Shamrock Rovers manager Stephen Bradley said he was hugely encouraged by how his team coped with first-half setbacks to claim a 1-1 draw with Bohemians at Tallaght Stadium.
The champions-elect found themselves a goal and a man down at the interval with the visitors full value for their 1-0 lead.
Liam Burt fired the visitors in front and worse was to follow for Rovers with Roberto Lopes dismissed for a grab of Bohs striker Promise Omochere. The home side also lost Gary O'Neill to a suspected concussion.
The Hoops however rallied in the second-half, though it took a howler from goalkeeper Stephen McGuinness from a tame long-range Richie Towell shot, to ensure a share of the spoils.
The home side had their opportunities to claim all three points, but given the opening 45 minutes at Tallaght Stadium, Bradley was pleased with how his team turned the game around.
Stephen Bradley didn't agree with the Roberto Lopes red card and felt Bohemians were negative after the break, but was pleased by how his team responded to first-half adversity #RTESoccer pic.twitter.com/uBDo0xo1zP— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) October 18, 2021
"In the first half, I thought we were sloppy in what we did," he told RTÉ Sport. "We had some good build-up play, but we were sloppy.
"But in the second half, we showed tremendous character and togetherness and bravery to get on the ball and play and we should have won in the end.
"In the second half, I couldn’t believe how negative they were toward the game, but we can only control what we do. I thought we showed great bravery to go and play against 11 men like that."
Aidomo Emakhu with a chance to settle the derby in injury time, but Bohs keeper Stephen McGuinness is alive to the danger and denies Rovers a late winner #RTESoccer #LeagueofIreland— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) October 18, 2021
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Bradley was adamant the red card was a "poor decision" with Sean Gannon covering Lopes in his challenge with Omochere, and insisted substitute Aidomo Emakhu, who had a couple of chances to be the match-winner, will have better nights in front of goal.
"He’s only a young boy. He’s a fantastic player and he’s going to be a big player for this club. He’ll score more than he misses. Tonight we were just unfortunate they didn’t go in for him."