FAI Cup R4
Date: 8 p.m. Aug. 26, 2011
Venue: Fairview Park
Conan Byrne put Shels, in their home ground but not officially the home side, ahead after 14 minutes. From the right wing, Gareth Matthews put a quick low ball across the Sheriff goal. It evaded two defenders before falling for Byrne just in front of the far post. He struck the ball hard to leave Lee Murphy with no chance of sparing a goal.
Sheriff dominated play for large parts of the match, with Shels at times struggling to hold on to the ball. Sheriff weren't able to work many chances from their dominance though and always looked liable to be caught on the break. Early on they had a chance through Thomas Meehan, who picked the ball up about 20 yards from goal on the left wing after Dean Delany, under pressure from an attacker, scuffed his clearance.
But instead of attempting a shot on goal, Meehan opted to seek out a teammate on the right. His poor pass was easily cleared and the danger averted. That left wing could have been fruitful for Sheriff with William Molloy looking like threatening Shels with his runs, but his crosses couldn't find anyone in the box.
The second goal came through a moment of sheers brilliance. Lorcan Fitzgerald bombed down the right wing and passed to Philly Hughes just inside the Sheriff box. With his back to the Sheriff goal, Hughes backheeled the ball past his marker to allow Fitzgerald in for a cool finish.
If the half-time score led you to believe that this was to be a cakewalk for Shels, Sheriff went on a mission to prove you wrong. Thomas Meehan lobbed Dean Delany from 40 yards on 52 minutes to claw the AUL Premier A champions back into the match. A minute later Lorcan Fitzgerald was hauled down in the Sheriff box but Philip Hughes hoofed the resulting penalty over the bar.
Willie Molloy was the standout player for Sheriff on the night in a team full of a night full of superb Sheriff performances. He scored two of the goals of the season to win the match for the pre-match underdogs. In the 62nd minute Molloy curled a free-kick over the wall and into the bottom-right corner of the goal after Gareth Matthews fouled a Sheriff player on the edge of the Shels box.
Two minutes later Molloy struck a 40-yard volley into the Shels net. Stephen Paisley got to a high ball ahead of a Sheriff player, but the ball fell for Molloy to unleash a rocket of a shot past Dean Delany. Chances to equalise weren't too plentiful for Shels afterwards, with Sheriff contesting every loose ball and not conceding possession too cheaply either.
By contrast, Shels squandered the ball. Their passing was consistently off-the-mark and their tackling was awful. Their usual 4-5-1 formation was torn to pieces by a Sheriff side who cut them apart at will. Sheriff looked like scoring again, but 3-2 and a major scalp is something they will be content with.
Sheriff Youth Club: Lee Murphy, Gavin McDermott (Joseph O'Neill, 46), David Browne, Anthony Kavanagh, Joseph Flood, John Lester, Darren Dunne, Stephen Murphy (Jonathan O'Brien, 80), John Rock, Thomas Meehan (Sean Murphy, 71), William Molloy.
Subs not used: Joseph Tucker, Gerald Kelly, Alan McCabe.
Bookings: Browne (13), S Murphy (43), Kavanagh (53).
Shelbourne: Dean Delany; Gareth Matthews, Andy Boyle, Stephen Paisley, Lorcan Fitzgerald; John Sullivan (Colm James '71), Kevin Dawson (Brendan McGill, 46), Conan Byrne, Chris Mulhall (David da Silva '76), Sean Byrne.
Subs not used: Paul Skinner, Barry Clancy, Karl Bermingham.
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: William Molloy.