Dam bursts for Bohs as Pat's subside
Bohemians 5 St Patrick's Ath 1
When Saint Patrick's Athletic fans saw their team trot out in an all-white away strip for their Dublin derby at Dalymount Park, they didn't expect their side to also wave the white flag.
But that's exactly what Liam Buckley's outfit did, right from the start, as the Saints were trounced 5-1 by a previously shot-shy Bohs whose recent struggles in front of goal had nudged them dangerously close to the relegation zone.
Pat's found themselves 2-0 after just four minutes, were 4-0 behind when just pat the half-hour, and a day of ignominy had an even nastier finish when they had Sean Hoare sent off and conceded another goal from the penalty spot.
"It was a ridiculous defending from our points of view," said Saints boss Buckley.
"I'm disappointed with the goals we gave away, it was the worst defending in quite a while. We seem to be throwing in the odd really poor performance and that was poor, especially the first half.
"There are no positives to take from that. With the game (against Shamrock Rovers) next Friday, it's all we can look forward to now. Our defending was nowhere near. . . if you want in contention for anything, you want to be defending better."
Expectations for Bohs fans had been lowered, having watched their side go six league games without a single goal, but Keith Long's side had two in the first four minutes yesterday.
Roberto Lopes scored his first of the season to give them the lead, tapping home from Dan Byrne's cross and Ismahil Akinade doubled that lead after Lee Desmond lost possession to the big Nigerian-Irish forward, who burst through and scored his first league goal of the campaign.
The Saints defence was wide open and Bohs profited again on 13 minutes, Jake Kelly sprinting forward from the half-way line onto a loose ball and then beating Brendan Clarke with a calm finish.
Despite the 3-0 deficit there was a response, of sorts, from the Saints as Chris Fagan - back in the side after a month's absence - had one effort wide and another saved by Dean Delany, while Jamie McGrath also threatened.
But the next goal came for the home side, Kelly with his second of the day against his former club on 31 minutes. Probably the smallest player on the park, Kelly was left unmarked at the far post and he tapped home, akin to Shane Long's goal against Holland last week, after Pat's had clumsily failed to deal with an Akinade effort.
Buckley made a half-time change to try and shore things up, bringing on defender Rory Feely for Billy Dennehy, but the only threats after that were from the men in red and black, sub James Kavanagh impressive on his league debut.
Pat's did get a goal back on 78 minutes, Ian Bermingham on target from a McGrath corner but there was more misery coming their way. Ireland U-21 cap Hoare bundled over Akinade in the box as he bore down on goal, the result a red card for Hoare and a penalty for Bohs, which Kurtis Byrne converted - and it could even have finished 6-1 had the impressive Lopes not missed an 88th-minute effort.
"It was hard to say when we weren't scoring goals and creating chances that this (display) was in this team, but I always felt there were goals, and yesterday we were able to maximise every opportunity that came our way. We are really pleased," said Bohs manager Long, happy that his side were such a threat despite the absence of impressive attacker Ayman Ben Mohamed, who is on international duty with Tunisia.
"We have been on the wrong side of one or two heavy defeats. We didn't lay a glove on Pat's the last day and that was disappointing.
"But we played with full intent and the players were terrific."
Bohs - Delany; Hayes, D Byrne, Mulcahy, Pender (Best 85); Wearen (J Kavanagh 57), Lopes; K Byrne, Buckley, Kelly (Fitzgerald 75); Akindade.
At Pat's Ath - Clarke; O'Brien, Hoare, Desmond, Bermingham; B Dennehy (Feely 46), Kelly, Verdon; McGrath, Fagan (Corcoran 85), Timlin (Treacy 78).
Ref - G Kelly.