Danny boy calls tune for Bohs
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 in the derby of all Dublin derbies.
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 Keith Long, who had six of his regular side absent.
He lost two of his starting XI to injury before an hour was played, as teenage defender Andy Lyons shrugged off the pressure of sitting his Leaving Cert this month 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 last night, but there can be no dispute over the quality of the goal which won this 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. Refereeing decisions have cost Rovers, dearly, in their most recent clashes with Bohs, three red cards in the last two meetings.
And ref Robert Rogers was central for long spells last night, as he awarded two penalties in the space of nine minutes. The first was on 15 minutes, when winger Kevin Devaney was felled in the box by Jack Byrne and Rogers didn't hesitate before pointing to the spot.
With the regular penalty taker Dinny Corcoran sidelined long term, the task fell to midfielder Mandroiu but his effort was saved by Alan Mannus.
The response from Rovers was almost immediate, an attack leading to a corner from Jack Byrne which was headed goalwards by Dan Carr, and Bohs needed full back Andy Lyons to clear off the line.
On 24 minutes Rogers had another penalty decision, 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.
Talbot came into the game with spirits high after a two-week spell in the Ireland squad and he showed just why he came to Mick McCarthy's attention with a double save on 36 minutes, first denying a Greene shot and then blocking the follow-up from Watts, and three minutes later Talbot pulled off another save, pushing away a good strike from Watts.
Bohs had their rhythm disrupted before the second half started, central midfielder Conor Levingston replaced by Scott Allardice due to injury.
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 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 went close on 65 minutes while Swan was denied an injury time goal as Roberto Lopes blocked with his hand.