Airtricity League: Rovers Relinquish 100% Record

by Robbie Deighan

Shamrock Rovers‘ flawless start to the season ended on Friday night, when newly-promoted Derry City played out a 0-0 draw with the Hoops at the Brandywell. Indeed, the Tallaght club were fortunate to come away from the North with a point as Derry did all but score in an impressive performance against the reigning champions. Such was the strength of Derry’s display that Rovers had to wait until the 80th minute before they were allowed to register a shot on target. Gary Twigg and Gary O’Neill made up Rover’s potent strike force, but both proved to be ineffective and were hauled off in the second half. Despite Derry’s dominance they failed to break the deadlock. The best chance of the match fell to City just four minutes from time, when Eamon Zayed rose highest to head a James McClean free-kick across the face of the goal which was met by substitute Emmet Friars, only for Rovers defender Dan Murray to clear off the line. Derry have every reason to be pleased with their performance but frustrated with the result, while the Rovers faithful can console themselves with the thought that earning a point despite being utterly outplayed can often be a mark of champions.

Galway United picked up their first three points of the new season while inflicting a first defeat of the season to Bohemians. The only goal of the game came after 60 minutes and was very much against the run of play. Bohemians started very brightly, with Anto Flood and Killian Brennan going close early on but failing to find the target. Late in the first half Anto Flood sent another chance wide of the target as he met Ollie Cahill’s cross with a glancing header. The Gypsies stepped up the pressure in the second half but were hit on the counter by Galway 15 minutes in. The visitors broke quickly, sending the ball out to Carl Moore on the right wing. He sent a low cross into the danger area, which was collected by the composed Joseph Yoffe six yards out, who fired past ‘keeper Barry Murphy. This was Galway’s fourth win in five matches against the Dalymount outfit.

John Dillion found the back of the net in each half to beat Drogheda 2-0 and hand Sligo Rovers their first home win of the season. Sligo began affairs in perfect fashion when Dillion notched his first after just three minutes when Drogheda ‘keeper David Quirke’s save from a Ritchie Ryan effort found it’s way to the Sligo midfielder, who couldn’t miss. 15 minutes later Quirke produced a superb save to deny Alan Keane from the penalty spot, but Sligo could afford the miss as Dillion again scored from a rebound, this time off the woodwork, to ensure the three points stayed in the Showgrounds.

Pete Mahon’s St Patrick’s Athletic came from two goals down against Dundalk to win 3-2 in an exciting match at Richmond Road. Former Pat’s man Mark Quigley had put his new club two up. The first was a tap in from eight yards, the second a sublime overhead kick to send the away fans into raptures. However, the McMillian brothers conspired to drag Pat’s back into the game with two goals in three minutes around the hour mark. First David pounced in the box following some poor defending, then sibling Evan climbed to meet a corner and guide it past Dundalk ‘keeper peter Cherrie to draw the sides level. Pat’s dictated play for the rest of the game, but for drama’s sake decided to wait until the 89th minute to score the winner, when the ball fell to defender Dave Mulcahy following a scramble in the Dundalk penalty area. Mulcahy defender smashed the ball in as Richmond Road erupted with joy.

UCD again failed to find the net, meaning they have scored just once in their opening four games, as Bray Wanderers claimed a 1-0 away win against the Students. Danny O’Connor headed in from a Joe Kendrick free-kick to steal the victory for Bray in what was a largely uneventful tie.

Next Fixtures:

April 1st, 2011

Bray Wanderers v Derry City

Drogheda United v Shamrock Rovers

Dundalk v UCD

Galway United v Sligo Rovers

St Patrick’s Athletic v Bohemians

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