Mario Bowden reports from Dalymount Park
St Patrick’s Athletic came out on top 1-0 away to Bohemians at Dalymount Park as they continued their unbeaten start to their 2021 Premier Division campaign.
It was a largely lacklustre game, with a Ronan Coughlan header on the 62nd minute being the decisive moment of this latest Dublin Derby.
The first half was one of very few chances for either team. Despite Bohs dominance in possession, Pats looked the more comfortable on the ball and going forward.
The first sniff of a chance came seven minutes in. A heavy touch from Matty Smith almost set him through behind the Bohs defence– but goalkeeper James Talbot read the play and ran out to swallow up the danger.
It wasn’t the last time Talbot had to deal with Smith running down on goal again. This time,
a ball played over the top, deep within the Pat’s half.
Smith, chasing to get the ball under control, was met by the thunderous Talbot, who booted the ball back to where it came from.
The first shot of the game came twenty minutes in. And it fell to Bohs. Right-back Andy Lyons played a delightful long field pass along the ground which found winger Liam Burt.
Burt managed to shift on to his right foot and found a yard for the strike – but his shot was charged down.
At the other end Bohs were lucky that Saint’s Robbie Benson couldn’t capitalise on a mistake at the back.
Gypsies’ centre back Rob Cornwell found the ball tangled underneath his feet in his own box.
Benson, pouncing on the defender, snatched it and took a strike – however his attempt dragged wide across the goal.
Both teams picked up the intensity for the second half. On the 50th minute mark, Bohs striker Georgie Kelly nearly connected with a delightful floating cross from Lyons on the right-hand side – but missed it by a whisker.
Pats though still always had the upper hand and looked the more likely to score. This time on the 55th minute, Saint’s right-back James Mountney, ran on to a corner ball like a man late for work – but his bullet header shot wide.
But the Inchicore side did get their breakthrough just on the hour mark. Benson’s crossing quality had been superb all day, and from a swooping corner to the far-post, striker Coughlan was at hand to nod it home at ease.
Pat’s comfortably dealt with Bohs’ attempt at snatching an equaliser. The defence pairing of Ian Bermingham and Lee Desmond were a fortress at the back, with goalkeeper and Liverpool loanee Vitezslaz Jaros comfortably dealing with every cross lobbed in to the box.
The result means Bohemians drop to ninth in the league and are without a win in their first three games. Saints on other hand go joint-second and extend their unbeaten start.
While it was not the most dramatic of Dublin derbies, Pats nudged their way to victory and were deserved winners.
For the Gypsies, the defeats further encapsulate their poor start to the season. Kevin Long’s team’s next game is away at Dundalk. Meanwhile, the Athletic welcome Derry City to Inchicore next Friday.
Bohemians: James Talbot; Andy Lyons, James Finnerty, Rob Cornwall, Anto Breslin; Ross Tierney, Dawson Devoy (Keith Ward 68), Ali Coote, Keith Buckley (c) (Thomas Oluwa 82), Liam Burt; Georgie Kelly.
Subs not used: Tyreke Wilson, Bradley Rolt, Jack Moylan, Stephen McGuinness, Ciaran Kelly, Bastien Hery, Rory Feely.
Booked: Anto Breslin (54), Georgie Kelly (87).
St. Patrick's Athletic: Vitezslav Jaros; John Mountney, Lee Desmond, Sam Bone, Ian Bermingham (c); Jamie Lennon, Chris Forrester, Robbie Benson; Matty Smith (Jason McClelland 87), Rónán Coughlan (Billy King 78), Darragh Burns (Paddy Barrett 72).
Subs not used: Barry Murphy, Nahum Melvin-Lambert, Ben McCormack, Alfie Lewis, Josh Keeley, Kian Corbally.
Booked: Sam Bone (57) .
Referee: Neil Doyle
ExtraTime.ie Player of the Match: Ronan Coughlan (St Patrick’s Athletic).