By Micil Glennon at Dalymount Park
St Patrick's Athletic moved to the top of the Airtricity League Premier Division after a comfortable 2-0 win over Bohemians at Dalymount Park.
The three points, secured with first-half goals from ex-Bohs players Christy Fagan and Killian Brennan, saw the Inchicore side move two points above Sligo Rovers, who have a game in hand, after the champions could only manage a 0-0 draw away to Limerick.
Gypsies boss Aaron Callaghan, denied the services of captain Owen Heary (hip), Conor O'Brien (illness) and the suspended Keith Buckley, made two changes to the side that drew with Shamrock Rovers last week, with Stephen Traynor and Chris Lyons starting.
Pats lined out with the same team that recorded a 3-0 win over Shelbourne last Friday, and included four ex-Bohemians players, with a further two on the bench.
While they failed to create a clear goal chance, the Saints controlled the opening exchanges with John Russell, Chris Forrester and Conan Byrne all helping to establish a tidy, free-flowing pattern.
Pats full-back Ian Bermingham had a sighter from 30-yards after six minutes but it flew harmlessly wide before Russell eventually forced a save from goalkeeper Dean Delany.
The best the home side could muster was a Dave Mulcahy header, which went out for a goal kick.
It wasn't long before the Inchicore side, who had taken ten points from a possible 12 coming into the game, made their dominance count.
In the 25th minute, Russell picked out the run of Fagan with a delicious through-ball and the striker had the relatively easy task of slotting past Delany.
Two minutes later Pats doubled their advantage.
Bohs captain Derek Pender was penalised for handball after a clumsy effort to control a cross inside the box and Brennan smashed home the resulting spot kick.
It could easily have been three before the break but Fagan, from a carbon copy chance of his opener, dragged his effort wide.
Just before the whistle Russell fired across the face of the goal and Forrester, after a sublime piece of control, saw his shot saved by Delany.
There was to be no let up after the resumption and Fagan again found space in the box but shot over.
Try as they might, with Chris Lyons looking busy, the home side couldn't get a foothold in the game.
But it was as much to do with intelligent use of the ball by the Richmond Park outfit, who played ball in the right areas and cleared when appropriate, with captain Conor Kenna and Kenny Browne in control at the back.
The Phibsboro side did have a shout for a penalty of their own in the 66th minute when Kenna seemed to block a shot with his arm. It looked very similar to the first-half award but the referee adjudged it to be more a case of ball-to-arm and waved play on.
Just as the game was losing its pace, Brennan hit the far post directly from a corner kick and Bermingham, Delany (for dissent) and Dave Scully were all booked in the space of a minute.
Byrne almost caught Delany off his line late on but the ex-Shels stopper back-tracked and tipped the ball over.
But it was all academic as Liam Buckley's men stretched their unbeaten run against Bohs to nine games to sit pretty at the top of the table with both Sligo Rovers and third-placed Derry City involved in draws.
Bohemians: Dean Delany; Luke Byrne, Derek Pender (c), Dave Mulcahy, Ciaran Nangle (Kevin O'Leary 66); Shane Murray, Ryan McEvoy, Stephen Traynor (Roberto Lopes h/t), Andy Mulligan (Karl Moore, 83); Chris Lyons, Dave Scully.
Subs not used: Greg Murray, Kevin Devaney, Michael Barker, Michael Scott.
St Patrick's Athletic: Brendan Clarke; Ian Bermingham, Conor Kenna (c), Kenny Browne (Aidan Price 75), Ger O'Brien; Greg Bolger, Chris Forrester, Killian Brennan, Conan Byrne; John Russell, Christy Fagan (Anto Flood 85).
Subs not used: Dave Ryan, Jake Carroll, Shane McFaul, Sean Gannon, Jake Kelly.
Referee: Alan Kelly