Nine man Shelbourne battled bravely to a scoreless draw with Longford Town in an incident-packed SSE Airtricity League First Division clash at Tolka Park.
Playing at home for the second time in a week and seeking a first win in four matches, Shels’ cause was not helped by the dismissals of midfielders James O’Brien and David O’Leary.
O’Brien was the first to see red in the 42nd minute for a dangerous challenge on Longford’s Dylan McGlade. Corkman O’Leary was next for an early shower when he was sent off early in the second half for a two-footed tackle on Stephen Walsh.
Shels reorganised well after the red cards and, with goalkeeper Dean Delany and central defender Dylan Prendergast outstanding, managed to defy Longford’s best efforts.
Longford’s best chance arrived on 61 minutes. Dylan McGlade smashed a tremendous shot from 30 yards which rebounded into play from the underside of the crossbar. Sixteen minutes later, the heroic Prendergast cleared off the line from substitute Karl Chambers after good work from the impressive Tristan Noack Hofman and Jake Kelly.
Dean Zambra was lively for the visitors and was unlucky with some attempts on goal. Stephen Walsh had Longford’s final opportunity with a header that flashed over during stoppage time.
David O’Leary came close for Shelbourne in the first half. His 30-yard volley just cleared Paul Skinner’s crossbar. Defender Adam O’Connor had earlier attempted to beat Skinner with a lob but the ball went over.
Shels remain one point behind Longford in the table although the midlanders will feel they should have extended their advantage. Town dominated the corner count but could not make their numerical superiority count.
Shelbourne: Dean Delany, Adam O'Connor, Alan Byrne, Dylan Prendergast, Niall Lanigan (Jack Tuite, 71); Mark Hughes, Adam Evans, David O'Leary, Dylan Kavanagh (Reece McEnteer, 72), James O'Brien; James English (Aaron Ashe, 89).
Subs not used: Jamie Quinn (GK), Dylan Grimes, Jackson Ryan, Dayle Rooney.
Booked: Adam O’Connor, Jack Tuite.
Red Card: James O’Brien, David O’Leary.
Longford Town: Paul Skinner, Aidan Friel, Tristan Noack Hofmann, Gavin Boyne (Karl Chambers, 65), Stephen Walsh; Dean Zambra, Kealon Dillon, Dylan McGlade, Daniel O'Reilly; Jake Kelly, Kevin O'Connor.
Subs not used: Jack Brady (GK), Shane Fagan, Dan Beya, Aodh Dervin, Rhys Gorman, Noel Haverty.
Red Card: None
Referee: Jamie Robinson.
Attendance: 400 (estimated).
Extratime.ie Player of the Match: Dylan Prendergast (Shelbourne).