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Teenage striker scores debut double as brilliant Bohs extend winning run

The Gypises have now recorded nine victories on the trot after getting the better of St Patrick’s Athletic.

Ali Reghba celebrates scoring a goal with the fans Celebrations for Bohemians after Ali Reghba's first goal. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

St Patrick’s Athletic 1
Bohemians 3

Dave Donnelly reports from Richmond Park

IT WAS A case of lightning striking twice for Ali Reghba as the youngster grabbed a brace to help Bohemians overcome St Patrick’s Athletic at Richmond Park.

The 17-year-old striker scored twice in three second-half minutes at the same venue when Bohs’ U19 side sealed the Enda McGuill Cup less than three weeks ago.

Reghba, a German-born Irishman, repeated the trick on his full league debut, scoring either side of fellow debutant Robbie McCourt to send Bohs above Pat’s into the top half of the table.

Bohs manager Keith Long handed full debuts to three teenagers — and a fourth off the bench — as he changed all 11 starters ahead of next Sunday’s FAI Cup semi-final with Cork City.

That decision appeared suspect when the Saints took the lead with just over three minutes on the clock through Achille Campion. Dan Byrne was penalised for a foul on Jake Keegan and Ryan Brennan floated in the resulting free- kick. The Frenchman was completely unmarked as he nodded the ball past Colin McCabe.

Achille Campion scores a goal Achille Campion gave Pat's an early lead. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Keegan almost doubled the lead two minutes later as he met Dean Clarke’s drilled cross with his head, but McCabe was down smartly to save at his near post.

The Gypsies slowly grew into the game and began to dominate possession, with wingers Ryan Graydon and Danny Grant finding plenty of space outside the Saints’ narrow back three.

And it was no surprise that the leveller involved both wingers, Graydon’s cross finding Grant at the back stick, and he unselfishly teed up Reghba to score from close range.

Bohs’ dominance grew from there and they could have led when McCourt beat a man on the inside before curling a shot goalwards, only for it to narrowly clear the crossbar.

The former West Bromwich Albion man wouldn’t be denied early in the second half, however, as he finished into an empty net following more good work from Reghba.

Reghba held the ball up before sliding in Grant on the right. His low shot was well-saved by Brendan Clarke, but McCourt knocked home the loose ball.

Eoghan Stokes with Jamie Lennon Bohemians' Eoghan Stokes being pursued by Jamie Lennon of St Patrick's Athletic. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Omochere replaced Graydon with 12 minutes left for his league debut and he showed deft skill to weave through two defenders before sliding Reghba in on goal.

The striker — who must now be considering Richmond Park something of a home away from home — saved the best finish for last as he hammered the ball low into the corner.

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: B Clarke; Desmond, Leahy, Barker; Madden, Lennon, Markey, R Brennan (Clifford 61), D Clarke (Bermingham 72); Keegan (C Byrne 65), Campion.

BOHEMIANS: McCabe; Lyons, Cornwall, D Byrne, Kirk; O Brennan, McCourt (Lunney 70), Stokes; Grant (Hamilton 81), Graydon (Omochere 78), Reghba.

Rob Hennessy (Limerick).

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