Bohemians' Daniel Mandroiu celebrates scoring a goal with team-mates. Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Stunning effort from Ireland U21 youngster sees Bohs beat Shamrock Rovers again

Stephen Bradley’s side have not won against Keith Long’s men since May 2017, with Danny Mandroiu the two-goal hero tonight.

Bohemians 2

Shamrock Rovers 1

Paul Fennessy reports from Dalymount Park

A BRILLIANT long-range strike from Danny Mandroiu saw Bohemians overcome Shamrock Rovers 2-1 in an entertaining game in front of a sold-out Dalymount Park tonight.

It was an eventful evening for Mandroiu in particular, as he both missed and scored a penalty in the first half.

The away side had hoped to end a long-running hoodoo that has failed to see them beat their rivals, and threatened to do so, after a clinical Dan Carr finish brought them level in the second half.

However, former Brighton youngster Mandroiu produced a bit of magic that ultimately was enough to secure his side three points.

Bohs were missing a number of players ahead of the game.  Rob Cornwall (Achilles), Dinny Corcoran (ankle), Danny Grant (hamstring) and Cristian Magerusan (cruciate) were out. In addition, skipper Derek Pender and James Finnerty were suspended, while Darragh Leahy is away on international duty with Ireland U21s.

However, Keith Buckley (leg) and Robbie McCourt (ankle) both were available again for the hosts, though the latter was held in reserve. Bohs made three changes in total, with Keith Ward and Scott Allardice dropping to the bench and Finnerty out, while Michael Barker, Luke Wade-Slater and Buckley came into the side.

For Rovers, meanwhile, Aaron McEneff and Sam Bone were still unavailable, while Sean Kavanagh was back in contention for selection after a spell on the sidelines. Experienced former West Ham and Bolton player Joey O’Brien was also absent from Rovers’ matchday squad. Ethan Boyle replaced the experienced defender in the starting XI, while Dylan Watts started ahead of Brandon Kavanagh in the only other Rovers change.

Stephen Bradley’s men went into the game trailing leaders Dundalk by five points with a game in hand, having been frustrated amid a 2-2 draw with Derry in their last match.

Bohs, meanwhile, sat third, 10 points behind the Hoops, having come out the right side of an eight-goal thriller with Finn Harps a fortnight ago.

The sides had met twice already this season, with Keith Long’s side winning on both occasions. Indeed, Bohs had become somewhat of a bogey team for the Hoops, who had last beat their Dublin rivals in May 2017.

Stephen Bradley Shamrock Rovers boss Stephen Bradley pictured ahead of the game. Laszlo Geczo / INPHO Laszlo Geczo / INPHO / INPHO

Rovers threatened to carve Bohs open early on, as Dylan Watts’ cross found Greg Bolger following a well-worked move, but the midfielder didn’t properly get hold of his shot, slicing an attempt from the edge of the area wide.

The home supporters roared loudly on 15 minutes, as the referee awarded a penalty, after Jack Byrne’s clumsy challenge on Kevin Devaney inside the area.

However, Alan Mannus guessed correctly, diving well to his right to deny Mandroiu from the spot.

Moments later, Rovers went very close down the other end. A Byrne corner found Dan Carr, but Andy Lyons did very well to acrobatically clear the striker’s header off the line.

Byrne was seemingly in the thick of all the game’s major incidents up to that point, and he almost scored from distance, with a superb curling effort going narrowly wide.

Remarkably, another penalty was awarded to Bohs on 23 minutes, as Greg Bolger’s late challenge on the edge of the box on Ryan Swan was penalised. It stemmed from a Rovers attempt to play out from the back that had gone awry, as Ethan Boyle’s pass was deflected into the danger zone, and Swan got to the loose ball first.

Mandroiu had the self-belief to step up again, and this time he made no mistake, sending Mannus the wrong way.

“Shamrock Rovers, it’s happening again,” sang the crowd, who were confident yet another victory was on the verge of being secured.

The visitors increasingly gained a foothold on proceedings and nearly scored after 36 minutes. Carr found Aaron Greene on the edge of the area, with James Talbot only able to parry the attacker’s shot, though the goalkeeper did enough to prevent Watts getting clean contact on the rebound, picking up a slight knock and receiving treatment as he bravely put his body on the line to prevent a goal.

Talbot was busy again moments later, as his outstretched arm tipped away a curling Watts effort. Boyle then headed the ensuing corner just over, as the hosts survived a late first-half rally from Rovers.

Rovers started the second half well and were rewarded after 51 minutes. Ronan Finn hooked an intelligent ball through for the onrushing Dan Carr, and the striker produced a composed first-time finish on the volley to draw the game level.

Bohs were dealt a further blow moments later, as Kevin Devaney was stretchered off and replaced by Keith Ward.

The home crowd were quieter all of a sudden, though their frustration didn’t last long. Out of nothing, another Rovers attack broke down, and Mandroiu fired home his second from about 30 yards out following Luke Wade-Slater’s layoff, with Mannus only able to help the powerful effort into the net.

Shortly thereafter, Bohs almost scored a third. Buckley played through Wade-Slater, who just couldn’t quite steer his effort from a tight angle on target, as the Hoops breathed a sigh of relief.

Rovers increasingly threw bodies forward in search of an equaliser, but were struggling to break down a stubborn Bohs rearguard.

Clear-cut chances were at a premium, until the final few minutes, when Bohs came agonisingly close to adding a third. Mannus was forced into a save from man-of-the-match Mandroiu’s header, before Roberto Lopes twice cleared off the line from Swan and Ward.

A mammoth eight minutes of stoppage time gave Rovers hope, but despite a few nervy moments for the the Bohs defence, they still couldn’t capitalise amid a missed opportunity to close the gap on Dundalk.

Bohemians: 1. James Talbot 4. Aaron Barry 7. Danny Mandroiu 11. Kevin Devaney (Ward 55) 14. Conor Levingston (Allardice 46) 16. Keith Buckley (McCourt 90) 19. Andy Lyons 22. Paddy Kirk 23. Michael Barker 24. Ryan Swan 27. Luke Wade-Slater

Subs: 25. Sean Bohan 6. Scott Allardice 8. Robbie McCourt 10. Keith Ward 15. Sam Byrne 17. Ryan Graydon, 26. Ross Tierney.

Shamrock Rovers: 1. Alan Mannus 2. Ethan Boyle  4. Roberto Lopes 5. Lee Grace 6. Greg Bolger 7. Dylan Watts 8. Ronan Finn 9. Dan Carr 20. Trevor Clarke (Kavanagh 60) 22. Aaron Greene 29. Jack Byrne.

Subs: 25. Leon Pohls 11. Seán Kavanagh 15. James Furlong 17. Joel Coustrain 26. Thomas Oluwa 27. Brandon Kavanagh 34. Orhan Vojic.

Referee: Rob Rogers

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