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Dublin: 14 °C Wednesday 14 November, 2018
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Former Leeds youngster on target as Bohs edge Shamrock Rovers in Dublin Derby

Eoghan Stokes scored the winner to increase pressure on manager Stephen Bradley.

Eoghan Stokes celebrates his goal.
Eoghan Stokes celebrates his goal.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Shamrock Rovers 0

Bohemians 1

Paul Fennessy reports from Tallaght Stadium

BOHEMIANS EARNED THEIR third league win in four games over Shamrock Rovers this season with a hard-fought 1-0 victory in front of 4,150 fans at Tallaght Stadium this evening.

Substitute Eoghan Stokes scored the pivotal goal, showing good composure to place the ball in the corner of the net following a swift counter-attack by the visitors.

The victory will ease Bohs’ fears that they could be dragged into an end-of-season relegation battle, while the Hoops’ hopes of a top-three finish suffered a blow.

The result puts pressure on Rovers boss Stephen Bradley with loud boos and chants for his removal as manager from a section of the home crowd at the full-time whistle.

The home side came into the game on the back of good Premier Division form, having won five of their past six league games, though last week’s surprise FAI Cup loss to Drogheda put somewhat of a dampener on that run.

Bohs, meanwhile, had previously taken seven points from a possible nine against their Dublin rivals in league games this season. However, given that they found themselves only seven points clear of Limerick in the relegation play-off position with eight games to play, they knew another win tonight would be important if they were to avoid a nervy finish to the season.

The hosts started the brighter and almost scored after just three minutes. An Aaron Bolger cross found Joel Coustrain, who glanced a header narrowly wide.

Dan Carr was looking particularly lively in the opening stages. On 13 minutes, the striker evaded the challenge of Derek Pender down the left and crossed low for Aaron Greene, who could not get a clean shot on target under pressure from the Bohs defence.

Four minutes later, it was the Rovers backline who were made to sweat. Daniel Kelly went down in the box under a challenge from Roberto Lopes, but the referee adjudged the defender’s sliding tackle to have been a fair one.

With Rovers’ passing increasingly sloppy, Bohs started to gain the upperhand as the half wore on. Just after the half-hour mark, Alan Mannus had to stretch to keep out Darragh Leahy’s header from a Kevin Devaney corner.

Moments later, down the other end, Greene latched on to Dylan Watts’ deft through ball, but the 28-year-old’s powerful shot from a tight angle could only find the side netting.

That moment was as close as either side came to a goal, however, as the remainder of a scrappy first half petered out.

Rovers fans before the game Rovers fans before the game. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

The opening 10 minutes of the second half continued in a similar manner to the end of first, with chances at a premium and neither side seizing the initiative.

Just after the hour mark, Stephen Bradley’s side went close to breaking the deadlock. Coustrain’s cross found Carr, whose powerful shot from the edge of the area went narrowly wide.

On 68 minutes, Bohs took the lead following a swift counter-attack. Lopes conceded possession with a sloppy touch, but appeared to have made amends with a well-timed last-ditch challenge on man-of-the-match Keith Ward, however the ball broke kindly for Stokes, who slotted home coolly from a tight angle.

The 22-year-old former Leeds striker, who came close to joining Rovers in the off-season before agreeing a switch to Bohs, was on the field just four minutes when his goal altered the course of the match.

In reaction to that setback, Bradley sent on Brandon Miele and Brandon Kavanagh for Coustrain and Aaron Greene with 15 minutes remaining.

However, the crowd’s frustration was audible, as Rovers struggled to create chances in the dying stages with some laboured build-up play and a lack of cutting edge in the final third.

There was one last chance for the hosts though, with substitute Brandon Kavanagh finding himself in a promising position inside the box, but youngster Darragh Leahy was on hand to make a superbly timed challenge to deny Rovers once more.

Shamrock Rovers: Alan Mannus, Ethan Boyle, Roberto Lopes, Joey O’Brien, Sean Kavanagh, Ronan Finn, Dylan Watts, Joel Coustrain (Miele 75), Aaron Greene (Kavanagh 75), Aaron Bolger (Bolger 54), Dan Carr.

Subs: Gavin Bazanu, Greg Bolger, Brandon Miele, Gary Shaw, Ally Gilchrist, Brandon Kavanagh, Sam Bone.

Bohemians: Shane Supple, Derek Pender, Darragh Leahy, Dan Casey, Keith Buckley, Kevin Devaney (Stokes 64), Keith Ward (Grant 78), Ian Morris, JJ Lunney, Daniel Kelly (Byrne 88), Dinny Corcoran.

Subs: Sean Bohan, Dan Byrne, Danny Grant, Oscar Brennan, Cristian Magerusan, Eoghan Stokes, Andy Lyon.

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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