Bohemians came away with a hard fought point in Inchicore on Monday as they drew with St. Patrick’s Athletic 1-1.
The Gypsies had to come from behind after Anto Flood had given the home team a first half lead. Bohs got an equaliser through Dave Mulcahy in the final quarter of the game but neither side could find a winner as both went looking for a second goal in a very entertaining final period.
The first chance of the game fell to Bohemians with Chris Lyons turning smartly in the box on four minutes but his shot went into the side netting from a tight angle. That was as close as the Gypsies went in the first half even with two men playing up front. Aaron Callaghan went with three at the back in an attempt to match the five man Pat’s midfield.
Pat’s first opportunity came from a Conan Byrne corner that Anto Flood got his head to with Dean Delaney parrying the attempt. Forrester would get a shot away shortly after but Delaney was well positioned once again to gather as the ball bounced in front of him.
As the shadows lengthened for this re-arranged fixture following a weather postponement last month, Pat’s, through Flood, began to exert real pressure on the visitors. First Conan Byrne went close with a free kick that he flighted just over the bar after Dave Mulcahy had brought down Anto Flood in a dangerous position left of centre. Three minutes later just on the half hour mark, the Saints went 1-0 up.
A short corner involving John Russell and Ian Bermingham on the left saw Anto Flood score with a header from the edge of the six yard box when Delaney really should have done better with the cross. As the first half ticked into injury time Pat’s won a free kick at the edge of the Bohs penalty after Conor O’Brien took down John Russell. This time Ger O’Brien took the free kick for the home team but his weak chip was easily claimed by Delaney.
Six minutes into the second half when Bermingham’s cross came back to him on the left edge of the penalty, the full back drove a shot low on target that Delaney had to gather quickly as Flood looked to get on the rebound.
Minutes later when space opened up for Shane McFaul in front of the Bohs box, he took a shot but he couldn’t keep the ball down. Bohs broke and half time sub Kevin Devaney’s cross was nearly put through the Pat’s net by their captain Conor Kenna under pressure from Chris Lyons.
As the game drifted by the hour mark, Pat’s and Conan Byrne had two glorious chances to double their lead. First Roberto Lopez got Bohs out of jail by clearing Byrne’s shot off the line. Then Byrne got on the end of substitute Jake Kelly’ cross but his touch propelled the ball onto bar and bounced back out to safety.
Bohs then carved out three great chances in quick succession as the game came alive with twenty minutes to go. The Gypsies’ first chance saw Dwayne Wilson’s centre go right across the six yard box as Devaney couldn’t quite connect. A minute later Brendan Clarke tipped over a Michael Baker shot from outside of the box. But Bohs made no mistake with their third chance from the resulting corner that Ryan McEvoy took. Dave Mulcahy powered home a header for the equaliser.
A fabulous Forrester run really should have been rewarded with a goal for the Saints as he drifted by two Bohs defenders and his centre across the box came to substitute Jake Kelly. But from inside the six yard box he ballooned the ball over the bar in front of the Bohemians support behind goal at the Kilmainham end of the ground.
The lively Christy Fagan had two chances in the closing minutes of the game with Delaney saving twice as the game ended in an exciting stalemate. Pat’s remain six points behind Sligo Rovers in third place as Bohs remain ninth.
Saint Patrick’s Athletic: Brendan Clarke; Ger O'Brien, Connor Kenna (c), Kenny Browne, Ian Bermingham; Sean Gannon (Jake Kelly, 60), John Russell, Shane McFaul; Conan Byrne, Anthony Flood (Christy Fagan, 65), Christopher Forrester.
Subs not used: Dave Ryan, Aidan Price, Jake Carroll, Stephen Maher, Conor Murphy.
Booked: Kenny Brown (28), John Russell (92).
Bohemians: Dean Delaney; Roberto Lopes, Dave Mulcahy, Luke Byrne; Michael Barker, Conor O’Brien (Keith Devaney, 46), Keith Buckley, Ryan McEvoy, Andy Mulligan; Dwayne Wilson (Shane Fitzgerald, 73); Chris Lyons.
Subs not used: Greg Murray, Ciaran Nangle, Michael Scott, Darragh Reynor, Kevin O’Leary.
Referee: Paul McLaughlin.
Extratime.ie man of the match: Dave Mulcahy (Bohemians).
Macdara made his debut as a football supporter in Lansdowne Road watching Ireland defeat Luxembourg. He still believes one day he will see his club Shamrock Rovers win an FAI Cup. You can follow Macdara on twitter <a href="http://www.twitter.com/macdarabueller">@macdarabueller</a>