Shelbourne win to keep pressure on UCD

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Shelbourne fans in Tolka Park

Shelbourne came away from Tolka Park with a deserved three points against an ill-disciplined Waterford United. At this stage of the season and with a dog fight on their hands with UCD for the final play off spot, Kevin Doherty’s squad knew that they couldn’t let any precious points slip through the cracks.

The home side dominated the first half and could have gone ahead early in the game. Defender Sean Heaney picked up a loose ball in the box. His effort went across the face of goal but ultimately went wide.

Shelbourne continued to press ahead with Dylan McGlade in particular, giving the Waterford defence headaches as he dashed down the right wing. He also created a few good chances in the process for his side with splendid crosses into the box. Unfortunately, the end product by the targeted players were not good enough and they did little to trouble the keeper.

The deadlock was broken midway through the half. Defender Adam O’Connor played a beautiful low cross from the right side of the area. The ball was met by James English, who clipped the ball with the inside of his right foot. The effort was enough to creep by Waterford keeper, Robert Birdsall.

Waterford’s night didn’t get any better as defender Dean Reidy had to be replaced after half an hour by Robbie Buckley with what looked like a leg injury. the away side pushed ahead late into the half and Anthony McAlavey gave Shels a scare before the break. The striker managed to round Greg Murray but he went too far and was left with a near impossible shot from an angle, which went wide.

The visitors could have easily gone down to 10 men late in the first half as Colum Nugent went in hard and late on Shels goalscorer, James English. The defender can count him lucky that he wasn’t taking an early bath.

Shelbourne started the second half like they had left the first, pressing on the visitors and pushing forward. Their pressure paid off as English nabbed his second goal of the game after only only one minute of play in the second half. Gareth Coughlan played a lovely short pass to the striker, who hit it hard and low from right to left. The ball beat an outstretching Birdsall, who could have done better to keep his side in the game.

Waterford then attempted to get into the game once more and again went close. The best chance for the visitors came mid way throughout the half, Corey Galvin with the ball and like a bolt of lightening, made his way down the pitch. He picked out Aaron O’Connor with a lovely pass but the target man could only shoot straight at shot stopper Murray.

The game was all but over with less then 10 minutes to go. Nugent, who was lucky not to be sent off in the first half, went in late with two feet on Sean Heaney. The Waterford man was shown a straight red. Heaney was very lucky to walk away from the tackle as it looked much worse.

The visitors were immediately punished by the hosts. Substitute, Conor Earley, made he was into the box but picked out an unmarked Carl Walshe on the edge of the area. The striker moved into the area and dummied the defence. He then took a crack at goal. His effort was low and went across the area. Again, Birdsall was caught out and ball creeped by him to make it 3-0.

The victory leaves Shelbourne in fourth place but only one point behind third place UCD, who lost to Finn Harps. Manager, Kevin Doherty will be hoping his side can keep up a similar performance in their last two games of the season, against Wexford Youths and Cobh Ramblers, and push for a play off place and try and secure a return to the top division.

Waterford United drop to the bottom of the league as Cabinteely move ahead after a victory against Cobh Ramblers. Manager Roddy Collins will be disappointed with the overall performance of his side but he knows this team is a work in progress. Arguably, Waterford’s goal now is to get off the bottom of the league and look toward the work that needs to be done ahead of next season.

SHELBOURNE: Murray, O’Connor, Osam, Robinson, Heaney (Donnelly 85′), Doyle (C) (Andrews 85′), Coughlan (Earley 71′), Crowe, Walshe, English, McGlade

Substitutes: Brady, Dixon, Sandford, O’Sullivan
Goals: English (27′, 46′), Walshe (85′)
Yellow Cards: Robinson (40′)

Waterford United: Birdsall, Corcoran, Reidy (Buckley 32′), Nugent, Mackey, Boyle (C), E.Galvin (Nolan ’85), O’Connor, Prendergast (Walsh 56′), McAlavey, C.Galvin

Substitutes: Connor
Yellow Cards: Nugent (44′)
Red Cards: Nugent (83′)

Referee: Robert Hennessey

Attendance: 513

Youths take a point despite Shels onslaught

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Tolka Park

Wexford Youths will be counting themselves lucky after leaving Tolka Park with a point after an entertaining, albeit one-sided goaless draw in the capital. Shelbourne dominated the possession from the start and had numerous efforts to take all three points but they just could not break the deadlock and will be left fuming with this result as they push towards the latter stage of the season.

