Shamrock Rovers make history with win over Waterford

Bohemians dropped more points after Drogheda grabbed a stoppage time equaliser

Shamrock Rovers’ Gary O’Neill celebrates scoring a goal in their Airtricity League win over Waterford. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Shamrock Rovers’ Gary O’Neill celebrates scoring a goal in their Airtricity League win over Waterford. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

 

Shamrock Rovers 3 Waterford 0

Shamrock Rovers regained top spot in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division table with a comfortable victory against a struggling Waterford at Tallaght Stadium.

Although St Patrick’s Athletic will have an opportunity to leapfrog their Dublin rivals when they face Sligo Rovers this evening, goals from Rory Gaffney, Gary O’Neill and Danny Mandroiu ensured Stephen Bradley’s men will be in high spirits ahead of their showdown with the Saints on Saturday. This result also saw the defending champions create a new league record of 31 games unbeaten - eclipsing a previously run set by the Hoops themselves back in 1927.

Although torrential rain in advance of kick-off made the playing surface in Tallaght quite greasy at times, it took Rovers just 13 minutes to break the deadlock. Off an uncontested drop-ball, Mandroiu picked out Gaffney on the edge of the area and the Galway native turned sharply before firing beyond the reach of Paul Martin for his fourth goal of the campaign.

Rovers continued to press as the half wore on and subsequently doubled their lead just past the half-hour mark. Following a Dylan Watts pull-back after his initial attempt off a free kick had been blocked, O’Neill fired home from close-range - despite the best efforts of Waterford defender Cameron Evans.

Kevin Sheedy’s visitors began the day just a point clear of basement side Longford Town and any designs they had on a dramatic fightback were effectively eliminated nine minutes after the restart. Teenager Max Murphy was one of three players to come into the Rovers starting line-up and his brilliant approach work released Mandroiu for a smooth side-footed finish.

An injury to substitute Neil Farrugia meant the Hoops finished the game with 10 men, but it couldn’t prevent them from easing towards a fifth win on the bounce.

Shamrock Rovers: Mannus; Hoare, Grace, Scales; Gannon, Watts (Wiliams, 55 mins), O’Neill, Murphy (Farrugia, 68 mins); Mandroiu (McCann, 55 mins); Greene (Burke, 35 mins), Gaffney (Nugent, 68 mins).

Waterford: P Martin; Power, Mascoll (Stafford, 61 mins), Sobowale, Evans; Waite, Mashigo, O’Reilly, O’Keeffe, Mutswunguma; J Martin.

Referee: A Reale (Kildare).

Drogheda United 1 Bohemians 1

Substitute James Clarke bagged his first goal of the season to snatch Drogheda United a stoppage-time equaliser against Bohemians on Monday afternoon.

Liam Burt’s neat lob had given the visitors the lead on the hour at Head In the Game Park and they were livid eight minutes from full-time when referee John McLoughlin failed to penalise goalkeeper David Odumosu for a late challenge on the winger inside the box.

The late concession means last year’s runners-up have won just two of their opening nine matches and are 15 points adrift of the leaders after the first round of matches.

Dawson Devoy fired over the crossbar and James Finnerty headed wide in a first half that Bohs enjoyed the better chances and they eventually nudged ahead following a flowing move started by a throw-out from goalkeeper James Talbot. Ireland underage star Devoy’s trickery in midfield unhinged the Drogs defence and his chipped pass enabled Burt to lob the onrushing Odumosu.

Penalty claims at both ends were waved away, while Bohs substitute Keith Ward saw his free-kick curl a yard over. Keith Long’s side looked in control until James Brown’s 93rd-minute corner was inadvertently deflected by Devoy into the air for Clarke to stab home his header from six yards.

Drogheda United: D Odumosu; J Brown, D O’Reilly, D Massey, R O’Shea (J Clarke 74); G Deegan, K Phillips; D Markey (B Bermingham 78), L Heeney (J Hyland 59), M Doyle, C Lyons.

Bohemians: J Talbot; A Lyons, R Cornwall, J Finnerty, T Wilson (P Omochere 64); K Buckley, D Devoy; L Burt (J Moylan 84), R Tierney (K Ward 64), A Breslin; G Kelly.

Referee: John McLoughlin (Westmeath).

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