Bohemians 2 Shamrock Rovers 1
If there can be any good news from Shamrock Rovers after their latest derby defeat to their hated rivals Bohemians, it’s the fact that they don’t have to face them again for 11 weeks as Keith Long’s patched-up Bohs side notched up yet another win.
A 2-1 victory at a sold-out Dalymount Park made it four wins for Bohs from the last four clashes with the Hoops, the home success which was secured by a stunning goal from Danny Mandroiu, all the more remarkable due to the circumstances stacked against Long.
He had six of his regular side absent, lost two of his starting XI to injury before an hour was played, but his side delivered, teenage defender Andy Lyons shrugging off the pressure of sitting his Leaving Cert to play the game of his life.
Rovers may feel that it’s refereeing decisions which have cost them in recent Dublin derbies, and the Gypsies did get two penalties tonight, but there can be no dispute over the quality of the goal which won this thrilling clash, a stunning strike from distance from Mandroiu, the former Brighton player who will come to the attention of foreign clubs if he keeps coming up with goals like that one.
The game burst into life with a penalty decision after 15 minutes and from that point on, you could not take your eyes off this tense Dublin derby.
Ref Robert Rogers was central as he awarded two penalties in the space of nine minutes, the first on 15 minutes, when winger Kevin Devaney was felled in the box by Jack Byrne. With the regular penalty-taker Dinny Corcoran sidelined long term, the task fell to midfielder Mandroiu but his effort was saved by Alan Mannus, who was needed again seconds later when Aaron Barry went close.
The response from Rovers was almost immediate, Bohs needing full-back Lyons to clear a Carr effort off the line while a minute later Byrne tested Talbot.
On 24 minutes, Rogers had another penalty, this time for a foul by Ethan Boyle on Ryan Swan. Mandroiu retained spot-kick duties despite his earlier miss and this time he made no mistake, blasting the ball past Mannus.
Bohs had their rhythm disrupted before the second half started, central midfielder Conor Levingston replaced by Scott Allardice due to injury, and six minutes into the second half Rovers were level, Carr with a deft flick from a Finn pass which got the better of Talbot, an added blow for Bohs when Devaney had to leave the field on a stretcher with an apparent neck injury.
This Bohs side may be young but they are resilient and on the hour mark Mandroiu got them in front, again, with his second goal of the night, a stunning strike from distance after he picked up on a lay-off from Luke Wade-Slater.
Mandroiu almost nicked a hat-trick with a shot on 65 minutes and Roberto Lopes was lucky not to concede another penalty for handball as he denied Swan late on, an exhausted Bohs side holding on for the win.
BOHEMIANS – Talbot; Lyons, Barker, Barry, Kirk; Buckley (McCourt 91), Levingston (Allardice 46); Wade-Slater, Mandroiu, Devaney (Ward 55); Swan.
SHAMROCK ROVERS – Mannus; Boyle, Grace, Lopes, Clarke (S Kavanagh 61); Bolger, Watts; Carr, Finn, Byrne; Greene.
REF – R Rogers