The first half was a lively affair. Shelbourne were in control for most of the opening exchanges. Gareth Coughlan had a wonderful chance to put his side ahead early in the game. The winger moved in from the left hand side of the pitch and muscled his way towards the centre of the box. Pulling off a dummy shot, Coughlan then gave himself plenty of space and time to take a crack at goal. His effort curled from right to left but landed straight in the arms of Youth’s keeper Graham Doyle.

Coughlan also had a few other chances to put his side ahead. However, his efforts were soft and were easily picked up by Doyle. The best effort in the half started with a lovely pass by Philip Hughes, his back to the goal, laying the ball to Mark Sandford. The young striker hit the ball sweetly with his right foot and it was curling towards goal. However, there was just a bit too much power behind it as it crept over the bar.

Wexford Youths came into their own after the first quarter. Ryan Delaney went close to putting the visitors ahead with a perfectly timed header from a free kick. The effort was picked out by Shelbourne’s shot stopper, Greg Murray.

Wexford Youths came back onto the pitch after the break a livelier side as they knew, arguably, they should have been behind going in at half time. Andrew Mulligan went close to putting his side ahead with a low shot to the right which troubled Murray as the ball spilled out of his hands. Danny Furlong went for a strike at goal but was beaten to the punch by Murray who tucked the ball safely in his hands and chest. A let off for the home side.

The second half was only ten minutes old when the the biggest talking point of the game occurred. James English, on for Mark Sandford at the break, had made his way into the box when attempting to slither through two of the visiting defenders. The striker clattered into the defence and landed flat on the ground, hands in the air. The referee and his assistant judged that there wasn’t much in it. A real let off for the visitors as a penalty could have easily been given on another day.

In the latter stages of the half, It was all the home side. They attacked and attacked but they just could not break the deadlock. Hughes had a few good efforts at goal. The pick of the punch being Darragh Gannon directing a long pass to the striker, who picked it up just inside the area and took a shot, however the effort was tipped wide by Doyle.

English seemed to be brought down a second time in the box. However, he looked to have made the most of it as it appeared that Lee Grace had grabbed a fistful of the striker’s shirt. The striker also went close several times from dead ball situations. He managed to direct a number of headers towards goal but they either crept over, were tipped over or cleared inches from the line.

The draw halts Shelbourne’s four game winning streak. They now sit in third place, four points behind new league leaders, Finn Harps. UCD, who are fourth, remain a threat to Shels, as they sit one point behind but have two games in hand after their exploits in Europe. Shelbourne travel to fifth place, Cobh Ramblers next Saturday as they push ahead in their bid for promotion back to the Premier Division.

Wexford Youths drop to second in the league despite earning their first point in nearly three weeks. They will be at home next Friday to welcome Finn Harps in the clash of the top two in the division. Manager, Shane Keegan will know that his side will need to improve if they wish to secure the top spot once again.

SHELBOURNE: Murray, Gannon, Osam, Robinson, Heaney, Doyle (C), Coughlan, Donnelly (Walsh 60′), Hughes, Sandford (English 45′), McGlade

Substitutes: Ryan, Andrews, Crowe, O’Sullivan, Walshe
Yellow Cards: Coughlan (35′)

Wexford Youths: Doyle (C), McCabe, R.Delaney (Tyrell 61′), G.Delaney, Grace, Higgins, Mulligan, Wall, Furlong, Cathillane (Dunne 93′), Whittle (Molloy 61′)

Substitutes: Dunne, Dermody, Kenny, Peare, Dowling
Yellow Cards: Wall (85′)

Referee: Ben Connolly

Attendance: 762

Shels defeat Harps in Tolka thriller

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Shelbourne fans in Tolka Park

Shelbourne came away from a dramatic affair at Tolka Park with all three points after a 3-2 win against promotion rivals Finn Harps. The game was topsy turvy and had the fans out of their seats on more than one occasion, mostly due to the actions of the referee.

The home side started brightly in the game with some well placed passes. However, that was to be the extent of the good start for Shelbourne as what followed turned into a nightmare that manager, Kevin Doherty didn’t envisage for his side. The visitors won a corner on the 10th minute of the game and the result was the ball landing in the back of Shelbourne’s net. Harp’s defender Damien McNulty lept into the air and connected his head to the ball and powered it past Shel’s keeper, Greg Murray and into the top left hand corner of the net.

