Ronan McNamara reports from Richmond Park
St. Patrick’s Athletic and Bohemians played out an enthralling 2-2 draw at Richmond Park on Monday night as goals from Ross Tierney and substitute Promise Omochere saw Keith Long’s charges produce a roaring second half comeback from two goals down to leave with a share of the spoils.
Goals from Billy King and Jason McClelland had put the Saints into a commanding 2-0 lead but a rip roaring second half saw Bohs come back to head home to Phibsborough with a hard fought point.
If this game is anything to go by then we are set up for a cracking FAI Cup final on November 28th when they teams next face one another.
The Athletic headed into the so-called dress rehearsal for the final in four weeks’ time off back-to-back league wins while the Gyspies were looking for their first win in four league games to leapfrog Derry City into fourth place in the SSE Airtricity Premier Division.
The formbook told the story in the opening half as Pats controlled the majority of the first period.
Chris Forrester might have done better with a dragged effort from the edge of the box after three minutes but Stephen O’Donnell’s side would not have to wait too long for the opening goal.
A calamitous goal all of Bohs own doing as James Talbot failed to control a firm Andy Lyons back pass and while he managed to avoid losing the ball to McClelland he only diverted it into the path of King who rifled a shot past the despairing goalkeeper.
Keith Long’s side started without a recognised striker with Jamie Mullins leading the line. The lack of a focal point showed as Bohs struggled to penetrate the Pats defence.
The home side might have extended their advantage through the lively McClelland who had a number of efforts on goal but was unable to force Talbot into a save, twice hitting the side netting from a free kick and a shot from a tight angle after dispossessing former Pats man Rory Feely in the box.
James Finnerty made a fabulous block after King teed up McClelland but the Skryne man threw his body at the ball to thwart the winger.
McClelland would finally be rewarded for his efforts after the outstanding Jak Hickman drilled a low ball across the box where the winger was on hand to turn it home from point blank range to double the hosts advantage with the second half barely three minutes old.
Five minutes later the visitors were given a lifeline when Tierney pounced on Paddy Barret’s poor back pass to slot the ball under Viteslav Jaros and tee up a cracking second period.
Dawson Devoy and Omochere were introduced from the bench to add control in midfield and a focal point up front while Ciaran Kelly replaced Lyons in a triple change on the hour.
Omochere had an instant impact as he turned home Tyreke Wilson’s corner to draw Bohs level and set up a hectic last 25 minutes.
Devoy and Omochere almost turned the game completely on its head but both hit efforts straight at Jaros with Pats struggling against a sudden blue wave of attack.
As the clock entered the final five minutes Tierney rattled the bar from distance with Jaros rooted to the spot.
In the end Bohemians held on for a point that their second half performance deserved in a game that will undoubtedly whet the appetite for the FAI Cup final at the end of the month.
The Saints remain second, seven points clear of Sligo Rovers in third while Bohemians remain fifth one point behind Derry City with a game more played while they are now eight adrift of Sligo.
St. Patrick's Athletic: Vitezslav Jaros; Paddy Barrett (James Abankwah 72), Sam Bone, Shane Griffin (Ian Bermingham 80), Jak Hickman; Chris Forrester, Billy King, Alfie Lewis, Jason McClelland; Nahum Melvin-Lambert, Matty Smith.
Subs not used: Josh Keeley, Barry Murphy, Darragh Burns, Kian Corbally, Robbie Benson, Thomas Lonergan.
Booked: Paddy Barrett (68), Jak Hickman (82), James Abankwah (90), Robbie Benson (95).
Bohemians: James Talbot; Anto Breslin (Dawson Devoy 61), James Finnerty, Andy Lyons (Ciaran Kelly 61), Tyreke Wilson; Ali Coote (Keith Ward 87), Rory Feely, Conor Levingston, Jamie Mullins (Promise Omochere 61), Ross Tierney; Liam Burt.
Subs not used: Stephen McGuinness, Keith Buckley, Roland Idowu, Cole Kiernan.
Booked: Anto Breslin (35) , Ross Tierney (60), James Finnerty (71) , Promise Omochere (83), Ali Coote (87).
Referee: Rob Harvey
extratime.com Player of the Match: Ross Tierney (Bohemians)