Graham Burke double sends Shamrock Rovers three points clear

Round-up: St Pat’s beat Sligo to go second; Georgie Kelly bags another hat-trick for Bohs

 

Waterford 1 Shamrock Rovers 4

Graham Burke struck twice as Shamrock Rovers came from behind to see off struggling Waterford to move three points clear at the top of the SSE Airtricity Premier Division table.

Enthused by manager Marc Bircham to use last week’s shock victory at Dundalk as a springboard to mount a survival bid, Waterford soared ahead at the RSC from their first attack on five minutes.

When Eric Molloy was left alone on the left to receive a pass, he opted to cut in and shoot from the edge of the box.

His ambition paid off as the stinging effort deflected off Seán Hoare and whipped past the wrongfooted Alan Mannus for his first goal of the season.

Then came the contentious turning point on 14 minutes when referee Adriano Reale penalised Jamie Mascoll for handball, allowing Burke to convert from the spot.

Rovers inflicted more pain on the Blues with a second-half onslaught. Barely three minutes had elapsed when Rory Gaffney pounced to a Cameron Evans error on the edge of his box.

The striker needed just one touch to control the ball and unleash a crisp drive beyond Brian Murphy and in off the post.

Rovers continued to run the youthful Waterford defence ragged, leading to Burke’s second on the hour.

After Greene beat Jack Stafford in a footrace on the right side, he squared for the playmaker to sweep home his seventh of the season from close range.

The visitors’ attackers were by that stage rampant and, with 20 minutes remaining, Greene exchanged passes with Gaffney before leaving Murphy rooted to the spot with his fine finish.

WATERFORD: B Murphy; D Power, C Evans (L Kervick, 70 mins), J Mascoll, J Stafford, E Molloy; J Martin, N O’Keefe, S Griffin, A O’Reilly (K Mashigo, 77 mins); P Mutswunguma (T Sobolwale, 70 mins).

SHAMROCK ROVERS: A Mannus; S Gannon, R Lopes, S Hoare, L Grace (D Nugent, 70 mins), L Scales; C McCann (G O’Neill, 66 mins), D Mandroiu, G Burke (R Finn, 66 mins); R Gaffney (A Emakhu, 70 mins), A Greene (D Williams, 70 mins).

Referee: Adriano Reale (Kildare).

St Patrick’s Athletic 2 Sligo Rovers 0

Rónán Coughlan scored against his former club as St Patrick’s Athletic leapfrogged Sligo Rovers into second place with a deserved 2-0 win at Richmond Park.

Winger Matty Smith had put the Saints in front early on before Coughlan netted his fifth of the season from the spot to wrap up the points in the final quarter.

The home side came into the tie knowing a win of any stripe would be enough to lift them above their opponents on goal difference.

For a short time, after Smith’s sixth-minute opener, the Saints were top of the table as Shamrock Rovers trailed in Waterford, but manager Stephen O’Donnell will settle for second for now.

Liam Buckley – coaching the Bit o’ Red at a ground where he lifted two league titles as manager – watched his side fall to a second defeat on the bounce to slip three points off the pace.

The opening goal came somewhat against the run of play as Sligo’s positive start to the game was undone by a clinical Smith finish.

Former Saint Jordan Gibson was robbed on the edge of his box by Alfie Lewis, Robbie Benson flicked the ball on and, though John Mahon headed clear, Smith was on hand to sidefoot home.

The home side would have further chances during an eventful first half, with Smith denied a second by a fine Robbie McCourt block.

Billy King saw his header loop into the arms of Ireland under-21 goalkeeper Ed McGinty, before seeing a well-hit shot batted away by the goalkeeper on the half-hour.

Sligo had more of the play in the second half but, aside from a deflected shot from Mark Byrne and Gibson’s wayward free kick, they rarely unsettled Pats keeper Vitezslav Jaros.

A loose touch from Greg Bolger – a title-winner with Pats in 2013 – saw Smith attempt to tee up Coughlan for a tap-in, but Mahon did well to intercept.

The clincher came from another Sligo error as Smith robbed Lewis Banks and played a one-two with Coughlan before charging into the box and being fouled by Mahon.

Referee Paul McLaughlin pointed to the spot, booking Mahon, and Coughlan ensured he was first on the scene to claim the honours.

The Limerick man was coolness personified from 12 yards, showcasing his patented skip before calmly sending McGinty the wrong way.

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: Vitezslav Jaros; John Mountney, Paddy Barrett, Lee Desmond, Ian Bermingham; Alfie Lewis, Chris Forrester (Jamie Lennon 69), Robbie Benson; Billy King (Darragh Burns, 62 mins), Matty Smith (Jay McClelland, 88 mins), Rónán Coughlan.

SLIGO ROVERS: Ed McGinty; Colm Horgan, John Mahon, Lewis Banks (Danny Kane, 83 mins), Robbie McCourt (Regan Donelon, 45+1 mins); Greg Bolger, Niall Morahan (Johnny Kenny 83), Walter Figueira (David Cawley, 66 mins); Mark Byrne (Shane Blaney, 83 mins), Jordan Gibson, Romeo Parkes.

Referee: Paul McLaughlin (Donegal).

Bohemians 5 Drogheda United 0

Georgie Kelly scored four times as Bohemians made it five wins from seven games as they clinically punished dreadful Drogheda defending at Dalymount Park.

