Date: 7:45 p.m. April 21, 2011
Venue: Regional Sports Centre
Ref: John McLoughlin
The only goal of the game arrived after 52 minutes when Philly Hughes fired in a rebound after Lorcan Fitzgerald’s free kick had come back off the post. The game also saw two red cards as Chris Mulhall and Paul Murphy were sent off.
Overall, it was a poor affair with neither keeper forced to make many saves throughout the game. The opening ten minutes seemed to last an eternity, before the home side had the first chance of the game. Lee Chin’s long throw from the right found Gary Keane but he headed over the crossbar.
Michael Rafter was next on the run but a large red defensive wall forced him wide and the chance was lost. Red card number one arrived ten minutes before half time, and it was one certainly out of the norm. Chris Mulhall’s pull-back on Kenny Browne’s jersey earned him a yellow card and, while having his name taken, he decided to slam the ball to the ground in frustration and was handed a second yellow card and subsequent red.
Ian Ryan headed over just before half time ending what was a very poor 45 minutes of football. The second half started slowly and Shane Dempsey was first to try his luck but his long-range strike went high and over the bar.
The game briefly came to life seven minutes after the break. Kevin Murray was adjudged to have committed a foul just outside the penalty area and Lorcan Fitzgerald stepped up and struck the free kick.
Blues keeper Kevin Burns looked to get a slight touch to the dead-ball effort but the strike rebounded off the butt of the post and Philly Hughes was first to react and he fired the ball to the back of the net.
Shelbourne could have added a second goal just a few minutes later but Burns saved from a good strike from McGill after he pounced on the ball on the edge of the box.
The home side’s only real chance arrived with 20 minutes remaining. Michael Rafter superbly found Murphy wide on the right and he left Ryan for dead but Delany saved the powerful strike at the front past.
Shels' defence held firm for the remainder of the game as they got up to eight behind the ball at times to successfully keep the scoreline at 1-0. The final bit of action from the match was the second of the red cards in stoppage time. Paul Murphy’s tackle was adjudged to have been two footed as the striker cleanly took the ball before catching Fitzgerald on the follow through, a little harsh perhaps.
Shels will be more than happy with the victory, though they weren’t made to work too hard it. With Willie John Kiely missing through injury and suspension on the way for Murphy, the problems for Waterford United continue to mount.
Waterford United: Kevin Burns; Lee Chin, Kevin Murray, David Breen, Michael Coady; Paul Murphy, Kenny Browne, Shane Dempsey (Conor Sinnott 73), Keith Quinn; Michael Rafter, Gary Keane (Dwayne Wilson 73)
Subs not used: Seamus Long, Paul Carey, Brian Nolan, Shane Barrett, Gary Dunphy
Sent Off: Murphy 92
Shelbourne: Dean Delany; Lorcan Fitzgerald, Andy Boyle, Ian Ryan, Barry Clancy; Colm James, Kevin Dawson (David McGill HT), David Cassidy (Conan Byrne 93), Brendan McGill; Philip Hughes (Karl Bermingham 82), Chris Mulhall.
Subs not used: Paul Skinner, Gareth Matthews, Ray Scully, John Sullivan.
Booked: Mulhall, Cassidy, McGill
Sent Off: Mulhall
Referee: J McLoughlin (Roscommon)
Man of the Match: Lorcan Fitzgerald – Best of a poor game, solid defensively and struck the free kick to create the goal.