Shelbourne got a crucial win over promotion rivals Cork City Foras Co-op tonight at Tolka Park thanks to goals from Marc Hughes and Ian Ryan.
Shels had a dream start when Cork gave the ball to David Cassidy straight away from the kickoff. Cassidy looped a pass over the Cork defence, and Hughes and Farrell were both clean through on goal. Despite calls for offside, the referee allowed Hughes to advance and slide the ball in past Mark McNulty.
The lead could easily have doubled on twenty-six minutes. Shels broke fast and found Ray Scully unmarked on the far left side of the Leesider’s goal. Scully shot agonisingly over though.
Chances for the visitors were few and far between in the first half. On the rare occasion that the ball stayed in the Red half of the pitch for more than a few seconds Shels were capable of dealing with it.
City did have one clear chance, as Dean Delany turned saviour for Shels just before half time. After a Cork corner, two shots were blocked and the 'keeper had to dive through a goal-line scramble to claim the ball and kill the most dangerous Cork attack of the match.
Ian Ryan got Shels' second goal on fifty-two minutes. From a David Cassidy free-kick Stephen Paisley headed toward goal. Ian Ryan headed the ball again and this time it looped over McNulty and into the goal.
Just as they were in the first half, Shels were dominant in possession and capable of resisting all of Cork's attacks. On sixty-five minutes Dean Delany was made to save what looked like a low Cork cross, but the Shels 'keeper was largely untroubled.
Ten minutes later, Shane Barrett ran into the Shels penalty area only for Stephen Quigley to dispossess him and clear the ball away - an episode which largely summed up Cork's night.
Cork didn't really trouble Shels at all for the rest of the match, and it finished 2-0 to the in-form Reds.
Shelbourne: Dean Delany, Stephen Quigley [Colin O'Brien '85], Sean Byrne, Ian Ryan, Stephen Paisley, Paul Shiels, David McGill, David Cassidy [Eric Foley '90], Brian Farrell, Marc Hughes [Mark Leech '67], Ray Scully
Subs Not Used: Gareth Whelan, Steve Williams
Cork City Foras Co-op: Mark McNulty, Ian Turner, Greg O'Halloran [ George O'Callaghan '13], Davin O'Neill, Shane Duggan, Graham Cummins, Cillian Lordan, Billy Woods [Eoghan Lougheed '72], Gareth Cambridge, Gavin Kavanagh, Shane Barrett Subs Not Used: Paul Deasy, Ian O'Sullivan, Kalen Spillane
Referee: Jim McKell (Tipperary)
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Ian Ryan
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.