Dave Mulcahy scored a crucial goal for the second match running as Bohemians came from behind to somehow escape from Richmond Park with a share of the spoils to leave St Patrick’s Athletic utterly frustrated with a 1-1 draw.
Bohemians will doubtless view it as a gutsy draw well earned, but having hit the woodwork twice as well as wasting several other clear-cut chances, this was very much two points dropped by title contenders St Pat's, who are now three points behind second-placed Derry and five behind leaders Sligo Rovers.
Trailing to Anto Flood’s first-half goal, Bohemians hung in there and struck to level on 71 minutes when skipper Mulcahy, who scored what proved the Gypsies’ winner against Bray Wanderers on Friday, headed to the net from a Ryan McEvoy corner.
St Pat’s, without their talismanic midfielder Killian Brennan, due to a knee injury picked up in training on Sunday, had to reshuffle their middle three with Greg Bolger also missing due to suspension.
But it was Bohemians who threatened first on four minutes. Chris Lyons, who scored twice against Bray on Friday, showed lovely skill to turn well from Keith Buckley’s cross to shoot into the side netting.
Bohs’ Dean Delany was the first keeper to see action nine minutes later, though, palming away Flood’s header from a Conan Byrne corner.
Winger Byrne, looking to score for the fourth match in-a-row, then wasn’t too far away with a free-kick that sailed inches over the Bohs' crossbar on 27 minutes as St Pat‘s got well on top.
And it was no surprise when Liam Buckley’s side took the lead from their third corner of the game on the half hour.
John Russell and Ian Bermingham worked a short corner on the left and Flood availed of poor goalkeeping by Delany, who misjudged the cross, to head home at the back post.
There was little change in the flow of the game in the second half as St Pat’s continued to enjoy the majority of the possession.
Bermingham brought a save low down at his right-hand post from Delany before Shane McFaul fired over the top from distance on 56 minutes.
A minute later Bohs threatened for the first time in the half as substitute Kevin Devaney’s low cross was deflected across goal by St Pat’s skipper Conor Kenna.
But Bohs were back having to defend on 65 minutes with Roberto Lopes clearing off the line from Byrne with Chris Forrester blazing the rebound skyward.
Bohs had another right let-off two minutes later. A sublime ball in from the left from Jake Kelly, on a few minutes as a substitute, was met by Byrne at the back post and his rising shot came back off the bar.
It was a miss St Pat’s would rue as Bohs levelled four minutes later.
Michael Barker made room splendidly to bring a tip over save from Clarke from outside the area with the inspirational Mulcahy heading home McEvoy's resulting corner.
St Pat’s responded and Kenny Browne headed another Byrne corner off a post before Kelly missed a sitter with the goal gaping after a brilliant, mazy run to the end line by Forrester.
Kelly, Christy Fagan twice, and Browne again all had late chances as St Pat’s laid siege to the Shed End goal. But it was to no avail as Bohs held out for a big point.
St Patrick’s Athletic: Clarke; O’Brien, Kenna, Browne, Bermingham; Gannon (Kelly, 61 mins.), McFaul, Russell; Byrne, Flood (Fagan, 66 mins.), Forrester.
Bohemians: Delany; Lopes, Mulcahy, Byrne; Barker, Buckley, McEvoy, O’Brien (Devaney, h/t), Mulligan; Lyons, Wilson (Fitzgerald, 74 mins.).
Referee: Paul McLaughlin (Monaghan).