By Killian McHale

Shamrock Rovers picked up our fourth win in a row with a deserved 2-0 win over Bohemians in the latest instalment of the Dublin Derby on Friday evening.

Second-half goals from Trevor Clarke and Rory Gaffney secured the points for Stephen Bradley’s side in front of a record league attendance in Tallaght.

Coming into the game, the Hoops boss made two changes to his side that defeated Derry City on Monday night, with Neil Farrugia replacing Ronan Finn in the right wing-back position, while Leon Pohls replaced the injured Alan Mannus in the Rovers goal.

The Hoops started on the front foot, with Johnny Kenny’s pace causing trouble for the Bohemians defenders in the opening stages, as the striker pipped Radkowski’s pocket and raced towards goal but couldn’t find the back of the net from a tight angle.

The Hoops continued to enjoy the majority of the play and on the half hour mark another opportunity presented itself when Trevor Clarke drove into the box but his effort flashed across the Bohs goal and wide.

At the other end, Jordan Flores’ free kick failed to hit the target while Leon Pohls was forced into a great stop to deny Paddy Kirk from inside the box, as both sides went in level at the break. 

Rovers upped the tempo in the second-half, and with 57 minutes on the clock, the Hoops deservedly took the lead through Trevor Clarke.

Farrugia’s dangerous cross from the right was headed goalwards by Johnny Kenny. James Talbot got down low to save, but could only push it back out to the awaiting Clarke who fired home from close-range to give Rovers the breakthrough.

Rovers pressed on after the opener, and almost made it two on the hour mark, only for Johnny Kenny to fire his effort from an acute-angle into Talbot’s side netting.

Jack Byrne came close to extending Rovers lead on 68 minutes, only to see his curling effort from distance flash wide of the Bohemians goal, after a smart lay-off from Farrugia.

There were claims for a penalty for the away side on 77 minutes, when Jonathan Afolabi went down in the box following a last ditch tackle by Daniel Cleary, but referee Rob Hennessy waved play on despite Bohs protests.

And just minutes later Rovers found a crucial second goal, when substitute Rory Gaffney headed home from close range after Graham Burke’s initial shot was blocked inside the Bohs box.

The closest the visitors came to reducing the Rovers lead was when central-defender Krystian Nowak headed into the arms of Leon Pohls from a Jordan Flores corner with five minutes remaining.

Moments later, Neil Farrugia almost got a goal that his performance deserved, flashing  an effort narrowly wide of James Talbot’s goal from just outside the penalty box.

Rovers saw out the remaining couple minutes to pick up another important three points, as the Hoops now cut the gap at the top to one point behind Bohemians.

Shamrock Rovers: Pohls; Cleary, Lopes ©, Grace; Farrugia, O’Neill, Poom (88’ Nugent), Clarke (64’ Finn); Towell (78’ Burke), Kenny (64’ Gaffney), Byrne (88’ Hoare).

Shamrock Rovers Unused Substitutes: Toms Leitis (GK), Aaron Greene, Simon Power, Conan Noonan.

Bohemians: Talbot; Horton (82’ Twardek), Nowak, Radkowski, Kirk (46’ McDaid); Buckley © (82’ Williams), Flores, Connolly, McDonnell, Coote (64’ Clarke); Afolabi.

Bohemians Unused Substitutes: Luke Dennison (GK), Jay Benn, James McManus, John O’Sullivan, Andrew Baker.

Attendance: 7,864.