Bohemians manager Keith Long admitted that there was a "gulf in class" between his side and Shamrock Rovers after a 3-1 defeat to the reigning SSE Airtricity League champions at Dalymount Park.

Ex-Bohs defender Andy Lyons gave the Hoops an early lead against his former side before a Max Murphy own-goal provided another hammer blow.

Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe pulled a goal back for the hosts in the second half but that was quickly wiped out by another former Bohs man, Danny Mandroiu, scoring Rovers' third.

Speaking to RTÉ Sport after the game, Long detailed the work that will be needed in the transfer market when it opens this summer to close the gap to their derby rivals.

"We'll try and bring some players in if we can. Recruitment is going to be very key in the summer, like it will be for a lot of teams," he said.

"There's a gulf in class tonight between the two sides for sure but we have to try and work with this group and worry about our own performances and not worry about what other teams do. We have to get our own house in order and try and get quality players in if we possibly can - to try and strengthen the group - and work with the team that we've got to improve the group."

Long felt Shamrock Rovers were "sharper and hungrier" than his side at the start of the game and was particularly disappointed with the way Bohs defended and dealt with set-pieces.

"We were just second best and we were beaten by a better team and we've got to take our medicine tonight. It's not nice to hear, it's disappointing for us but we carried too many players tonight, and we didn't really test Shamrock Rovers enough," he said.

"The first half was really disappointing. We were second best and we didn't win our headers, we didn't defend the back post well enough, we didn't defend set plays well enough," he said.

"We have to do our jobs from set plays. Shamrock Rovers are big, strong and their set-play delivery is really good. They score goals at set plays.

"We obviously highlighted that during the week and we know what their threats are but we just didn't manage them.

Stephen Bradley was delighted with his side

"Andy Lyons gets the first goal and Andy got a goal up at Finn Harps from a corner. But if it wasn't Andy Lyons, it was Lee Grace, Roberto Lopes or Sean Hoare. It would have been somebody to head it home. So we just didn't do our jobs at set-play time."

Shamrock Rovers boss Stephen Bradley, meanwhile, saw his side make it five wins in a row and helped them keep pace with leaders Derry City at the top of the Premier Division.

The Hoops' manager felt his side were "full value" for the derby victory and praised Lyons for handling the spotlight on his first return to his former home ground.

"When you know Andy and his character and temperament, it doesn't faze him - occasions like this, games like this - and when you get to know him, one of his big strengths is that he's so calm and I knew tonight wouldn't bother him and he'd take it in his stride.

"He was fantastic. We knew he was an attacking threat. He'd give us more dynamic runs in the final third and we're seeing that every week."

Bradley also praised Jack Byrne for "settling the game" in the way in which the Republic of Ireland midfielder controlled proceedings.

"We said it last week that he's getting back to his level and tonight we saw it again. He was brilliant at times."