Shelbourne then tried to hit back in search of a quick response to the early goal. Unfortunately, three minutes later, forward, Mark Sanford went in with a high boot and connected with arm of Finn Harps keeper Ciaran Gallagher in the box. The referee went straight over to the Shels man and produced a red card. The home support voiced their displeasure at the decision. They had reason to complain as it looked like an honest effort to win the ball and not a deliberate attempt to injure the keeper.

The game began to heat up and tempers flared at times. The referee pulled out the cards yet again. All yellow this time. Two for Shelbourne and one for Finn Harps. Matt Crossan received a yellow card for Finn Harps for a high boot on Jake Donnelly. The home fans waited to see if the referee disciplined him like Sandford. Unfortunately for them, he didn’t see the challenge being as poor like the foul earlier in the game.

Then lady luck shone down on Shels for the first time in the game. A long ball was looking destined for Adam O’Connor, who had pushed forward. However, Keith Cowan barged into the back of the defender. There was a delayed reaction by the referee but he signaled to the spot. Up stepped fan favourite, Philly Hughes. The forward made no mistake as he drilled his effort straight down the middle.

That luck disappeared after the break. Finn Harps midfielder, Tony McNamee, looked to have strayed offside. The Shels players froze as the Harps’ man flicked the ball over Murray and it landed right in the back of the net. The entire Shelbourne bench poured onto the pitch as they couldn’t understand how the effort stood.

However, like the topsy turvy game this turned out to be. Shels were given the chance to make the game all square again with another penalty. The ball was looking destined for Hughes and again the Harps defence went in hard. Defender, Keith Cowan barged into Hughes’ back and sent the forward tumbling over. The referee pointed straight the spot and then marched straight to Cowan to brandish another red card. Again, another harsh decision by the referee. Hughes stepped up once again and blasted the ball to the left. Gallagher got a touch on the ball but not enough to keep it out.

From the restart, Shels pushed to get ahead for the first time in the game and they didn’t disappoint the home support. Hughes picked up a nice ball just outside the area and dribbled his way into the box around the keeper and blasted the ball into the net. A hat-trick for the cult hero.

Hughes nearly added his fourth with a sublime effort. From 40 yards out on the right hand side of the pitch, Hughes took a chance as he saw the keeper off his line. His effort crossed box and crashed off the corner of left hand upright and bounced away. The Shelbourne dugout and the fans believed the effort crossed the goal line but it was not given.

The tempo of the game went up a notch or two after Shelbourne went ahead but there was not much in terms of action after that, apart from a few half chances.

Hero

The hero of the game was undoubtedly Shelbourne’s Philly Hughes. The veteran striker’s performance never dipped during the 77 minutes he was on the pitch. He definitely had the belief that the game could be turned around and he didn’t stop after his hat-trick was complete.

Zero

Referee, Andrew Mullally and his two assistants had an extremely poor game. They missed a lot of the action off the ball and both the red cards, while adding drama to the proceedings, were completely unnecessary.

The Crowd Pleaser

One could argue, which was the the best moment of the night for the crowd. The third goal for the home side had the Shelbourne fans on the their feet. Nobody in Tolka Park expected to witness Shelbourne win after going a goal and man down in the first quarter of the game. However, Hughes had the crowd in the palm of his hand after he wheeled away from scoring what was the winning goal.

What Happens Next?

The win means Shelbourne now move up to fourth place, three points ahead of fifth place Athlone Town, who have a game in hand. They are also now six point behind leaders Wexford Youths, but Shels have played a game more. Shelbourne will play away next to Cabinteely in a fortnight. In the meantime, they will play a friendly against Hearts on Saturday week in Tolka Park.

Finn Harps will also play Cabinteely but at home next Friday night. They are in second place, just two points behind leaders Wexford Youths.

SHELBOURNE: Murray, O’Connor (C), Osam, R.Robinson, Heaney, J.Donnelly (Andrews 90′), McGlade, Walsh, Hughes (English 77′), Sandford, Earley (Kehoe 85′)

Substitutes: E.Donnelly, O’Sullivan, Keely, A.Robinson
Goals: Hughes (41′, 55′, 58′)
Yellow Cards: Walsh (26′), Earley (30′), Heaney (60′)
Red Cards: Sandford (14′)

FINN HARPS: Gallagher, McNulty, Coll, Cowan, P.Mailey (Friel 68′), Crossan (McMonagle 45′), McNamee, Foy (J..Mailey 84′), Tagbo, McHugh (C), Harkin

