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Bohs still punching above their weight

Bohemians may not go on to win the league title this season, but they will certainly have a say in who does after yet another punch-above-their-weight win last night.

Keith Long's side, who last week inflicted the first defeat of the season on Dundalk, last night ended the only other unbeaten run in the country, Bohs going into the midseason break with a very wide smile on their collective faces thanks to a 3-1 win at home to Shamrock Rovers which again belied their status as a part-time side.

A goal down after only nine minutes and off-colour for the best part of an hour, the home side looked dead and buried as former Bohs boss Pat Fenlon looked well-placed to finish off the first part of the season with a third straight win.

But somehow a tired-looking Bohs side found the legs late on to storm back with three goals in the last 14 minutes, two of them from ex-Rovers hero Dean Kelly, and with this win they remain in touch with the leading pack.

Long's side were playing their third game against a top-four side in a week, and it showed, as the home side never got out of gear in the opening half.

Before they knew it, Bohs were a goal down, in the ninth minute. Stephen McPhail floated in a free-kick and Kieran Marty Watters was left unmarked to send a header past Dean Delany.

Youngsters Mikey Drennan and Brandon Miele have garnered a lot of the attention for the Hoops' attacking play of late but Watters has played a part too, and this was his third goal in three games.

Four minutes later Bohs Rovers could have been 2-0 up but Dave Webster's header was wide of the target.

The Rovers midfield trio of McPhail, Miele and Patrick Cregg were in control in the middle of the park and Jake Hyland, in for his first league appearance of the season, was bypassed time and again.

With 14 minutes left, thoughts in the Rovers camp looked ahead to the summer break and a nice shape to the league table, only for the Hoops' world to fall apart.

Derek Prendergast scored his second goal in a week to get Bohs level, heading home from Lorcan Fitzgerald's corner kick, and dead ball specialist Fitzgerald came up with another beauty on 83 minutes, his free met by the head of substitute Kelly to give Bohs the lead.

And there was time for one more as deep into injury time, Ismahil Akinade sped past keeper Craig Hyland and squared for Kelly, who had to tap in to an empty net to complete a remarkable win.

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