Shamrock Rovers went five points clear at the top of the Premier Division table thanks to a 1-0 win over Bohemians. The Dublin Derby victory sees the Tallaght club take a significant leap towards the Premier Division with eight games remaining in th
The highest ever league attendance (7,021) in the Tallaght Stadium era saw Shamrock Rovers carve out a 1-0 victory over Bohemians but Stephen Bradley’s charges were made to fight all the way by a Phibsboro eleven that ultimately came agonizingly close to a share of the spoils.
With Dundalk ahead by five points with a game in hand, it was essential that the Hoops reverse the recent Dublin derby trend and take all three points to keep the title race alive.
The home side looked odds on to do this at half-time but Bohs looked a different team in the second half. With wind advantage in the opening period, the Hoops completely dominated matters and might have taken the lead courtesy of a Jack Byrne 16th minute curler from distance took a deflection and just missed James Talbot’s left hand post.
Rovers did take a deserved lead in the 26th minute. Skipper Ronan Finn and the busy Aaron McEneff combined well down the Rovers right. McEneff switched the play with a deft pass to Sean Kavanagh on the left.
The full-back’s floated cross was headed powerfully down into the Bohs’ net by Graham Burke – a second goal inside a week for the Irish international following his return to Tallaght from Preston.
Bohs were forced to wait until the 37th minute for their first opportunity when Danny Grant looped a header over the bar from Derek Pender’s right wing cross. But what a transformation after the interval!
Within five second half minutes, Keith Long’s men had nearly scored twice, through a close-range Rob Conwall header that flew just past the post and a Darragh Leahy screamer that didn’t clear Mannus’ crossbar by much.
Then on the hour mark, Bohs saw two efforts taken off the line in rapid sucession. First, Leahy’s header from Danny Mandroiu’s right wing corner was blocked and Cornwall’s follow-up shot was also kept out by desperate Rovers defending. There were other close shaves but Rovers’ defence, marshalled by Man of the Match Roberto Lopes, held firm.