Robbie Benson proved the FAI Cup final spot-kick hero as St Patrick’s Athletic beat Bohemians on penalties at the Aviva Stadium.

The 2021 decider was scoreless after 90 minutes, 1-1 after extra-time and was then decided by a shoot-out with Benson scoring the vital winner to hand Saints a 4-3 decision.

Chris Forrester broke the deadlock in the first period of the additional 30 minutes with a fine individual goal, before Rory Feely powered a header home at the start of the second stanza.

But it was Stephen O’Donnell’s side who were celebrating at the Lansdowne Road venue, securing their first FAI Cup success since 2014.

An atmosphere worthy of any cup final with a record Lansdowne Road attendance of 37,126 inside the stadium, as the leftover Hallowe'en fireworks were on display behind either goal.

Less of a spark, however, on the pitch in the opening exchanges, and it was Bohemians who were first to go on the attack in the fifth minute, as Liam Burt slipped Ross Tierney through on goal, but the attempted flick to the far post was always going wide.

Saints’ first chance came two minutes later from a hopeful ball forward, which was swept up by James Talbot, racing out of his box, however, his sliced swipe dropped right on the boot of Ian Bermingham.

But the deadlock would not be broken as the St Pat’s captain could not direct the testing effort back into the empty goal.

In the 18th minute, Sam Bone got through following a clever clipped ball by Darragh Burns. Talbot, to his credit, was again out smartly to narrow the angle, staying tall and making the vital stop.

Bohs then went straight on the attack as Burt latched onto a poor Bone clearance, however, the shot was snatched at and it flew off target.

Robbie Benson made no mistake from the spot

Gerorgie Kelly was then played in perfectly by Ali Coote, but he opted to shoot instead of sending it across the face and it slapped the side-netting.

The Inchicore side seemed happy to play on the counter with Bohs the more adventurous of the two sides.

But O’Donnell’s side were creating chances, and had a shout for a penalty waved away as Chris Forrester beat Talbot to a corner and looked to take some contact off the Bohs keeper after the header flew over.

Burt continued to impress for the Gypsies and in the 29th minute made a beeline for the Saints penalty box, ending in a chipped effort that just dropped the wrong side of the crossbar.

The move of the first half came in the 36th minute as Pat’s again utilised a long ball out of defence, allowing Forrester to hold the ball up, with Robbie Benson arriving in support.

Jamie Lennon then got involved and played a fantastic one-two with the former Dundalk man whose clever backheel set up the shot on goal.

Lennon smashed a fine effort goalwards forcing a fine save from Talbot, who got down smartly to his left to get a strong hand on the ball and push it away to safety.

Talbot was again called into action in the 42nd minute as Forrester was played into the box following good work out on the left. One touch to set up the shot, the Saints forward did well to hit the target surrounded by a host of Bohs jerseys.

Kelly then found space in the box following a fumble and stumble by Paddy Barrett but Lee Desmond read the danger and cleared, as the sides remained scoreless at the break.

The first real action of the second half came from the stands as a smokebomb was launched onto the pitch, causing the game to be halted in the 58th minute.

Bohs made is all-square in the second half of extra time

And then Bohs were quickly on the attack as they had two shots on target stopped, first a Coote strike well blocked by Desmond, before Vitezslav Jaros was finally called into action from Kelly’s rebound effort and the Saints keeper did well to keep it out.

In the 65th minute, Pat’s made a change in midfield, replacing Lennon with the more attack-minded Billy King, while Bohs were forced to take Kelly off, as Promise Omochere was sent into the attack.

The game seemed to open up with both sides now looking to get forward and Saints almost capitalised with a counterattack, even though some of their players were looking to put the ball out of play with Alfie Lewis down needing attention.

St Pat’s pushed on and had numbers forward, however, Billy King, Darragh Burns and Mattie Smith all failed to hit the target.

Saints appeared to be getting the upper hand since the changes, with Forrester now dropping deeper into a more creative role, and then Burns had a look at goal in the 71st minute, but Talbot was well placed to save.

More stoppages as Barrett had to receive attention for a head injury, which ended his involvement, and suddenly into the final ten minutes, both sides must have started to think about extra time as the game got quite cagey.

Omochere had a look at grabbing the winner for Bohs in the 87th minute, but just could not get on the end of the ball in from the left, and then both sides enjoyed half-chances as the clock moved past the 90-minute mark before the game was called to a halt due to an over-enthusiastic member of the crowd who entered the playing field.

As the additional six minutes approached its conclusion, Pat’s wasted an opportunity to lift a free-kick into the box, while a Bohs counterattack ran out of steam at the other end.

Two long throws into the Saints box could not cause any sort of commotion and the almost obligatory extra-time would be sanctioned, making it six of the last seven finals to require an extra half-hour.

Pat’s had an early chance to open the scoring but Benson’s acrobatic effort failed to ignite, before Burt burst into the box at the other end, but his shot was deflected wide.

In the 10th minute of the first period, Billy King’s tempting ball across the face of the Bohs goal was missed by three Saints attackers, while Omochere’s weak shot could not threaten.

Forrester and substitutes King and Ronan Coughlan then linked up well on the edge of the box to set the striker in on goal. But the former Sligo Rovers man was stopped in his tracks as Talbot answered the call, once again.

But the Bohs keeper could do nothing about the opening goal, which arrived courtesy of Forrester as the first period of extra time moved into the additional two minutes.

The Saints talisman picked up the ball on the halfway line and his intentions appeared clear as he raced towards the edge of the box.

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Forrester cleverly allowed the retreating Omochere get goal side before he cut back on his right foot and drilled the ball low into the corner of the goal to hand his side the lead.

Bohs looked to hit back at the start of the second period as Tierney’s burst forward forced a corner.

And from the resulting set-piece, substitute Feely arrived at pace at the front post to guide a bullet header high into the roof of the net to level matters.

The goal handed Bohemians a new lease of life with Tierney looking very lively in attack and almost getting in on goal with five minutes remaining.

Then the Bohs forward came even closer with a point-blank header that Jaros did well to help over the bar, before Jak Hickman saved the Saints with a goal-line clearance from another Feely header.

But the inevitable penalty shootout would finally come as the FAI Cup final would again be decided on a test of nerves at the Dublin 4 arena.

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Bohs were handed an early advantage as Forrester watched his penalty saved by Talbot, but then Tyreke Wilson dragged his effort wide and Keith Ward clipped the crossbar with his spot-kick.

Benson then had the chance to seal the victory with the fifth Saints penalty, and the midfielder showed all his experience to slam the ball into the back of the net and write St Patrick’s Athletic’s name on the historic old trophy for the fourth time.

Bohemians: James Talbot; Andy Lyons, Rob Cornwall, Ciaran Kelly (Rory Feely 75), Tyreke Wilson; Dawson Devoy, Liam Burt (Keith Ward 103), Ali Coote (Stephen Mallon 86), Keith Buckley (capt) (Conor Levingston 106), Ross Tierney; Georgie Kelly (Promise Omochere 62)

St Patrick’s Athletic: Vitezslav Jaros; Sam Bone (Jak Hickman 90+6), Paddy Barrett (James Abankwah 82), Lee Desmond, Ian Bermingham;(capt) Jamie Lennon (Billy King 61), Alfie Lewis (Ronan Coughlan 97), Robbie Benson, Mattie Smith (Jason McClelland 76), Darragh Burns, Chris Forrester.

Referee: Rob Hennessy

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