Report: Shelbourne 1-1 Rovers

The Bit O’ Red earned a share of the spoils in a tightly contested game at Tolka Park on Friday night in front of around 2,000 supporters in Drumcondra.

Shelbourne came into the game in good form and continued that form by taking the lead on five minutes. Nando Pijnaker lost control on the edge of the Rovers’ area and Sean Boyd got in behind before pulling it back to strike partner Matty Smith who put the ball into the bottom right corner from close range.

Rovers reacted well and forced a number of corners, with Johan Brannefalk’s delivery on 35 minutes headed away by Shelbourne but only as far as Niall Morahan who controlled a brilliant shot into the far top corner to level proceedings.

Shelbourne could have doubled their lead before that when Daniel Lafferty’s back pass was cut out by Jack Moylan but Luke McNicholas denied him smartly.

The second half was a tight game with both sides looking for the all important second goal.

John Russell brought on Kailin Barlow for the injured Greg Bolger on 57 minutes and he almost put the Bit O’ Red in front as he picked up Lafferty’s pass and drove towards the area, shooting just wide from 20 yards.

Shelbourne pushed forward and forced some corners but Rovers were defending well with Lafferty, Pijnaker and the returning John Mahon equal to everything, backed by goalkeeper McNicholas who claimed some crosses and high balls.

The referee Rob Harvey added four minutes at the end of the game and this almost gave Rovers enough time to win it.

Andrew Quinn conceded a corner on 92 minutes and Brannefalk’s delivery, which caused problems all night found Lafferty who’s headed was cleared off the line. Rovers kept possession and it ended with Lafferty crossing for Max Mata, but his header came off the bar and away to safety.

Rovers now go into the mid-season break with no fixture next weekend and a trip to UCD to come on June 23rd.

(Photo: Darren O’ Hanlon)