Premier Division review - Round 11
The Dublin derby between old foes Shamrock Rovers and Bohemians took centre stage this weekend as a last-gasp winner for the "Gypsies" piled the pressure on Stephen Bradley. Elsewhere, Dundalk maintained their position at the top despite a below par showing away to managerless Bray Wanderers. Cork City claimed a crucial 1-0 win without manager John Caulfield on the line at home to St.Pat's, while Derry claimed a sixth straight league win, this time against suspension hit Waterford FC, while Sligo Rovers defeated Limerick FC in a relegation six-pointer at Market Fields.
Shamrock Rovers 1-2 Bohemians
Given all the focus on Shamrock Rovers rookie goalkeeper Kevin Horgan in the build up to this crucial Dublin derby, it was hugely ironic on the night that the "Hoops" shot-stopper in fact kept his side from suffering an even heavier defeat in a thrilling game at the Tallaght stadium.
This was a derby full of chances at both ends as Shane Supple and Kevin Horgan pulled off individual heroics on a number of occasions in front of a bumper Capital crowd.
Dan Carr became the first man to break the irresistible Dundalk defence last weekend and the former Huddersfield striker continued his fine form with an acrobatic finish on the half-hour mark to fire the hosts into an early lead. However, a Daniel Byrne equaliser twenty-minutes from time was to be followed up by incredible scenes of drama nine-minutes into second-half stoppage time as Darragh Leahy smashed the ball past an extremely unlucky Kevin Horgan to secure a third derby win in a row for Keith Long's Bohemians.
The result now sees the Tallaght club a sizable eight points off the pace setters Dundalk with pressure mounting on a manager in Stephen Bradley who's pre-match comments will certainly have done him no favors.
Derry City 1-0 Waterford FC
Without the services of dynamic midfield duo Bastian Heri and Stanley Aborah through suspension, many expected Waterford may struggle to recreate the victory they claimed over Derry City in the opening game of the season. Those who doubted the ability of the "Blues" to cope with the loss of two crucial elements of their system were sadly proven correct as a solitary Jack Doyle goal was enough for the "Candystripes" to earn a sixth consecutive league win.
Kenny Shiels side have now won all four league matches played at the new look Brandywell Stadium and find themselves just six points off Dundalk and with a game in hand ahead of their trip to Oriel Park on Friday night. As for Waterford, Alan Reynolds, who was banned from the touchline for this game, now finds his troops three points behind the "Lilywhites", while local rivals Cork City have moved above the RSC club into second position.
Cork City 1-0 St.Pat's
In a week dominated by discussion on St.Pat's incredible plans for a new 12,000 capacity stadium, Cork City brought the Dublin club back to earth with a crucial 1-0 shutout at a packed out Turners Cross on Friday night.
Graham Cummins much needed goal ended his scoring drought in the 49th minute as the "Rebels" were made to work by Liam Buckley's charges, who certainly had enough chances to warrant a share of the spoils against last seasons double winners.
St.Pat's remain in sixth, just three points behind rivals Rovers and with a game in hand, while Cork City leapfrog last weekends victors Waterford FC into second place, three points behind an ever improving Dundalk side.
Bray Wanderers 0-2 Dundalk
Managerless Bray put in one of their better showings in what has been a woeful 2018 campaign to date but it wasn't enough to stop a professional Dundalk outfit from leaving the Carlise Grounds with all three points.
Early and late goals from a stuttering Dundalk was enough to secure a 2-0 triumph as Pat Hoban added to his ever growing goals tally for the County Louth side, while John Moutney settled matters late on with a goal of his own.
Gabriel Sava continued to deputise for the injured Gary Rogers and in truth had it not been for a couple of very fine stops from Sava, Bray Wanderers very well could have claimed back to back results against the "Lilywhites", who were held to a scoreless draw at Oriel on opening night.
The result leaves Bray rock bottom with just a single point but manager in waiting, Martin Russell will be pleased with the application on show against a rampant Dundalk, who remain top by three points and unbeaten this season in all competitions.
Limerick FC 1-2 Sligo Rovers
Billed as the battle to avoid the relegation play-off position, Sligo Rovers manager, Ger Lyttle eased the debate on his future thanks to a massive 2-1 away win at the Munster venue.
Second half goals from Rhys McCabe and Greg Moorhouse ensured Daniel Kearns eighty-ninth minute strike was nothing more than false hope against his former side as the "Bit O'Red" claimed revenge for that shock opening day home defeat against the "Super Blues".
Despite defeat, Limerick remain eight-points clear of the drop zone, while Sligo move onto ten points, two behind derby day winners Bohemians.