Bohemians maintained their outstanding form with a fifth straight league win to move to within two points of league leaders and arch rivals Shamrock Rovers at the top of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division table.

It also provided just the result and performance manager Keith Long would have desired ahead of their Europa League trip to Hungary to meet Fehervar on Thursday.

Unchanged for the third successive game, Bohemians began brightly, with Keith Ward bringing a fine save from Brendan Clarke who had to go full stretch to tip his 20-yard drive around a post four minutes in.

And though St Pat's appeared to have played their way into the game, they fell behind to a freak goal on 16 minutes.

Bohemians left-back Anto Breslin’s floated cross from the left touchline caught a swirl of wind to outfox Clarke and arc into the far corner of his net.

Buoyed by that, Bohs went close again minutes later when Danny Grant cut in from the right to rifle a fierce shot narrowly over the St Pat’s crossbar.

But it was 2-0 on 23 minutes as the visitors’ negligent defending was exposed from a set-piece.

Ward floated in a corner from the left and Andrew Wright brushed off marker Lee Desmond a little too easily as he scarcely had to jump to find the net with a cushioned header for his third goal of the season.

And with St Pat’s at sixes and sevens at the back, Bohemians should have scored again before the half hour.

Kris Twardek’s trickery made the opening on the left. His accurate low cross was on a plate for unattended Keith Buckley at the back post. But the Gypsies skipper took his eye off the ball and embarrassingly completely missed his kick.

Sent from the dugout in last Sunday’s scoreless draw with Shamrock Rovers, the frustration got to St Pat’s boss Stephen O’Donnell, who was shown a yellow card by referee Derek Tomney.

Saints then enjoyed their best spell with the ball in the minutes before half-time, with Jordan Gibson coming close to threatening Stephen McGuinness in the home goal when his well-struck shot was deflected for a corner.

With the wind at their backs, St Pat’s showed some improvement from the resumption but struggled to create much to trouble McGuinness in the Bohemians goal.

And it was the Gypsies who came closest to scoring in the second half with the impressive Twardek smashing a 73rd-minute shot off the crossbar from close range after good approach play by Breslin and a touch from substitute Dawson Devoy.

Substitute Darragh Markey did have a chance in stoppage time for St Pat’s, but his deflected shot was saved by McGuinness. 

Bohemians: Stephen McGuinness; Andy Lyons, Rob Cornwall, Dan Casey, Anto Breslin; Danny Grant, Keith Buckley, JJ Lunney, Kris Twardek; Keith Ward (Dawson Devoy 64); Andre Wright.

St Patrick’s Athletic: Brendan Clarke; Rory Feely, Luke McNally, Ian Bermingham (Darragh Markey 80), Lee Desmond; Jordan Gibson, Chris Forrester, Jamie Lennon (Jay McClelland 57), Billy King (James Doona 73); Robbie Benson; Georgie Kelly (Martin Rennie 80).

Referee: Derek Tomney (Dublin).