FAGAN FINDS THE WAY
Christy seals dramatic Pats’ victory
St Pat’s Ath……………….. 2
by DAIRE WALSH
A GOAL by Christy Fagan deep into second-half stoppage time gave St Patrick’s Athletic a dramatic league victory over ten-man Bohemians in Richmond Park last night.
His brace ensured that Liam Buckley’s outfit maintained the pressure on Sligo Rovers at the top of
the Airtricity Premier Division.
Pat’s were looking to move back into second place in the Premier Division table following Shamrock Rovers’ 3-2 victory over Shelbourne on Thursday night.
Bohs were finding it hard to impose themselves in the final-third early on, but completely out of the blue, they found themselves in the ascendancy with ten minutes gone on the clock.
Danny Joyce curled a brilliant 25-yard effort past stranded Pat’s netminder Brendan Clarke and into the top right-hand corner of the net.
Though the sun had obscured Clarke’s view in this instance, it was nonetheless a spectacular finish from Joyce that was worthy of any occasion.
Aside from Joyce’s moment of magic, Clarke had been kept relatively quiet in the opening half-hour.
However, Bohs were making life extremely difficult for hosts by closing them down at every opportunity, ensuring that there was precious little space for them to operate in.
If Pat’s were to force their way back into the reckoning in this game, they needed to push forward into the Bohs half upon the resumption, and midfielder Russell did test Sexton with a long-range effort eight
minutes after the re-start.
This was the cue for Pat’s to build up some momentum, however, and Forrester went agonisingly close to restoring parity to the tie when he unleashed a powerful left-footed shot from all of 25 yards just a
minute after Russell’s chance.
Sexton had to be at his best to parry his strike away from danger.
The Saints started to make a couple of changes of their own heading into the final half-hour, with Buckley hoping that the introduction of Sean O’Connor and James Chambers (for Meenan and Jake Carroll respectively) would spark some life into the Pat’s challenge.
Indeed, Pat’s did finally breach the stern Bohs defence with 20 minutes remaining when Russell headed past Sexton from an O’Brien delivery on the right with 70 minutes gone, but the goal was ultimately ruled out for offside, much to the relief of the Dalymount Park faithful.
The breaks hadn’t favoured Pat’s up to this point in the evening.
However things finally fell into place for them with eight minutes of normal time remaining when Fagan finished coolly with a rebound from close-in after substitute Dean Kelly had seen his speculative shot from distance crashing off the underside of the crossbar.
This gave Pat’s the initiative at a vital point in the game and, just as the game headed into four minutes of injury time, Bohs received a massive blow when Scully was dismissed for a second-yellow card offence.
With a man advantage heading into the closing stages, Pat’s went for the juggular, and eventually sealed the three points in the 94th minute when Fagan headed past the helpless Sexton from close-range.
ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: Clarke 7; O’Brien 7, Browne 7, Kenna 7, Bermingham 7; Carroll 6 (Chambers 68); Forrester 7 (D Kelly 81), Bolger 7, Russell 7, Meenan 6 (O’Connor 60); Fagan 8.
BOHEMIANS: Sexton 7; Pender 7, Mulcahy 7, Feely 7, Byrne 6; Buckley 7, McEvoy 7, Martin 6 (Traynor 46), Joyce 7 (Lopes 80), Moore 6 (Corcoran 46); Scully 6.
Referee: A Kelly (Cork).
Weather: Sunny with a damp surface.
Entertainment: Slow to get going, but a lively finish.