Carr strike keeps Rovers on Lilywhites' heels
UCD 0 Shamrock Rovers 1
Dan Carr's 21st-minute strike was enough to give Shamrock Rovers a slender win over a struggling UCD at Belfield last night.
As a consequence, the Hoops remain within touching distance of reigning champions Dundalk at the summit of the Premier Division. By contrast UCD's seventh straight defeat of the season leaves them rooted to the bottom of the table.
Following a recent run of three losses in four, Rovers surrendered top spot to reigning champions Dundalk.
And they survived a major scare after 14 minutes when UCD striker Yoyo Mahdy hit fresh air with the Rovers goal at his mercy.
The visitors were generally on top of possession, however, and eventually broke the deadlock just shy of the first-quarter mark.
Carr got his foot to Aaron Greene's enticing right-wing cross to bag his second league goal of the campaign.
Even though Roberto Lopes subsequently denied former Reading frontman Conor Davis an equaliser with a last-gasp clearance off the line, Rovers were good value for an interval lead.
Wary of a potential UCD backlash, they pressed for a second goal after play resumed. The lively Carr went close on a couple of occasions and Jack Byrne later poked wide.
In spite of the commendable industry from the hosts, Rovers continued to offer the greater attacking threat.
Inside the final-quarter, a fierce drive by substitute Joel Coustrain rebounded off the woodwork before drifting away to safety.
A series of Conor Kearns saves kept UCD's hopes alive, but Rovers ultimately held out for their 12th victory of the term.
UCD - Kearns; Farrell, Collins, Scales; O'Farrell, Davis, O'Neill, Doyle, Farrugia; McClelland, Mahdy (McDonald 46).
SHAMROCK ROVERS - Mannus; O'Brien, Lopes, Grace, Clarke; Bolger, Watts; Kavanagh (Coustrain 62), Byrne, Carr (Boyle 76); Greene (Vojic 83).
REF - N Doyle (Dublin).