Date: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 18, 2011
Venue: Tolka Park
Stephen Paisley 39' -
Shelbourne produced a battling display to ensure a 1-0 victory over reigning Premier Division champions Shamrock Rovers at a soggy Tolka Park on Friday evening.
Shelbourne started brightly with David Cassidy playing in an advanced role just off former Monaghan United striker Karl Bermingham. Cassidy was involved early on as he won two free kicks for the home side in dangerous positions but failed to trouble the Rovers defence with his deliveries.
In a closely contested opening half hour the sides traded half chances but both goalkeepers were left largely untroubled. As the half progressed Rovers began to settle into their game and it was through their wingers, Gary McCabe and Billy Dennehy, that they looked most likely to create an opening.
Dennehy was first to threaten for Rovers on twelve minutes when he tried his luck from over twenty five yards. Dean Delaney in the Shelbourne goal was happy to watch Dennehy’s effort fly well over his crossbar.
Just before the twenty minute mark Gary McCabe had a go from a similar position. A bit of magic in midfield from the tricky winger created the space for himself and he opted to take his shot on early. Once again Delaney was not called into action as McCabe’s shot whizzed high past the right hand upright.
McCabe was a constant threat throughout the opening half as himself and Dennehy switched wings repeatedly to keep the Shelbourne full backs on their toes.
Shelbourne opened the scoring on thirty nine minutes. Midfielder David McGill showed some quick feet to win a free kick down the right hand side. Cassidy stepped up and delivered an inviting ball across the six yard box where Stephen Paisley was left unmarked to stoop and head home to put the hosts one nil up.
After a host of changes at half time unsurprisingly it was a slow start to the second half. Early on Bermingham found himself with time on the edge of the Rovers box. After failing to set himself correctly he failed to hit the target with a wild effort from twenty yards.
With an hour gone Ciaran Kilduff had a change to level the scores. Kilduff reacted sharply to beat Paisley to a loose ball, his snap shot was saved well by Delaney at the cost of a corner. The resulting corner was cleared to the edge of the area where Chris Turner was lurking. Turner unleashed a goalbound effort but Paisley was brave and stood tall to block down the midfielder’s strike.
Kilduff who had replaced the ineffective Gary Twigg at half time was beginning to cause problems for the Shels back four and went close twice either side of the seventy minute mark.
A quick throw from Dean Kelly released Paddy Kavanagh down the left flank. The winger whipped a first time ball across the area which Kilduff met eight yards out but he was denied by an acrobatic save from Delany.
Kavanagh was involved again two minutes later. This time he was released by Turner and he produced another teasing delivery. Kilduff was on hand again to power a header goalwards but unfortunately for him Delany was equal to his effort.
Chances were limited for the home side and their best opening of the second half came with nine minutes to go. After a mix up between Rovers keeper Ryan Thompson and Shels striker Tiernan Mulvenna, a quick throw in and cross found Gareth Kenna unmarked twelve yards out. Thompson was relieved to see Kenna miscue and the chance went a begging.
With time running out Rovers pushed for an equaliser and new signing Dean Kelly, formerly of Oldham Athletic, was afforded a glorious opportunity. Again Kavanagh was at the heart of things as he slipped Kelly through. Delany stood tall in the Shelbourne goal and smothered the ball at the feet of Kelly after forcing him wide.
The final chance of the game fell to Kilduff. Kavanagh was the provider but this time from the right hand side. Kilduff rose highest but this time Delaney was not called into action as the strikers headed effort drifted wide to the left.
Shelbourne: Delany; Ryan, Matthews, Boyle (Scully 75), Paisley; Mulhall (McGill HT), McGill, Cassidy (Kenna 68), Clancy (Corcoran 75), Dawson (Sullivan HT); Bermingham (Mulvenna 68).
Subs not used: Skinner.
Shamrock Rovers: Mannus (Thompson HT); Sullivan (O’Donnell HT), Stevens (McCormack HT), Oman (Flynn 66), Murray; Rice, McCabe (Priestly HT), Turner, Dennehy (Kavanagh); Twigg (Kilduff HT), Sheppard (Kelly 66).
Extratime Man of the Match: Dean Delany, made a string of quality saves when Rovers put Shelbourne pressure.
Referee: Damien Hancock