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battling bohs blunt rovers

THEIR OWN search for a goal goes on but Bohemians were very relieved to come away from Tallaght Stadium with their own goal intact after earning a hard-fought 0-0 draw away to Shamrock Rovers.

The Gypsies have scored just twice in the last six games but, with teams around them in the lower end of the table such as Athlone Town and Limerick picking up points at home last night, an away point was something of an achievement for Owen Heary’s side.

Bohs had to withstand something of a second-half onslaught, Rovers spending most of the second 45 minutes camped in the Bohs half as Hoops keeper Barry Murphy was never troubled in that time, apart from a dangerous cross from sub Kevin Devaney which caused a moment of panic.

But the old stagers in the Bohs defence of Derek Pender, Aidan Price and Anto Murphy - all ex-Rovers players as it happens - stood firm as Rovers played out their first 0-0 of the league campaign.

Rovers had most of the ball and the possession in a poor-quality first half, yet it was the away side who had the better chances and with a better touch in front of goal, Bohs could have been in front at the break.

On 25 minutes Karl Moore found himself unmarked and within sight of goal from a clever cross by Craig Walsh but former Rovers man Moore hit the side-netting, and in the 36th minute a slip by defender David O’Connor gifted a chance to Steven Beattie, but the wait for his first Bohs goal goes on as Beattie’s effort was wide.

And in first half injury time Rovers needed keeper Barry Murphy to be alert, a double save denying Jason Byrne and Moore.

Rovers had chances of their own and it was a frustrating first 45 minutes for Ciaran Kilduff. He had the first chance of note in the game, a shot saved by Dean Delany on 13 minutes and Delaney kept out a Kilduff chance again in the 35th minute. Just before the break KIlduff poked a shot wide from a cross by Luke Byrne, while Gary McCabe should really have found the target at least when he got on the end of a move involving Stephen McPhail and Kilduff.

Rovers moved up a gear after the interval, Ronan Finn pulling the strings in midfield in an attempt to make something happen.

But when Delany pulled off another save, to deny Kilduff from close range on 85 minutes, it simply wasn’t going to be Rovers’ night.