Bohemians 0 St Patrick’s Ath 1
Opportunities knocked for Bohemians but once again the Phibsboro club were unable to take them as they fell to a second successive home defeat last night.
St Patrick's Athletic's officials rarely needed to pay out a win bonus for away games last term, the Saints victorious just twice on the road all season, but they have already won two from two away games this year and while Monday's home date with Dundalk could appear daunting, there is some steel in this Saints side, 1-0 winners away to Bohs last night in front of 2,814 fans, Dean Clarke the hero for Pat's.
Apart from a missed penalty early in the first half, Bohs had enough chances to win the game a few times over but the key moment over 90 minutes came from Clarke, who claimed his first goal in the Saints colours on 14 minutes.
Bohs had suffered a miss from the penalty spot in their last game, a home defeat to Derry City, and their accuracy from the penalty spot hurt them again last night, Keith Ward the guilty Gypsy this time as his kick was kept out by Barry Murphy.
Bohs dominated this fixture last season, and once they were given a penalty, after only five minutes for a foul by Kevin Toner on Oscar Brennan, it seemed as if that dominance would go on.
But Keith Ward possibly over-thought how he'd take the kick, his effort struck the post and was saved by keeper Murphy.
It seemed like it was going to be a night of fluffed opportunities as Dean Clarke missed a clear chance on goal on 12 minutes but within two minutes he had the Saints in front.
Simon Madden did the donkey work out on the right, his cross was not cleared by Bohs and Clarke was there to score his maiden goal for the club.
Bohs, not at all keen to have a second successive home loss on the record, pressed hard but lacked the finesse needed up front.
Murphy saved a header from former Saint Dinny Corcoran while five minutes from half time, Eoghan Stokes saw his shot blocked.
The second half had a similar pattern, plenty of chances for the home side but not enough to trouble ex-Bohs man Murphy in the Saints' goal.
On 56 minutes Stokes saw a shot blocked, again while Ward tried his luck from distance, and the effort would have been a fine point in GAA but in this code, it was just over the bar.
Bohs boss Keith Long, a league winner with Pats in his playing days, looked to his bench to spark life into the attack and on came Paddy Kavanagh and Rob Manley on the hour mark, Dylan Watts also throw into battle.
Pats did take a grip on affairs for a spell and Bohs needed sub Paddy Kavanagh to clear an almost-certain goal from Kevin Toner off the line.
On 67 minutes Pats could have doubled their lead, a rare headed effort from diminutive sub Darragh Markey which was saved by Shane Supple.
Late on Kavanagh did well to work his way into a dangerous area and send in a cross but no team-mate was ready to take it on, while at the other end sub Jake Keegan also did the approach work but was left unsupported.
Oscar Brennan tried to get Bohs level with a late, late header but Pats held on for a win which shows that the side which hated travelling last season can now enjoy life on the road.