Match Report v Waterford United

Shelbourne 3 – 3 Waterford United

Shelbourne Goals: Conor Murphy 7′, Dylan Connolly 39′, Stephen McDonnell 86′

Waterford Goals: Conor Whittle 66′, Paul Quilty 69′, Lee Murtagh (og) 93′.

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by Padraic O’Conghaile

Shelbourne and Waterford United shared the points in an entertaining 3-3 draw at Tolka Park in the Aitricity League First Division on Friday night.

The game was decided by the last touch of the ball with Lee Murtagh heading into his own net from a Waterford United cross. The former Firhouse Clover player will be disappointed especially after creating many chances and demonstrating strong hold-up play at the other end of the pitch throughout the match.

In the end a draw was probably a fair result but the Shelbourne team that went in at half time might disagree. Shelbourne dominated the first half with the exception of the penalty missed by Patrick Barrett midway through.

With only seven minutes on the clock Conor Murphy left the keeper with no chance as he headed a Jordan Keegan corner into the net to give Shelbourne the lead, the earliest goal to be scored in the First Division this season.

Waterford had a chance to get back on terms ten minutes later when William McDonagh caught Vinny Sullivan’s leg as he wound up to shoot. Referee Kevin O’Regan pointed to the spot but Patrick Barrett shot, low to the left, was not enough to beat Greg Murray. Murray cleared the ball but only as far as Barrett but the Shels defense reacted quickly to clear the danger.

Despite some good Waterford pressure, the next chance of note fell to the home side on 26 minutes when Gareth Coughlan put Dylan Connolly through with only Kevin Burns to beat. His shot beat Burns but was denied by the right post. 13 minutes later Connolly made up for that miss as he fired home past the Waterford keeper to give Shelbourne a two-nil lead.

In the dying minutes of the first half Jack Doherty went down after the slightest of contact and looked for a penalty, which was not given. He had been booked a few minutes before that for simulation.

The second half started with a couple of good chances for Lee Murtagh. After miscuing a shot from the edge of the box, Murtagh then headed the ball just over the bar from a Dylan Connolly cross.

Waterford began to come back into the game and on 57 minutes Vinny Sullivan got in behind the Shelbourne defense but his shot rolled harmlessly wide. Moments later Brian Nolan beat the goalkeeper on the left hand side and chipped the ball in but there were two Shelbourne defenders on the line to clear.

Waterford pulled a goal back on 66 minutes when Conor Whittle, picking up a cleared ball from a free kick, curled the ball into the top left corner of the goal from just outside the box.

A couple of minutes later two Waterford substitutions combined to make it 2-2. Conor Meade sent Paul Quilty through with only the keeper to beat. Quilty rounded the keeper and tapped it into the net.

The visitors nearly took the lead for the first time in the game when Greg Murray let the ball bounce in front of him on the left side of the box but luckily for him it bounced into the side netting.

With only five minutes remaining, Shelbourne regained the lead, Stephen McDonnell smashing the ball past Burns into the net. Tolka Park in the past however has been the scene of many a late goal to break Reds fans hearts and Waterford added another to the collection.

The Blues kept Shelbourne under pressure for the remainder of the game. The solid pressure resulted in the own goal from Murtagh which means that Shelbourne dropped their first points of the season.

Shelbourne drop to second place in the table on goal difference behind Finn Harps while Waterford United gain one place due to goal difference. Both teams lost their perfect defensive records this evening but Waterford will be happy to have finally hit the net. Both teams will fancy their odds next week with Waterford United hosting Wexford Youths while Shelbourne will visit Shamrock Rovers B in Tallaght.

Shelbourne: Greg Murray, Brian Gannon, Willo McDonagh, Adam O’Connor, Lee Desmond, Stephen McDonnell, Jordan Keegan (Darren Tinnelly 76′), Dylan Connolly (John Sullivan 93′), Keith Quinn, Conor Murphy (Gareth Coughlan 16′), Lee Murtagh.

Subs Not used: Michael Duffy, Shane Dolan, Simon Dixon, Charlie Tracey

Yellow Cards: McDonagh 18′, O’Connor 79′

Waterford United: Kevin Burne, Conor Whittle, Kevin O’Connor, Gavin Kavanagh, Gary Delaney, Peter White (Paul Quilty 58′),Brian Nolan, Philip Drohan, Jack Doherty (Conor Meade 58′), Paddy Barrett, Vinny Sullivan

Subs Not used: Thomas Whitty, Kynan Rocks, Shane Morrissey, Willie John Kiely, Conor Coad.

Yellow Cards: Doherty 37′.

Referee: Kevin O’Regan

Attendance: 762

Extratime Man of the Match: Jordan Keegan (Shelbourne)

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