Shamrock Rovers move five points clear with derby win

Bohemians outraged as they are denied a late penalty, ending run of six games unbeaten

Shamrock Rovers 1 Bohemians 0

Shamrock Rovers have moved five points clear at the top of the Premier Division table after an early goal from Danny Lafferty in Tallaght gave them their second win of the season over cross city rivals Bohemians.

Almost inevitably after this particular derby, the losing side was left feeling aggrieved with Danny Grant outraged not to be given a penalty when Liam Scales blocked his path inside the area midway through the second half.

The visitors, though, also passed up a clear cut chance to salvage something from the game eight minutes before the end when James Finnerty headed a Danny Madroiu free narrowly wide of the left hand post. Dinny Corcoran probably should have done better too with a 12 yard shot shortly after coming on but Rovers coped fairly well with the late push for an equaliser.

The league leaders had gotten themselves in front just four minutes in when Ronan Finn contributed to the confusion caused by a Graham Burke cross from the right when he allowed it to run towards the bottom left corner of the goal.

Stephen McGuinness got down hurriedly to save but pushed the ball into right back Andy Lyons who then tried to turn and clear. Having already got two in the cup this week, however, Danny Lafferty read the defender's intentions perfectly and his block was enough to turn the ball home.

Bohemians had chances of their own throughout the first half with Andre Wright making things a little too easy for Alan Mannus with a 20 yard shot, JJ Lunney firing well over after terrific work by Grant in the build-up. The closest they came to scoring, though, was when Roberto Lopes had to get his head to a shot by Keith Buckley just short of the line.

The hosts, though, had generally the better of it with Aaron McEneff driving them forward from central midfield, Ronan Finn a major influence out wide on the right and Jack Byrne repeatedly picking out players in menacing positions.

Keith Long’s Bohemians team did enough to ensure there were no more goals but they had to work fairly hard for stretches just to stand still. As ever, they sought to get forward quickly when they won the ball but Rovers proved particularly effective at winning it back again and the Bohemians’ back four had to endure a couple of spells of fairly sustained pressure.

The quality of the game slipped a little bit after the break but Bohemians made enough of the running late on to feel they deserved something out of it.

Instead, Stephen Bradley’s side put an end to their rivals’ run of six games unbeaten and have put themselves in a great position to lift the league title for the first time in almost a decade.

Shamrock Rovers: Mannus; Grace, Lopes, Scales; Finn, O'Neill, McEneff, Lafferty (Farrugia, 80 mins); Burke (Watts, 73 mins), Greene Marshall, 89 mins), Byrne.

Bohemians: McGuinness; Lyons, Finnerty, Casey, Breslin; Buckley, Lunney (Devoy, 77 mins); Grant, Ward (Mandroiu, 66 mins), Twardek; Wright (Corcoran, 86 mins).

Referee: D Tomney (Dublin).

Emmet Malone

Emmet Malone

Emmet Malone is an Assistant News Editor at The Irish Times

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