Though the visitors started brightly, Bohemians hit the front with a superb goal on 10 minutes, Kelly latching onto Ross Tierney’s sublime pass to slip his shot past David Odumosu.

Drogheda enjoyed a good spell with Chris Lyons shooting over and Ronan Murray working James Talbot.

But Bohemians remained a huge threat when they got forward, Odumosu having to make a fine one-handed save to deprive Dawson Devoy before the home side doubled their lead on 33 minutes.

Skipper Rob Cornwall’s diagonal ball was knocked down by Tierney into the path of Kelly whose shot took a deflection off Dane Massey to enter the net.

With Drogheda at sixes-and-sevens at the back, Liam Burt might have added to that six minutes later, curling narrowly wide from fellow winger Ali Coote ball across the box.

The rampant Gypsies were 3-0 up 30 seconds into the second half.

The majestic Tierney was again central to the attack, his pass stepped over by Kelly to run into the path of Burt who made no mistake with a well-struck right-footed shot.

Kelly’s hat-trick, his second in four games, arrived on 54 minutes.

Once more Tierney was the architect, dribbling into the area to set up Kelly who sold Odomosu a dummy before casually shooting to the net.

Kelly had a goal disallowed before he got his fourth on 72 minute, looping a header over Odumosu from substitute Stephen Mallon’s ball into the box – his 10th strike of the season.

BOHEMIANS: Talbot; Feely, Cornwall, C Kelly, Wilson; Devoy (Buckley, 62 mins), Levinston; Coote (Ward, 62 mins), Tierney (Mullins, 69 mins), Burt (Mallon, 62 mins); G Kelly (Hery, 74 mins).

DROGHEDA UNITED: Odumosu; Brown, O’Reilly, Massey, Kane; Deegan (Heeney, 58 mins), Hyland (Phillips, h/t); Markey, Murray (Adeyemo, 58 mins), Doyle (Clarke, 58 mins); Lyons (Corcoran, h/t).

Referee: Ben Connolly (Dublin).

Dundalk 1 Longford Town 1

History repeated itself for Vinny Perth as his second debut as Dundalk manager ended the same way as his first having been held by Longford Town at Oriel Park.

Back in February 2019 his managerial debut finished with a 1-1 draw at home to Sligo Rovers with Patrick Hoban missing a penalty in a game in which his side fell behind.

The same happened again on Friday night with Aaron McNally giving Daire Doyle’s side a 13th-minute lead after firing across Alessio Abibi to the top corner from Paddy Kirk’s cross.

After Dean Byrne had been denied a second by the crossbar, Chris Shields then levelled on 29 minutes when he sent a bullet header to the net from Michael Duffy’s corner.

Longford were unlucky not to retake the lead early in the second half when Dylan Grimes had an effort cleared off the line by Sam Stanton.

After that it was largely one-way traffic as Dundalk pressed for a winner with Hoban passing up several good chances including seeing his 74th-minute penalty saved by Lee Steacy after Rob Manley was adjudged to have handled in the box.

DUNDALK: Abibi; Dummigan (Jurkovskis, 64 mins), Shields, Boyle, Leahy; Stanton (Midtskogen 80), McEleney; Kelly (Adedokun, 71 mins), Murray (Sloggett, 64 mins), Duffy; Hoban.

LONGFORD TOWN: Steacy; Chambers, McDonnell, O’Driscoll, Kirk; Dervin, Zambra; McNally, Grimes (Davis, 77 mins), Byrne (Robinson, 88 mins); Manley (Dobbs, 75 mins).

Referee: Rob Hennessy (Limerick).

Finn Harps 1 Derry City 2

Two goals from Will Patching helped Derry City to yet another win on the road as they defeated northwest neighbours Finn Harps at Finn Park to leapfrog over them and into sixth spot in the table.

But Harps will feel that they deserved a point as they had the majority of the chances in a well contested clash.

Harps went into this game seeking a first ever league double over Derry in the same season, having triumphed at the Brandywell in May. In fact, prior to this encounter, that was City’s last defeat.

But Derry took the lead after seven minutes following a penalty. Ethan Boyle was adjudged to have impeded David Parkhouse inside the box and from the resulting spot-kick Will Patching fired past Mark Anthony McGinley.

However, the Donegal side drew level in the 16th minute as Derry failed to defend a corner with Shane McEleneny and Kosovar Sadiki both involved before Boyle got the final touch with a close-range header to score as his frustration from earlier turned to joy.

Derry spurned an opportunity to restore their lead on 25 minutes when Parkhouse really should have found the target with a header.

Derry restored their lead in the 44th minute when Patching scored with a wonderfully struck free from the edge of the box after he was fouled by Mark Coyle.

Owolabi and Foley both threatened for Harps just after the break, but the third quarter lacked the same intensity.

Harps battled hard to the end but City held on for the points.

FINN HARPS: McGinley; Boyle, McEleney, Sadiki, Dunleavy (T McNamee, 81 mins); Seymour, B McNamee, Coyle (Barry, 58 mins), O’Sullivan (Boyd, 78 mins); Foley (Rainey, 81 mins), Owalabi.

DERRY CITY: Gartside; Boyce, Toal, McJannet, Lafferty; Fitzgerald, Harkin, Patching; Malone (Cole, 74 mins), Parkhouse (Coll, 84 mins), Akintunde.

Referee: N Doyle (Dublin).

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