Date: 8 p.m. June 8, 2010
Venue: Tolka Park
Just when it looked like Shels had held on for a win, Longford and Freeman had other ideas. Shels keeper Dean Delaney fumbled Fiachra McArdle’s cross and Freeman was on hand to toe poke it home.
Shels, though, should have been two up when Freeman struck. They had a chance to double their advantage three minutes from time; Aaron Shanahan raced out of goal and as substitute Dinny Corcoran took a shot the Town net minder pulled off another cracking save. Minutes later Philip Gorman shot narrowly wide when he should have done better.
It was Tony Cousin’s side that started well, but as the half progressed Shels completely took control of proceedings and outplayed the Town for the rest of the first half.
Longford created the first chance of the game just inside the opening minute; Derek Glynn did the hard work, then laid the ball off to Dave Freeman who in turn found Cathal Brady who flashed his shot wide.
Glynn was causing problems again in the 13th minute. This time he turned provider for Mark Salmon who brought an excellent save out of Shels keeper Dean Delaney. Shelbourne began to come into the game and in the 22nd minute Aaron Shanahan pulled off an outstanding save, denying Paul Shiels with some fabulous acrobatics.
The Town ‘keeper was called into action again five minutes later, this time saving Mark Hughes’ effort. Shelbourne’s pressure eventually paid off three minutes from the break when they took a deserved lead. The Town defense appeared to stand still as Philip Gorman passed to Hughes and he made no mistake, shooting home from close range.
Shanahan was by far the busier of the keepers and nine minutes after the restart he was forced into making another superb save; tipping over Shiels powerful shot from about 25 yards out.
Cousins decided to change things around in the 67th minute and introduced Fiachra McArdle for Mike Lee. Dave Freeman who had started on the wing pushed up front alongside Glynn; a move that was to pay off in spades. Mark Salmon thought he’d gotten the visitors back on level terms in the 75th minute. The Shels defense failed to clear the danger and the ball fell to Salmon who decided to try his luck; Delaney got down to save but the ball rolled along the line and out for a corner.
Delaney turned villain for Shels two minutes into injury-time, allowing Freeman the chance to give Town a point; that on the balance of their second half display they deserved.
Shelbourne: Dean Delany, Ray Scully (Michael Coburn, 82), Sean Byrne, Ian Ryan, Gareth Whelan, Paul Shiels, David McGill, Colin O’Brien (Mick Clarke, 78), Philip Gorman, Mark Hughes, Eric Foley (Dinny Corcoran, 68).
Subs not used:
Stephen Quigley, Steve Williams. Yellow cards: Eric Foley 8, Paul Shiels 48, Colin O’Brien 72.
Longford Town: Aaron Shanahan, Niall O’Reilly, Chris Deans, John Lester, Mike Lee (Fiachra McArdle, 67), Cathal Brady, Thomas Hyland, Mark Salmon, Craig Mooney (Gary Cronin, 37), Dave Freeman, Derek Glynn (Victor Ekanem, 79).
Subs not used: Kevin Cronin, Stephen Conlon.
Referee: Paul Tuite (Dublin).
Extratime man of the match: Aaron Shanahan (Longford Town)