Ten-man Bohemians secured European football for the first time since 2012 by eking out a well-earned draw at St Patrick’s Athletic tonight. For the Saints, they can still join their Dublin rivals in the Europa League but must beat Derry City on Tuesday.
Bohs goalkeeper James Talbot was the first keeper called into action on four minutes. He stuck out a vital hard as Saints striker Gary Shaw tried to round him after breaking into the box. At the other end, a free-kick conceded by Ian Bermingham gave Bohs their first opening on 20 minutes. Keith Ward’s low centre deceived the defence but the unmarked Aaron Barry wasted the rehearsed move by miskicking his first-time effort.
Seconds later, Pat’s fashioned their best chance, also from a free-kick. James Finnerty’s grappling of Shaw incurred a booking which would later cost him but Chris Forrester almost immediately made him pay with the 20-yarder over the wall which Talbot brilliantly leapt got across his line to bat away.
Former Bohs playmaker Forrester again forced Talbot to go full-stretch and tip his rising shot out for a corner on the stroke of the interval. Saints Ronan Hale managed to get a sight at goal on the hour, only to waste it by lifting the ball over from 12 yards.
A minute on and Bohs lost Finnerty as another clumsy shove on Shaw led to his second booking. Rookie boss Stephen O’Donnelll decided to go for it, introducing strikers Glen McAuley and Mikey Drennan, coupled with a switch to three at the back but they couldn’t force a winner.
B Clarke; D Clarke, D Webster (G McAuley 72), C Kelly (M Drennan 84), I Bermingham; C Coleman (R McCabe 87), L Desmond; D Markey, C Forrester, G Shaw; R Hale.
J Talbot; D Pender, A Barry, J Finnerty, P Kirk; R Tierney (K Buckley 65), S Allardice; L Wade-Slater (A Lyons 87), K Ward (M Barker 65), D Grant; A Wright.
Referee: Neil Doyle (Dublin)