Boyd keeps Hoops in the mix
Shamrock Rovers kept on the coat-tails of third-placed Cork City last night by coming from behind to breeze past 10-man Wexford Youths.
Shamrock Rovers 3 Wexford Youths 1
David O'Connor's rash challenge on Paul Murphy inside the box on 20 minutes left referee Adriano Reale with an easy decision, and Danny Furlong converted the resultant penalty despite Craig Hyland getting a hand to the powerful spot-kick.
Rovers badly required a spark and it came on 36 minutes through Gary McCabe, their midfield stalwart starting his first league game since Stephen Bradley assumed caretaker control six weeks ago.
His pinpoint free-kick from 20 yards, awarded following a foul on the lively Sean Boyd, curled into the top right corner of the net.
Three minutes later and the game had completely turned as Brandon Miele crowned a flowing move started with a surge from defender Dave Webster by beating goalkeeper Graham Doyle with an exquisite 25-yard shot.
Rovers continued to dominate after the break, with Boyd heading in the third 20 minutes from the end following a left-wing cross from Trevor Clarke.
A miserable night for the visitors was compounded by losing Gary Delaney for a second booking eight minutes later.
SHAMROCK ROVERS - Hyland; Webster, Cornwall, O'Connor; Madden, Cregg, G McCabe, Miele (Dobbs 77), T Clarke; Boyd (Doona 77), D Clarke (Shaw 70).
WEXFORD YOUTHS - Doyle; O'Keefe, Last, Delaney, C McCabe; Dunne (Kenny 80), Grace, Bonner (S Dempsey 80), Mulligan; Murphy, Furlong (Higgins 81).
Ref - A Reale (Kildare).