Rovers aiming to bounce back against champs

SHAMROCK Rovers will be looking to bounce back swiftly from their controversial 1-0 defeat at the hands of Bohemians when they travel to Oriel Park to face defending Airtricity League champions Dundalk tomorrow night (Friday).

Stephen Bradley’s men remain top of the Premier Division despite suffering a second loss to their arch rivals this season on Tuesday night in a match in which Trevor Clarke and Lee Grace were both shown red cards and Bohs handed a hugely-disputed penalty that was converted by Dinny Corcoran.

Rovers V Bohs Action 09

“It’s hard when the game is taken out of your hands like that, but we’ve just got to get on with it” Rovers captain Ronan Finn told The Echo.

“We never expected things to be always going our way. There’s no point crying about it. We’ve no time for that” he said.

Matters might have been a lot different had the hosts taken even one of their early chances.

A lapse in concentration from the Gypsies defence saw Finn with a clear chance, but his well struck header cannoned off the framework.

Indeed Bradley’s side were again unlucky not to take the lead just three minutes later when a well worked move down the flanks saw Arron McEniff with a great chance in the opposing box, but ex-Sunderland keeper James Talbot somehow kept his shot out with a top drawer save.

The game was to turn on its head 27 minutes in when Clarke was shown a red card after fouling Daniel Grant who was through on goal.

Even worse was to follow for the Hoops as Grace received a second yellow and a sending off for a supposed handball in the box on 37 minutes, though replays clearly showed the ball had hit his head.

Dinny Corcoran saw his resulting penalty saved by Alan Mannus, but the Hoops keeper could not stop the striker reacting swiftly to the rebound and slotting the ball into the back of the net for, what proved, the decisive goal.

It was a disappointing defeat for the hosts who had, only the previous Friday, carded an impressive 1-0 victory over the in-form Derry City at the Brandywell.

Despite the loss to Bohemians, the Hoops are still five points clear at the summit albeit having played a game more than all the other teams, and they will be eager to return to winning ways against a Dundalk side against whom they managed just a scoreless draw at home last month.

While they did suffer a shaky start, the champions are on a three-match winning run that included a dramatic 1-0 last-gasp victory over Bohs that helps keep them in the frame.

Certainly it will be an important few days for Rovers who will later welcome St Patrick’s Athletic to Tallaght Stadium for another Dublin derby on Monday night.

The Hoops prevailed 1-0 in their last encounter in Richmond Park, but Pat’s have been on a decent run of late and will be looking to inflict another blow on their near neighbours’ title ambitions.

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