Wednesday 13 December 2017

O'Conor's late strike rocks reckless Rovers

Shamrock Rovers 2 UCD 2

Another draw for Shamrock Rovers. And even more doubt after Paul O'Conor's last-minute equaliser. But all the more so because this was a game that really should have been out of sight for Stephen Kenny's side having led 2-0 at half-time.

Indeed, it seemed like it would be after just five minutes as Billy Dennehy opened the scoring at Tallaght Stadium.

Tearing at goal, Gary Twigg was taken down by David O'Connor just outside the box. Dennehy stepped up for the free and drove the ball low and hard into the bottom corner in what was a carbon copy of his recent strike against Dundalk.

From there, Stephen Kenny's side were in complete control. Daryl Kavanagh failed to reach a Twigg cross after Chris Turner had dallied slightly too long. Twigg then attempted an ambitious -- but very close to spectacular -- overhead kick.

Then, on 29, Kavanagh pulled off the kind of exquisite strike Twigg was attempting. Picking the ball up from a throw-in, the forward turned and -- about 30 yards out -- picked his spot in the top corner with a beautiful curling shot.

That, however, only changed the course of the game as Rovers' complacency soon gave way to outright concern.

Either side of half-time they were given a scare -- once when Chris Lyons squandered a one-one, then when Paul Corry struck the frame of the goal -- before UCD eventually reduced the deficit.

On 60 minutes, Daniel Ledwith was brought down by Conor McCormack, allowing Graham Rusk to slide the ball home from the spot.

The atmosphere then immediately soured further as Kavanagh was taken off for Killian Brennan to the disapproval of the crowd. And they eventually turned to jeers. Moments before the final whistle, O'Conor was put through on goal to strike low past Oscar Jansson and equalise as Rovers left the field to a chorus of boos .

Shamrock Rovers -- Jansson; McCormack (Gilbert 80), Sives, Gartland, Powell; McCabe, Rice, Turner, Dennehy (Greene 72); Kavanagh (Brennan 61); Twigg.

UCD -- McGinley; Douglas, Leahy, O'Connor, Ledwith; Rusk, Corry, O'Conor, Benson (Belhout 45), Langtry; Lyons (Morrison 83).

Ref -- D McKeon (Dublin)

Irish Independent

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