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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Paul O'Hehir

Shamrock Rovers 1-0 Bohemians: Rovers come out on top in chaotic Dublin Derby

SOME of the central characters involved had predicted in the build-up that this fixture wouldn’t be a thing of beauty.

Not that Shamrock Rovers or their supporters will care how it played out on the eye as they landed the capital’s bragging rights on an emotional night.

Significantly, Rovers were doing so for the third time this season against their arch rivals with Rory Gaffney scrambling home the vital score.

While Bohs refused to roll over - Promise Omochere was close to a late equaliser - Rovers were largely in control but had to defend resolutely.

It was just the response that Stephen Bradley could have wished for after last week’s defeat in Dundalk.

The Rovers manager had missed that game after revealing that his eight-year-old son is unwell, but Bradley was here this time calling the shots.

And by the final whistle, you could see what it meant to him on a night of high emotion within that Rovers dressing room.

He was firmly in the supporters’ thoughts throughout the game as they stood in unison in the eighth minute, applauding to chants of ‘There’s only one Stephen Bradley’.

And although Bohs were on the attack at that point, Bradley turned his back on the action and clapped them back.

By that stage, he had already seen Danny Mandroiu go close, forcing Tadhg Ryan into a necessary and smart save down low to his right, forcing a corner.

And Mandroiu almost found Andy Lyons free in the box with a delicious, disguised ball in behind the Gypsies defence but the raiding wing-back couldn’t capitalise.

Lyons has been a success story of the Hoops season to date, having taken the winter move from Bohs in his stride.

But the Ireland Under-21 international ran the gauntlet during that opening half, receiving dog’s abuse from the large travelling support hugging that far touchline.

Although Rovers made that bright start, they had plenty to contend with defensively as Bohs caused trouble throughout that opening half.

The Hoops struggled to cut out their crosses and Pico Lopes, Lee Grace and Sean Hoare had their work cut out to deal with the aerial challenge.

Liam Burt was determined to cause damage on the dance floor, and his low centre of gravity, purposeful runs had the hosts on the retreat at times.

His only shot of that opening half was pulled across the face of Alan Mannus’ goal, but he was a threat.

Omochere’s physicality was another useful weapon for the Gypsies, and Sean Kavanagh, Dylan Watts and Mandroiu were all booked for fouls on him.

But while he was a handful, Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe lacked composure at times leading the line.

He had more time that he realised when, from an Ali Coote corner, he failed to connect cleanly with a shot in the box having peeled off the back post and into space.

While the game itself was struggling to ignite the same can’t be said for one of the four floodlight poles.

Smoke could be seen billowing out of the middle section and the floodlights on that particular tower, between the under-construction North Stand and East Stand, failed.

With the fire services quickly on the scene, it was a short-lived concern.

Back on the pitch, Rovers were still searching for the spark they needed as Aaron Greene squandered a close range header when meeting a deep Hoare cross.

Burt then skied a ball over the Hoops crossbar to the delight of the boisterous South Stand, while Watts flashed a ferocious drive across goal at the other end.

And Rovers finished the half with their tails up as Mandroiu’s drive from distance whistled narrowly over in a sign of things to come.

That’s because the game took a decisive turn within 58 seconds of the second-half.

Ryan duly accepted the plaudits when he made a stunning point blank save to deny Gaffney.

But neither the goalkeeper nor the Bohs defence covered themselves in glory from the resulting corner.

Junior had Gaffney in a bear hug when Watts floated in the corner, but the striker wriggled free all too easily to turn Mandroiu’s header home at the back post.

And at this point, Bohs were on the rack. Chasing shadows, they were shell-shocked and struggling to scramble a Plan B into action as Rovers piled on the pressure.

Conor Levingston headed off the line from Hoare and Mandroiu then found the crossbar with a header from Gaffney’s cross.

Yet Bohs refused to surrender and panic rippled through the ground when Omochere flashed a late header narrowly wide as Bohs finished strongly.

But it was all a little too late in the day and it was Rovers’ night - and Bradley’s - to savour.


Alan Mannus 6
Sean Hoare 7
Roberto Lopes 7
Lee Grace 7
Andy Lyons 7
Dylan Watts 7
Gary O’Neill 7
Sean Kavanagh 6
Danny Mandroiu 7
Aaron Greene 6
Rory Gaffney 8

Subs: Gannon (for Kavanagh, 68), McCann (for Gaffney, 78), Emakhu (for Greene, 79), Cotter (for Mandroiu, 88)

Subs not used: Pohls, Burke, Ferizaj, O’Sullivan, Tetteh.


Tadhg Ryan 7
Max Murphy 5
Jordan Doherty 6
Rory Feely 6
Jordan Flores 6
Dawson Devoy 6
Conor Levingston 6
Ali Coote 6
Liam Burt 6
Promise Omochere 6
Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe 5

Subs: Twardek (for Coote, 71), Mallon (for Burt, 86)

Subs not used: Finnerty, Mullins, Byrne, McManus, Okosun, Byrne

Referee: Rob Harvey (Dublin)

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