Shelbourne 3 - 2 Cork CitySat, Oct 13 2012
Shelbourne rallied from 2-0 down against Cork City on Saturday night in Tolka Park to win just their fourth home league match of the season.
City took a two goal lead into half-time thanks to goals from Vinny Sullivan and Kevin Murray, but David Cassidy and Philly Hughes pegged them back in the second half. Conan Byrne's wonderful free kick won the match for Shels on 73 minutes.
Both sides adopted offensive approaches early on, making for an entertaining opening. Conan Byrne's dipping shot on five minutes had City 'keeper Mark McNulty beaten, with only the upright preventing a goal.
Gradually the Rebels asserted themselves though, and they took the lead through Sullivan after 27 minutes. Sullivan volleyed past Chris Bennion from close range following a Gavin Kavanagh cross.
After that goal City pressed further up and came to completely dominate their opponents for the rest of the half. Their second goal came three minutes before the half time break, after Chris Bennion gave away a free-kick to the right of his box.
That free was lofted into the Reds box, and the ball fell for goalscorer Sullivan to hit. Bennion was able to block it, but only as far as Kevin Murray, who finished from about seven yards out. Cork closed the half out well to go in with a commanding lead.
Right from the start of the second half though, that command was tested. Paddy Kavanagh and Kevin Dawson both saw their shots from distance go wide early in the half, but the feeling that the tide might just be turning red was almost palpable.
On 53 minutes Shels clawed a way back into the match. Dawson's initial shot left a lot to be desired and was well wide of the mark, but after no Cork defender could clear it away, the ball found David Cassidy across the goal.
The Shels captain took a touch before slotting the ball into the top left of Mark McNulty's goal. Shels continued to push for an equaliser and drew level nine minutes later through a Philly Hughes penalty.
Hughes both scored and won the penalty, after Kalen Spillane bundled Shels' top scorer over close to his own goal. The crowd- boosted by the arrival of over a hundred visiting German supporters- were rejuvenated and Shels grew in confidence.
Ian Turner could have done better on 69 minutes when he volleyed wide, but Shels still looked the more likely to score. They did so in emphatic fashion after 73 minutes. John Dunleavy was booked for giving away the free just outside the Cork box and was Byrne stepped up, striking the ball immaculately past McNulty.
City tried to push on and earn a point, but both substitute Gearoid Morrissey and Ian Turner had shots blocked or saved. Nerves grew in the home support as memories of last season's late collapse to Cork were recalled, but Shelbourne were well able to hold on for their first home victory in eight games.
Shelbourne: Chris Bennion; Brian Shortall, Stephen Paisley, Andy Boyle, Lorcan Fitzgerald; Conan Byrne, Glenn Cronin, Kevin Dawson, Paddy Kavanagh; David Cassidy; Phillip Hughes (Phillip Gorman, 89).
Subs not used: Paul Skinner, Sean Byrne, Anto Murphy, Barry Clancy, Stephen Hurley, Paul Byrne.
Booked: Cassidy (33), Bennion (41), Cronin (59), Shortall (60).
Cork City: Mark McNulty; Gavin Kavanagh, Kevin Murray, Kalen Spillane (Dan Murray 65), Danny Murphy; John Dunleavy (Davin O'Neill 81); Ian Turner, Colin Healy (Gearoid Morrissey 76), Shane Duggan, Daryl Horgan; Vinny Sullivan.
Subs Not Used: Kevin Burns, Neal Horgan, Stephen Kenny, Keith Quinn.
Booked: Sullivan (59), Dunleavy (72).
Referee: Rob Rogers.
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Conan Byrne (Shelbourne).
Niall Farrell is our correspondent at Tolka Park, covering the goings-on at Shelbourne. You can visit Niall's website for further information and contact details- niallf.net.