SHELBOURNE 1 (Heaney)
Report courtesy of extratime.ie
Shelbourne gained their first three points of the 2015 SSE Airtricity League First Division at The UCD Bowl on Friday night after an entertaining encounter with promotion rivals UCD.
Sean Heaney’s76th minute header proved the difference as, despite a lot of positive play from Collie O’Neill’s young side, Kevin Doherty’s outfit came out on top.
The home side had the first chance of the game after just three minutes, when midfielder Gary O’Neill latched onto a loose ball before firing over Greg Murray’s cross-bar.
O’Neill had another opportunity to put The Students ahead five minutes later, as some constructive play from Dylan Watts lead to Chris Mulhall being found on the right hand-side.
Mulhall then found O’Neill, but his effort was well matched by Murray at the near post.
It was chances-a-plenty in the opening period and Shels had one of their own on nine minutes, as ex-Student Craig Walsh found Alan O’Sullivan from the left wing, only for O’Sullivan to fire narrowly wide of Niall Corbet’s post.
The Students could easily have been 1-0 up on 17 minutes but Jamie Doyle’s effort at the back post was palmed away to safety by Murray. At the other end, Gareth Coughlan was one of Shelbourne’s real threats on the night and on 19 minutes he found himself in space 20 yards from goal, only to see his shot go inches wide.
Coughlan was involved again a couple of minutes later, as The Students were almost caught out when Shels captain Walsh latched onto a poor pass from Ryan McLaughlin, before switching the ball to Coughlan, who saw his effort pushed away by Corbet.
Chances continued to fall Coughlan’s way and he wasn’t far away from giving the North Dublin side the lead just before the half hour mark, as he latched onto a poor UCD clearance, before firing a shot into the side-netting.
The half got even more entertaining as the chances kept coming. Craig Walsh became the latest player to try his luck after 32 minutes, as his long range effort, which was deflected towards goal, needed a top drawer save from Corbet to keep the teams on level terms.
The second half started a little bit slower than the first, but there was a chance for the home side’s Conor Cannon seven minutes into the half, as he latched onto a loose ball but his shot was easily dealt with. Coughlan was again involved for Shels on 54 minutes as he raced clear of the UCD rear-guard, but as he went to round Corbet, he lost his bearings and dragged the ball well wide of the goal.
Centre-half Maxim Kougoun made his league debut for The Students on Friday evening and despite being only 18, the former Cherry Orchard youth was a commanding presence. His efforts were typified just after the hour mark, when he put his body on the line to clear a Daire Doyle cross when striker Mark Sandford was lurking behind him.
On 67 minutes, Shels ‘keeper Murray was again called into action, as a loose ball fell to UCD’s Doyle on the edge of the box, but the clean sheet remained intact thanks to another save. The only goal of the game came with 14 minutes to go as Sean Heaney, who was unmarked at the far post, rose highest to head Jake Donnelly’s corner to the net.
UCD’s Doyle had a handful of chances on the night, his last coming on 79 minutes, as he saw his powerful volley palmed away to safety by Murray.
Shelbourne had a great chance to seal it with six minutes to go, as Donnelly’s free kick from 18 yards deflected to fellow midfielder O’Sullivan, but he slid his effort narrowly off target.
UCD refused to lie down and substitute Ryan Swan came close to an equalizer with five minutes to go, as he ran onto a ball from O’Neill, but his effort was well saved by Murray yet again.
UCD: Niall Corbet; Daniel Tobin, Maxi Kougoun, Ryan McLaughlin, Sean Coyne (Eoin Kirwan 88); Gary O’Neill, Greg Sloggett, Dylan Watts (Daire O’Conchubhair 82); Chris Mulhall (C), Conor Cannon (Ryan Swan 70), Jamie Doyle.
Subs Not Used: Conor Mackey; Adam Harney; Samir Belhout.
Booked: Cougoun (27).
Shelbourne: Greg Murray; Daire Doyle (C), Ryan Robinson, Sean Heaney, Evan Osam; Craig Walsh, Jake Donnelly, Alan O’Sullivan; Gareth Coughlan (Colm Crowe 57), Mark Sandford (Phillip Hughes 73), Alan Kehoe.
Subs Not Used: David Ryan; Darragh Gannon, Dylan McGlade; Jordan Keegan, Conor Earley.
Booked: Osam (48), Crowe (70), Kehoe (72).
Referee: Robert Hennessy.
Official Attendance: 387.
Extratime.ie Man of The Match: Greg Murray (Shelbourne)