Ger Deegan reports from Dalymount Park
Bohemians stretched their unbeaten run against local Dublin rivals Shamrock Rovers to four games after a last-gasp equaliser from Dan Casey cancelled out Ronan Finn’s earlier goal in Dalymount Park on Friday night.
Bohs welcomed Rovers to Phibsborough for their third meeting of the season, having won both previous fixtures of the Dublin Derby this season so far.
Keith Long was looking for a performance from his men to pull them further from the drop zone while Rovers boss Stephen Bradley was hoping for a result that would relieve the pressure after a mixed start to the campaign.
In truth, it was a drab affair for the majority of the game with Rovers dominating most of the ball without creating anything too clear cut.
A couple of half-chances fell their way and a glancing Dave McAllister header was gathered safely by Bohs goalkeeper Shane Supple.
It was the Hoops midfield man who again caused something of a scare for the Bohs faithful as his cross come shot ended up narrowly missing the target and over the bar.
It wasn’t until 35 minutes that Bohs had their first real shot in anger. Rob Cornwall latched onto a corner kick that was cleared by the Rovers defence and onto a ball 35 yards from goal, his fantastic half volleyed effort flew past the onlooking Tomer Chencinski in the Rovers goal, but just whistled by the bottom right-hand post.
Graham Burke was the liveliest player on the night for Rovers as he was looking to impress the onlooking Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill and his assistant Roy Keane before meeting up with the squad ahead of their friendlies with France and the USA.
The best chance of the half fell to Burke on 32 minutes when he was perfectly played through by Ronan Finn to beat the Bohemian’s offside trap. The former Aston Villa man found himself one on one with the new Irish teammate Supple and looked to bend one into the far corner, but Supple stood up long enough and was able to get a strong hand on the ball.
A tepid second half didn’t really spark into life until 10 minutes from time, ironically when O’Neill and Keane had just got up from their seats to leave the ground.
Dinny Corcoran had a goal ruled out for offside by the linesman after a he was played through by the sprightly Keith Ward - it looked to be a very tight call.
It wasn’t until eight minutes from time that there was a breakthrough and it came from the visiting team.
After a scramble in midfield Ronan Finn latched onto a long field ball and baring down on Supple’s goal. He seemed to take all the time in the world before calmly driving it into the bottom of the far corner to send the travelling fans into raptures at the far end of the ground.
The lead didn’t last very long though as with two minutes remaining Bohs won themselves a free kick ten yards outside of the rovers penalty area. A wicked cross from Keith Ward found the onrushing Rob Cornwall to power home the header at the back post.
Referee Robert Hennessy added on four minutes of time however like the majority of the game, it petered out to nothing and the game finished 1-1.
Bohemians: Shane Supple, Dan Byrne (Oscar Brennan 53), Dan Casey, Rob Cornwall, Keith Ward, Kevin Devaney (Paddy Kavanagh 84), Danny Grant (Phillip Gannon 67), Ian Morris, Dinny Corcoran, Dylan Watts, Keith Ward
Subs not used: Sean Bohen, Derek Pender, Paddy Kirk, Eoghan Stokes
Booked: Daniel Byrne (48), Keith Buckley (42)
Shamrock Rovers: Tomer Chencinski, Ethan Boyle, Luke Byrne, Roberto Lopes, Lee Grace, Greg Bolger, Ronan Finn © (Joey O’Brien 83), Dan Carr (Gary Shaw 86), Sean Kavanagh (Joel Coustrain 74), Dave McCallister, Graham Burke
Subs not used: Gavin Bazunu, Aaron Bolger, Dean Dillon, Ally Gilchrist
Booked: Lee Grace (40)
Referee: Robert Hennessy
Attendance: SOLD OUT (official)
Extratime.ie Man of the match: Ronan Finn