Monday 17th September 2007, 9:47 pm
17th September 2007
Shamrock Rovers 2
Danny O'Connor 5
Tadhg Purcell 57
Referee : Alan Kelly
Bohemians slipped to their first home defeat under manager Sean Connor tonight as Shamrock Rovers cut Drogheda United's lead at the top of the League of Ireland to five points.
Goals in either half from Danny O'Connor and Tadhg Purcell gave the Hoops a 2-0 win at Dalymount Park and strengthened their claims for European and Setanta football next season.
O'Connor put Rovers ahead after only five minutes, drilling the ball home from inside the box after Andy Myler headed Ger O'Brien's free kick back across goal.
After falling behind Bohs dominated possession but couldn't make it count. Owen Heary forced a save from Rovers keeper Barry Murphy while Ryan McCann missed from a good position. John-Paul Kelly also narrowly missed the target on a frustrating night for the Gypsies.
Bohs boss Sean Connor was incensed by referee Alan Kelly's decision not to award a penalty in the first half after Dean Lawrence brought down Chris Turner dangerously close to the penalty area. The Cork official decided to award a free kick and resisted taking any further action against the Rovers man.
Rovers lost goalkeeper Murphy to injury at the interval while Bohs introduced Stephen Rice in the second half after Connor apparently settled his differences with the player.
A mistake from former Rovers defender Jason McGuinness let the Hoops in for their second just before the hour when Purcell fired in after John Martin's good work to take advantage of the defensive slip-up. Martin fed O'Brien who in turn picked out Purcell to slot home on 57 minutes.
Andy Myler could well have made it 3-0 late on but failed to finish when one on one with Alan Blayney.
Aside from moving to within five points of Drogheda, Rovers now lead third placed St. Patrick's Athletic by three points with a superior goal difference. Bohemians are still sixth but Derry have a game in hand on them and trail the Dublin side by just five points.
Bohemians : Blayney, O Heary, McGuinness, Burns, Byrne (Singh 67), McCann, Hunt, O'Donnell (Rice 73), Kelly, Turner, Crowe.
Shamrock Rovers : Murphy (McGuinness 46), O'Brien, Ferguson, Lawrence, Clarke, Martin (McGill 63), O'Connor, Shields, Cassidy, Purcell, Myler (Amond 83).