Derry City's winning streak came to a shuddering halt at the Brandywell as a lacklustre and uninspiring display allowed an energetic Shelbourne side to deservedly head back to Dublin with all three points. In what was a very poor game overall, the Dubliners seemed to want the win more than a tired and weary looking home side.
Declan Devine has a lot of work to do over the mid season break if this performance was anything to go by but Alan Mathews will be elated to be going into the break in the top half of the table in their first season back in the elite division.
The game itself was bereft of any real quality and chances were at a premium throughout the entire duration. Philly Hughes was put through in the first minute but his shot was hit tamely and rolled wide of Ger Doherty's upright.
Patrick Kavanagh seemed to have left his shooting boots at home as a couple of speculative efforts went high and wide.
Owen Morrison almost opened the scoring for Derry as he tried a 35 yard lob which almost caught Dean Delany out in the 19th minute. The first half just petered out after this and a Shane McEleney yellow card for a late challenge on Hughes was the only real happening of note as the two sides got bogged down in a midfield scrap.
The second half resumed much as the first had ended with no real sense of urgency from either side. In the 56th minute however substitute Anto Murphy burst through midfield and hit a thunderous shot towards the top corner which Doherty did brilliantly to tip over.
Again the game settled back into a midfield battle until the 71st minute when Shelbourne took the lead. A lofted ball was played towards the Derry box and Shane McEleney attempted a back header which he didn't get enough on allowing Hughes to nip in and slot the ball easily past a despairing Doherty.
This seemed to spark a reaction and in the 76th minute a fine cross from Patterson found Morrison who took it first time on the volley but put it just wide.
In the 90th minute Morrison whipped in a free kick and a huge shout for handball was waved away by Mr Tomney, who probably got the decision just right. Derry certainly didn't do enough to win this home tie and Shelbourne will feel they deserved the points in what was a poor game to watch.
Derry City: Gerard Doherty; Simon Madden, Shane McEleney, Eddie McCallion (David McDaid 83), Dermot McCaffrey; Owen Morrison, Ruaidhri Higgins, Barry Molloy (c), Patrick McEleney; Stephen McLaughlin, Rory Patterson.
Subs not used: Eugene Ferry, Barry McNamee, Tony McNamee, Ryan Curran, Matthew Crossan, Caiomhin Bonner.
Booked: S McEleney (42), Morrison (58), Molloy (77).
Shelbourne: Dean Delaney; Barry Clancy, Stephen Paisley, Ian Ryan, Brian Shortall; David Cassidy, Glen Cronin (Anto Murphy 42), Kevin Dawson, Paddy Kavanagh (Brendan McGill 87); Philip Hughes, Philip Gorman (Paul Byrne 81).
Subs not used: Paul Skinner, Conan Byrne, Sean Byrne, Andrew Boyle.
Booked: Shortall (90).
Referee: Derek Tomney.
Attendance: 1,250 (est)
ExtraTime.ie Man of the Match: Philip Hughes.