Fagan's late brace ensures full points for patient St Pat's
AIRTRICITY LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION: St Patrick’s Athletic 2 Bohemians 1THEY LEFT it late, but on a night of much frustration Christy Fagan’s late double kept St Patrick’s title aspirations on track.
Chasing a sublime early goal from Danny Joyce, St Patrick’s utterly dominated the game, exemplified by a corner count of 12 to one. But they didn’t level until the 82nd minute when substitute Dean Kelly’s shot came back off the bar and Fagan tapped home.
Fagan then dramatically won it four minutes into added time, getting on the end of a terrific cross from Sean O’Connor to head home from close range.
The win sees Liam Buckley’s side regain second place ahead of champions Shamrock Rovers and edge to within four points of leaders Sligo Rovers.
St Pat’s began brightly and had Bohemians on the back foot as they opened up the visitors on several occasions. Chris Forrester ran at the Bohemians defence to shoot into the side-netting before Greg Bolger’s incisive pass put Fagan in behind the Bohs’ defence only for the striker to fire over the top.
But, very much against the run of play, Bohemians stole the lead in their first attack on ten minutes.
Midfielder Joyce let fly with a curling right-footed shot which seemed to catch Brendan Clarke, who may have been hindered by the sun in his eyes, off guard as the ball found the top corner.
Stung, St Pat’s surged back on the offensive with Bohemians goalkeeper Craig Sexton saving twice in quick succession at the feet of Bolger and then John Russell.
Darren Meenan then saw his intended cross deceive Sexton and rebound off the far post on 21 minutes with Kevin Feely putting the ball out for a corner.
Bohs weren’t slow about putting their foot in with both Forrester and Ger O’Brien needing treatment for heavy knocks as St Pat’s continued to dominate but lack a cutting edge in front of goal.
Bohemians introduced Dinny Corcoran and Stephen Traynor at half-time as they switched to a conventional 4-4-2. But it didn’t stem the tide of home attacks as Sexton was worked twice early on by shots from Russell and Forrester.
In a rare foray forward Bohemians came close to doubling their lead on 57 minutes. Corcoran’s neat footwork set up Traynor whose fierce goal-bound drive was bravely blocked by Kenny Browne.
St Patrick’s continued to push forward and Russell headed to the net from O’Brien’s cross on 70 minutes only for the goal to be ruled out for offside. But then Fagan to produced his late heroics.
ST PATRICK’S ATH: Clarke; O’Brien, Kenna, Browne, Bermingham; Carroll (Chambers, 67 mins); Russell, Bolger; Forrester (D Kelly, 81 mins), Fagan, Meenan (O’Connor, 60 mins).
BOHEMIANS: Sexton; Pender, Mulcahy, Feely, Byrne; Joyce (Lopes, 80 mins.), Martin (Traynor, h/t); Buckley, McEvoy, Moore (Corcoran, h/t); Scully.
Referee: Alan Kelly(Cork).