Keith Long believes his Bohemians side should have been awarded a penalty in the second half as Shamrock Rovers came out on top at Tallaght Stadium.

The top of the table clash between the Dublin Derby rivals went the way of Rovers with a 1-0 win giving Stephen Bradley's side a five-point advantage at the top of the SSE Airtricity League.

But Bohs had a penalty shout in each half, with the second period seeing winger Danny Grant going down in the box after a challenge by Hoops defender Liam Scales. Referee Derek Tomney waved away the appeals.

Bohs manager Long disagreed with that decision after the match.

"I definitely think it's a stonewall penalty in the second half," he told RTÉ Sport.

"I believe there might have been an incident in the first half potentially as well that was clear.

"I think if you're being consistent, and this is the thing that drives us mad, James Finnerty gets booked for a coming together, a body check outside the box and gets a yellow card and rightly so in the first half."

Long wasn't impressed with Scales' challenge on Grant

But Long acknowledged that the first half performance was the determining factor in the result, including the concession of an early goal after being unable to clear their defensive lines.  

"It's a poor goal to concede. We haven't been conceding many goals and that was a really cheap soft goal which allows Rovers to get ahead," he said.

"They controlled the game a little bit from there. I think in the first half, they were probably a lot more cuter than we were.

"We've a young team but we need to be smarter and not as naive as we showed in the first half certainly.

"We were a little bit passive and stood off them and showed them probably a little bit too much respect."

Despite his side now being five points adrift with eight games to go, the Bohs manager suggested that the season still has "twists and turns" in store at the top.