Thursday 19 April 2018

Airticity League wrap: Bohs humiliate Pats while Dundalk leave it very late against Wexford

Patrick McEleney of Dundalk celebrates after scoring his side's 3rd goal in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match between Dundalk and Wexford Youths at Oriel Park, Dundalk, Co. Louth. Photo by Paul Mohan/Sportsfile
Patrick McEleney of Dundalk celebrates after scoring his side's 3rd goal in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match between Dundalk and Wexford Youths at Oriel Park, Dundalk, Co. Louth. Photo by Paul Mohan/Sportsfile Newsdesk Newsdesk

It was a very busy day in the Airtricity League Premier Division. Check out how all six fixtures transpired below.

Gary McCabe sees red again as Rovers forced to settle with draw against Harps


TEN-MAN Shamrock Rovers had to settle for a draw as Gary McCabe was sent off following an off-the-ball incident after 66 minutes – his second straight red card of the campaign.

Rovers went ahead after only eight minutes when Gary Shaw headed home Brandon Miele’s corner. This was precisely the kind of start that Ollie Horgan’s charges were aiming to avoid and Harps goalkeeper Ciaran Gallagher had to be at his best to turn away Shaw’s powerful shot just before the break.

The Hoops, desperately needing all three points to keep alive their faltering League hopes, were left shell-shocked within three minutes of the resumption when an enticing cross from the left flank was headed home by Dave Scully.

Rovers made a big effort to regain the initiative and Gallagher made further good saves to deny McCabe and Shaw before McCabe received his marching orders. Killian Brennan went close with a free kick in closing stages before Michael Funsten almost snatched a Harps’ winner.

SHAMROCK ROVERS – Hyland; Madden, Cornwall, Heaney, O’Connor; McCabe, McPhail (Cregg 80), Brennan; Clarke (North 70), Shaw, Miele  (Doona 85).

FINN HARPS – Gallagher; Boyle (J Mailey 93), McNulty, P Mailey, McMonagle, Coll; Funston, Harkin, Hanlon (McNamee 71); Houston, Scully (McHugh 62).

REF – A Buttimer (Cork).

Kieran Sadlier brace gives Sligo the edge over Galway in Connacht derby


Sligo Rovers won the bragging rights in the west as they got the better of Galway United at Eamonn Deacy Park.

Two goals from Kieran Sadlier were the difference on a perfect day as Galway were left to rue Armin Aganovic’s early red card following a tangle with Raf Cretaro.

Gary Shanahan had drawn Galway level shortly after Sadlier hit the net first, but with just six minutes remaining the 21-year-old slotted the winning goal.

Galway came into the game having lost four of their previous five, while Sligo had won four from five in all competitions, but after their 1-1 draw earlier this season both sides looked evenly matched.

It was 0-0 at the break before Sadlier – really settling down after returning home from a spell in England – broke the deadlock when he stepped inside the cover of Shanahan to score.

Shanahan hit back, with a header in the 79th minute but with just six minutes left Sadlier slotted the ball under the legs of home keeper Conor Winn to seal the victory.

Galway United – Winn; Sinnott, Cantwell, Aganovic, Ludden; Shanahan, Connolly, Sullivan, Keating; Curran (Foley 90), Faherty (Devers 89).

Sligo Rovers – Schlingermann; Adebayo-Rowling, Peers (Gordon 83), Boylan, Donelon (Roberts 71); Richards, Russell, Keohane; Sadlier; Martin, Cretaro.

Ref – D McKeon (Dublin)

Bohs rout St Pats at Dalyer


When Saint Patrick's Athletic fans saw their team trot out in an all-white away strip for their Dublin derby against Bohemians at Dalymount Park, they didn't expect their side to also wave the white flag.

But that's exactly what Liam Buckley's outfit did, right from the start, as the Saints were trounced 5-1 by a previously shot-shy Bohs whose recent struggles in front of goal had nudged them dangerously close to the relegation zone.

Pats found themselves 2-0 after just four minutes, were 4-0 behind when only 31 minutes had been played, and a day of ignominy had an even nastier finish when the away side had a man, Sean Hoare, sent off and conceded another goal from the penalty spot.

