Friday 5th October 2007, 9:55 pm
5th October 2007
St. Patrick's Athletic 0
Darren Mansaram 65
Referee : Damien Hancock
Live on RTE 2
Darren Mansaram again hit the net to beat Saint Patrick's Athletic at Richmond Park. Tonight's 1-0 win for Bohemians in the Premier Division of the League of Ireland could do untold damage to the Saints' aspirations of even claiming a European or Setanta spot.
Bohs opted to rest Glen Crowe - not including him in the matchday squad of sixteen at all. The Saints welcomed back Anthony Murphy while Gary O'Neill, Glen Fitzpatrick and Mark Quigley all started in an attacking looking line-up.
Maybe it was the fact they had played each other in the FAI Cup a couple of weeks ago or that Bohs were more than slightly distracted by next week's League Cup Final but the game was slow to get going and never really ignited.
O'Neill hit a long range shot off target while Billy Gibson looped a header wide in what few chances the opening minutes saw. Stephen O'Donnell had a good free kick saved by Pats keeper Barry Ryan at the other end.
Anto Murphy had a header saved too before Chris Turner had a dangerous low shot across goal saved by the scrambling Ryan midway through the half.
Conor Powell showed why he is holding onto his place in the Irish under-21 squad, tracking back superbly to slide the ball away from Keith Fahey as the Saints man looked set to unlock the visiting defence.
A rare flap by Bohs' Murphy created some panic in the Gypsies' box but O'Neill couldn't turn home in the ensuing goal-mouth scramble. Quigley also missed from a good position as he failed to connect well with Murphy's cross.
Michael McGinley almost got in for the lead goal just before half-time but Ryan did well to smother the ball.
Powell made another last ditch intervention on the stroke of half-time as he booted clear on his own goal-line as John Frost's low driven cross looked set to slide in.
Dean Richardson should have put Bohs ahead less than two minutes into the second half but blazed over from a great position after Mansaram's persistence had set him up.
Quigley looped a shot over just after the hour as chances dried up and the mist came down on Inchicore.
However, the lead (and ultimately only) goal came on 65 minutes as a quick ball down the left wing from O'Donnell found the onside Mansaram. The Bohs striker cut back in before slotting past Ryan from close range. The same player had scored both Bohs goals in the recent FAI Cup win over the Saints.
The Pats response wasn't immediate but did see Darragh Maguire return to action in a reshuffled defence.
The Saints had shouts for a penalty when Quigley went down in the box under a challenge from Ryan McCann. However, Quigley appeared to be more than a little awkward in his fall suggesting McCann may not have been to blame.
Michael Keane and Fahey both picked up bookings apparently for dissent as the home side lost some discipline.
Fahey went on to test Murphy with a free kick - forcing the keeper to push the ball behind at his near post. Set pieces were proving to be Pats best avenue towards an equaliser and a number of dead ball situations had the Bohs defence under pressure.
Maguire forced a good save with a close range header although it wasn't clear it would have counted anyway with referee Damien Hancock awarding a free kick to the visitors after the incident.
Murphy got across superbly to push away Quigley's low long-range shot as the game entered stoppage time and the home side went agonizingly close to levelling.
The win keeps alive Bohs' hopes of claiming a decent league finish and they are sure to at least push the Saints close before the season is out. For Pats it's looking increasingly likely that they will miss out on European and Setanta Cup football next season with a top three finish looking beyond them.
St. Patrick's Athletic : Ryan, Gibson (Maguire 70), Frost, Rogers, Brennan, Murphy (Kirby 77), Keane, Fahey, Quigley, O'Neill, Fitzpatrick (Guy 57).
Bohemians : Murphy, O Heary, Powell, Burns, McGuinness, Hunt (McCann 58), Richardson (Kelly 65), O'Donnell, Turner, McGinley (Rossiter 90 +3), Mansaram.