Towell equaliser inches Rovers a step further to back-to-back titles
The Bohemians goal comes under threat. Photo by Paddy Barrett.

Towell equaliser inches Rovers a step further to back-to-back titles

Richie Towell struck a 69th-minute goal at Tallaght Stadium this evening to earn 10-man Shamrock Rovers a 1-1 draw with arch-rivals Bohemians in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division.

Responding to an opening period goal from Liam Burt, the Inchicore native bagged a fortuitous finish to move the defending champions 13 points clear at the summit of the top-flight table – with a game more played.

Stephen Bradley’s charges did lose Roberto Lopes to a red card on 43 minutes but dug deep in his absence to ensure their Phibsborough opponents had to settle for a share of the spoils.

For a variety of reasons, Bohs were without the influential triumvirate of James Talbot, Ross Tierney and Georgie Kelly for this game.

This seemed to hand the initiative to Rovers, but Keith Long’s visitors were the sharper of the two sides early on.

Promise Omochere was operating at the fulcrum of the attack and he played a key part in the Gypsies breaking the deadlock seven minutes before the break.

Shamrock Rovers’ Seán Gannon shields the ball. Photo by Paddy Barrett

He released Keith Ward down the right and he passed towards the left-hand post, where Burt was on hand to fire home from close-range.

This was a set-back for the Hoops and they suffered another brace of blows prior to the interval.

Moments after midfielder Gary O’Neill was withdrawn through injury – Chris McCann taking his place – Crumlin man Lopes was rather harshly dismissed for an alleged last man tackle on the advancing Omochere.

This left Rovers with a mountain to scale on the resumption, though it was far from a done deal for Bohs.

The hosts gradually increased the tempo of their play as the action progressed and Sean Hoare had a decent opportunity off a Dylan Watts corner.

They persisted with their challenge despite having a numerical deficiency and forced themselves back on level terms just inside the final quarter.

Even though stand-in Bohs netminder Stephen McGuinness really should have been able to gather Towell’s long-range strike, it bounced off his chest and into the back of the opposition net.

Substitute Aidomo Emakhu had three excellent opportunities to win the game for Rovers and while he couldn’t quite muster a decisive goal, Rovers now need just six more points to seal a second consecutive Premier Division crown.


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