Bohemians fell to a crushing home derby defeat – their worst in almost 50 years – as Shamrock Rovers inflicted a dreadful 4-0 loss in front of a huge crowd at Dalymount Park.

A brace from Brandon Miele was sandwiched between goals from Gary McCabe and Gavin Brennan as the visitors displayed clinical finishing throughout the high-intensity encounter. Bohs had the better of the first 30 minutes, but were undone by two sloppy goals right on either side of half time, writes KEVIN FAGAN.


Bohs boss Long kept faith with the same team that dispatched Bray last week, while old friends Pat Fenlon and Killian Brennan plotted the downfall of their former employers.

Typical of every single encounter between the two (in the last 20 years anyway), the game started at a feverish pace, with little or no constructive play due to the heady mixture of fouls, nerves, testing the referee, and settling in.

When the dust did settle, it was the home side who started to produce. Ayman Ben Mohamed, ever the bright spark, skinned Simon Madden on the left flank and pulled the ball back to Keith Buckley, who could only direct his 15-yard effort straight at Barry Murphy in the Rovers goal.

Then came the big chance for the Gypsies. This time the cross came from the left, and was whipped in be captain Derek Pender. Rovers centre back Maxime Blanchard fluffed his clearance, and the ball squirmed into the path of Izzy Akinade. However, the big striker’s shot wasn’t the most powerful, and was blocked brilliantly by Madden.

The old saying goes that you must score when you’re on top, and that is definitely the case in Derby matches. Rovers started to come into the game, shooting toward their horde of fans in the Des Kelly Stand. Gary Shaw stung the palms of Dean Delany – but as the fourth official held up the board, it looked like there’d be a half time stalemate.

Simon Madden had other ideas. He skipped past Lorcan Fitzgerald on the byline just outside the box, and the defender chopped him down clumsily. Rovers worked the resulting free kick well – pulled back short to the edge of the box. Brandon Miele’s shot was well blocked by Roberto Lopes, but the rebound fell to Gary McCabe who unleashed a powerful drive that took a deflection and flashed past Dean Delany.

Disappointment quickly turned into disaster for Bohs almost straight after the re-start. Paddy Kavanagh had a looped shot that came off the top of the crossbar, and from the resulting attack, Rovers struck again. This time, Brandon Miele was sent through down the right by McCabe, and directed a pinpoint shot into the far corner.

If the Bohs fans were hoping for a response from their team, they were left bitterly disappointed. Kurtis Byrne came on for Keith Buckley, but the change didn’t work out. Rovers began to dominate possession, and clinched the victory on 73 minutes. Again it was Miele, by far the best player on the pitch and maybe in the country, who struck. After skipping past two Bohs defenders and playing a one-two with Shaw, he curled a beautiful shot that clipped in off the inside of Delany’s post.

To add insult to injury, and really compound a night of pure misery for the Gypsies, Ryan Brennan curled a 25 yard peach into the top corner with 10 minutes to go to make it 4-0.

Bohs now face a crucial period in their season. A League Cup last 16 tie at Shelbourne is followed by a trip to Derry and a home date with the Champions, Dundalk. An instant response is required from the men in red and black.

Bohemians: Dean Delany, Derek Pender, Dan Byrne, Derek Prendergast, Lorcan Fitzgerald, Roberto Lopes, Eoin Wearen, Keith Buckley (Kurtis Byrne, 56), Paddy Kavanagh, Ayman Ben Mohamed, Ismahil Akinade. Subs not used: Lee Steacy, Dave Mulcahy, Anto Murphy, James Kavanagh, Dylan Hayes, Adam Evans.

Shamrock Rovers: Barry Murphy, Simon Madden, David Webster, Gavin Brennan, Killian Brennan, Pat Cregg, Mikey Drennan, Gary McCabe, Brandon Miele (Trevor Clarke, 90), Gary Shaw (Gareth McCaffrey, 72). Subs not used: Craig Hyland, Rob Cornwall, Richard Purdy, Stephen McPhail, Danny North.

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