Byrne's Bohs strike decides Dublin derby with St Pat's
St Patrick's Athletic 0 Bohemians 1
Bohemians are producing some title-winning form of late, their latest triumph an away win against St Patrick’s Athletic at Richmond Park which was secured thanks to a stunning free kick from Kurtis Byrne.
Unfortunately for the players and their supporters, it’s too late for Keith Long’s side to make any sort of impact in the title race and even a push for a European spot would seem to be beyond their reach, with an 11-point gap between the Gypsies and the third-place finish which would guarantee a Europa League slot.
With three wins and a draw, and three clean sheets, from their last four league games, Long’s side have a record that no other club can match over the same period.
Yet, Bohs would gladly swap some of those league points for a place in the last eight of the FAI Cup, so St Pat’s – still in contention to win both cup competitions – will not shed too many tears over this loss which ended their own four-game unbeaten run, their sights now very much on an FAI Cup success.
Bohs needed ’keeper Shane Supple to keep them in the game at times in a first half which saw the Saints dominate, Supple doing well to keep out Mark Timlin on 25 minutes.
But Bohs, though missing the cutting edge usually provided by their striker Ismahil Akinade, looked sharper after the break, with recent signing from Fulham, Dean O’Halloran, growing into the game on his full debut.
Eleven minutes into the second half, Byrne popped up with the key moment of the game, a sweetly-struck free-kick from the edge of the area which was beyond the reach of Conor O’Malley.
Eoin Wearen, in one of his best games in a Bohs shirt since rejoining from Sligo Rovers, was just wide on the hour mark as Byrne threatened again.
Pat’s rallied late on, a block by Roberto Lopes cutting out sub Dinny Corcoran, while Chris Fagan headed the ball just over.
ST PAT’S ATHLETIC – O’Malley; O’Brien, Feely, D Dennehy, Bermingham; Desmond, Kelly (Corcoran, 74), Kinsella (B Dennehy, 55); Byrne, Fagan, Timlin (Treacy, 61).
BOHEMIANS – Supple; Hayes, D Byrne, Prendergast, Fitzgerald; Kavanagh, Buckley, Lopes, Wearen (Morris, 85), O’Halloran; K Byrne.
REF – G Kelly