There was a full fixture list in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division tonight ahead of the mid-season break.
CORK CITY 1 BRAY WANDERERS 0
Mark O’Sullivan’s first-half goal was the difference at Turner’s Cross tonight.
While it was a game at times short on quality, it didn’t lack for incident, with two red cards and a missed penalty for Bray.
The hosts were better overall, but in a drab second half they rarely threatened to extend their lead.
The opening 25 minutes didn’t provide much in the way of goalmouth action, with City’s John Kavanagh having the best chance, drawing a save from Stephen McGuinness early on.
The goal arrived on 29, as Karl Sheppard battled well to create a chance for himself and, though McGuinness saved, O’Sullivan was on hand to follow up and send the rebound in.
Shortly before half-time, Cork’s Colin Healy was sent off for a high challenge on Hugh Douglas and, after a melee ensued, Bray’s Adam Mitchell followed him down the tunnel.
The sides cancelled each other out for much of the second half, but on 74 Bray got a lifeline when Chris Lyons was fouled by Garry Buckley for a penalty. McNulty saved from David Cassidy, though, and City held out for the remainder.
CORK CITY – McNulty; Kavanagh (McSweeney 65), Bennett, Murray, Gaynor; Healy, O’Connor; B Dennehy, Buckley, Sheppard (Morrissey 55); O’Sullivan (Holohan 69).
BRAY WANDERERS – McGuinness; Douglas, McNally, Mitchell, Barker; Cassidy (Onwubiko 88), Kelly, Sullivan, McEvoy (Gallagher 82), Scully (Durrad 58); Lyons.
Ref – J McKell (Tipperary).
ST PATRICK'S ATHLETIC 3 LIMERICK 1
STELLAR second-half comeback helped St Patrick’s Athletic rack up their third straight league victory tonight against basement side Limerick.
Liam Buckley’s side failed to spark in the first half and were undone on 24 minutes when Dean Clarke converted Sean Russell’s left-wing cross.
While Chris Forrester rattled the crossbar on the half hour, it took until five minutes after the restart for Pat’s to equalise when Chris Fagan set up Forrester.
The FAI Cup champions didn’t relent and Aaron Greene was allowed advance unchallenged on 54 minutes to make it 2-1
Fagan notched the third for Pat’s four minutes later after seizing upon Aidan Price’s error and smashing the ball beyond Conor O’Donnell from 10 yards.
ST PATRICK’S ATH: Clarke; O’Brien, McGuinness, Hoare, Desmond; Chambers (Langley 77), Bolger, Brennan (McCormack 46); Forrester (McGrath 84), Fagan, Greene.
LIMERICK: O’Donnell; Hughes (Whitehead 77), Williams, Price, Tracy; Turner, Duggan, O’Conor, Rainsford (Faherty 63); Russell; Clarke (Mann 84).
Referee: Alan Mario Sant (Malta)
DROGHEDA 1 DERRY 1
DERRY CITY’S winless league run continues as a second half comeback denied them all three points against Drogheda at United Park.
Peter Hutton’s men have not won in the league since mid-April and came to Drogheda with their oppoents having won their last three in all competitions.
Derry dominated the first half however and were fully deserving of their lead. The opener came five minutes before the break when Mark Timlin brilliantly curled in a free kick from 30 yards with his left foot.
The equaliser came 11 minutes into the second half. Joe Gorman’s cross was glanced on by Adam Whelan and with Ger Doherty beaten, the ball came down off the bar and just bounced over the line.
Both teams had chances to clinch the win late on. When Dean Jarvis got free down the left, he cut the ball back into the area but Ryan Curran could only skew his shot wide before Lee Duffy’s injury time shot was blocked by Aaron Barry.
DROGHEDA – Schlingermann; Daly, Buckley, Byrne, Gorman; O’Reilly, Maher, Brennan (Mulvenna, 87); Marks, Whelan (Brady 77), Duffy.
DERRY – Doherty; Sharkey, Curtis (Kelly, 85), S McEleney, Jarvis; McNamee, Barry, Lowry; Curran, Timlin, P McEleney.
REF – N Doyle (Dublin)
SLIGO 1 DUNDALK 2
Dundalk bounced back from their first league defeat of the season to take all three points in an even contest at the Showgrounds.
Richie Towell claimed the winner from the penalty spot early in the second half, as the visitors came from behind to preserve their three-point lead at the top of the table.
There was no sign of Sligo Rovers boss Owen Heary as Joseph Ndo took temporary charge, and a cracking first half saw Morten Nielsen grab his first league goal of the season, as the home side deservedly went in front on nine minutes.
The Danish striker, playing in a wide right role, cut inside before firing a shot from outside the area that bounced viciously in front of Gary Rogers and flew into the corner of the net.
Dundalk responded and Daryl Horgan found the range when he was gifted the ball in space at the edge of the box by a defensive mix-up, but Richard Brush dived at full stretch to palm the ball over the top.
There was little he could do to stop the leveller on 34 minutes, however, as Horgan’s superb cross was turned into his own net by Danny Ledwith under pressure from John Mountney.
Both sides made changes at the break, but Dundalk were growing in confidence and they edged in front ten minutes into the second half.
