After a trip to the Midlands to play Athlone Town in the Leinster Senior Cup on Monday last, attention returns to league action on Friday, when Shelbourne will welcome UCD to Tolka Park for their second meeting of the season in the SSE Airtricity League First Division. Kick-off at the Drumcondra venue is scheduled for 7.45pm.
On Friday night last, Shelbourne travelled up the M1 to play Drogheda United in the league. If Shelbourne had won the game, they would have leapfrogged their opposition into second place in the league table. It was not to be, however, and the game ended in a 1-1 draw, with Sean Brennan converting a penalty for Drogheda in the 73rd minute and James English equalising (85’) with a stunning shot from out on the left, curling into the far side of Paul Skinner’s goal. Both sides seemed to accept it as fair result at the end.
Shelbourne then went to play Athlone Town in the 4th Round of the Leinster Senior Cup on Monday. Shels, who started with just four players who started against Drogheda, made their way into the next round, courtesy of an 85th minute goal from Shane Farrell, volleying to the bottom corner following Reece McEnteer’s 50-yard cross field ball.
While Drogheda and Shelbourne were taking points off each other, Friday night’s opposition were extending their lead at the summit of the table, winning 3-2 against second from bottom, Wexford FC. “College’s” goals were scored by Jason McClelland (4’), Georgie Kelly (19’) and Gary O’Neill (45’). Aaron Dobbs (32’) and Mark Slater (52’) scored for Wexford.
UCD were also involved in the Leinster Senior Cup on Tuesday night, being beaten at home 2-1 by Longford Town – both sides fielding teams comprising of mostly fringe players. Ben Hanrahan (20’) scored for UCD, with Jackson Ryan scoring twice (48’ & 79’) for Longford.
The game at Tolka Park on Friday will be the second of three league meetings this season, the first having taken place at the UCD Bowl on February 23rd. In that game. The ‘Students’, who went behind to a James English goal in the 27th minute, recovered to make a comeback with two goals in the second half from Greg Sloggett (50’) and Timmy Molloy (64’) to run out 2-1 winners.
Results last season went in favour of UCD, winning two of the four (4-0 & 0-1), with Shelbourne winning one (1-2) and their final meeting of the season ending in a 1-1 draw.
Owen Heary will have to plan for Friday’s game without Arran Molloy (hamstring) and David O’Sullivan (family commitment).
Shelbourne manager Owen Heary – “We felt that we were unlucky to leave the Bowl with nothing from the first game of the season. We had a number of good chances in the last quarter of the game, but just couldn’t put them away.”
“We’re strong at home – last year it was probably the opposite way around, we couldn’t really get a win at home and we were very good on the road.”
“We have a front three who can get chances and take chances so, it’s important the defensively were strong and we’ve kept a fair few clean sheets now which is quite pleasing – it gives us a chance in every game”