Substitutes: McCarron, McMenimen, Toland
Goals: McNulty (11′), McNamee (46′)
Yellow Cards: Crossan (21′), McNulty (76′)
Red Cards: Cowan (52′)

Referee: Andrew Mullally

Attendance: 614

Shelbourne outclass Cabinteely for precious three points

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Shelbourne fans in Tolka ParkShelbourne picked up their first three points since late March after a fine performance against seventh place Cabinteely. Coincidentally, those last three points were picked up in the reverse fixture against the visitors to Tolka Park. The win will also ease the pressure somewhat on manager, Kevin Doherty. He will be hoping that this victory will the put the life back into his squad as they try to move forward after a tough couple of weeks.

The first half started well for the home side. Shelbourne poured the pressure on their visitors from the off. Wingers, Gareth Coughlan and Dylan McGlade troubled the Cabinteely defense on numerous occasions, shifting sides and connecting with some lovely passes to Mark Sandford. The forward covered every blade of grass on the pitch in an effort to win the ball for his side.

The home side’s pressure paid off just before half time. Defender, Adam O’Connor picked up the ball on the edge of the box. With plenty of time to shoot, O’Connor hit the ball with a soft touch of his right foot. His effort crept past Cabinteely keeper, Even Whelan and into the bottom left hand corner of the net.

Cabinteely also had some chances to get into the game. However, they just couldn’t make their efforts work. John McKeown was allowed too much space in the box with the ball early on. Fortunately for Shels, the midfielder scuffed his effort and the home side were able to clear the ball.

It was all Shelbourne in the second half. The home side had most of the possession and were constantly attacking their visitors whenever the chance came begging. They were unlucky to add a second goal to their tally. Their best effort was a Conor Earley free kick from the edge of the area. His effort went just over the crossbar. There was also a penalty shout in the dying moments of the game. Craig Walsh looked to be taken down in the box. However, the referee saw it differently and showed the midfielder a yellow card for a dive.

Cabinteely could have snuck a goal in before full-time to take an undeserving point away from Tolka Park. Midfielder, Evan Finnegan, was allowed plenty of time on the ball on the edge of the box. He struck his effort low and hard but it went across the box and inches wide of the post. Shelbourne held off the late attack and secured a precious three points.

Hero

Mark Sandford. The striker was unlucky to be taken off after 63 minutes. However, he had done enough in that time and probably should have put his name on the scoresheet. He was tracking down the ball at every effort and put the Cabinteely defense under pressure whenever he could. A fine display by the young striker.

Zero

Victor Ekanem and Robert Maloney. The central defenders were beaten multiple times by Mark Sandford and Philly Hughes. They were lucky not to concede more goals throughout the game as Shelbourne were relentless in pursuing for a second.

The Crowd Pleaser

The home fans were happy to see their side play some exciting football following last week’s poor showing. However, the pieces of skill that impressed the crowd were undoubtedly, the beautiful long passes made by Dylan McGlade. The winger’s passes were impressive and nearly all of them landed at the feet of their intended target. It was definitely an improvement on last week’s display and got the crowd buzzing.

Best Battle

Dylan Mc Glade vs Daniel Campbell and Jamie McGlynn. The Shels winger zipped past the two full backs several times and made it look easy. Between changing flanks with his partner on the wing, Gareth Coughlan, McGlade managed to work the ball into the box several times and made some perfect long passes to the feet of Sandford and Hughes.

What Happens Next?

With this win Shelbourne end a streak of four league games without a victory. Their next fixture is an away tie against Athlone Town. The reverse fixture ended with a 3-1 win for The Town in Tolka Park, a rarity. The Drumcondra side now move up a spot in the table from sixth to fifth after Cobh Rambler’s lost away to Wexford Youths.

Cabinteely stay put in seventh place with eight points, one ahead of bottom side, Waterford United who held Finn Harps to a 2-2 draw at Finn Park. It’s the clash of the bottom two next week as Cabinteely travel to Waterford United for their next league tie.

