Shamrock Rovers moved to the top of the Airtricity Premier Division for the first time this season with a 1-0 win over Athlone Town on Saturday evening after St. Pats dropped points at UCD on Friday.
Rovers returned to domestic duty following their midweek friendly defeat to Liverpool and limped over the line at home to bottom club Athlone. A cracking strike from Eamon Zayed made it eight unbeaten domestically but some below par recent performances and profligacy in front of goal will worry Croly.
St. Pats will be disappointed with their 1-1 draw at UCD given the chance they had in first half after Chris Fagan’s opener. However, Samir Belhout equalised for the students and they did well to hold out in the second half. UCD, unbeaten in the last three, have picked a good time to find some form as they face three of their fellow strugglers in the coming weeks. St. Pats on the other hand will want to keep the pressure on Rovers at the top with games against Limerick and Derry but their recently porous defence will cause concern.
Elsewhere, Cork City returned to home comforts and winning ways with a 2-0 win over struggling Derry City at Turner’s Cross. A quickfire double from Billy Dennehy and Gearoid Morrissey midway through the first half saw off the visitors while Mark O’Sullivan had no luck in front of goal twice hitting the woodwork. O’Sullivan is currently the only fit senior striker in Cork following the departure of Anthony Elding and a move for former striker Graham Cummins is rumoured. Cork will be delighted to get back on track after a disappointing fortnight. Their next three offer an opportunity to push back to the top again.
Derry City’s miserable start finally saw Roddy Collins leave his post as manager and his assistant and former player Peter Hutton has taken the reigns. The Candystripes have gone seven without a win in the league and are desperately short of goals. Next Friday’s Brandywell encounter with Drogheda is a must win.
Sligo Rovers’ excellent form continued with a comfortable 3-0 win over Bray. Goals from O’Connor, Russell and Odhiambo saw off the Seasiders and the Setanta Cup winners are ominously moving up the table. They face Athlone on Tuesday before an enticing clash with Dundalk on Friday. That defeat ended Bray’s unbeaten run but they will be up for the battle in front of their home fans against Cork on Friday night
Dundalk followed up their impressive win against Cork with a tight 2-1 win in Limerick to carry on their improved from. Darren Meenan’s winner saw them bounce back from Setanta Cup final defeat and sets them up nicely for two home games this week against struggling Drogheda and dangerous Sligo. Limerick have been hit by the recent departure of striker Craig Curran which doesn’t make their task of finding an elusive win any easier.
Friday night saw an important clash towards the foot of the table also with Drogheda getting the better of Bohs, with the crucial goal coming from Carl Walshe. The win brought a miserable run of six defeats to an end and eases the pressure on the Louth side. Meanwhile, Bohs’ frustrations continue as they have now gone seven without a win and find themselves just a point clear of the relegation places.
Airtricity Premier Division results 16/17th May:
Cork City 2-0 Derry City
Drogheda United 1-0 Bohemians
Limerick 1-2 Dundalk
UCD 1-1 St. Pats
Shamrock Rovers 1-0 Athlone Town
Sligo Rovers 3-0 Bray Wanderers
Simon Bracken, Pundit Arena.
Featured Image By William Murphy from Dublin, Ireland (Tallaght Stadium Uploaded by Kafuffle) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.