Bohemians 1 – Shamrock Rovers 0
By Dave Donnelly
Bohemians make the trip cross-country to Sligo on Saturday night as the form team in the country and, just as importantly, with the league’s form striker in tow.
Georgie Kelly moved three clear at the top of the goalscoring charts on Monday night as he scored the only goal of the game as the Gypsies downed champions Shamrock Rovers on Monday night.
It was the Donegal Town native’s 11th goal of the season, in 17 games, and his eight in five games following on from a four-goal haul in a 5-0 win over Drogheda United on Friday night.
A hat-trick against his former club Dundalk, where he won a league title but struggled as he never got a consistent run of games alongside Patrick Hoban, began a hot-streak for the striker.
The sharpshooter has struck up a fearsome partnership with the exciting No 10 Ross Tierney, and a clinical strike with Bohs’ one real short of the game typified his confidence.
“If you asked me what the goal was like, I couldn’t really have told you,” an elated Kelly detailed to the Dublin Gazette.
“It was one of them ones where you it’s just an instinct reaction, you just turn and hit it and it went in. I’m delighted and it’s a great result.”
It wasn’t so long ago – less than a month, to be exact – that Kelly looked to be carrying the weight of a difficult couple of years at Dundalk, and a 2020 loan spell at St Patrick’s Athletic – to Dalymount.
Just three goals in his first 12 games, as Bohs languished in the bottom half of the table, had fans wondering where the goals were going to come from, but Kelly never let his head drop.
“It’s a confidence game, isn’t it? It’s also subjective. It’s a weird game. I played five or six games and I thought I was playing alright, well, but I didn’t score.
“Confidence is low, and then it’s reactions. It’s that little split-second where you don’t make that movement or you don’t run, and that can make the difference.
“The next thing, you score a few goals and everything’s going for you, and I got that one tonight. I never really lost any [faith] and I’m not getting big-headed at all.
“There’s a lot of luck involved in football, and people don’t realise the amount of luck that comes with it.
“The good is never as good as it seems and the bad times are never as bad as they seem. I never got too down, I just kept working hard and chipping away.”
Rovers host Drogheda tomorrow night, with 1,000 fans invited including 100 from the away team, as they look to keep pace with leaders Pats, who travel to Waterford at the same time.
Manager Stephen Bradley (inset) was left frustrated following a third defeat in six games, having gone all of 2020 without defeat, as the Hoops paid for a host of missed chances in the first half.
He said: “I think their goalkeeper is their best player. I think that tells the story. He makes a great save off Danny at the end there, two off Rory and Rory hits the crossbar.
“It was one of those nights. We couldn’t have done much more. Other than score the chances we created.
“They have one chance and they score and that’s the way it goes. You don’t take your chances, you’re always liable to drop points. If you look at the performance, look at the chances we created, we’re really happy with that aspect – just disappointed we weren’t ruthless.”
PHOTOS – Martin Doherty