Bohemians were firmly in control in their last home game of the season as they got their hands on all three points and the local bragging rights over Shamrock Rovers with a solitary goal in the latest instalment of the historic Dublin derby.
The opening period almost began with a bang when Sean Boyd played a perfectly weighted through ball in to the grateful Gary Shaw who could only watch as his powerful effort from just outside the eighteen-yard box sail over the bar of Shane Supple’s goal. It was from this distance that the Hoops rare efforts where restricted to as it was apparent that the home side possessed the momentum from early on.
After the initial flurry of long balls and scrappy challenges in the middle of the park subsided and the game settled down there seemed to be no end to the torment Lorcan Fitzgerald continued to inflict on the Rovers defence with his balls in from play and set pieces crucially finding the forehead of Roberto Lopez who seized his fourth goal of the season rising above all else in the area and nodding the ball past Barry Murphy to put Bohemians ahead after fifteen minutes.
Fitzgerald’s barrage which was occasionally supported by Buckley and Pender’s forward passes found great success on the left flank consistently picking out Kavanagh and Kelly who in turn kept O’Connor and Webster busy while winning a number of corners in the process.
Fitzgerald’s corners where causing the Rovers defence some serious headaches with Lopes unlucky to not nab himself a carbon copy of the first goal on a couple of occasions. The lead should almost certainly have been doubled when what could only be described as a Hail Mary ball found Jake Kelly alone and clean through on the half hour mark but there was just a little too much on his attempted lob which ended up over Barry Murphy and the bar.
Both teams then had periods where they descended into a nice passing rhythm but lacked any sort of penetration as the first half petered out with the home side showing no signs of losing control.
The second half began as more of an even affair with Bohemians restricted to a half chance from a Kavanagh free kick that evaded the head of Kurtis Byrne but soon Rovers began to have the majority of possession but couldn’t muster up anything of substance, Bohs seemed comfortable living off scraps, their pressing all but stifling any burgeoning Rovers creativity, the away side appearing sluggish compared to their arch rivals.
It was defensively where the gulf was widest, the experienced Morris and Pender looking far more in control and crucially the Gypsies kept their heads while those in green and white continually picked up needless yellow cards as young Shane Hanney was lucky to remain on the pitch for what looked like a rugby tackle on Ian Morris but skipper Patrick Cregg proved to be the worst offender eventually receiving a second yellow card for diving after 65’ minutes, an erroneous decision which effectively summed up Rovers day at the office.
Both sides had a couple of half chances in the closing stages with Kurtis Byrne skidding a shot wide which definitely had Murphy beaten while in the dying embers of the game Gary Shaw thought he may have rescued a point for the Hoops only to see his headed effort land on the top of the net but the home side never looked like letting their lead slip and will undoubtedly savour this victory well into the off-season.
Bohemians: Shane Supple, Derek Pender, Derek Prendergast, Roperto Lopes, Ian Morris, Lorcan Fitzgerald, Eoin Wearen (Dan Byrne 85’), Keith Buckley, Kurtis Byrne (O’Halloran 75’), Jake Kelly, Patrick Kavanagh (Mark Quigley 90’).
Subs not used: Dean Delany, Stephen Best, Dylan Hayes, Dean Casey.
Yellow Cards: none.
Red Cards: none.
Shamrock Rovers: Barry Murphy, Simon Madden, David O’Connor, David Webster, Shane Hanney (Luke Byrne 80’), Patrick Cregg©, Brandon Mile, Gary Shaw, Sean Boyd, Dean Clarke (Aaron Bolger 70’).
Subs not used: Luke Kiely, Conor Gleeson, Aaron Dobbs, James Doona, Darragh Gibbons.
Yellow Cards: Madden 34’ Hanney 45’ Webster 46’ McCabe 52’ Cregg 55’+65' Shaw 87’.
Red Cards: Cregg 65’.
Referee: Paul Tuite
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Lorcan Fitzgerald (Bohemians)