Darryl Geraghty reports from Dalymount Park
Bohs, missing three of their regular back four, started on the front foot with Andy Lyons having the first real shotin anger, trying to curl a left footed effort to the far top corner.
Rovers responded well, and the dynamic midfield of Greg Bolger, Dylan Watts and Jack Byrne looked to take control.
It took a while to get going but when it did, boy did it catch fire!
The Gypsies were gifted the ideal opportunity to break the deadlock just fifteen minutes in. Jack Byrne dived in wildly on Kevin Devaney just inside the edge of the area and referee Rob Rogers was left with no option but to point to the spot.
Danny Mandroiu stepped up confidently and smashed his penalty to his left but Alan Mannus ws equal to it, making an excellent save to turn the ball around the post.
Just moments later from a deep corner to the back post, Stephen Bradleys men, thought they had taken the lead. Dan Carr looped his header back across goal only for Andy Lyons to react sharply and head clear.
The first half drama wasn’t finished yet. As Rovers looked to build out from the back, Keith Longs troops saw their opportunity to pounce, pressing as a unit. Kevin Devaney’s toe ricocheted the ball into Ryan Swans path and as the forward turned sharply, Greg bolger came through the back for their second penalty.
Up stepped Mandroiu to make amends for his earlier miss, slotting into the bottom right hand corner.
Just before the break James Talbot made a miraculous double save to keep his side in front. The Bohs stopper got down well to save Aaron Greens low drive on the slick surface, but couldn’t hold it. Ex-Bohs man Dylan Watts came flying in on the rebound and Talbot reacted bravely to dive at the feet of the midfielder and tip over.
The Hoops deservedly got themselves back on level terms just six minutes into the second half. Dan Carr finished brilliantly,poking the ball home first time past the helpless Talbot following Ronan Finn’s clever lob over the Bohs back line.
In an enthralling game end to end game, Mandroiu stole the show with, what should be the goal of the season, letting the ball run across his body before hitting an outrageous and unstoppable strike from 25 yards out with his left foot!
It was back to the walls stuff for the Phibsboro outfit as Rovers piled on the pressure through Carr down the left side, delivering cross after cross but the bohs rearguard held strong.
The home side really should have killed off the tie when Mandroiu missed his point blank header from Wade-Slaters dinked cross. Both Ryan Swan and sub Keith Ward should have done better from the following goal mouth scramble but Roberto Lopes did well to clearon both occassions.
Bohemian FC: James Talbot, Andy Lyons, Aaron Barry, Michael Barker, Paddy Kirk, Keith Buckley (c)(Robbie McCourt 90+1’), Conor Levingston (Scott Allardice 45’), Danny Mandroiu, Luke Wade-Slater, Ryan Swan, Kevin Devaney (Keith Ward 55’)
Subs: Sean Bohan, Scott Allardice, Robbie McCourt, Keith Ward, Sam Byrne, Ryan Graydon, Ross Tierney
Shamrock Rovers: Alan Mannus, Ethan Boyle, Roberto Lopes, Lee Grace, Greg Bolger, Dylan Watts, Ronan Finn (c), Dan Carr, Trevor Clarke (Sean Kavanagh 60’), Aaron Greene, Jack Byrne
Subs: Leon Pohls, Sean Kavanagh, James Furlong, Joel Coustrain, Thomas Oluwa, Brandon Kavanagh, Orhan Vojic
Referee: Rob Rogers
Booked: Lee Grace (Shamrock Rovers) Michael Barker, Paddy Kirk, James Talbot (Bohemians)