Another week and another defeat for Shelbourne, their fourth in a row. Tensions will be high in Tolka Park and it nearly boiled over as a home fan approached manager Kevin Doherty just before the final whistle and vented his frustration regarding the team’s performance. UCD will be undoubtedly happy to revenge their earlier loss in season and put themselves into contention in the promotion race.
The first half was full of drama as UCD put themselves 2-0 up after only 20 minutes. Captain Chris Mulhall put the visitors into the lead after a fine leap into the air, the ball meeting his boot and putting it past Shels’ keeper Greg Murray. Murray will be particularly disappointed to let that goal get in. It wasn’t too much long later that UCD got their second goal of the game. Gary O’Neill picked up the ball at the centre circle and found Jack Watson, who had plenty of space to head the ball over a rushing Murray. Manager, Kevin Doherty became unusually quiet on the sidelines. His assistant John Martin, proceeded to give the instructions from the sideline. Even a word in the ear from Philly Hughes couldn’t get Doherty’s mood to change.
With just over 5 minutes remaining in the half, UCD’s O’Neill went in hard on Jake Donnelly, sending the Shels’ midfielder crashing into the ground. The referee went straight to his pocket and brandished the red card. O’Neill was off for an early bath despite his bit of excellence earlier in the game.
Shelbourne did pick up the pace a bit in the second half but there was not enough fire power to get them back in the game. They had several efforts on goal but failed to hit the target except on the odd occasion. The home home side also managed to work the ball into the box and had plenty of chances to shoot but none of the players would take the chance under pressure. Gareth Coughlan nearly got a goal for the home side in added time but his effort was cleared off the line at the last moment.
UCD captain Chris Mulhall impressed and he topped off a good display with a fine goal that lead his team to victory. He lead by example and kept the pressure on his team to keep up the pace and attack the home side.
Gary O’Neill – The midfielder tarnished his perfect assist earlier in the half with a very late tackle on Jake Donnelly. It was definitely worthy of a red card and he was lucky that his team was already two goals to the good.
The Crowd Pleaser
Without doubt Jack Watson’s goal stunned the crowd. The only thing the home fans could do was applaud as it was a fine effort. Shels fans will hope to see like goals like that as the season goes on. In the meantime, they are just hoping their team can score at all.
UCD vs Shelbourne’s defense. The Students exposed the weakness of the Shels defense several times and managed to weave their way into the box from the left flank. This area the pitch has been exposed a few times against Shels in recent fixtures and will definitely need to be worked on by Doherty and his staff.
What Happens Next?
With this defeat Shelbourne still sit in fifth place in the league but should Cobh Ramblers come away with a win or a draw in their next fixture then Shels will drop to sixth. Their next fixture is a home tie against Cabinteely. The fixture is a must win. Another defeat could cost Shels their promotion ambition and will really put the pressure on manager, Kevin Doherty.
UCD move into third with this victory on goal difference at the expense of Athlone Town. The Town can reclaim that spot with a win over Cobh tomorrow. The Students next fixture is another away fixture, this time to Athlone Town. A fixture that could see the Students kick start their own promotion bid.
SHELBOURNE: Murray, O’Connor, Osam, Crowe (Doyle 34′), Heaney, Donnelly (Earley 69′), Coughlan, Walsh, Andrews (C) (Hughes 45′), Sandford, McGlade
Substitutes: Donnelly, Earley, O’Sullivan, Kehoe, Robinson
Yellow Cards: Crowe (25′), Doyle (50′), O’Connor (56′), Coughlan (71′)
UCD: Corbett, Langtry, Leahy, Boyle, McLaughlin, O’Neill, Watts, Mulhall (C), Watson, Swan (Cannon 81′), Doyle (Benson 57′)
Substitutes: Mackey, Coyne, Tobin, Kougoun, Cannon, Kirwan
Goals: Mulhall (10′), Watson (19′)
Yellow Cards: McLaughlin (90′)
Red Cards: O’Neill (37′)
Referee: Marc Lynch