It was a point shared by Shelbourne and Longford Town as they played out a goalless draw at Tolka Park on the opening night of the season.
Shels were in control of the ball for most of the opening exchanges, their first sight of goal came after 10 minutes when Jack Tuite fired over the bar from 25 yards after the ball fell to him following a corner.
Chances were scarce in the opening exchanges, James English flashed the ball across the 6-yard box after he won it back following sloppy play at the back from Longford, but nobody was there to convert.
Just a few minutes later Dean Zambra picked up the ball outside the box after a headed clearance before shimmying past his defender and shooting, but his shot was blocked out for a corner.
Shels had a penalty appeal waved away after half an hour when English collected a pass from Adam Evens and made his way into the box before going down under pressure from Noel Haverty, the referee however, waved away their protests.
Longford’s David O’Sullivan missed a golden chance for the away side with 5 minutes left in the half when the ball fell kindly to Enda Curran outside the area, the number 9 then played in O’Sullivan who put it wide from 10 yards after going one on one with Dean Delaney.
O’Sullivan had a chance to make amends soon after when Referee Andrew Mullally pointed to the spot after Curran went down under a Reece McEnteer challenge but O’Sullivan had his spot kick excellently stopped by Dean Delaney who got down low to his left to save.
Longford would get one final half chance before the break when Dylan McGlade played a one-two on the edge of the box with Curran before seeing his blocked and cleared by the Shels defence.
Owen Heary’s men would fashion the first opportunity of the second period not long after the restart when Dylan McGlade collected a pass on the right flank before taking on his man and slicing his shot wide of the goal.
Five minutes later, first half sub Mark Langtry picked up the ball on the right side of the area before beating his man and shooting but the sting was taken out of the shot by a block from Derek Prendergast and rolled comfortably into the keeper’s arms.
Longford had a good chance to break the deadlock just a few minutes before the hour mark when Daniel O’Rielly played it into Dylan Mcglade just inside the box who lobbed the ball back to the edge of the area to Enda Curran who volleyed just past the post.
The home side ended the game stronger and they nearly took the lead after 70 minutes through fortunate circumstances when Adam Evans tore down the left side. His subsequent cross nearly deceived Karl Skinner in the Longford goal, but he recovered well to tip over the bar.
Lorcan Shannon will be kicking himself after he spurned a brilliant opportunity with 10 minutes to go. English received the ball out left before beating his man and squaring for Shannon whose shot was cleared off the line brilliantly by Stephen Walsh.
The hosts would get the final chance of the game, Robert Bayly had his shot saved at the near post by the feet of Skinner after a cross from the left by Adam Evans.
So in the end both sides came out with a point, although both will feel like they could’ve came out with all three. Up next for Shels is a trip to the Belfield Bowl to take on U.C.D next Friday, while Longford take on Cobh at the City Calling Ground the following day.
Shelbourne: Dean Delaney; Adam O’Connor, Reece McEnteer, Derek Prendergast, Jack Tuite; Alan Byrne, Niall Lanigan, Adam Evans, Lorcan Shannon, James O’Brien (Robert Bayly 35); James English.
Subs Not Used: Jamie Quinn (GK); Aidan Collins, James Brown, Jason Caffrey; Aaron Ashe, Dayle Rooney.
Booked: Robert Bayly (58).
Longford Town: Paul Skinner; Aidan Friel, Daniel O’Rielly, Noel Haverty (Rhys Gorman 47), Stephen Walsh; Kevin O’Connnor, Dan Cowan (Mark Langtry 19), Dylan Mcglade, Dean Zambra; Dave O’Sullivan, Enda Curran
Subs Not Used: Jack Brady (GK); Cody Mulhall, Gavin Boyne, Kealon Dillon; Jake Kelly.
Referee: Andrew Mullally.
ExtraTime.ie Man of The Match: Adam Evans (Shelbourne)