SHELBOURNE: Murray, O’Connor, Osam, Robinson, Heaney, Doyle (C), Coughlan (Earley 67′), Walsh, Hughes, Sandford (O’Sullivan 63′), McGlade

Substitutes: Brady, Donnelly, Crowe, Kehoe, Gannon
Goals: O’Connor (41′)
Yellow Cards: Doyle (13′), Coughlan (42′), Robinson (60′), Walsh (87′)

Cabinteely: Whelan, Campbell (Cairns 76′), McGlynn, Ekanem, Maloney(C), Finnegan, Brilly, McKeown (Mazono 44′), Pender, Hanley, Foley (Fahy 66′)

Substitutes: J. Broderick, R. Broderick, Cairns, O’Neill, Hyland

Referee: David Keeler

Attendance: 391

Shelbourne return home to face UCD

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Tolka Park

Shelbourne return back to Tolka Park after two consecutive weeks on the road in the league. They will be hosting their south Dublin rivals UCD, who currently sit fourth, one place ahead of their hosts.

The home side have not won since the fixture away to Cabinteely over a month ago. In their last 5 games they have lost four and drawn one. Their last fixture, was an away loss to Finn Harps.

Speaking about last week’s game away to Finn Harps, manager Kevin Doherty said, “I was very pleased with our performance last weekend against Finn Harps, which saw us back to our solid best. We had a number of chances to score that vital first goal, but it just didn’t happen. The penalty decision, which, ultimately meant that we left empty handed, was disappointing, but going forward, this is the type of performance we require to get our season back on track.”

Doherty also gave his thoughts on Friday’s game against UCD. “It was a very tough game when we played them early in the season. They have had a number of good results lately. No doubt we can expect them to come to Tolka and play their usual passing game and I expect that there won’t be much between us at the final whistle,” said the Shelbourne boss.

Last time out, the second week of the season, Shelbourne took all three points from Belfield, courtesy of a goal from defender Sean Heaney in the 75th minute.

In the nine games played between the sides (seven league, two Leinster Senior Cup) since the start of 2012, Shelbourne came out on top in five, UCD in three (including a Leinster Senior Cup game won on penalties), with one game drawn.

Neither side have any suspensions to worry about ahead of this fixture. Shelbourne have only one injury concern with Simon Dixon ruled out for the rest of the season with a head injury suffered in the season opener at home to Finn Harps.

UCD come into the game with two wins, two draws and a loss in their last five games. Their last fixture was 1-1 draw at home to sixth place Cobh Ramblers.

Shelbourne, promotion favourites in pre-season, know that they desperately need three points here if they are to chase the league leaders, Finn Harps, who are 12 points ahead of them. However, UCD will be looking to avenge the defeat from earlier in the season and put another dent into Shels’ season.

Lights out for Shels as Youths take 3 points

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Tolka Park

Technical glitches at Tolka Park were just the icing on the cake on what was an embarrassing night for Shelbourne. Nonetheless, two of the favourites for promotion this season, Shelbourne and Wexford Youths entertained the crowd. It was to be Wexford that came away from this important league clash with all three points after a game that had six goals in it.

The home side got off to a flying start when Gareth Coughlan whipped in across towards the box. The ball met the head of Mark Sandford and looped over the stretching keeper and into the top right hand corner of the net. Then the electrical fairies struck Tolka Park as the floodlights failed and the pitch went dark. The referee suspended play and both teams went back to the dressing rooms.

The game resumed some 30 minutes later. The home proceeded to collapse as the visitors took advantage of the spontaneous break to re group and went on the attack from the off. Shels defender Ryan Robinson nearly gifted the home side the equaliser after he lost the ball to Aidan Keenan on the edge of the box. His effort going just wide of goal. Danny Furlong also had another great chance from a free kick. His effort went inches wide of the goal. Then on the half hour mark, Gary Delaney’s head connected with the ball from a corner. His effort flew past Shelbourne shot-stopper, Greg Murray.

Shelbourne could have gone into the lead not long after. Striker, Sandford was gifted a long ball but he couldn’t get the right first touch on the ball. He tried to play it forward but he scuppered his pass. Efforts went back and forth with Wexford having the best of chances. Their efforts at goal were rewarded on the 38th minute as Furlong made his way up the right hand side of the pitch. He chipped in beautifully from the edge of the box and Keenan was there to meet the ball. His header, like Sandford earlier in the game, looped over a stretching Murray and into the top left hand corner of the goal.

Referee, John McLaughlin must have got caught up in all the excitement happening at Tolka Park. He booked Shels’ Sean Heaney after an elbow on a Youths’ player. Then after consulting the lineman, McLoughlin proceeded to book Ryan Robinson.

