Old rivalries were renewed in Dalymount on Friday night, as two of the country’s oldest clubs took part in this fiercely contested Dublin derby. Both teams were looking to register their first wins of the season, but it was Shelbourne who went one better than their draw last week to beat Aaron Callaghan’s young Bohemians side with a well worked goal in either half.
The early stages of the game belonged to the home team. With the lions-share of possession, they attacked at every opportunity but Dean Delany always looked comfortable in the Shelbourne goal.
The first chance of the half came after three minutes when Dwayne Wilson embarked on a skillful run up the left hand touchline. Despite his efforts, Gareth Matthews couldn’t get near him and Wilson sent over a delightful cross to Dinny Corcoran, only for the Bohemians striker to head the ball straight into the grateful hands of the Shelbourne shot stopper.
Six minutes later, and Delany was being worked again when the ball again broke to Corcoran, this time on the edge of the visitor’s box. The Gypsies’ striker shaped his body and connected well with his right foot, but once again the ball was straight down the middle of the goal and at the keeper.
Bohemians then twice came close with headers from corners. First up was Roberto Lopes who headed well over, and then it was Corcoran’s turn, with the same end product, the ball going narrowly over the crossbar. At this stage it was all Bohs, but you never win games with possession alone, and Alan Mathews men hadn’t read the script.
On twenty minutes, Evan McMillan found himself caught in possession on the right hand side of the Bohemian’s box. His attempted clearance was charged down by Paddy Kavanagh but the Shelbourne winger still had plenty to do. He composed himself, then took a touch, then blasted an unstoppable shot into the top corner of the Bohemians net.
The Shelbourne goal initially took the impetus out of the Bohs attack, and the game passed by for another 14 minutes before the home side managed to fashion another chance. Again it was a Karl Moore corner, and again the ball sailed over the Shelbourne crossbar.
Lorcan Fitzgerald saw yellow on 44 minutes for cynically stepping across Owen Heary’s path, and the half came to a close with Moore curling the ball around the near side of the wall and almost beating Delany with a free kick.
The home side started the second half brightly, as they looked to undo the first half damage. Their first attack of note fell to the lively Moore in the 51st minute. Finding himself with a sight of goal at the edge of the box, he unleashed a left footed shot, only to see his effort half blocked and go past Delany’s right hand post for a corner.
The Gypsies pressed and pressed in search of a goal, and they had to wait until the 71st to see the ball go in. Unfortunately for them it was at the other end, and Shelbourne had doubled their lead.
The ball was worked left, and then back across the Bohemians “D” before Paddy Kavanagh let rip with a fierce right footed drive which Sexton could only parry. Quickest to react was Philly Hughes, and with the goal at his mercy he was able to double Shelbourne’s lead with his second of the season, bringing his side one step closer to the three points.
Bohemian’s last chance of note came in the 85th minute. Substitute Dave Mulcahy received a ball swung in from the left and let it go through his legs inside the box. He then squared the ball to the onrushing Moore, only for him to see his effort squeeze right of the Shelbourne goal.
Shelbourne then regained hold of the tie and the final stages of the game were played in the Bohs half, with Corey Davidson and Kevin Feely getting booked for their frustrations.
So Shels march on with three points in advance of the visit of Derry City next Friday night to Tolka Park. For Bohemians, it is the second defeat in as many weeks, and Callaghan will have his work cut out to pick his young squad up ahead of their trip to Sligo on St Patricks Day.
Bohemians: Craig Sexton; Evan McMillan, Owen Heary (c), Kevin Feely, Luke Byrne (David Byrne 70); Karl Moore, Ryan McEvoy (Dave Mulcahy 70), Roberto Lopes, Danny Joyce; Dwayne Wilson (Correy Davidson 78), Dinny Corcoran.
Subs Not Used: John O'Connor, Andrew McNulty, Neil Harney, Keith Buckley.
Bookings: Davidson (87), Feely (93).
Shelbourne: Dean Delany; Gareth Matthews, Lorcan Fitzgerald, Ian Ryan, Andy Boyle; Glenn Cronin, Stephen Hurley, Brendan McGill (Anto Murphy 82), Conan Byrne; Paddy Kavanagh; Philly Hughes (Philip Gorman 84).
Subs Not Used: Paul Skinner, Stephen Paisley, Brian Shortall, John Sullivan, Sean Byrne.
Bookings: Fitzgerald (44), Ryan (53), Hughes (73), Delany (83).
Referee: Alan Kelly.
extratime.ie Man of the Match: Glen Cronin – the Shelbourne captain was the engine for Shelbourne and lead by example.