Pete Mahon's St Patrick's Athletic gained a measure of revenge for their defeat to Bohemians in the Setanta Cup Final last week with a 3-1 League victory over the same opposition at a buzzing Richmond Park this evening.
Having gone a goal down after only 11 minutes after Jason Byrne had put the visitors ahead, Saints looked to be in serious trouble a few minutes later when left-sided midfielder Gareth Coughlan was stretchered off with a suspected double leg fracture, after a two-footed challenge from ex-Saint Mark Quigley.
Quigley only saw yellow from referee Damien Hancock but was promptly substituted by Bohs boss Pat Fenlon after only 19 minutes.
Saints substitute Derek Doyle made an immediate impact with a sharp volley with his first touch that Barry Murphy did well to save.
But Saints gradually took control of the game and had several chances before an amazing four minute spell before half time saw goals from Doyle (after Murphy had only parried a Paul Byrne header), Paul Byrne (a neat finish after Guthrie had risen to challenge Murphy) and Setanta man-of-the-match Stuart Byrne (with a superbly placed long range strike).
Saints comfortably saw out the second half and had chances to pull further ahead but this was a display of character, skill and determination from Mahon's charges that sees them one point behind Dundalk at the head of the table but with a crucial game in hand.
|11||St. Patrick's Athletic||19||16|
|12||Galway United FC||20||15|