FAI Cup R3
Date: 2:30 p.m. June 5, 2011
Venue: Carlisle Grounds
Att: 600 (est)
But before they could book their passage to round four Alan Mathew’s side had to overcome the shock of going behind to a second minute goal which was side footed into the net by John McClurg after superb play down the right flank by Luke Massey.
Greystones ‘keeper John Blake had just tipped a David Cassisdy free kick onto his post and out for a corner but Shelbourne conceded possession from the set piece and Massey broke with lightening pace, cutting open the Shelbourne defence and laying a perfect ball across the Shelbourne box and into the path of McClurg who finished from eight yards.
The First Division side responded well, pouring forwards and forcing a series of corners, and on five minutes Ian Ryan and Andy Boyle might both have leveled, Ryan having a free header cleared from the goal-line and Boyle just failing to connect with the subsequent corner.
But Greystones continued to cause headaches for their league opponents, hitting them on the break with speed and dangerous intent. In the 14th minute Massey took off down the left and found McClurg with a smart ball to the striker’s feet. McClurg executed a superb turn before forcing Dean Delany into a good save low to his left.
Brendan McGill created a chance for Philip Hughes on 25 minutes and the Shels striker shot against the legs of Blake. Four minutes later they were level. Greystones full back Ronan Rafferty conceded a free on the edge of the box and Cassidy delivered the dead ball to the back post where Andy Boyle forced his header into the net.
Straight from the tip off Greystones were back on the attack, Kyle Kelly drifting through the Shelbourne defence and onto a through ball. Faced with the out-rushing Delany he hesitated fractionally and lost the initiative, allowing the goalkeeper to narrow the angle. His shot was blocked, but only as far as Massey whose follow up was cleared by Ian Ryan who was covering behind his stranded ‘keeper.
A minute before half time Kevin Dawson was played through by Hughes at the other end but, having rounded the keeper, the midfielder got tangled up and the ball ricocheted away to safety.
But Shelbourne only needed three second half minutes to take the lead, Lorcan Fitzgerald weaving through to fire a shot across goal that Blake could only deflect into the path of Cassidy who drove home from 15 yards.
The goal gave Shelbourne the platform they needed to exert their greater quality and fitness and as the second half progressed they became more and more comfortable. But Greystones never gave up and would continue to threaten sporadically throughout the ninety minutes.
Blake kept his side in it on 50 minutes when Rafferty’s attempt to direct a header back to his keeper went awry, the keeper pulling off an acrobatic rescue effort as the ball almost looped under the bar. Some lovely football from Shels on 56 minutes created another chance for Dawson, Blake saving low to his left after Fitzgerald and Hughes had combined to open up the Greystones defence.
Three minutes later and the visitors had their third. Hughes touched a high ball back to Cassisdy who chipped forwards into the path of Conan Byrne and the winger smacked a first time shot past Blake from the edge of the box. It was a move of clinical elegance.
A raft of substitutes followed and the pace of the game ebbed, there being little doubt that the game had drifted away from the Wicklow team. But on 82 minutes the game came back to life when a powerful volley from Martin Killilea sped across the Shelbourne box and McClurg managed to head it goalwards only to see the ball ping back off the underside of the crossbar.
Chris Mulhall and Cassidy both cleared the Greystones bar in the final minutes before Cassidy missed a glorious opportunity in added time. Dawson rounded Blake on the right and cut the ball across the box where Cassidy struck at goal from five yards. McClurg, now operating as a full back, somehow managed to get his foot in the way, deflecting the ball up and over the crossbar.
And so Greystones left the Carlisle Grounds with no tangible reward but their performance will live in the memory of their supporters and they could take the short journey back down the coast with great pride.
Greystones FC: John Blake; Ronan Rafferty (Neil Kelly, 60), Ian Britton, Martin Killilea, Ian Horan; David McDonald, Jason Byrne, Daryl Brack (Jonathan Kavanagh, 64), Kyle Kelly; Luke Massey (Greg Breslin, 77), John McClurg.
Subs not used: Gary Murphy, Stephen Osborne, Evan Brack, John Kelly.
Bookings: Rafferty (29), Kavanagh (65).
Sendings Off: None.
Shelbourne: Dean Delany; Gareth Mathews (Colm James, 32), Andy Boyle, Ian Ryan, Lorcan Fitzgerald; Conan Byrne, David Cassidy, Kevin Dawson, Ray Scully, Brendan McGill; Philip Hughes (Karl Bermingham, 67).
Subs not used: Paul Skinner, Barry Clancy, Sean Byrne, David McGill, Chris Mulhall.
Sendings Off: None.
Referee: Richie Winter.
Attendance: 600 (estimate).
extratime.ie Man of the Match: David Cassidy.