A Jon Obika goal ensured Swindon Town got their tour of Ireland of to a winning start on Tuesday evening as Luke Williams' side recorded a 1-0 win against Shelbourne at Tolka Park.
With a strong Swindon Town side on show, the visitors come out of the blocks all guns blazing and controlled possession extremely well during the opening exchanges,
And it was they who had the game’s first chance when Obika forced a good save from Greg Murray after the forward who scored 11 goals in League One last season latched onto a low through ball before firing on goal.
Despite dominating possession, the Robins' next opportunity didn’t arise until the 18th minute when Conor Thomas latched onto the ball at the edge of the Shels box before lifting the ball over the defender, but central midfielder failed to trouble Murray from ten yards.
Bradley Brady was next to try his luck, but his effort like Thomas sailed wide of the goal. As Shels continued to be forced to defender for long periods, Murray was again called into action four minutes later when the keeper easily claimed efforts from John Goddard and Nathan Thompson.
Moments later, Obika and Goddard combined for the Robins' next effort after Obika controlled a ball over the top before laying possession off to Goddard whose first time strike sailed the wrong side of Murray’s goal.
With the hosts' chances being limited in the opening half, Dayle Rooney will feel he should have done better eight minutes before the break after he embarked on a run down the left flank, but despite his good work he failed to find a teammate with his low cross before Luke Kelly’s shot was easily blocked.
Despite the half-time whistle fast approaching, Swindon continued to press for the game’s first goal and standout forward Obika had two excellent chances. First his effort from 15 yards was easily gathered by the keeper. Moments later, the Robins forward’s curling effort cannoned off the post before Yaser Kasim’s rebound was gathered by Murray.
With both managers resisting the urge to ring the changes at the break, Shelbourne began the second-half with some strong venom and it was them who had the half’s first chance through Rooney, but his free-kick was claimed by Lawrence Vigouroux unopposed.
Minutes later, Shelbourne had their first effort on target when Adam Kelly’s low shot was easily gathered by the keeper after a deflection took the pace off the ball.
Less than 60 seconds later, Obika will feel he should have done better after being gifted possession by the Shels shot-stopper before racing through on goal, but the keeper atoned for his error with an excellent save after racing off his line.
As Obika continued to look lively up front for the Robins, the forward would again go close three minutes later, when he latched onto a quick free-kick from Anton Rodgers before blazing the wrong side of the woodwork from the edge of the box.
Obika did however break the deadlock less than a minute later when he fired home a curling effort from 12 yards that sailed into the top left corner.
With 25 minutes remaining the visitors sprung their entire bench and it was substitute Jordan Young who had the game’s next chance when his shot from inside the area was deflected behind for a corner.
Two minutes later, Murray was again called into action when Jermaine Hilton’s low shot from the edge was well saved by the Reds shot-stopped.
As Shels began to empty their own bench, sub keeper Matt Lyons was called into action seconds after his introduction as he was forced to deny Ellis Landolo.
The hosts had an excellent chance to equalise as full-time approached, but Tuite’s shot was well saved by Will Henry before Niall O’Neill's rebound appeared to hit the hand of a Swindon defender.
After the defeat, Shelbourne now turn their attention to their next Friendly with Leeds United on Wednesday evening, while Swindon Town return to action on Saturday afternoon when they play UCD at the UCD Bowl.
Shelbourne FC: Greg Murray; Mick Kelly, Conor Keeley, Jack Tuite, Reece McTeer; Robert Duggan, Luke Kelly, Dylan Rooney, Michael Murphy; Ajibola Sule, Adam Kelly.
Subs Used: Matt Lyons, James Brown, Aaron McDonald, Niall O’Neill, Andy Gorman, Stephen Kelly.
Swindon Town: Lawrence Vigouroux; James Sendres-white, Nathan Thompson, Rafael Rossi-Branco; Bradley Barry, Yaser Kasim, Anton Rodgers, Conor Thomas, James Brophy; John Goddard, Jon Obika.
Subs Used: Will Henry, Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill, Jermaine Hilton, Jake Evans, Jordan Stewart, Ellis Landolo, Tom Smit, Louis Spalding, Jordan Young.
Referee: Tomás Connolly.
Attendance: 200 (estimate).
Extratime.ie Player of the Match: Jon Obika (Swindon Town).