Shamrock Rovers keep European hopes alive, as Lee Chin’s debut falls flat
Airtricity League round-up: Kurtis Byrne condemns bottom side Longford to defeat
Rovers’ Gary McCabe scoring his second and Rovers’ fourth goal of the game. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho
Shamrock Rovers 4 Galway United 2
Shamrock Rovers leapfrogged Derry City into third place of the Premier Division last night after recording their first home win in four attempts.
Although Tommy Dunne’s Galway United twice pegged Rovers back with equalisers at Tallaght Stadium, they were further unlocked by a Rovers side with European qualification firmly in their sights.
Sean Boyd grabbed the breakthrough on 22 minutes by a burying a sublime 20-yard half-volley following a half-cleared punch by Sam Ramsbottom. Galway’s captain Ryan Connolly levelled his side 10 minutes later from a low shot inside the box.
However, just three minutes later, disaster struck again for the visitors’ goalkeeper as Rovers made it 2-1. Gary McCabe’s cross from the right touchline struck the far post before rebounding off his arm and back into the net.
Galway battled back once more as Connolly outmuscled Trevor Clarke on the hour mark to race clear and poke the ball beyond Murphy.
Two minutes later, Sean Heaney was left unmarked to head McCabe’s corner in off the post to put Rovers ahead. Rovers sealed the points on 66 minutes after their top scorer McCabe finished a move on the break with a neat side-footed effort from 10 yards.
Wexford Youths 1 Finn Harps 3
It’s just one defeat now in 14 games for Bray with this result confirming their Premier Division status for next season as second-bottom Youths slumped to a fourth defeat in five games.
Despite a bright start by Youths, they fell behind to Bray’s first foray forward on 20 minutes.
New signing Chin, playing in central defence, was caught out by Alan McNally’s ball in behind for the run of Jason Marks. Though the winger’s shot was parried by goalkeeper Graham Doyle, Salmon was alert to shoot home the rebound.
As in the first, Youths began the second half on the front foot. But once again they were undone by poor defending as they conceded a soft second goal right on the hour.
Left back Andrew O’Connor’s back pass fell way short. That allowed Pender to race in, take the ball around Doyle and slide it into the unguarded net.
Lynch then wrapped it up for Bray after 72 minutes, latching on to a through ball to fire to the corner of Doyle’s net.
Shane Dempsey drilled home Youths’ consolation goal on 87 minutes after Bray failed to clear O’Connor’s corner.
Bohemians 1 Longford Town 0
Bottom side Longford Town’s chances of avoiding automatic relegation to the First Division suffered a setback at Dalymount Park where a crowd of 1,158 saw Kurtis Byrne’s first-half goal seal the win for Bohs.
Bohs’ Jake Kelly had the first chance of the night on 18 minutes but his header looped over the bar.
Bohs goalkeeper Dean Delany then gave his side a slight scare on 21 minutes.
He caught Dan Cowan’s cross into the box at his right post before dropping the ball inches from the goal line, but managed to cleared well before any Town player could take advantage.
Bohs enjoyed a good spell of pressure in and around the half-hour mark and took the lead on 33 minutes when Byrne got the faintest of touches to help guide a wonderful free kick from Kelly past Ryan Coulter.
On 38 minutes Town’s Pat Flynn tried his luck with an opportunistic long-ranger from just inside the centre circle but on this occasion Delany saved well.
It was a quiet enough second half, although Town threatened on 69 minutes when Kevin O’Connor sent a decent ball in for Eddie Dsane but Delany was quick to react and got to the ball first.