Date: 1 p.m. July 26, 2009
Venue: Dalymount Park
Att: 5,000 (est)
The novelty of a Sunday lunch time kick produced a carnival atmosphere with both sets of fans in fine voice. Indeed the Rovers fans couldn’t resist a dig at Bohs’ cruel exit from Europe on Wednesday night to Red Bull Salzburg, their pre match banner reading ‘Red Bull clipped your wings’.
Although Bohs had the majority of possession throughout the first half it was Rovers who had more clear cut chances early on. A Craig Sives header from Shane Robinson’s free kick forced Brian Murphy into an excellent one handed save. Rovers’ ace marks man Gary Twigg also came close on 20 mins. The Bohs’ defence hesitated when the ball appeared to come off the striker’s hand but Twigg played on and his left foot shot was just wide.
The closest either side came to opening the scoring in the first half fell to Bohs on 35 minutes. Connor Powell, following a mazy run through the heart of the Rovers defence, played in Patrick Madden who seemed destined to score only to be denied by a superb double save from Barry Murphy. The Rovers keeper was at it again 2 minutes later palming a Jason Byrne free kick out for a corner.
Just seven minutes into the second half Aiden Price almost scored an own goal. Joseph Ndo beat two men down the left flank and played it to Powell whose cross shot was sliced by Price towards goal only for Murphy’s sharp reactions to spare his defenders blushes. It was a frustrating afternoon for Cameroon international Ndo. Always looking for a killer pass, on numerous occasions he ignored the simple ball only to give away possession.
Bohs looked to push forward in search of a goal by bringing on Killian Brennan and Glenn Crowe. The sheer presence of Crowe caused problems in the Rovers defence for the 20 minutes he was on the pitch. In the 75th minute his flick on resulted in a Paul Keegan shot being blocked by Price. Rovers seemed to settle for a draw as they replaced striker Dessie Baker with midfielder Stephen Bradley with 10 minutes remaining and Gary Twigg will reflect on a match where he had little chance to influence the result.
Bohs had an excellent chance to win it deep in injury time. Crowe played in Gary Deegan but his left foot shot from 16 yards out was just past the far post. It was a rare instance of a clear sight at goal as the game petered out late on. Both sides will consider a point to be a decent result. Bohs’ maintain a healthy gap at the top of the table while Rovers will feel a point away to the champions is a good point earned. It will be interesting to see how Bohs’ now react to not having a European distraction and will they maintain their lead the top of the league or can the Hoops continue their resent run of good form and keep the pressure on.
Extratime.ie Man of the match: Barry Murphy, in a match with few chances his three excellent saves kept Rovers in the match and earned a crucial point.
Bohemians Murphy; Rossiter (Cronin ’84), Oman, Shelly, Powell; Murphy (Brennan ‘71), Deegan(c), Keegan, N’Do; Madden (Crowe ’71), Byrne. Subs not used: McGuinness, Gregg(gk). Yellow Cards: Keegan, Deggan.
Shamrock Rovers: Murphy; Tracey, Price, Sives, Flynn; Purcell, Rice (McGill’82), Robinson(c), Cahill; Twigg, Baker (Bradley ’82). Subs not Used: Madden, Maguire, Duggan(gk). Yellow cards: Tracey, Robinson, Baker.