DROGHEDA UNITED 0
SHELBOURNE 1 (Ahu Obhakhan 51′)
Martin Murray’s Shelbourne U19’s were back in action last night playing Drogheda in United Park.
With all their competitors playing at the weekend, Shels found themselves outside the top four Champions League Play-offs, so there was added pressure on all – and on the back of a 2-0 defeat to Letterkenny in the last outing, they looked fragile early on.
Murray made four changes from that game and it took some time to get going, especially as Drogheda were putting Shels under pressure at every opportunity, stopping them playing out from the back as they like to do.
Drogheda were very unlucky not to take the lead in the 30 minute, with a fantastic goal-line clearance from Conor Keeley, but gradually Shels were coming into the game and were unlucky not to take the lead before half time through Dylan Grimes and debutant Sean Doyle.
Murray wasn’t happy, making an immediate change at half time, bringing Andy Gorman on for Sean Doyle and tinkering with the midfield. Shels were a different team the second half and from the off, took more control of the game. In the 51st min, following some fabulous trickery from David Pakenham on the left wing, his initial shot was blocked by the Drogheda keeper but Ahu Obhakhan was lurking and he finished to the back of the net
On the 65min, Shels should have gone further in front when Grimes went around three defenders only to fluff his lines from six yards out. Drogheda never gave up and in the 70 min ‘keeper Jack Brady was called on, and he made an outstanding save at his near post. As the game came to an end you could sense the nervousness all around, but the Shels rear-guard of Cian Kennedy, Andrew Ward and especially Keeley and Gavin Kearney were outstanding and were not going to be breached.
In the end Shelbourne took home THREE very valuable points, which moved them back up to third and now face another daunting game on Sunday against St Pat’s Athletic in the AUL.
But for now, an excellent evening’s work by this young Shelbourne group who showed there will to win, and could be the making of them as they showed maturity beyond the years.
Jack Brady, Cian Kennedy (Ronan O’Flynn), Andrew Ward, Conor Keeley, Gavin Kearney, Armstrong Bekombo, Aaron Robinson [Capt] (Glen Carragher), Dylan Grimes (Aaron Ralph ), David Pakenham (George Mukete), Ahu Obhakhan, and Sean Doyle (Andy Gorman).
Subs: Eric Donnelly, Ross O’Brien.
Management: Martin Murray, Ger Ralph, Anto Kennedy, Ciaran Bizzell, Mark Frazer and Gary-Matthew O’Toole