Heads we win — St. Patrick’s Day comes early as Buckley’s men ease past Bohs in Dublin derby
A hat-trick of headed goals was enough for St Patrick’s Athletic to secure a 3–0 victory over visitors Bohemians at Richmond Park on Monday night.
The aerial prowess of Mark Timlin, Christy Fagan and Billy Dennehy won the day as Bohs offered little threat to their rivals in the first Dublin derby of the season. The deadlock was broken as early as the fifth minute when Timlin headed his first goal for St. Pat’s after getting on the end of an Ian Bermingham cross.
The home side’s account was doubled after 13 minutes when Dennehy showed impressive movement to shake off his marker before receiving the ball from a throw-in and firing an inch-perfect delivery into the box onto the head of Christy Fagan. Fagan duly took advantage of some slack Bohs defending by notching his 50th goal for St. Pat’s and his third in three games this season.
Following that, there was some respite for Bohs as the home side’s intensity went down a couple of gears. Mark Quigley, a former St. Pat’s man who was jeered roundly throughout by the home supporters, hit a free kick straight at Brendan Clarke in the Saints’ goal.
The travelling supporters had little else to shout about in the first half as striker Ismahil Akinade, another who felt the wrath of the Saints fans, was kept quiet by a well-organised St. Pat’s defence marshaled by captain Ger O’Brien.
They didn’t need to worry about Akinade for too long into the second half as the former Bray Wanderers man was sent off for a second bookable offence in the 66th minute, rendering his teammates’ task to pull back a two-goal deficit all the more difficult.
St. Pat’s manager Liam Buckley will have been pleased with his side’s performance, with Dennehy in particular standing out. The 29-year-old combined well with the long-serving Bermingham down the left flank and caused a number of problems for the visitors. Signed from Cork City during the close-season, along with his brother Darren, the winger capped an impressive evening by putting the gloss on a 3–0 victory with an 89th minute header on the back of a one-two between Graham Kelly and substitute Conan Byrne.
After the match, Buckley was quick to praise his side, even if they did take their foot off the gas somewhat in the second half. The win made it two wins for the Saints in the space of four days following victory against Longford Town last Friday and Buckley was pleased with how the team have bounced back from an opening day defeat at home to Galway United.
“I thought we played better than Bohs in the first half. The second half was a little bit iffy as it was in Longford but I’m just pleased that we’re picking up a few points bearing in mind the first result here against Galway.”
On the fact that all three St. Pat’s goals came from headers, Buckley said that this wasn’t something he particularly focused on in training, stating:
“Not necessarily, no. We did put emphasis on the final third in relation to getting a bit of quality. We were trying to get people in the area and that’s what we did this evening. Overall, I’m just pleased to get the three points.”
Job done for Buckley and he must now prepare his squad for a trip to Shamrock Rovers on Friday. For St. Pat’s, it will be a second Dublin derby in five days against a side who maintain a 100% record from three games this season and are yet to concede a goal. Meanwhile, Bohemians must dust themselves off for the visit of newly-promoted Wexford Youths who put in a strong performance in defeat against champions Dundalk on Monday night.