“It was a ridiculous defending from our points of view," said Saints boss Buckley afterwards.

"I’m disappointed with the goals we gave away, it was the worst defending in quite a while. We seem to be throwing in the odd really poor performance and that was poor, especially the first half.

"There are no positives to take from that. With the game [against Shamrock Rovers] next Friday, it’s all we can look forward to now. Our defending was nowhere near, if you want in contention for anything, you want to be defending better."

Expectations for Bohs fans had been lowered, having watched their side go six league games without a single goal of late, but Keith Long's side had two in the first four minutes yesterday.

Roberto Lopes scored his first of the season to give them the lead, tapping home from Dan Byrne's cross and Ismahil Akinade doubled that lead after Lee Desmond lost possession to the big Nigerian-Irish forward, who burst through and scored his first league goal of the campaign.

The Saints defence was wide open and Bohs profited again on 13 minutes, Jake Kelly sprinting forward from the half-way line onto a loose ball and then beating Brendan Clarke with a calm finish.

Despite the 3-0 deficit there was a response, of sorts, from the Saints as Chris Fagan - back in the side after a month's absence - had one effort wide and another saved by Dean Delany, while Jamie McGrath also threatened.

But the next goal came for the home side, Kelly with his second of the day against his former club on 31 minutes. Probably the smallest player on the park, Kelly was left unmarked at the far post and he tapped home, akin to Shane Long's goal against Holland last week, after Pats had clumsily failed to deal with an Akinade effort.

Buckley made a half-time change to try and shore things up, bringing on defender Rory Feely for Billy Dennehy but the only threats after that were from the men in red and black, sub James Kavanagh impressive on his league debut.

Pats did get a goal back on 78 minutes, Ian Bermingham on target from a McGrath corner but there was more misery coming their way. Ireland U21 cap Sean Hoare bundled over Akinade in the box as he bore down on goal, the result a red card for Hoare and a penalty for Bohs, which Kurtis Byrne converted - and it could even have finished 6-1 had the impressive Lopes not missed an 88th minute effort.

"It was hard to say when we weren't scoring goals and creating chances that this [display] was in this team, but I always felt there were goals, and yesterday we were able to maximise every opportunity that came our way. We are really pleased," said Bohs manager Keith Long, happy that his side were such a threat despite the absence of impressive attacker Ayman Ben Mohamed, who is on international duty with Tunisia.

"We have been on the wrong side of one or two heavy defeats. We didn't lay a glove on Pat's the last day and that was disappointing. But yesterday we played with full intent and the players were terrific."

BOHS: Delany; Hayes, D Byrne, Mulcahy, Pender (Best, 85); Wearen (J Kavanagh. 57), Lopes; K Byrne, Buckley, Kelly (Fitzgerald, 75); Akindade.

PATS: Clarke; O'Brien, Hoare, Desmond, Bermingham; B Dennehy (Feely, 46), Kelly, Verdon; McGrath, Fagan (Corcoran, 85), Timlin (Treacy, 78).


Derry condemn Bray to another defeat to go third


DERRY City moved into third spot in the Premier Division, thanks to this comfortable win over lowly Bray Wanderers.

 At a sun drenched Brandywell, City got off to the perfect start they took the lead on seven minutes as Nathan Boyle saw his stinging drive from the right hand side of the box, come back off the post and Joshua Daniels was quickest to reaction and turned home the loose ball.

 The home side added a second on 21 minutes as Boyle raced clear of the Wanderers defence to latch onto Aaron Barry's pass and although Cherrie got a touch to the ball, the keeper didn't do enough and the striker fired home the loose ball.

 Moments later Gerard Doherty was called into action when he had to keep out Dylan Conolly's point blank range header.

 On 74 minutes Robbie Creevy missed a golden chance when he headed wide from close range, after Connolly had picked him out.

 In the closing stages Aaron McEneff seen a close range strike come back off the post.

 Derry City: Doherty, Vemmelund, McBride, Barry, Jarvis; McEneff, McCormack; Daniels (Doherty 90), Schubert, Ward (Holden 82); Boyle (Allan 82).

