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Oman: goals will come for rovers

WHILE their troubles last season stemmed from the fact that they were conceding too many goals, the worry in 2013 is at the other end for Shamrock Rovers, as proved in yesterday's Dublin derby.

A 0-0 draw away to Shelbourne means that, while Rovers are still unbeaten and in the top four, they have scored in just one of their four league games so far this term, playing out three scoreless draws.

Yesterday they were frustrated time and again by the superb form of Shels keeper Niall Burdon, the 20-year-old French native with an Irish dad who has come to Ireland to re-launch his career.


The draw, in front of a crowd of 1,704 at a bitterly cold Tolka Park, was most welcome for Shels, their first point of the season, but a downer for the away side. At this stage of the season last term, Rovers had scored nine goals but there's only three in the 'goals for' column so far.

"It's just not happening for us but I hope the goals will come," said Rovers defender Ken Oman after the Shels draw. "It's hard to assess three 0-0 draws. Sometimes you'd prefer to lose two and win once instead of getting three draws like that.

"Yesterday was one of those days for us, their keeper made some great saves, we had chances but things are not dropping for us.

"We are playing well, we are doing things right and I am sure that things will come right for us.

"Hopefully, next week in Tallaght when we're home to Cork, if we keep doing the right things the goals will come," added Oman.

"Sometimes if you are playing badly but winning it's only papering over the cracks, so I'm happy that we are playing decent stuff. I think if we can just get a 1-0 win, we will kick on," added Oman.

With a makeshift defence due to the absence of key men like Jason McGuinness and Derek Foran it did take Rovers time to get into their stride, and it was Shels who began well, with early efforts from Dean Kelly and Sean Brennan giving home fans hope.

Burdon, who hooked up with Shels this season after a spell in his native France with Rennes, made his first save of the day on 24 minutes when he denied Ronan Finn, and stood up to everything thrown at him, making a stunning double save six minutes from time to deny Finn and sub Mark Quigley.

A sprightly Shels had moments of their own, with former Hoop Mark Leech causing problems when he came on as a sub while Philip Hughes was a constant threat, and Reds boss Alan Mathews was happy to see youngster Burdon, who has been capped at underage level by Ireland, make an impact.

"He is only a young lad learning the game but he's very good. He made some great reaction saves yesterday and he will only get better," said Mathews, happy to see his side end their run of defeats.

"We have two tough games ahead of us, Derry away and Bohs at home, so we needed to get something.

"You want to get your first win as soon as you can. At least we now have a clean sheet and a point. We were in a better position this time last year, but if we continue to play like that we will be okay," added the Reds boss.