Sunday 20 October 2019

St Pat's early season promise a distant memory, Shamrock Rovers triumph and Derry snatch a late winner

Keith Buckley of Bohemians, centre, celebrates after scoring his side's first goal during the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match between Bohemians and St Patrick's Athletic at Dalymount Park in Dublin. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Keith Buckley of Bohemians, centre, celebrates after scoring his side's first goal during the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match between Bohemians and St Patrick's Athletic at Dalymount Park in Dublin. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Aidan Fitzmaurice

That early-season promise from St Patrick’s Athletic looks like a distant memory as the Saints slid into the bottom four after yet another goal-free evening in a 1-0 defeat against Bohemians.

With three successive away games in the league on the way, Bohemians needed to make home advantage count and they did just that in front of a sellout crowd of 3,634, a goal from Keith Buckley enough to win this Dublin derby and earn the three points which keeps Keith Long’s side nestled nicely into the top three.

Smiles all round in Phibsborough, then, another full house good news for the bean-counters while their record in Dublin derbies this season is now three wins from three, as they prepare to spend the next two weeks on the road.

But there are clearly clouds over Inchicore, even more bad news last night as Mikey Drennan, the only man to have scored for the Saints this season, was sent off on 76 minutes.

There were whispers of a title tilt from the Inchicore club after they began the campaign with back-to-back wins.

But 2019 has turned out to be more of a trial than a treat, this 1-0 defeat their fifth game without a win, and with just one goal scored in the last five, Pat’s fans are wondering where the next goal, let alone victory, will come from.

Bohs, of course, had home advantage but it didn’t look that way early on as Pat’s owned the ball for spells, and it took Keith Long’s side until the 31st minute to really trouble Saints ’keeper Brendan Clarke.

But for all their possession, Pat’s were unable to muster up much in terms of attacks on goal, and that has been the story of their season. The first threat of any kind from Bohs came on 22 minutes when a shot by former Saint Dinny Corcoran was blocked by Simon Madden.

That chance seemed to spark Bohs into life as they began to take control, a chance from Danny Grant before Keith Ward’s free-kick struck the woodwork.

And two minutes from half-time, the home side took the lead. Saints ’keeper Brendan Clarke had done well to keep out a Corcoran shot but his goal was left exposed as Buckley followed up the rebound and slotted home his first goal of the season.

Boss Harry Kenny must have had some words at the half-time break as Pat’s looked like they had potential to threaten in the second half, but bar long throw-ins they had little to offer.

And they lost Drennan on 76 minutes, the Kilkenny lad booked for a foul and then instantly booked a second time tor dissent, his dismissal leaving the Saints with a real challenge, Bohs looked more likely to score, Corcoran going close on 80 minutes while sub Daniel Mandriou, on a high after his Ireland U-21 debut last weekend, also posed a threat, U-21 boss Stephen Kenny among the crowd who were impressed with Long’s ability to work magic with a tiny budget.

Elsewhere in the Airtricity League, Jack Byrne grabbed a brace as Shamrock Rovers secured a 3-1 win against UCD, while Waterford secured a comfortable 4-0 win against Finn Harps as Aaron Drinnan scored another two goals.

Meanwhile, Derry City left it late before sealing a deserved win over Sligo Rovers. Leading through David Parkhouse’s goal, City were forced to hang on until Ciaron Harkin found the net two minutes into added time at the end of the game.

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