I was really looking forward to the Setanta Cup semi-final against Derry but was shocked and really disappointed to see the abysmal attendance in Tallaght for the first league. Reigning All-Ireland champions and an important competition in terms of budgets I was hoping for a bumper crowd and a good performance……I got neither!
We started off brightly until a blatant dive resulted in a peanltu for Derry and a straight red card for Reyaad Pieterse in only his second game for us. I felt sorry for the young South Africian especially after I saw the replay and saw no contact and then to hear that referee Alan Kelly said “it doesn’t matter you don’t have to” in response to Reyaads when he said “I never touched him”, this was really sickening and when Derry scored the penalty to go one up I feared the worst.
In fact we dominated possession for the rest of the half even with 10 men and it was very frustrating that we never troubled Doherty considering the strong wind we had in our favour. I pet hate of mine recently has been our inability to shoot when we get into range with no pressure on the ball, Finn in particular was guilty of this first half.
At half-time the general feeling was that we just needed to stay in the tie and go up o Derry for the return leg with 11 men and take the game to them. Unfortunately the 2nd half was a disaster and Patrick McEleney showed our midfielders and strikers how to do it by using the strong wind and unleashing a thunderbolt from 25 years which flew past Jansson.
As we searched for a goal back we conceded a third after Ryan McBride headed home from a corner we failed to clear properly and Rovers fans left frustrated and angry at the referee, the managers team selection and the inept performances of a number of our players. Only a miracle next week will see us reach the final on May 12th
Keep on Hooping!