Shamrock Rovers 1 Bohemians 2: Ismahil Akinade inspired Bohemians to their first win at Dublin rivals Shamrock Rovers since 2012 last night to ease fears of them slipping into a relegation battle.
Sidelined since last August, with his spleen eventually having to be removed, the frontman has worked his way back to fitness with a couple of substitute appearances, but thrived on his first start of the campaign last night.
His spectacular opener on 27 minutes lit up this derby and, while Rovers equalised two minutes later through Dave McAllister, Akinade teed up Dinny Corcoran for the winner on 55 minutes.
Rovers, fresh from beating champions Dundalk last week, began the better, without probing too much in the final third. Graham Burke was given a clear sight at goal from Luke Byrne’s left-wing cross in the 10th minute only to angle his volley off-target.
Gary Shaw gave Shane Supple his first bit of work to do eight minutes later by darting into the box and testing the goalkeeper at his near post with a shot he batted away.
Burke looked set to head Rovers into the lead midway through the half from Brandon Miele’s right-wing cross but Akinade, back in his own box, was on hand to make a last-ditch clearance.
The frontman then showed the other part of his repertoire with a stunning opener. Having flicked on a throw-in to his strike partner Corcoran, a cheeky-back heel through the legs of David Webster then allowed Akinade to power into the Rovers box and unleash a ferocious shot across Tomer Chencinski and high into the top-right corner of the net.
Celebrations by the marksman and his teammates had barely subsided when they found themselves pegged back two minutes later. Despite Burke having his shot cleared, Miele hooked the ball back into the box on cue for the onrushing McAllister to power his downward header beyond Supple.
The frantic spell continued for the remainder of the half, with Corcoran inches from regaining the lead for the Gypsies. His connection to Robert Cornwall’s cross was textbook, yet the header rebounded off the post with the goalkeeper well beaten.
Ten minutes into the second half, Bohs managed to go back in front. Rovers defender Sam Bone seemed to suffer from concussion when he was caught out by a quick throw-in, enabling Akinade to find room behind the defence and pick out Corcoran inside the box who showed calmness to bury his volley.
After three straight defeats, Bohs were in the unusual position of leading as the finale loomed and they endured some nervy moments before seeing out the contest.
Substitute Michael O’Connor was left unmarked eight yards out with a minute remaining, but he couldn’t apply the direction to trouble Supple.
Another substitute, Sean Boyd, was gifted a golden chance to pinch a point when the ball fell at his feet. Perhaps with too much time on his hands, the rookie blazed wide with the goal at his mercy and gone was the chance to silence the vociferous away support.
Chencinski; Madden, Bone (Boyd 56), Webster, L Byrne; McAllister, Connolly (M O’Connor 81); Miele, Burke, Clarke; Shaw.
Supple; Hayes, O’Hora, Cornwall, Pender (Morris 82); Kavanagh (Poynton 70), Sule, Brennan, Fitzgerald; Corcoran (C O’Connor 90), Akinade.
Ben Connolly (Dublin)
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