Sport Soccer

Saturday 23 September 2017

the game at a glance

Man of the match

Andros Townsend (Spurs)

There's an Irish connection here, in the sense that he was a Roy Keane loan signing at Ipswich. Since then, the winger has developed further and after tormenting the Hoops in September, he made the match-winning contribution here -- although he was less prominent after the interval.

Magic moment

A stunning second goal from Spurs that wrapped up the points early. Danny Rose started it from left-full, working the ball to Townsend, who swapped passes with Jermain Defoe and then found the top corner with a perfectly judged right-footer that left Richard Brush standing. Premier class.

Talking point

Does six losses detract from the achievement of making it to the group stages for Shamrock Rovers? The simple answer is no. Those with a long-term view accept this was a huge bonus, and that the Hoops were batting out of the depth. A €1m profit will allow the club to put a firmer structure in place for the future.

Referee watch

Swiss referee Stephane Studer attracted the ire of the natives shortly after half-time when Karl Sheppard raced in on goal and fell to the ground under a challenge from the backtracking Jake Livermore. The linesman had a better view, and Studer waved play on. Cue much anger.

Crowd watch

A full house in Tallaght, with the Rovers majority dominating the vocal exchanges and dishing out abuse to the Irish Spurs fans who ended up in their neck of the woods. "You're not Irish" and what sounded like "Does your telly know you're here?" were just two chants aimed in their direction.

And finally...

The end for Michael O'Neill after 155 matches and three successful years in Tallaght, with two league titles and a magic night in Belgrade the lasting memories. It's also the end for Aston Villa-bound Enda Stevens, and probably another half-dozen or so of the class of 2011.

Irish Independent

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