Shelbourne progressed to the last 16 of the FAI Ford Cup on Monday after overcoming Bray Wanderers 1-0 in a tight second round replay. The Dublin side had Philip Gorman to thank as his first-half stoppage time goal proved decisive.
Pat Devlin’s men can feel more than a little aggrieved to be bowing out after dictating the game for long phases but ultimately falling short in front of Dean Delany’s goal.
Despite the score line though, Bray did create plenty of chances with last week’s man of the match Kieran ‘Marty’ Waters posing plenty of problems for the Shels’ back four.
Indeed he could have scored after eight minutes if he had managed to take full advantage of a defensive mix-up between goalkeeper and defender. He intercepted an attempted back pass by Shels’ Ian Ryan. Dean Delany stood firm however to recover after the ball had ricocheted through his legs.
Possession switched between both sides in midfield but the breaks seemed to be going the way of Bray – though John Mulroy looked very assured in the first-half for the Seasiders. Jason Byrne exposed the Shels’ defence once again when another attempted pass back cause problems for Delany. The keeper recovered well to concede a corner however.
It wasn’t all one-way traffic, though, and Alan Mathews’ charges enjoyed good spells with some neat passing. Paddy Kavanagh, operating on the Shels’ left but cutting in at any given opportunity, threatened twice in quick succession around the half hour mark but clinical finishing in front of goal deserted the hosts.
That was until the first minute of stoppage time when Kavanagh floated an inviting ball into the Bray box. Philip Gorman won the ball in the air before stabbing past Darren. The ball may have taken at least one deflection on its way to the net.
On the whole the second half played out in a similar vein with Bray dominating everywhere but the final third. As the half-progressed it was a complete backs-to-the-wall job for Shels who defended in numbers and hacked clear any chance they got.
Unsurprisingly when Bray finally looked like exposing Shelbourne, Kieran Marty Waters was involved. He raced to a loose ball on the Shels’ end line where he beat Brian Shortall. The big defender went down under Water’s presence. As the crowd appealed for a free out, Waters tried to square for Jason Byrne but the hosts cleared through Andy Boyle.
Shels had a couple of chances of their own – David Cassidy volleyed wide from 25 yards and Paddy Kavanagh tried to tee up the tireless Cassidy with 20 minutes to go. It was a game that always looked like being settled by the one goal.
As is the tradition in tight cup ties, the best was saved for last and both sides’ spurned chances. First substitute Dane Massey headed Adam Hanlon’s corner off the Shels’ upright before a lovely flowing move which saw Philip Hughes and Kevin Dawson link up. But Philip Gorman saw his flicked effort roll past the post with defence and goalkeeper beaten.
Paddy Kavanagh continued to threaten to the death. He forced Darren Quigley into the save of the game in the closing ten minutes. His powerful drive looked destined for the top right corner until the Bray stopper batted the effort away.
Danny O’Connor - the Bray central defender – had a fleeting chance to make himself a hero and force extra-time when he picked up possession in the Shels’ box. But he had only time to take a controlling touch before Cassidy slid in to clear the danger and secure the hosts place in the draw for the next round.
Shelbourne: Dean Delany; Barry Clancy, Andy Boyle, Ian Ryan, Brian Shortall; Paddy Kavanagh, Glenn Cronin, Kevin Dawson, David Cassidy; Philip Hughes (Anto Murphy, 85), Philip Gorman
Subs not used: Stephen Paisley, Conan Byrne, Brendan McGill, Paul Skinner, Sean Byrne, Paul Byrne
Bray Wanderers: Darren Quigley; Dave Webster, Danny O’Connor, Pierce Sweeney, Kevin Night (Jonathan Kelty, 85); Adam Hanlon, John Mulroy, Dean Zambra (Anthony Bolger, 88), Sean Houston (Dane Massey, 67), Kieran ‘Marty’ Waters; Jason Byrne
Subs not used: Adam Mitchell, Daire Doyle, Graham Kelty, Brian Kane
Referee: Neil Doyle
Extratime Man of the Match: Paddy Kavanagh (Shelbourne)
Sam joined Extratime for the 2011 season and is now the site's features editor. He is based in Dublin and covers all the clubs in the capital. He is also prone to the odd Drogheda game. If you would like to contact Sam, you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.