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Brighton-bound 16-year-old starts, as Bohemians end season on a high

Evan Ferguson featured as Bohs ended the Saints’ chances of a top-four finish.

Andre Wright was on target for Bohs (file pic).
Andre Wright was on target for Bohs (file pic).
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

St Patrick’s Athletic 1

Bohemians 2

Dave Donnelly reports from Richmond Park

BOHEMIANS FINISHED their league campaign on a high as they came from behind to beat European-chasing St Pat’s 2-1 at Richmond Park.

Goals from Danny Grant and Andre Wright, from the penalty spot, saw Bohs end the Saints’ chances of a top-four finish, after Jordan Gibson had put the home side in front.

It was an entertaining spectacle for an end-of-season game, as Keith Long’s side shook off the disappointment of defeat at home to Finn Harps two weeks ago to take the points.

Long made six changes to that side, including a first league start for 16-year-old Evan Ferguson, the Brighton-bound youngster putting in a performance beyond his years up top for the Gypsies.

The teenager was involved in controversy with just 16 minutes on the clock, when he looked to have given the away side the lead by bundling home a Danny Grant cross.

Grant, who has been subject to interest this week from Hull City, fired an inviting ball across the face of goal and Ferguson wasn’t prepared to turn down a first senior goal.

Referee Rob Hennessy didn’t hesitate to blow his whistle — and give a free out, as he had judged the ball to have bounced off Ferguson’s foot and onto his hand before nestling in the net.

It was a big call from the match official, with so much at final league standings at stake, but he was adamant, much to the Bohemians’ players bemusement.

With Finn Harps leading Waterford and Sligo Rovers ahead in Dundalk, the Saints needed a favour from the Lilywhites to keep their slim chances of fourth place alive.

They held up their end of the bargain, as they took the lead eight minutes before the break, Jordan Gibson firing through a crowd scene on the Bohs line.

It was a well-worked move from the Athletic, as Forrester found the run of left-back Shane Griffin and he teed up Gibson for what was far from an easy finish.

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The lead lasted just seven minutes as Bohs equalised with virtually the last kick of the half, and it was the ever-present threat Grant who supplied the finish.

Rory Feely was caught under a long diagonal ball from Dan Casey and Grant took full advantage, driving into the box before placing his shot in the corner of Brendan Clarke’s net.

Pats came out for the second half with a renewed vigour and they forced Bohs keeper James Talbot into a series of top-class saves.

First, the stopper was at full stretch to deny a furiously-struck effort from Chris Forrester, but it was his stop from Benson moments later that would prove key.

Billy King hung up an inch-perfect cross that Benson looked to have buried from five yards, but the ‘keeper somehow managed to get a big claw out to bat the ball clear.

Within minutes, Bohs would take the lead and Grant was again key to a move that saw Promise Omochere taken down in the box by Feely. Andre Wright made no mistake from 12 yards.

Still, the Saints poured forward in search of what seemed an ever-slimming chance of turning it around, Gibson’s deflected shot looping into Talbot’s arms, before he again denied Billy King.

Substitute Darragh Burns curled a shot wide, as the clocked ticked towards 90, and Gibson hammered an effort off target from close range deep in injury time, as their season dribbled to a disappointing end.

St Patrick’s Athletic: Brendan Clarke; Rory Feely (Jason McClelland 82), Luke McNally, Lee Desmond, Shane Griffin (Ian Bermingham 43); Jamie Lennon, Chris Forrester, Robbie Benson; Jordan Gibson, Billy King, Georgie Kelly (Darragh Burns 68).

Bohemians: James Talbot; Michael Barker, Rob Cornwall, Dan Casey, Paddy Kirk; Promise Omochere (Jack Moylan 90), JJ Lunney, Ross Tierney (James Finnerty 90+4), Danny Grant; Evan Ferguson (Conor Levingston 75), Andre Wright.

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