St. Patrick's Athletic were made to wait for their first win over Shelbourne in almost a decade after the Reds held out for a 1-1 draw in Tolka Park on Friday night.
Brendan McGill struck on 22 minutes, his goal coming off Pat's 'keeper Brendan Clarke for the opener. Just before half-time Christy Fagan levelled for the Saints and it looked like they might push on once Glen Cronin was sent off on 65 minutes for a rash tackle on John Russell.
Shels were a much-changed side from the one which went down 4-0 to Shamrock Rovers last week. Four players were dropped from the starting eleven, with Paul Skinner replacing the suspended Dean Delany in goal.
But it was Pat's who looked better in the early stages. Kenny Browne had the best chance of the opening stages, On 12 minutes the defender headed over from a good place in the Shelbourne box after a Saints corner.
Christy Fagan had another golden chance after 20 minutes, dragging his shot wide after being played through on goal. Chris Forrester played the through ball for him after Glen Cronin passed the ball straight to him in midfield.
Not long later, though, the ball was in the Pat's net. Brendan McGill unleashed a rasping shot into the top right corner from 25 yards, which was just out of Clarke's reach. The ball came out him after it passed out to following a short corner. It hit the bar and then hit Clarke before going in.
Almost immediately after the goal, Shels lost their shape- particularly in the middle of the park. Christy Fagan and John Russell both missed good chances for Pat's, but the equaliser always looked like it was on the way.
It did come just before half time, when Christy Fagan prodded the ball under Paul Skinner. A flick on by Chris Forrester let him in on goal, but Shels probably should have cleared their lines before that.
Skinner was called again soon afterwards, when he had to dive at the feet of Forrester in the box twice in quick succession. Fagan also headed wide moments after the goal, but the sides went into the break level.
Glen Cronin's 65th minute sending-off gave Pat's plenty of extra space, but Pat's had mostly dominated the second half up to that point. Both sides struggled to keep the ball in the second half.
Philly Hughes and Paddy Kavanagh both had chances within five minutes of the second half's start, but both missed- shooting wide and over respectively.
Substitute Jake Kelly shot over from a great position in front of goal for Pat's on 71 minutes, after cutting into the box off the left. Pat's had all the possession for a time and moved superbly on the ball, but Shels made it very hard for them in their half.
The home side had one clear chance of their own to win the match. Paddy Kavanagh should have scored a crucial goal for Shels with seven minutes left. Kevin Dawson and Anto Murphy did well down the right for the Reds, but when the ball came in Kavanagh connected poorly with it and it ended up well over.
Paul Skinner seemed eager to come off his line and spilled the ball on a few occasions, but still Pat's couldn't take advantage of a Shels side which looked very disorganised at times. It looked like they could cut Shels apart at times, but they probably suffered from not being decisive enough in the final third.
With a minute or normal time left, Jake Kelly's cross found Christy Fagan in the box but he headed over. In stoppage time Pat's pressed hard for the winner, with Kenny Browne flicking the ball over on 93 minutes. But ultimately some last-ditch Shels defending, coupled with more wasteful shooting, meant this one ended in a draw.
Shelbourne: Paul Skinner; Brian Shorthall, Stephen Paisley, Ian Ryan Sean Byrne; Glenn Cronin, Stephen Hurley (Kevin Dawson, 46), Paddy Kavanagh, Brendan McGill (Anto Murphy, 70), David Cassidy; Philip Hughes (Philip Gorman, 91).
Subs Not Used: Dean Smith, Andy Boyle, Lorcan Fitzgerald, Conan Byrne.
Bookings: Hurley (3).
Red Cards: Cronin (64).
St. Patrick's Athletic: Brendan Clarke; Ger O'Brien, Conor Kenna, Kenny Browne, Ian Bermingham; James Chambers, John Russell, Greg Bolger, Chris Forrester, Sean O'Connor (Jake Kelly, 62); Christy Fagan.
Subs Not Used: Barry Murphy, Pat Flynn, Mark Rossiter, Jake Carroll, Darren Meenan, Ian Daly.
Bookings: O'Brien (62).
Referee: Alan Kelly.
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Christy Fagan.
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.