The latest talking points from the fourth round of SSE Airtricity League fixtures.
There were draws aplenty on Friday night…
Scoreless stalemate in Tallaght
Shamrock Rovers and Dunalk had to settle for a scoreless draw in Tallaght.
The Hoops started well, and dominated possession in the opening half hour.
Orhan Vojic had a glorious chance to fire the hosts in front early on, but Gary Rogers tipped the striker’s shot over the crossbar following Joel Coustrain’s knockdown in the box.
Dundalk almost took the lead in the 17th minute, with defender Sean Hoare’s header striking the crossbar from Michael Duffy’s excellent delivery.
Trevor Clarke forced Rogers into a save after the break, and Rovers fans appealed for a penalty when Ronan Finn’s cross struck Hoare’s arm.
The Lilywhites also had a late penalty appeal turned down when Sean Gannon went down in the area.
The scoreless stalemate means Rovers have collected seven points from their opening four games, while Vinny Perth’s Dundalk have now all but one of their league games this season.
A win for Rovers against Finn Harps on Monday night would move Stephen Bradley’s side to the top of the table (having played a game more than their rivals).
Bohs lose 100% record
Bohs kept another clean sheet in Waterford, but failed to win for the first time this season.
Keith Long’s visitors remain top of the table on 10 points after the 0-0 draw with the hosts at Waterford RSC.
The Bohs boss stuck with the same 11 which beat Shamrock Rovers in the Dublin derby last week, but the league leaders were unable to find the breakthrough in wet and windy conditions.
Waterford were full value for their point, the first they have picked up at home this season.
Zach Elbouzedi impressed again for the home side, who saw a Rory Feely header tipped over the bar in the closing stages.
Ali Reghba squandered a good chance for Bohs, with Danny Mandroiu and Rob Cornwall also going close for the Dublin side in the closing stages.
Sligo Rovers earn first win
Sligo Rovers picked up their first win of the season with a 2-1 triumph over Finn Harps.
Romeo Parkes and Kris Twardek grabbed the goals for the Bit O’Red, their first strikes for the club, with Daniel O’Reilly finding the net for Harps.
The away victory in Donegal was Sligo’s first under Liam Buckley following a difficult start to the season.
Parkes burst through on goal, beat the ‘keeper, and coolly dispatched his finish to give the visitors a first half lead.
Sligo doubled their advantage in the 49th minute from Twardek’s deflected header from a corner.
Harps hit back seven minutes later as O’Reilly headed home a corner at the back post.
The Bit O’Red had chances to extend their lead, but will be more than happy to register their first win of the season.
Harps – who held Dundalk to a draw in Donegal – await their first win of the campaign.
— Soccer Republic (@SoccRepublic) March 2, 2019
Cork struggling for goals
Cork City and Derry City had to settle for a 0-0 draw at Turner’s Cross.
Both sides had to settle for their first draws of the season after a largely dour encounter in Cork.
Shane Griffin’s low drive from distance clipped the post in the 35th minute in a first half devoid of meaningful chances.
Ally Gilchrist forced Mark McNulty into a smart save after the interval as the Candystripes searched for their first win at Turner’s Cross since 2013.
Cork pushed for a late breakthrough, with Dan Smith and Conor McCarthy failing to make the most of half-chances in the closing stages.
The Leesiders kept their first clean sheet of the season, but have now failed to score in three of their opening four league matches.
John Caulfield’s team have only scored two goals this season, both of which came in the 2-1 win over Sligo Rovers last time out.
Cork have only picked up four points from as many games, while Derry are third in the table on seven points.
UCD record first point
UCD drew 1-1 with St. Pat’s to secure their first point of the season.
Mikey Drennan scored his third goal in four games to give Pat’s the lead in the first half, but Conor Davis’ 58th minute equalizer rescued a point for the hosts.
Davis saw a volley well saved by Brendan Clarke before Drennan scored at the other end to give the visitors a 28th minute lead.
The experienced attacker found the top corner with a powerful volley from a Rhys Brennan cross to open the scoring.
Davis drew UCD level with a tap in after a brilliant driving run by Liam Scales cut through the Inchicore club’s defence.
The students’ goalkeeper Conor Kearns then reacted superbly to deny McCabe as the Pat’s attacker tried to round him, and Drennan just couldn’t reach Chris Forrester’s searching cross in the dying minutes.
The draw wasn’t enough to lift UCD off the bottom of the table, but the point keeps Harry Kenny’s visitors in second place.
— Soccer Republic (@SoccRepublic) March 2, 2019