Bohemians 2 - 1 Shamrock Rovers (AET)Mon, Jul 04 2011
Bohemians needed extra time to defeat arch-rivals Shamrock Rovers and seal their place in the semi-finals of the Leinster Senior Cup.
A Kevin Feely goal four minutes before the end of extra time, added to an earlier Ryan McEvoy goal, cancelled out a 41st minute Dean Kelly goal for Rovers.
An entertaining first half saw both sides enjoy their own spells of dominance. Rovers almost opened the scoring after seven minutes, with a low Conor McCormack corner put in across the Bohs goal. No one could connect with it though, and Michael Barker cleared the ball away.
Bohs had most of the possession from then on until about the 35th minute. They passed the ball around superbly- with Ryan McEvoy, Christopher Forrester and Gary Burke combining well in midfield. But the same pattern came up again and again for Bohs- good short passing up to the Rovers penalty area- with nothing beyond there.
The Gypsies did succeed in putting Rovers under pressure- as evidenced by Dan Murray and Pat Flynn having to haphazardly clear the ball long more than once. Dean Kelly and Gary O'Neill were overwhelmed up front, without much support from the Rovers midfield- who were penned back by Bohs.
But you got the sense that Bohs' strong spell wasn't going to last, particularly as their string of misplaced shots continued. Rovers did eventually get their own chance to enjoy a bit more of the ball and made it count by scoring minutes before half time. Dean Kelly had hit the post minutes earlier, only to see a teammate scupper the chance to score on the rebound. This time he was the player to be on the end of a rebound- with Bohs 'Keeper Craig Sexton mired across the other side of the goal. Kelly shot into an empty net, and Rovers went into half time a goal up.
The opening ten minutes of the second half began with Rovers in control- with the visitors putting their hosts under a lot of pressure at the back. Bohs were restricted to long-range shots thanks to some good pressing in midfield by Chris Turner and Stephen O'Donnell.
The Hoops couldn't keep control of the match though and gradually Bohs came back into it. The match lulled into a midfield battle for a while, with shots on either side rare. But eventually Bohs broke the Rovers defence down though, with Ryan McEvoy capping a fine individual performance with a goal on 68 minutes. A cross from the right wasn't cleared away by the Rovers defenders and McEvoy volleyed the ball powerfully into the bottom corner.
Rovers went on the search for a winner straight away, with Paddy Kavanagh shooting wide in a good position, but the game again reverted to a midfield battle for its remainder. Stephen O'Donnell then tested Craig Sexton with a rasping long-range shot but that was as close as the Hoops got.
The final ten minutes of regulation time were a blur of counter-attacks, but the match always seemed destined for extra time. One it eventually entered extra time, it looked for a while like it might be headed for penalties. In the first half of extra time Gary O'Neill and Dean Kelly both had chances, but were unable to get past Craig Sexton.
If the script appeared written for a penalty shootout, Kevin Feely had other ideas. Four minutes before the end of the match, Shane Keely laid the ball off to Feely close to the Rovers goal. Feely smashed the ball past Ryan Thompson to send the Gypsies fans into raptures and give Bohs the win.
Bohemians: Craig Sexton; Mark O'Reilly, Michael Barker, Roberto Lopes, Kevin Feely; Shane Keely, Gary Burke (Stephen Chambers '98), Stephen Hurley, Christopher Forrester, Ryan McEvoy (Anto Corcoran '103); Aidan Downes (Eoin Fowler '77).
Subs Not Used: Greg Murray, David Lodola, Patrick Seery, Daniel Byrne.
Shamrock Rovers: Ryan Thompson; Sean Gannon, Pat Flynn (Gary Comerford '83), Dan Murray, Conor McCormack; Lorcan Shannon (Jason Murphy '83), Chris Turner (Mick Doyle '64), Stephen O'Donnell, Paddy Kavanagh; Dean Kelly, Gary O'Neill.
Subs Not Used: Robert Hughes, Niall Forrester, Karl McGrath, Paul Moffatt.
Yellow Cards: Dean Kelly, Pat Flynn.
Referee: Damien Hancock.
Attendance: 800 (unofficial estimate)
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Ryan McEvoy.
Niall Farrell is our correspondent at Tolka Park, covering the goings-on at Shelbourne. You can visit Niall's website for further information and contact details- niallf.net.