The goal came after referee Paul McLaughlin adjudged that Alan Keane had handled Dane Massey’s cross from the left.
It looked a harsh call as the defender was very close to the Dundalk full-back, and Gavin Peers was booked for arguing the decision.
But Towell stepped up to send Brush the wrong way from the spot for what proved the decisive goal.
Sligo: Brush, Keane, Peers, Folan, Ledwith, Cawley, Armstrong, Puri, Wearen (Ward 67), Nielsen (Devaney ht), Corcoran (Cretaro 61).
Dundalk: Rogers, Gannon, Boyle, Gartland, Massey, Mountney (Meenan ht), Towell, Shields, Horgan, Finn (O’Donnell 72), McMillan (Byrne 75).
Ref: P McLaughlin
BOHEMIAN 3 SHAMROCK ROVERS 1
Bohemians manager Keith Long spoke this week about his side needing the mid-season break but he may be revising that given the momentum that his side would have gained from what was a thrilling Dublin derby victory.
Bohs were second best for an hour last night and Shamrock Rovers, who had led since the ninth minute, were stunned late on by three goals in 13 minutes.
Long introduced Dean Kelly from the bench with 17 minutes remaining and the striker’s two goals ensured that Bohs bounced back from Tuesday’s defeat to St. Pat’s.
The Gypsies welcomed Dave Mulcahy and Anto Murphy back into the starting XI and their freshness was very much needed in a week when their side played three of the league’s top four sides.
Bohs will go into the two-week break buoyed by what is a massive win over their fiercest rivals who saw their 16-game unbeaten streak dashed in front of 3,385 raucous supporters at Dalymount Park.
In the absence of the suspended Mikey Drennan, Pat Fenlon handed a first start to 19-year-old Gareth McCaffrey and playing as the lone striker, he caused plenty of problems throughout.
The goal that Bohs conceded will have infuriated Long as it was one of the smallest players on the pitch, Kieran Marty Waters, who headed home unchallenged.
McPhail swung in a free-kick from wide on the right and Waters was left unmarked to head passed a helpless Dean Delany.
The visitors missed a gilt-edged chance to double their lead four minutes later and it came from another set piece.
Gary McCabe’s corner found the unmarked Conor Kenna but the defender was unable to keep his header on target as the groans among the home supporters grew louder.
Those frustrations might have been eased had Ismahil Akinade kept a header of his own on target before Anto Murphy couldn’t stretch far enough to poke home Lorcan Fitzgerald’s free-kick.
Akinade thought he was in on goal shortly after the restart but the referee adjudged that he fouled Craig Hyland which incensed the home crowd and McCaffrey almost heaped further woe on them.
McPhail played the young striker through but he was denied by Delany who got down well to save.
Bohs thought they had pulled level but the referee ruled out Murphy’s goal after he spotted that a Rovers defender was pushed into Hyland before the ’keeper spilled the ball.
There was no doubting Derek Prendergast’s 77th-minute equaliser however. He powered home his second goal in two games as the home crowd began to believe there was more than a point on offer.
And so there was. With six minutes remaining, Kelly’s headed goal sparked pandemonium among the Bohs supporters.
There was still time left for Kelly to rub salt in Rovers’ wounds when deep into stoppage time, he was on hand to finish off excellent play by Akinade.
Rovers’ unbeaten run is over but for Bohs, six points from a possible nine against three of the league’s top teams isn’t a bad week’s work.
Bohemians – Delany; Murphy, Mulcahy, Prendergast, Fitzgerald; Hyland (Kelly 73), Lopes (c); Buckley (Dillon 85), Evans, Moore; Akinade.
Shamrock Rovers – Hyland; Madden, Kenna (c) (Clancy h/t), Webster, Byrne; McCabe, Cregg, McPhail, Miele (R Brennan 81), Waters; McCaffrey (G Brennan 71).
ref – D McKeon (Dublin).
LONGFORD TOWN 0 GALWAY UNITED 1
A superbly created and finished goal from Jake Keegan snatched all three points for Galway United at the City Calling Stadium.
In a very open first half, each side was guilty of poor finishing as opportunities were wasted at both ends.
While Galway defender Marc Ludden cleared off the line from a Gary Shaw header, and visiting ’keeper Conor Winn was worked by David O’Sullivan and Ayman Ben Mohamed drilled a half volley narrowly wide, the two clearest chances fell to Galway. Gary Shanahan on six minutes and Keegan on 34 should have done better.
Though Longford showed more endeavour from the start of the second half with Ludden making a terrific block to clear a drive from home skipper Mark Salmon seven minutes in, Galway stole what proved the winner with their first attack of the second half on 61 minutes.
Shanahan showed clever feet to nip past Powell down the right to whip over an excellent cross which Keegan finished to the net with a well-placed looping header.
Longford Town – Skinner; Sullivan, Gorman, Rossiter, Powell; Salmon, O‘Connor, Rice (Shannon, 70), Ben Mohamed; Simon, Shaw (O‘Sullivan, 11).
Galway United – Winn; Horgan, Oji, Walsh, Ludden; Shanahan, Byrne O’Leary, Molloy (Garcia, 55); Connolly; Keegan.
Ref – Sean Grant (Wexford)