LOI Premier Division
Shamrock Rovers 0
DINNY Corcoran’s eyes lit up when the opportunity was presented to decide the Dublin Derby at Dalymount Park – but not in the way he may have anticipated.
The Portrane man condemned the Hoops to their fifth defeat in six games against their greatest rivals as he sent Alan Mannus the wrong way from the penalty spot.
Some Rovers fans in the Des Kelly Stand behind the goal shone lasers in his eyes in an attempt to put him off, but the big striker kept his calm to score the only goal of the game.
That made it three in three for the 30-year-old, who was the Gypsies’ top scorer with 11 goals last year and is already more than a quarter of the way to reaching that tally.
“They were shining lasers in my eyes and all, but I just had to keep my focus,” Corcoran told the Dublin Gazette.
“I was always going there and I said I’ll see what happens, if it goes in it goes in, and thankfully it did. It’s never [happened before].
“It was actually right before I took it, the ball was placed and all, and these green things coming across my face surprised me! There’s no point in arguing – just get on with it. “
Corcoran’s penalty settled the tie with a deserved win for Keith Long’s side, who dominated the game following Aaron Greene’s 29th-minute red card.
The former Bohs striker was shown a straight red card for a challenge on Keith Ward, a decision that left manager Stephen Bradley bewildered after the game.
“Anyone who knows Aaron knows he doesn’t make tackles like that,” said Bradley.
“It was right in front of me. He puts his body over the ball to shield the ball. He doesn’t go near the player. It was a poor decision.
“The yellow was out and he was about to put it in the air and the fourth official said red card, which is unbelievable. It’s the only decision he got involved in all night.”
Ward was heavily involved again in the creation of the goal, ghosting past substitute Ronan Finn and drawing the foul for the penalty.
He could have capped off an outstanding individual display late on with a goal but was denied first by Joey O’Brien, before blazing his shot over the bar.
“They’re always tough, tense affairs, both teams afraid to go for it, afraid to lose,” said Corcoran,
“When they went down to ten men we had a bit more space and time on the ball. We had to be patient because they put everyone behind the ball and it’s hard to play against and break down.
“But Wardy popped up with a bit of magic to win the peno and thankfully I slotted it away.
“It’s all about getting the result tonight and the clean sheet – we’ve three clean sheets now and three goals for myself.”