Wednesday 21 February 2018

Three see red as Galway snatch last-gasp winner


Neil Ahern

BOHEMIANS fell to a second successive defeat in dramatic fashion at Dalymount Park last night as Galway midfielder Stephen O'Donnell came back to haunt his former club with a last-gasp winner from the penalty spot.

As frustrations boiled over in the final minute of injury-time, the Gypsies also saw two of their players sent off -- Raffaele Cretaro for a rash challenge on two-goal Galway hero Karl Sheppard, and Ken Oman for shoving in the wake of the foul.

"I'm not happy with that (performance), it's not acceptable," said Bohs boss Pat Fenlon in the wake of a disappointing defeat. "It won't be accepted and the players know that."

It was former Bohemians man O'Donnell who led by example for Sean Connor's men with a superb performance in midfield, so it was fitting that he should snatch the winner -- even if he was another to receive his marching orders in the wake of the late melee.

A bizarre set of circumstances resulted in Bohemians kitman Colin O'Connor filling in as fourth official for the second half, but the Gypsies may need more then the helping hand of a referee to stop this rot.

Fenlon's charges were sloppy throughout and, after an extremely poor start, it was no surprise that a skewed pass would open the gate for Galway's opener, although the culprit was an unlikely one.

The usually pinpoint accurate boot of Paul Keegan presented the ball to the onrushing Derek O'Brien. He set Karl Sheppard free and the 19-year-old former Everton trainee slotted the ball coolly through the legs of Barry Murphy.

The home side were at sixes and sevens in the opening stages but the goal sparked a bit of life into them and they snatched an equaliser six minutes later.

Keegan scampered down the left wing before floating a cross towards Jason Byrne. The ball evaded him but fell for Cretaro and he was afforded too much time to pick his spot and neatly tuck the ball into Barry Ryan's near post.

A few harsh half-time words later and the Phibsborough outfit looked to have come out after the extended interval intent on setting the record straight when Jason Byrne fired a ferocious strike just over.

However, the Jodi Stand was stunned into silence five minutes later.

Barry Murphy cut an anxious figure in the Bohs goal throughout and, when Seamus Conneely's long free-kick floated directly towards the former Shamrock Rovers custodian, he stood flat-footed, allowing Sheppard to steal in and nod the ball into an empty net.

A fourth goal of the season was the least the young striker deserved but there was more drama to follow.

Jason Byrne equalised for the defending champions on 76 minutes. Then, Oman brought down Sheppard inside the penalty the area on the 94-minute mark and O'Donnell slotted home the penalty.

Bohemians -- Murphy; Shelley, Heary, Oman, Powell; Byrne, Cronin (Higgins 58), Keegan, McGlynn; Madden (Quigley 73), Cretaro.

GALWAY UNITED -- Ryan; Conneely, Sinnott, Meynell, Creaney; Ryan (King 83), O'Donnell, Foley, O'Brien (McBrien 89); Sheppard, Flood.

REF -- D Hancock (Dublin).

Irish Independent

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