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Bragging rights for Rovers as second-half goals seal derby victory despite late penalty

Brandon Miele and Michael O’Connor were on target for the Hoops but George Poynton pulled one back for Bohemians with an injury-time spot-kick.

Miele celebrates his goal with team-mates and Hooperman.
Miele celebrates his goal with team-mates and Hooperman.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Shamrock Rovers 2
Bohemians 1

SHAMROCK ROVERS GOT their season up-and-running with a first victory of the 2017 campaign despite a late scare tonight.

The three points will taste that bit sweeter as they came in a Dublin derby against great rivals Bohemians.

Second-half goals from Brandon Miele and substitute Michael O’Connor appeared to wrap up the result, but the visitors pulled one back in injury-time after George Poynton dispatched a contentious penalty.

There were concerns early in the day that the fixture wouldn’t go ahead after heavy rainfall in the previous 24 hours. However, after two pitch inspections, referee Robert Harvey gave the green light at 5.30pm.

Much of the talk this week was about former Bohs skipper Roberto Lopes facing the team he left at the end of last season. But Rovers head coach Stephen Bradley opted to drop the midfielder for club captain Ronan Finn, who made his first league start since returning after a two-year spell with Dundalk.

The other change saw Sean Boyd come in as the lone striker for Michael O’Connor.

Gypsies boss Keith Long, who has been robbed of Ismahil Akinade and Eoin Wearan for the foreseeable future due to injuries, gave the nod to former Rovers defender Rob Cornwall and Philly Gannon with Oscar Brennan and Keith Ward dropping to the bench.

Genuine chances were few-and-far-between in the opening 45 minutes, and the mucky pitch played its part in slowing down the play as neither team wanted to make a mistake.

Jamie Doyle headed into the hands of Rovers keeper Tomer Chencinski early on and Dan Byrne’s headed effort from a Lorcan Fitzgerald free-kick hit the side-netting.

Rovers played more of the football and threatened from wide areas, but a shot flashed wide from attacking full-back Trevor Clarke and a Miele free-kick hit straight at Shane Supple were the highlights.

Danny Devine with Dinny Corcoran Rovers defender Danny Devine and Bohs striker Dinny Corcoran. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Bohs made two substitutions at the start of the second half as Stephen Best came on for Byrne, who had picked up a knock, and Dean Casey replaced Corcoran.

Rovers began to create more in the opposing half and came close after fine work from Boyd down the right flank. Both Meenan and Miele had pops at goal, but there were bodies on the line to make crucial blocks.

Miele wasn’t to be denied for much longer, however, as the Rovers opened their account on 58 minutes. The Bohs backline didn’t deal with Madden’s cross and it fell to Miele, who cut inside Pender and lashed past Supple.

Bohs hit the woodwork moments later as Ian Morris connected with Fitzgerald’s corner, but Rovers then doubled their advantage with a well-worked counter-attacking goal.

Doona broke down the left, then played in Connolly and he got the head up to pick out O’Connor’s run. The teenager, not long on the field, got enough on the ball to send it home via the crossbar.

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With injury-time approaching, referee Harvey pointed to the spot as Best went down in the box under pressure from Devine. Poynton stepped up to score — ensuring a nervy final moments.

 

SHAMROCK ROVERS: Chencincski; Madden (c), Webster, Devine, Clarke; Connolly (Lopes 74), McAllister, Finn, Miele (Doona 67), Meenan; Boyd (O’Connor 65).

BOHEMIANS: Supple; Pender, Byrne (Best 46), Cornwall, Fitzgerald; Kavanagh, Morris, Gannon, Poynton; Doyle (Simon 85), Corcoran (Casey 46).

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Ben Blake

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