Rovers let it slip as McEvoy pounces to rescue a point for Bohemians
Hosts looked to have taken the points with Finn penalty eight minutes from time
Derek Pender of Bohemians (left) with Sean O’Connor of Shamrock Rovers during last night’s Premier Division clash at Tallaght Stadium. photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho
Shamrock Rovers 1 Bohemians 1: An injury-time goal from Ryan McEvoy rescued a deserved share of the spoils for Bohemians at Tallaght Stadium last night.
The hosts looked to have secured the three points when Ronan Finn converted from the spot eight minutes from time but a long throw-in from Luke Byrne found McEvoy, who found the net from 14 yards via a deflection.
It capped another disappointing display from Rovers, who laboured for the majority of the game, with two further points dropped in their flagging, and by what must be considered now, redundant title chase.
Last Saturday’s Setanta Cup success was put into perspective when Rovers produced another frustrating performance when fortunate to gain a scoreless draw with St Patrick’s Athletic on Tuesday evening, their eighth draw in a campaign riddled with inconsistency.
Consequently, it was imperative that the hosts try to recapture the flair evident in that 7-1 victory over Drogheda United but it was Bohemians who showed greater enterprise in the opening stages with Dave Scully just failing to reach Andy Mulligan’s cross in the third minute.
That counter-attack highlighted the gaps behind the Rovers full-backs and Kevin Devaney was next to exploit that avenue of attack when forcing a corner from Jason McGuinness in the 13th minute.
From the subsequent set-piece, McEvoy produced a pin-point cross to the unmarked David Mulcahy and although his initial effort was blocked, he cleverly teed up Derek Pender whose well-struck volley flashed narrowly wide of Barry Murphy’s left-hand upright.
A sloppy home outfit finally began to show greater cohesion and Ciaran Kilduff was uncharacteristically negligent when scuffing an inviting cross from Billy Dennehy straight at Dean Delany in the 16th minute.
But it was the visitors who looked more threatening, with Mulligan eluding Conor McCormack again before firing a cross-shot that flashed across Murphy’s goal in the 25th minute.
With Kilduff adding greater aerial presence on a rare opportunity from the start, the hosts looked to set-pieces as a primary source and the former UCD striker was denied in the 38th minute as Delany acrobatically deflected his header from a Dennehy corner away to safety via the crossbar.
Although Rovers resumed brightly after the interval, with Finn firing over from 25 yards following a surging run by Kilduff, it was Bohemians that enjoyed the greater threat and from another Mulligan break behind McCormack in the 50th minute, Rovers were indebted to Jason McGuinness, who blocked Scully’s goalbound attempt.
With the game seemingly headed towards another scoreless draw, mirroring their earlier league encounter in March, Mulligan was unfortunate to have been adjudged to have handled from a Stewart cross, with Finn calmly sending Delany the wrong way from the ensuing spot-kick.
But in injury time a long throw by Luke Byrne arrived at the feet of McEvoy, who drove home to leave the jubilant away support in raptures.