Bray Wanderers: Cherrie, Kenna, McNally, Brennan, Salmon, Kelly (Lewis 61), Marks (Douglas 66), Connolly, Creevy, McDonagh (Pender H-T): Harding.

Referee: Mr Mr Paul McLaughlin (Donegal).

Rebels make it seven on the trot at Longford


Longford Town manager Tony Cousins insisted a first-half red card for his teenage defender Tristan Noack-Hofman was a game-changer before Mark O’Sullivan came off the bench to provide the impact as Cork City made it seven straight league wins in a row at City Calling Stadium.

Victory, and a fifth clean sheet from their last six league outings, keeps second-placed Cork four points off leaders Dundalk with the champions up next at Turner’s Cross on Friday night.

Longford, without a win and a clean sheet now since the opening night of the season, remain bottom, five points from safety.

Though Cork dominated possession, Longford generally held their own in a first half most notable for the sending off of 17-year-old Noack-Hofman on 34 minutes for a foul on Steven Beattie, his second yellow card offence.

Cork boss John Caulfield brought in O’Sullivan at half-time and he soon made the difference, flicking on keeper Mark McNulty’s clearance for Sean Maguire to put the visitors ahead on 57 minutes with a clever lobbed finish.

Left-back Kevin O’Connor’s free kick found the run of O’Sullivan to the near post for the striker doubled the lead on 73 minutes with a glancing header.

O’Connor and Maguire then combined to set up midfielder Stephen Dooley to find the bottom corner of the net for the third goal seven minutes from time.

Longford Town: Skinner; J. Mulhall, Flynn, Rossiter (Gorman, 75), Noack-Hofman, Powell; Gannon, Dillon; Duffy (O’Hanlon, 65), Simon (Cowan, 70), O’Sullivan.

Cork City: McNulty; Healy (O’Sullivan, h-t), McSweeney, Bennett (Turner, 78), O’Connor; G. Morrissey, Bolger (Buckley, 61); Beattie, Holohan, Dooley; Maguire.

Referee: Derek Tomney (Dublin).

Patrick McEleney the hero for the champions with late strike


If Dundalk go on and win a third successive league title, they will no doubt look back on Patrick McEleney’s 93rd-minute winner against Wexford Youths as one of the decisive moments.

Games at Oriel Park this season have been tight, often drab affairs, but this was anything but. Wexford, quite bravely, opted to fight fire with fire and it made for a cracking affair that the visitors did not deserve to lose.

There was a carnival atmosphere at the Louth venue before a ball had even been kicked with Dundalk’s Family Fun Day promotion enhanced by the return from Brighton of former hero Richie Towell, who collected a spate of honours at half-time for his part in the club’s double-winning season last year.

After featuring on the bench for Ireland in Friday night’s friendly with Holland, Gary Rogers returned to the bread and butter of domestic football but he was beaten in the 12th minute when Paul Murphy took control and let fly from 25 yards.

The champions restored parity in the 24th minute. Ronan Finn’s cross sought out David McMillan and when his diving header was blocked, the ball fell perfectly for Daryl Horgan to steer home.

Eric Molloy stunned the home crowd into silence in the 57th minute when he brushed Darren Meenan off the ball way too easily before shooting under the legs of Rogers.

Meenan, however, atoned for the error in the 76th minute when he curled a vicious corner past Graham Doyle from the left.

It looked like the points would be shared but substitute McEleney took control of a quick Ronan Finn free-kick to slot the ball home and maintain Dundalk’s four-point lead over Cork City at the top.

The top two teams, incidentally, meet again on Friday at Turner’s Cross.

DUNDALK – Rogers; Gannon (O’Donnell 74), Gartland, Boyle, Massey; Benson (McEleney 64), Shields; Mountney (Meenan ht), Finn, Horgan; McMillan.

WEXFORD YOUTHS – Doyle; McCabe, Delaney, Last, Friel; Molloy, Kenny, Bonner, Mulligan;

Dunne (Furlong 88); Murphy (G Delaney 88).

REF – N Doyle.

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