Shamrock Rovers struggled to a 2-0 win against a resilient Bohemians at Tallaght Stadium earlier this evening. Goals from Gary Twigg and Billy Dennehy late on made the difference on the night for the Hoops who maintain their unbeaten start to the season.
The score, in the end, was rather flattering to Rovers who were, not for the first time this season, short on ideas going forward. A lackluster first half saw chances few and far between. Twigg lashed home a left footed volley halfway through the first half only to see his effort chalked off for an apparent handball. Other than that, there was very little to report from the opening 45 minutes. Ronan Finn had a decent effort from distance tipped over the bar and the only caution of the first half went to ex-Bohs hero turned villain, Killian Brennan. Brennan has yet to hit the kind of form which made him a firm crowd favourite at Dalymount Park and Stephen Kenny’s decision to play the Drogheda native at left back certainly didn’t help. Rovers, as a result, looked disjointed with Kenny seemingly indecisive as to where Billy Dennehy is at his most affective, with the Kerry man being forced to swap wings on numerous occasions throughout the game.
In the second half, Bohemians continued their sterling defensive work with Owen Heary in particularly excelling at right back as he kept the likes of Greene, Brennan and Dennehy at bay. Going forward however, was the same old story for Bohs. Tonight marked 634 minutes of football since the Gypsies last got on the scoresheet and to be honest, other than a late goalmouth scramble they never looked like scoring tonight. That being said, neither did Gary Twigg, but the Scottish striker only ever needs one chance to punish the opposition and he did that to devastating effect tonight as he curled a sweet left footed strike into the top corner.
That should have wrapped things up for Rovers but they bizarrely decided to sit back and let Bohemians attack them and when the Gypsies won an injury time free kick, chaos ensued. Goalkeeper, Oscar Jansson came to punch clear but either he didn’t make the call or his defence didn’t hear him over the deafening chants emanating from the Rovers faithful. The ball bobbled out to substitute Dinny Corcoran whose delicate lob dropped inches wide. 60 seconds later and Rovers made it 2-0. Gary O’Neill broke down the right wing and after some intricate passing, Daryl Kavanagh set up Billy Dennehy who fired past the hapless Andy McNulty. Referee, Richard Winter then put the Bohemians players out of their misery and blew the final whistle on a disappointing Dublin derby.
What’s clear from tonight is that Bohemians have a lot of work to do and whilst their squad is evidently young, it isn’t one without a lot of potential. It doesn’t look good for Bohs at the moment, who are rooted to the bottom of the table with only a solitary point against St. Patrick’s Athletic last week to their name. However, if they continue to defend like they did tonight and manage to add some goals I’d be pretty confident they’ll manage to avoid relegation. As for Rovers, Stephen Kenny needs to decide on what he believes to be his strongest XI and do so soon. Rovers got away with it the other week against Cork City and you could almost say the same about the result tonight but when faced with tougher opposition, disjointed performances like tonight won’t be enough.