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Saints go clear at top after ex-Bohs boys sink Gypsies

SOME Bohemians old boys came back to haunt their former club last night as St Patrick's Athletic made a big mission statement, going clear at the top of the table on the back of a 2-0 win away to the Gypsies.

Chris Fagan and Killian Brennan had good times and bad in their spells at Dalymount Park, but it's all smiles for the pair now as they managed a goal each in the first half to send Pats on their way to a win and the summit of the table.

Taking it game by game is still the mantra from the Pats camp, but this away win, on a night when Sligo Rovers and Derry City dropped points again, is a big boost.

"We weren't that bothered about the Sligo result last night, we just worry about ourselves and keep doing or business in the right way, but we are on a good run and long may it continue," said Saints skipper Conor Kenna after last night's win.

"The Dublin derbies are key and we now face into a big derby against UCD next Tuesday. This will only be a good result if we build on it against UCD.

"The lads up front are doing well, scoring goals, but we're decent at the back as well, that's a few clean sheets in the last few games now and that's a great platform to have.

"The fans will enjoy this win and it's great to be top of the table, it's still early in the season and we have a long way to go but we are on a nice run. Long may it continue," Kenna added.

Unbeaten in 11 games and with four wins – and also four clean sheets – from their last five matches, Pats are very much the team in form in the league.

As Sligo kicked off in their game a full 40 minutes before the start of this match, Pat's players would have known how things stood in the league table and what they needed to do go clear at the top of the table.

And before the half-time break at Dalymount, Pats were fully in control and on the way to winning for the fourth time in five matches.

BREAKTHROUGH

John Russell was the first to make a stab at beating Bohs keeper Dean Delany on 15 minutes, but in the 25th minute they made the breakthrough.

Bohs were caught napping after an attack which saw Chris Lyons flash a header wide and a swift Pats response saw Greg Bolger feed the ball to John Russell and his incisive pass left Fagan in position to slide a shot past Delany and into the net.

Four minutes later Bohs were 2-0 down, the Gypsies conceding a penalty for the second week in a row. Captain Derek Pender handled in the box from Christopher Forrester's cross and former Bohs man Killian Brennan stepped up to stroke the kick past Delany.

Those goals knocked Bohs off course and dented the home side's confidence as Pats maintained the pressure and the Saints could even have been 4-0 up at the break.

The second half saw more of the same, Pats on the attack as Bohs just could not get into the game.

Bohs suffered by having a penalty unjustly awarded against them in their previous league game against Shamrock Rovers and they had more cause for complaint here last night on 66 minutes, appealing for a penalty of their own when Andy Mulligan's ball came off the arm of Pats captain Conor Kenna, but ref Alan Kelly denied the appeal.

And after that Pats went chasing more goals, with chances from Brennan, Forrester and Conan Byrne.

Byrne's 84th minute effort was tipped over by Delany.


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