Anthony Flood 20' -
Anto Flood’s twentieth minute strike was enough tonight as an impressive yet prolifigate Shelbourne cast aside a Limerick team that only looked like threatening in the dying moments of the match. The win keeps alive Shels' 100% start to the season.
It was the least that Shels attacking threat deserved as they consistently found their way through the Limerick back line; Paddy Madden, Anto Flood and David Cassidy particularly impressing. Madden and Flood started alongside each other for the first time this season as Dermot Keely continued to rotate they and Peter Hynes, to great effect so far it must be said.
Indeed the front two were causing problems from the start and could have given Shels the lead as early as the twelfth minute when a routine free kick was played out to Damien Brennan on the right. His header across goal seemed destined for Madden’s head and but for the hands of Dave Ryan, Madden surely would have opened the scoring.
The goal eventually came in the twentieth minute after sustained pressure through the middle of the Limerick backline. Paddy Madden’s fine control freed Richie Baker in the area: Going for goal himself, his shot took a deflection and Flood was on hand to easily finish at the back post.
A tad unlucky, from Limerick’s point of view, in that the deflection on Baker’s initial shot took it passed Dave Ryan, but in truth Shels were dominating right through the half.
Shels continued to control the game, but despite countless clear cut opportunities, like last November, could not kill the game off. Madden was always dangerous and almost charged down an equaliser on the hour mark. Dave Ryan was fortunate his flick only just evaded the onrushing Madden and his cause was not helped by some dodgy back passes in the ensuing moments. His eventual clearance found its way David McAllister who deserved more than the foul he received on the edge of the area, considering he beat three men with quick footwork to forge an opening for himself. Madden was also guilty of missing a great opportunity from a David Crawley cross five minutes later when he failed to connect with a perfect cross.
Peter Hynes played Flood in on goal from the halfway line, with eleven minutes remaining, however he took too long with just the keeper to beat and the simple chance passed him by.
After that Limerick pressed forward, with the other Dave Ryan performing quite admirably on his own up front for large spells. Twice in the last ten minutes he ran in behind the Shels defence. However, after his first opportunity was tipped wide by Dean Delany, he then set up Pat Purcell who was only denied by some excellent defending from Alan Keely just yards from goal.
Despite defending very deep as the time ran down, Shels emerged with the three points which they evidently deserved. On another note, of Limerick’s twelve corners, only one failed to be won by a Shels player - Fine return for the Dublin side.
Shelbourne: Dean Delany; Damien Brennan, Alan Keeley, Kevin Doherty, David Crawley; Mark O’Brien, David McAllister, David Cassidy, Richie Baker; Paddy Madden (Peter Hynes 70), Anto Flood.
Subs not used: Vinny Whelan (gk), Derek Doyle, Robbie Hedderman, Darren Meenan.
Limerick FC: Dave Ryan; Jamie Wunsch, Paul Danaher, Brian O’Callaghan (Pat Purcell 68), Eoin O’Brien (James Hayes 73); Tommy Barrett, Stephen Goggin (Brendan Daly 63), Paul Walsh, Martin Deady; David Ryan, Colin Scanlan.
Subs not used: Brian Collopy (gk), Wayne Colbert.
Referee: Phil Caschera