Bohs goalscorer Dan Casey with Rovers striker Gary Shaw. Gary Carr/INPHO
Bragging Rights

Bohemians stage second-half comeback to see off Rovers in Dublin derby

A Dan Casey double helped Keith Long’s side to a 3-1 win at a sold-out Dalymount Park tonight.

Bohemians 3
Shamrock Rovers 1

Ben Blake reports from Dalymount Park 

BOHEMIANS CAME FROM one goal down to get their season off to the perfect start, condemning rivals Shamrock Rovers to defeat in a hotly-contested Dublin derby.

In front of 3,640 fans, the Gypsies cancelled out Ronan Finn’s opener with a second-half double from Dan Casey either side of Paddy Kavanagh’s cracker.

The ‘sold-out’ sign has been up at Dalymount Park’s ticket office for the past week, which suggests a renewed sense of optimism in Phibsborough thanks to a fifth-place finish in the Premier Division, with fine work going on behind the scenes and a strong travelling support.

Bohs have had to deal with the loss of Fuad Sule, Ismahil Akinade and Warren O’Hora in recent months, and manager Keith Long opted to hand two of his new signings starting berths, as the returning Keith Buckley slotted into midfield and Darragh Leahy got the nod in defence.

The teenager, an Ireland international at U19 level, joined last month after a spell with Coventry City. Former Leeds United striker Eoghan Stokes was unveiled yesterday but had to settle for a place on the bench.

Visiting boss Stephen Bradley, meanwhile, gave league debuts to Ethan Boyle, Ally Gilchrist, Greg Bolger and Joel Coustrain. In goal, Bradley favoured Kevin Horgan, brother of Ireland winger Daryl, over last season’s first-choice stopper Tomer Chencinski. The Canadian was named among the substitutes along with ex-Bolton Wanderers and West Ham man Joey O’Brien.

As you might expect from this fixture, the opening period was played at a frantic pace but, all too often, both sides lacked quality in possession.

Bohs schemer Keith Ward had the first decent attempt of the night — making good connection with a strike, after Dinny Corcoran’s lay-off, but it sailed harmlessly wide.

And Corcoran will be kicking himself he didn’t put the Gypsies in front on 10 minutes. Peeling away to the back post, he was picked out by a corner from Kevin Devaney, but completely fluffed his lines with no green and white shirts close by.

The game was just coming up to the midway point in the first half when Rovers drew first blood. Gary Shaw won the header to flick on a free-kick into the box, Graham Burke’s overhead effort struck the post and Hoops captain Finn followed up with a clinical finish.

Burke’s speculative shot from out wide nearly caught Supple off-guard on 36 minutes, before Bohemians had a decent penalty shout waved away by referee Paul McLaughlin.

A Paddy Kavanagh cross was headed out as far as Corcoran, who fired towards goal. It appeared to strike Gilchrist on the arm, and Leahy could only drag his attempt the wrong side of the post.

Bohemians fans light flares before the game Home fans unveil a banner. Gary Carr / INPHO Gary Carr / INPHO / INPHO

The home side continued to cause problems to the Rovers backline immediately after the restart. Corcoran played a neat first-time ball into the path of Ward from Leahy’s throw-in and the Bohs number 10 scuffed a shot just past the post.

Boyle then went into McLaughlin’s book for a late challenge on Ward and the resulting free-kick nearly resulted in an equaliser. Rob Cornwall and Oscar Brennan both kept the attack alive with headers and Corcoran got a volley off, but Horgan had it covered.

Long threw on latest acquisition Stokes as they upped the search for a goal and he showed some nice touches upon being introduced.

But it was big centre-half Casey who drew them level on 73 minutes. The defender rose highest in a crowd of bodies to power home in off the post from Ward’s corner.

The hosts clearly had their tails up at this point and they went in front through an unstoppable strike from Kavanagh after Brennan and Ward had helped the ball on.

And a third goal arrived moments later to seal the three points. Ward’s free-kick wasn’t properly dealt with and Casey sent a looping header in with Horgan in no man’s land.

BOHEMIANS: Shane Supple, Derek Pender (c), Dan Casey, Rob Cornwall, Darragh Leahy; Oscar Brennan, Keith Buckley, Paddy Kavanagh, Keith Ward (Philip Gannon 87), Kevin Devaney (Eoghan Stokes 63); Dinny Corcoran (Rob Manley 92).

SHAMROCK ROVERS: Kevin Horgan; Ethan Boyle, Roberto Lopes, Lee Grace, Ally Gilchrist; Greg Bolger, Ronan Finn (c) (Dave McAllister 74), Joel Coustrain, Graham Burke, Brandon Miele (Daniel Carr 82); Gary Shaw.

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