Report: Shelbourne 2-1 Rovers

Bit O’ Red took on Shelbourne on Friday night at Tolka Park in what was the second meeting between the sides this season.

Damien Duff’s Shels defeated Rovers 1-0 at The Showgrounds on April 1st thanks to a Dan Carr penalty.

Liam Buckley made four changes to the side that drew with Shamrock Rovers in the previous game with Will Fitzgerald, Mark Byrne, Robbie McCourt and Paddy Kirk coming into the starting eleven in place of Colm Horgan, Shane Blaney, Jordan Hamilton and the suspended Garry Buckley.

Shelbourne started the better team and looked to create some chances early on but Rovers stood firm and the hosts could only force a couple of corners and one or two half chances which were blocked down by The Rovers’ defence.

On 23 minutes however they took the lead. Adam McDonnell was caught in possession on the edge of his own penalty area and midfielder Jack Moylan picked the ball up and curled it high into the corner past Ed McGinty to give his side the lead.

Rovers had a couple of half chances through Aidan Keena and Fitzgerald soon after but the hosts doubled their lead on 43 minutes when striker Sean Boyd gathered possesion on the edge of the box and just like the first goal he placed it into the corner to give McGinty no chance.

Liam Buckley made two half time changes with Jordan Hamilton and the returning Max Mata coming on to replace Byrne and Fitzgerald.

The changes did give The Bit O’ Red some more urgency and more possession brought some half chances in front of goal with Mata and Hamilton causing problems for the Shels back five.

After the hour mark, Paddy Kirk beat two men and found himself inside the penalty area and his strike flew past Brendan Clarke into the top corner to bring Rovers back into the game.

The game opened up by now and both sides had chances, most notably when Sean Boyd found space in the box but his header was saved by McGinty. The striker got to the rebound first and somehow, McGinty denied him from close range to keep Rovers in it.

Buckley introduced Cillian Heaney, Colm Horgan and Seamas Keogh for the final fifteen minutes in place of Lewis Banks, Greg Bolger and Aidan Keena and had some sustained possession in the final third but couldn’t create a clear chance. Seamas Keogh found space on the left in added time but his cross, which found McDonnell was headed wide.

Next up is Shamrock Rovers on Monday at Tallaght Stadium.