League of Ireland Premier Division
AARON Greene expressed his delight on getting one over Bohemians goalkeeper James Talbot as he struck the winner in Shamrock Rovers’ league opener away to their biggest rivals.
The Kilnamanagh native admitted he had called the late goal, which earned the Hoops a 1-0 win, in advance as he exchanged barbs with the opinionated shot-stopper during the game.
“I said to James, ‘you’re going to drop one and I’m going to be there to tap it in’,” the striker said following the full-time whistle.
“I said it to him in the first half. Because he does give us a bit of stick in the media, doesn’t he? He always talks about our character and stuff.
“I don’t want to get into that. That’s what he does. We put in a good performance on the day.
“I’m delighted. Last minute of the game. No better feeling. But we can’t get carried away. It’s just the first game of the season.”
Greene was harshly shown a straight red card when the sides met at Dalymount in the early weeks of last season as the Gypsies won 1-0 thanks to a Dinny Corcoran penalty.
This season it was Bohs who finished the game with ten men after Andy Lyons was shown a second yellow card midway through the second half, having been booked early on for a dive in the box.
Bohs looked to have held out for a hard-earned point as they limited the Hoops to just a few chances, but Greene was on hand to thump home after Talbot had denied Aaron McEneff.
The former Sunderland keeper fell awkwardly after diving low to deny the Derry native and there was nothing the covering defenders could do as Greene reacted first to the loose ball.
Rovers had earlier lost defensive talisman Joey O’Brien to a shoulder injury, and both Greene and Lee Grace had spurned gilt-edged opportunities in atrocious conditions.
RTÉ had to cancel their intended broadcast of the game as Storm Dennis ripped through Dublin city, and the pitch cut up as the heavy rain battered the pitch throughout.
Greene, who was Rovers’ top scorer in 2019 with 11 league goals, had to run off after the match to watch his son line out in the green and white Hoops against Southampton under-13s at Roadstone.
And he revealed the predatory instinct is something he’s been looking to bring more into his game having played a lot of his senior football on the wing.
“They’re the type of goals I’ve been wanting to score,” he added. “It was a Dean Williams – who was on the bench – type of goal.
“It was nice to get a poacher’s goal. I don’t care who scores. I say that an awful lot. If Graham Burke had scored, I’d be equally as happy.
“My Da was there on Saturday and one of my best friends and he just said ‘that’s the goal I want you to score’.”