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Dublin: 10°C Monday 19 April 2021

Late equaliser earns Bohemians a share of the spoils against 10-man Saints

There was injury-time drama at Richmond Park tonight.

Darragh Markey and Dan Byrne.
Darragh Markey and Dan Byrne.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

St Patrick’s Athletic 2

Bohemians 2

Ben Blake reports from Richmond Park 

THE TEN MEN of St Patrick’s Athletic let a two-goal lead slip to draw with Bohemians at Richmond Park tonight.

A brace from Jake Keegan, who struck early in either half, looked to set them on their way, but Ryan Brennan was then contentiously red-carded with seven minutes of the second half played.

Dinny Corcoran pulled one back for the visitors and substitute Kevin Devaney got the final touch on the equalising goal in injury-time.

On a run of three successive Premier Division victories in Inchicore, the Saints boss Liam Buckley made two changes to the side that drew 0-0 away to Sligo Rovers last Saturday.

Keegan and Conan Byrne returned to the starting line-up in place of James Doona and Christy Fagan — the latter not making the matchday squad. Former Crystal Palace midfielder Owen Garvan wasn’t involved either, with fixtures against Dundalk and Shamrock Rovers coming up over the next seven days. .

Bohemians may have done the double over their rivals Shamrock Rovers already this season, but — despite receiving praise for their young team — they had only picked up one other league win all year heading into the game.

21-year-old Dylan Watts was again excellent in last week’s 2-0 defeat to champions Cork City, and the on-loan Leicester City midfielder retained his place. Keith Long also recalled Dinny Corcoran and Paddy Kavanagh, while Eoghan Stokes and the injured Danny Grant (hamstring) dropped out.

The Bohemians team huddle ahead of the game Bohemians huddle just before kick-off. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

The home side began brightly and went in front with just three minutes on the clock. When the ball was played to Dean Clarke, the only thing the winger had on his mind was to put in a first-time cross.

It found the run of Keegan, and the American forward turned home his third league goal of the season.

Bohs created an opening on 11 minutes, but failed to take advantage. Keith Ward’s clever pass was controlled heavily by Corcoran, and JJ Lunney arrived late to scuff his shot wide.

Keegan should have doubled his personal tally shortly afterwards, as Darragh Leahy gave away possession and Darragh Markey put the lone striker through one-on-one with Supple. However, his effort was too close to the Gypsies number one — allowing him to get a vital block in.

On the half-hour mark, Watts burst into the box and struck at goal. It may have beaten Barry Murphy, but Lee Desmond was well-placed to hack away. Ward then fizzed a strike narrowly wide of the post from distance.

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Jake Keegan celebrates scoring the first goal of the game with teammates The Pat's players celebrate Jake Keegan's first goal. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Bohemians boss Keith Long brought on ex-Leeds United striker Stokes at half-time to give some support to Corcoran in attack, but it was the Saints who went two ahead just after the restart.

Toner rose highest to get his head onto Conan Byrne’s delivery, and it appeared to come off Keegan on the way in.

But the hosts would have to play the majority of the second half at a numerical disadvantage as referee Tomas Connolly sent Brennan off. The midfielder looked to have been tripped inside the box but he was shown as second yellow card for an apparent dive.

And Bohs halved the deficit on 72 minutes to ensure a pulsating finale. Ward flicked on to Byrne, who drilled the ball across the box. Murphy spilled it and Corcoran followed up to bundle over the line.

Substitute Stoke had a glorious opportunity to equalise as 90 minutes approached, but he managed to blaze over from close range.

Just as it looked like Pat’s would hold out, however, Devaney got the vital touch after a goalmouth scramble in injury-time.

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: Barry Murphy; Simon Madden, Kevin Toner, Lee Desmond, Ian Bermingham (c); Conan Byrne (Graham Kelly 90), Ryan Brennan, Jamie Lennon, Darragh Markey, Dean Clarke; Jake Keegan (Thomas Byrne 78).

BOHEMIANS: Shane Supple (c); Keith Buckley, Rob Cornwall, Ian Morris, Darragh Leahy; Dan Byrne (Oscar Brennan 77), Dylan Watts; Paddy Kavanagh (Kevin Devaney 70), JJ Lunney (Eoghan Stokes 46), Keith Ward; Dinny Corcoran.

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Ben Blake

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