Bohemians earn first point as St Patrick’s play it safe
HONESTY AND endeavour, or as Aaron Callaghan put it afterwards yesterday, “attitude and application,” seem to be high on the list of attributes this young Bohemians side brings to the Premier Division this year.
On the firepower front, though, they are clearly lacking and after this deeply disappointing Dublin derby at Dalymount Park they finally have a point but still await their first goal of the campaign.
They almost got it, to be fair, in the closing minutes when Karl Moore blasted a fine volley off the underside of the crossbar but the ball was quickly headed away.
Moore briefly appealed and the home support momentarily sensed an unlikely and ill-deserved win. Instead the visitors, who had looked increasingly dominant but generally incapable of seriously troubling debutant goalkeeper Andy Mcnulty got the rub of the extremely uneven green and extended their unbeaten run at the northside venue to six games.
Liam Buckley blamed what was undoubtedly a poor-looking pitch for his side’s failure to produce a little more passing football but readily admitted that it had been the same for both sides. Bohemians, sure enough, didn’t move the ball about any more smoothly but they had more cause to be pleased at the end with a first clean sheet secured against opponents who really must have viewed this as a potential victory.
The visitors, though, disappointed with their decision to play Stephen O’flynn up front by himself and then, for much for the game, hoof the ball long towards him. John Russell and Greg Bolger did their best to bring a little more composure to things in midfield but it wasn’t until the tail-end of the game when Buckley changed the shape and added a second striker that his side really looked likely to make a breakthrough.
O’flynn had his chances before going off, Bolger badly fluffed a shot on the turn and James Chambers went close to hitting the target with a late free but there was no great sense of injustice about spoils being shared.
“We huffed and puffed a little bit,” admitted the St Patrick’s manager afterwards. I’d be confident enough that it will get better as we go along.” It would want to really for this looked like two points dropped but Buckley insisted that at this early stage he was not too unhappy to have to settle for the one his side gained. “We are four games into the season, though, and we are unbeaten. We’re chasing a spot in Europe this year and every point will be critical. We have juggled our team around over the last few weeks and we are still a work in progress.”
Much the same can be said for the hosts but clearly the raw materials with which Callaghan is working are a little less polished. Bohemians: Mcnulty; Pender (Mcmahon, 66 mins), Heary, Mcmillan, Harney; Mulcahy, Martin; Wilson, Traynor (O’connor, 77 mins), Moore; Corcoran (Scully, 58 mins). St Patrick’s Athletic: Clarke; O’brien, Kenna, Browne, Bermingham; Chambers; Meeenan, Russell, (Fagan, 61 mins), Bolger, O’connor; O’flynn (Daly, 71 mins). Referee: N Doyle ( Dublin ).