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McEvoy rescues point for bohs

THEY LEFT IT late but Bohemians got their just rewards at Tallaght Stadium last night as Ryan McEvoy's injury-time goal for the Gypsies left Shamrock Rovers with yet another unwanted draw on their hands.

The Hoops are establishing themselves as the draw specialists of the league this season and that form – a 1-1 tie at home to Bohs was the Hoops' ninth draw in 14 games – has left Trevor Croly's side worryingly adrift of the title chasers.

"We were brilliant last night, from start to finish," said a delighted Bohs boss, Aaron Callaghan.

"We dominated large parts of the game, and we got our deserved equaliser. The penalty was a disgraceful decision. I saw it three times on the TV and it clearly hit Andy Mulligans' face. I haven't seen a decision like that in a long time.

"Decisions like that change games. It was hard to take at the time, but we changed the system, got an extra player forward, we chased the game and got our just rewards."

It seemed as if Rovers were about to get the three points as Ronan Finn had converted a dubiously awarded penalty nine minutes from time, referee Neil Doyle judging that Bohs winger Andy Mulligan had handled the ball in the box, although TV replays indicated that the ball had struck the player's face and not his hand.

But in the first of five injury-time minutes McEvoy's shot, from a long throw-in by debutant Michael Scott, took a deflection past Barry Murphy and went over the line.

A point was the least Bohs deserved as defeat would have been harsh on Callaghan's men.

For a side who were struggling for bodies due to injury and suspension, Bohs had started well, but for all their possession in the first half the best they could muster in terms of a goal threat was a shot from captain Derek Pender, after he picked up on McEvoy's corner.

Rovers did better in terms of goal chances, with moments of danger from Ciaran Kilduff and Tommy Stewart before the home side's best attempt on goal in the 38th minute.

Kilduff, in the starting XI ahead of Karl Sheppard, got on the end of Billy Dennehy's corner and he forced a superb one-handed save from Dean Delany, the Bohs keeper pushing Kilduff's effort onto the crossbar.


Rovers did little to push Delany after that, Ronan Finn and sub Sean O'Connor having chances which were easily dealt with by the Bohs keeper. Nine minutes from the end Rovers did get their breakthrough with that penalty from Finn, though the decision to call handball on Mulligan was not backed up by the TV evidence.

But Bohs remained focused and though the strike from McEvoy was scrappy, the equalising goal helped Bohs avoid making it three defeats in a row.

"We're getting fed up with the draws. The dressing room in there is devastated, we were in a winning position but gave away a goal in the 90th minute," said Rovers boss Croly.

"We're disappointed to only finish with the point. We had some good performances, some of them played well.

"We got ahead in the game, we were in a winning position but gave away a goal.

"We switched off and didn't defend a goal from a throw-in. The three points were there for the taking. All we had to do was deal with that throw-in and we'd have won."