Late show sees Saints edge past Bohs
By Daire Walsh
On a night of high drama at Richmond Park, St Patrick’s Athletic earned a 2-1 victory against Dublin rivals Bohemians to reclaim second spot in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division table.
Despite taking the lead through Matty Smith’s outstanding 74th-minute goal, the Saints looked set to make it four games without a win after Dawson Devoy coolly slotted a penalty beyond the reach of Vítězslav Jaroš at the very end of normal time.
Yet, there was to be a further twist in the tale. Courtesy of a foul by former Pat’s defender Rory Feely, the hosts were awarded a spot-kick of their own.
Substitute Robbie Benson stepped forward and displayed great composure in getting the better of opposition netminder James Talbot.
With both Sligo Rovers and league leaders Shamrock Rovers kicking off at 7.45pm this evening, the Saints have moved three points adrift of the latter for the time being.
Long before Devoy and Benson traded penalties, Pat’s breathed a sigh of relief as Georgie Kelly hit the post off an early spot-kick.
A goal here could have opened up the play, but instead the opening period was ultimately scoreless.
On the resumption, Jaroš was pressed into action to turn away a Liam Burt strike and Tyreke Wilson had a free-kick that rebounded off the Pat’s crossbar.
While the contest now seemed destined to remain deadlocked, Smith’s superb finish to the bottom left-hand corner with 16 minutes remaining set the game up for a tantalising finale.
Pat’s looked set to drop two more points when Devoy equalised after John Mountney was adjudged to have upended Burt inside the area.
There was a suggestion the foul may have occurred outside the box and Saints head coach Stephen O’Donnell was sent to the stands on a second yellow card for his protests.
The Galway native was in a much happier mood on 92 minutes, though, as Benson kept his composure to bag a dramatic triumph for his side.
As a consequence, Pat’s can now look forward to Monday’s visit to Derry City with renewed vigour.