The second half, like the previous week, started well for Shelbourne. The side went on the attack from the off and we rewarded for their pressure in the opponent’s half. Conor Early won the ball on the right flank and proceeded to dribble his way around numerous Wexford players and towards the centre of the box. From there he struck the ball sweet and low past Doyle.

The momentum was to stop eight minutes later. Craig Walsh was deemed to have brought down a player in the box. Danny Furlong fired home the spot kick, Greg Murphy guessed the correct way but he couldn’t get a hand to it. The net had not even settled from the penalty when Wexford’s Conor Whittle fired home low and long into the bottom right hand corner to extend the visitor’s lead.

Shelbourne seemed to pick up the pace again when Philly Hughes was brought on. The home side could have easily got a goal back but not for the woodwork. Conor Early’s great strike struck the crossbar and bounced off. Just seconds later, Early seemed to be fouled in the box but the referee just waved play on.

Things got worse for the home side with seven minutes remaining. Defender Ryan Robinson, went late into a tackle. He knew straight away his game was over even before the referee pulled out the yellow card and quickly followed by the red card.

Shels will now look to bounce back in their next fixture, an away trip on Saturday week to St. Colman’s Park to face Cobh Ramblers. Meanwhile, Wexford Youths will be at home for their next game, against Finn Harps, also on Saturday week.

SHELBOURNE: Murray, Doyle (C) (Hughes 64′), Osam, Robinson, Heaney (Andrews 52′), Crowe, Coughlan, Walsh, Sandford, Keegan, Early (O’Sullivan 81′)

Substitutes: Brady, Donnelly, O’Connor, Gannon

Goals: Sandford (9′), Early (52′)
Yellow CardsHeaney (27′), Robinson (27′, 83′)
Red Cards: Robinson (’83)

WEXFORD YOUTHS: Doyle (C), Whittle, Dermody, Delaney, Grace, McCabe, Higgins (Bonnar 77′), Wall, Furlong, Molloy (Mulligan 69′), Keenan

Substitutes: Houghton, Delaney, Drohan, English
Goals: Delaney (30′), Keenan (38′), Furlong (60′), Whittle (63′)
Yellow Cards: Delaney (18′)

Referee: John McLoughlin

Attendance: 676

Promotion contenders clash at Tolka Park

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Shelbourne fans in Tolka ParkIt is third against fourth at Tolka Park on Friday night as Wexford travel to the capital to face promotion rivals Shelbourne in a tie that neither side will want to be on the losing end of.

In their last league fixture away to Waterford United, Shelbourne came back from a two-nil first half deficit to draw the game 2-2. Such was their performance in the last half-hour of the game, forcing corner after corner, that they can be considered unlucky not to have taken all three points back up the M9 to Dublin.

Shels also suffered a 1-0 defeat on the road mid-week to Dundalk in Oriel Park in the second round of the EA Sports Cup. John Mountney’s 11th minute cracker was enough to see off the visitors and put the reigning champions through to the next round.

Wexford Youths, on the other hand, had a magnificent win over one of the other favourites for the league title, Athlone Town, – being the first side this season to take all three points from them.

Of the four games played between Shelbourne and Wexford last season, the Reds won both games played at Tolka Park (2-0 and 3-0), whereas ‘Youths’ won one of their home games (1-0), with the other ending in a 1-1 draw.

On last week’s league game away to Waterford United, Shelbourne manager Kevin Doherty stated he was very happy with the second half display in Waterford, adding “with a bit of luck we could have got the winner. I thought we weren’t too bad in the first half and were somewhat unlucky to be two down at half time – a goal from a set-piece and a wonder goal. I’m very happy with the squad of players I have. They are a very young group and continue to learn all the time.”

And speaking about Friday’s opposition, the manager said, “Wexford are a very good side. I have already said that I see them as the probable winners of the league this season. We know what to expect and we have prepared well for the game. It’s up to us to show what we can do, now.

Shelbourne’s injury problems have not abated and they go into Friday night’s game still missing Simon Dixon, Paul Andrews, Dylan McGlade, Sean Heaney and Dave Ryan. Defender Alan Kehoe is doubtful, having left the field early at Oriel Park with a slight groin injury.

The visitors go into this game without injured duo Dean Broaders and Stephen Last. Both are two weeks away from a return to first team consideration. Andy Mulligan returned to training this week after a hamstring strain and is pushing for a recall to the squad.

There are also injury concerns over Craig Comerford who injured his back in last week’s win over Athlone Town, while Craig Wall (ankle) and Eric Molloy (foot) will face late assessments.