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Lafferty's golden touch gives Rovers victory in pivotal LOI title battle

Hoops move five points clear in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division title race.

Winner: Danny Lafferty's third goal of the week was a big one.
Winner: Danny Lafferty's third goal of the week was a big one.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Shamrock Rovers 1-0 Bohemian FC

DANNY LAFFERTY’S EARLY goal was the difference as Shamrock Rovers moved five points clear at the top and strengthened their grip on the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division title race.

Lafferty poked home the game’s only goal in the fourth minute to extend the Hoops’ unbeaten season and ensure the bragging rights over bitter rivals Bohemians.

But Bohs left Tallaght Stadium with plenty of grievances after they had two big penalty appeals waved away.

Liam Scales had a handful of Keith Buckley’s jersey in the box as the pair competed for a corner in the first half but referee Derek Tomney signalled for play to continue.

And Bohs were incensed again shortly after the hour mark as Danny Grant cut back inside Scales inside the area and the pair tangled, only for the visitors’ protests to fall on deaf ears once again.

Rovers have now won their last four games against their Dalymount Park rivals, banishing the memory of Bohs’ recent dominance in the derby. 

More importantly, the result sees them open up a sizeable lead at the top with just eight games to play in the Covid-shortened campaign.

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Lafferty bagged a brace in Monday’s FAI Cup win against Cork City and he continued his goal streak when he pounced in the fourth minute.

Bohs stopper Stephen McGuinness could only palm Graham Burke’s cross out into his goalmouth and before Andy Lyons could clear it to safety, Lafferty closed him down with an outstretched leg to turn the ball over the line.

Bohs’ best chance of forcing an equaliser came in the final minutes of the first half. Grant beat both Lafferty and man of the match Roberto Lopes before cutting the ball back towards the edge of the Rovers area, but JJ Lunney’s shot didn’t trouble Alan Mannus.

Their penalty shout aside, Bohs had the better of the chances in the second half but couldn’t find a way through.

Keith Long brought Daniel Mandroiu off the bench for the final 24 minutes and he warmed Mannus’s hands with a shot from the edge of the box eight minutes from time.

And when Dinny Corcoran, another of Long’s subs, flashed a chance over the bar in the 87th minute, Bohs were left empty-handed.

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