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Dublin: 4°C Saturday 26 September 2020

Barstooler: 5 big talking points from last weekend’s Airtricity League action

If you’re stuck for something to say when chatting about domestic football, here’s a cut out and keep list of semi-intelligent points.

Chris Forrester:
Chris Forrester: "Who, me?"
Image: ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

JOIN US AS we look at the biggest talking points from last weekend’s Airtricity League action. If you’re stuck for something to say when chatting about domestic football , here’s a cut out and keep list of semi-intelligent points.

Did you see Chris Forrester’s goal?

Chris Forrester grabbed the headlines on Friday night with two brilliant goals in St Pat’s five-star demolition of Shamrock Rovers and it’s really no surprise that his sublime second has spread across the internet, popping up on reddit and 101greatgoals.

The 19-year-old gave Rovers’ Killian Brennan a torrid time at left-full, adding insult to injury with a Messi-esque lob and insouciant celebration as if to say “Who, me?”

Yes, you Chris.

YouTube Credit: gufcfan

Will this year’s title race be more open than expected?

Shamrock Rovers’ humiliation coupled with Sligo’s 2-1 win away to Bray means that for the first time since last September, a team other than the Hoops are on top of the Airtricity League Premier Division.

The 5-1 defeat in Inchicore ended Rovers unbeaten league run at 13 games, but in truth, a reversal never seemed too far away judging by the champions’ early performances. Rovers are yet to really click and there is a growing sense around Tallaght that Stephen Kenny hasn’t quite figured out what his best team is yet, a task complicated further by the suspension of starting left-full Conor Powell.

At the same time, Ian Baraclough’s Sligo seem be creating chances with impunity even if they do have found themselves scrapping for last-minute equalisers and winners already this season. Pat’s, the league’s only other unbeaten side, have had some disappointing draws but showed on Friday night that they are beginning to gel and could be dangerous.

Can Bohs kick on from here?

After suffering through eight goalless hours of league football, Dinny Corcoran’s strike to give Bohs a 1-0 win against a struggling Cork City on Friday night brought smiles to many faces around Dalymount Park, not least Aaron Callaghan.

Truth be told, Bohs haven’t always been terrible this season though their system of using Corcoran or Dave Scully as a lone target man up front has been all too easy for opponents to nullify. Karl Moore and Keith Ward continued to show promise in midfield on Friday night, and the win should give Callaghan and his squad a bit more confidence to play.

The next three games will be key in the context of Bohs’ season: away to UCD followed a home game against Monaghan and a trip to Dundalk. With Mons and Dundalk looking rather toothless in front of goal themselves, six points should be the minimum target for the remainder of April.

Where now for Cork?

City boss Tommy Dunne cut a rather frustrated figure after Friday night’s defeat to Bohs, and although it’s still early days, the table doesn’t lie: played six, drawn two, lost four, scored four, conceded nine.

Of course it could’ve been different had Cork not capitulated against Drogheda on the second weekend and had victory snatched from them in injury-time by Shamrock Rovers a week later, but the lack of chances they created in Dalymount will worry Dunne and the fans.

Tadhg Purcell did score in the 1-1 draw against Bray but never troubled Owen Heary on Friday. Davin O’Neill looked the most likely to create something when he pushed on, and Cork will need more of that if they are to start picking up points.

Red for Ryan Brennan?

There has been no shortage of controversial red cards for ref bashers to get their teeth into so far this season, and Neil Doyle’s decision to send Drogheda’s Ryan Brennan off on Friday night can now go on the list.

Was his tackle on Robert Bayly hard? Sure. Was it dangerous? No. The momentum of the two players brought them together but it was a fair challenge, if a little bit late.

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About the author:

Niall Kelly

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