As early as the second minute, referee Rob Rogers flashed a yellow card at UCD’s Greg Bolger, for a heavy challenge on Dave McAllister. Shels attacked in waves early on and following chances to Peter Hynes and a David Cassidy chip from 30 yards, Shels had three corners in quick succession on 20 minutes. With the UCD defence buckling from extreme pressure, it was no surprise that Shels got the break through on 25 minutes, a brilliant through ball from centre midfield released David Cassidy on the right wing. This run into the box and low cross was swept into the net by Mark O’Brien on the left post.
Shels continued to press for the second goal and in the 35th minute Rob Rogers had no hesitation to show a straight red card for UCD’s Ronan Finn for an off the ball incident when he appeared to raise his fist and connect with David Cassidy. In the 45th College had their first real chance of the half when, following a free kick, a header from Evan McMillan was easily saved by Dean Delaney. .
In the second half Shels continued to press and Cassidy, McAllister, Quigley and Hedderman all had chances but to no avail. College down to ten men came more into the game and Shels started retreating deeper into their half allowing UCD to play some excellent passing football only for some equally excellent last ditch defending from the visitors. .
On 55 minutes College replaced Bolger for Ward. This seemed to stir UCD who were now on top in the game with Shels content to defend and hit on the break. Both Dave McGill and Alan Keely were shown yellow cards as Shels became desperate in defence. The main talking point of the match came following College pressure in the 73 minute. UCD had the ball in the Shels net following pinball in the visitors’ 5 yard area resulting in Dean Delaney hitting a defender on the back of the legs and the ball rebounding into the net. However the assistant referee, Hilda McDermott, flagged for offside much to the disgust of the UCD bench. .
Shelbourne’s manager, Dermot Keely, brought on Richie Baker in place of Anto Flood on the 75th minute. On the 80th minute UCD replaced David McMillan for Timmy Purcell as College continued to press for an equaliser. Delaney continued to lead the Shels’ rearguard with an excellent save in the 81st minute. Following this Alan Keely appeared to tire and was replaced by the ever dependable Dave Crawley. The referee signalled for 3 added minutes as UCD continued to play some excellent football in the chance for the deserved equaliser. In the final minute Shels made their 3rd substitution of the night in replacing an injured Peter Hynes in attack with 39 year old amateur Maurice Farrell. On the final whistle the large Red support breathed a huge sigh of relief and headed home happy now four points clear at the top of the table. .
UCD: Ger Barron, Brain Shortall, Ciaran Neagle, Andy Boyle, Evan McMillan, Robbie Creevy, Greg Bolger (Keith Ward, 55), Ronan Finn, Chris Mulhall, David McMillan (Timmy Purcell, 80) Subs not used: Sean Harding, Garrett Matthews, Cian Byrne. Bookings: Greg Bolger. Sent off: Ronan Finn
Shelbourne: Dean Delany, Stephen Quigley, Robbie Hedderman, Alan Keely (David Crawley, 82), Damien Brennan, Mark O’Brien, David McGill, David Cassidy, Peter Hynes (Maurice Farrell, 90+4), Anto Flood (Richie Baker, 75), David McAllister Subs not used: Derek Doyle, Vinny Whelan. Bookings: Alan Keely, David McGill, Peter Hynes
Referee: Rob Rogers
Man of the Match: Stephen Quigley