaves them only 3 points behind league leaders Shamrock Rovers.
The opening 45 mins was a very scrappy affair as the tension of the derby seemed to affect both teams with no player willing to take any risks when on the ball.
Bohemians were the more decisive of the two teams and it was no great surprise when they had the first real chance of the match in the 8th minute.
A free kick to Bohs on the edge of the box led to the ball hitting the hand of Ian Bermingham and although he remonstrated with referee Robert Hennessy the penalty kick was awarded.
Georgie Kelly stepped up, but the ex- St Pat’s player hit the crossbar and the ball was then cleared by a relieved Pats defence.
Shots on goal were few and far between in the opening half, and it was the 32nd minute before either keeper was called into action, St Pat’s Sam Bone, who had an excellent game throughout, drew a great save from James Talbot with a long-range effort.
Ross Tierney for Bohs had a chance to atone for Kelly’s missed penalty in the 45th minute but in keeping with most of the other efforts in the first half his shot from inside the box was too high and never troubled Pat’s keeper Vitezslav Jaros.
Stephen O’ Donnell introduced Robbie Benson early in the second half, coming on for an unusually subdued Chris Forrester, and he began to put his foot on the ball and influence the game around the middle third of the pitch.
Bohs had another chance to make up for the missed penalty in the 69th minute, left back Tyreke Wilson took a free kick outside the box, and his expertly struck shot came back off the crossbar again before being cleared by the home defence.
The breakthrough finally came in the 74th minute, Robbie Benson providing the assist for Matty Smith to coolly slot the ball past James Talbot to make it 1-0.
This goal spurred Bohs on and from an attack on their left flank in the 89th minute, Liam Burt was upended in the box and Dawson Devoy stepped up and equalised from the penalty spot.
Stephen O’Donnell was incensed with the decision to award the penalty kick and he drew the wrath of referee Hennessy and was red carded, seeing out the end of the game from the stands.
A 1-1 draw looked the most likely outcome at the 89th minute stage but there was still more drama to come. Benson was pushed to the ground in the Bohemians box in the 90th minute and referee Hennessy awarded another penalty, Benson himself stepping up to take it and he confidently beat Talbot to make it 2-1.
The additional 5 mins of extra time was fraught with tension as Bohs frantically searched for another goal but they ran out of time and will certainly consider themselves very unlucky not to have taken at least 1 point from the game.
The result leaves Bohemians stuck in 6th position on 14 points while Pats have a very healthy 24 points and occupy 3rd position.
St Patrick’s Athletic: Vitezlav Jaros (gk); John Mountney, Sam Bone, Lee Desmond, Ian Bermingham, Jamie Lennon, Chris Forrester (Robbie Benson,55), Alfie Lewis, Billy King (Paddy Barrett , 85), Matty Smith, Ronan Coughlan (Ben McCormack, 73)
Subs not used: Josh Keely (gk); Barry Murphy (gk); Shane Griffin, Kian Corbally, Daniel Norris, Nahum Melvin- Lambert.
Booked: Ian Bermingham (8), Billy King (85).
Bohemians: James Talbot(gk); Rory Feely, Tyreke Wilson, Rob Cornwall, Ciaran Kelly, Dawson Devoy, Ali Coote (Robbie Mahon, 87), Liam Burt, Keith Buckley, Ross Tierney, Georgie Kelly (Promise Omochere, 87)
Subs not used: Stephen McGuiness (gk): Andy Lyons, Anto Breslin, Bastian Hery, Conor Levingston, Keith Ward.
Booked: Kevin Long (55), Ali Coote (59), Rob Cornwall (72), Liam Burt (83).
Referee: Robert Hennessy.
Exreatime.com Player of the Match: Sam Bone (St Patrick’s Athletic).