Updated: Friday, 21 Mar 2014 23:28 | Comments
Shamrock Rovers recorded a 3-1 victory over Dublin rivals Bohemians in a scrappy and sometimes heated affair at Dalymount Park in their SSE Airtricity League Premier Division clash.
A first-half penalty from Gary McCabe was cancelled out by a Conor Kenna own goal before headers from Ronan Finn and substitute Kieran Waters saw Rovers clear.
Dinny Corcoran had a goal disallowed, Kevin Devaney hitting the crossbar and substitute Jason Byrne had a shot cleared off the line as clinical finishing separated the sides.
Bohemians had the better of the opening exchanges but Steven Beatttie failed top beat the first man, and Craig Walsh’s volley went into the ground from the edge of the box and bounced harmlessly to Murphy inside 10 minutes.
Rovers who had little attacking threat up until then, broke the deadlock. Referee Padraig Sutton look to have awarded Bohs a throw-in by their left corner, but his linesman gave it to Rovers.
Gary McCabe received the ball down the right from the throw, cutting in from the end-line, before Jack Memery recklessly upended him and Sutton pointed to the spot. Memery saw yellow while McCabe composed himself to put Dean Delany the wrong way and Rovers 1-0 up.
Paddy Kavanagh and later Ryan McEvoy both saw yellow for strong tackles on Ryan Brennan and McCabe as the tensions threatened to boil over. But Bohs, who had played the better football of the half almost drew level.
First Dinny Corcoran had a goal ruled out for offside after Kavanagh’s cross was flicked on. The linesman’s flag cut celebrations shorts. Then Devaney saw his shot hit the top of the crossbar after both Walsh and Kavanagh had efforts blocked down as Rovers led 1-0 at the break.
The second-half saw the game open up a lot more with Ronan Finn, who had been anonymous in the first half, letting fly from 25 yards but Delany parried and Bohs cleared. Finn was next to see yellow for a two-footed tackle on Corcoran as Bohs who replied by springing Jason Byrne from the bench.
Byrne’s introduction almost had an immediate impact as he raced clear of the Rovers defence only to have his first effort saved by Murphy and his second turned behind by Conor Kenna on the line.
The striker then became the fourth Bohs players booked before Derek Pender saw his cross from the right touchline turned into his own goal by Conor Kenna to level the game on 64 minutes.
Craig Walsh was booked for a foul on the increasingly lively McCabe with Sean O’Connor’s free-kick flashing just over the crossbar.
Bohs were made rue their missed chances as Rovers finished strongly, putting the game beyond their hosts with two goals inside three minutes.
First Ronan Finn powered home a header from Ciaran Kilduff inside the Bohs six-yard box before Simon Madden brushed off Memery down the right and his inch-perfect cross was headed home by substitute Kieran Waters on 77 minutes to give Rovers a 3-1 win.
With eight goals in their first three league games, Rovers go joint-top of the table with Cork City while Bohemians will look to a lack of composure in front of goal that cost them dear.
Bohemians: Dean Delany, Derek Pender, Roberto Lopes, Aiden Price, Jack Memery (Karl Moore on 77), Kevin Devaney (Jason Byrne 56), Ryan McEvoy, Craig Walsh (Stephen Traynor 75), Paddy Kavanagh, Steven Beattie, Dinny Corcoran.
Shamrock Rovers: Barry Murphy, Simon Madden, Jason McGuinness, Conor Kenna, Luke Byrne, Gary McCabe, Ryan Brennan (Robert Bayly on 77), Shane Robinson, Ronan Finn, Sean O’Connor (Kieran Waters on 75), Ciaran Kilduff.