Shelbourne 0, Bohemians 2
Report courtesy of the Irish Times
Crowe returns to haunt Shelbourne
Paul O'Hehir at Tolka Park
Shelbourne 0 Bohemians 2:
The last time Glen Crowe togged out at Tolka Park he wheeled away to celebrate having scored Shelbourne's title-clincher against Bohemians. Fortunes down Richmond Road have, of course, spiralled depressingly since then and mindful of this, his celebrations here last night were muted. How times have changed.
The Republic of Ireland international scored twice in the second half against his former side, already down on their luck and now dumped out of the League Cup. Still, Dermot Keely's players can take great pride from their performance as they made their Premier Division opponents sweat for a victory that, in the end, they ground out and deserved.
But credit Shelbourne for the manner in which they battled. Feisty, creative and ambitious, they dominated for prolonged spells and rarely looked outclassed. The current squad, of course, hold no ties to the successful team of recent seasons, yet they honored both the jersey and supporters with a tenacious performance.
While the Tolka Park surface is much improved on recent weeks, it still lent itself to wayward bobbles and stray passing. Nevertheless, the hosts attempted to keep the ball low and clean throughout, working neatly out of defence whilst using the flanks to good effect.
Until departing injured, Niall O'Brien, the right back, was particularly impressive in the opening exchanges. Although he spent a good deal of time on the turn he had Chris Kingsberry's measure early on and the confidence gained from that inspired those around him. Captain Alan Murphy, in turn, orchestrated moves from deep, supplying wide men Aaron McEniff and Kyle Moran who used ball intelligently.
Lone striker Mark Leech was the pair's intended target and he proved up to the task despite close attention from Jason McGuinness and Liam Burns. Still, as eye-catching as the home side were, Bohemians goalkeeper Lee Boyle was never once tested during the opening half. Not, that is, that Tony O'Dowd was overworked either at the other end.
But Bohemians, who were cumbersome initially, slowly found their footing and finished the half strongly. The pace with which the hosts started could never be maintained and they rapidly retreated, inviting their city rivals to attack. Kingsberry, now far more imposing, twice went close. Both times he slalomed in off the left before firing low and hard, forcing O'Dowd to block at his near post.
That momentum was carried through after the restart, with the visitors attacking regularly and with menace. Following Neale Fenn's withdrawal, Kevin Hunt was switched off the flank and saw a good deal more possession inside. His distribution carried authority and the visitors benefited as a result. During a sustained spell of pressure, Crowe twice threatened with headers although, following timely interventions, both were steered narrowly over.
Shelbourne's frantic challenge had waned by this stage, yet Murphy tested Boyle with a long range effort following clever work in the box from Leech. Despite that, the hosts were just about clinging on as Bohemians upped tempo. And whatever hopes they harboured evaporated 22 minutes from time when, at the third time of asking, Crowe found the net by heading John Paul Kelly's cross past a scrambling O'Dowd.
Notwithstanding John Brophy's shot and Moran's follow-up which was smothered on the line, Shelbourne finished leg-weary. Bohemians, sensing this, needed no second invitation and took full advantage with 10 minutes remaining. Former Shelbourne team-mates Owen Heary and Crowe combined, the striker reaching the defender's defence-splitting cross to blast a powerful header home and secure Bohemians their ticket for the quarter-finals.
O'Dowd; O'Reilly, Brophy, Collins, Ryan; Murphy; Moran, Chambers, Harte, McEniff; Leech. Subs:
McKenna for O'Reilly (59). Booked:
Boyle; O Heary, McGuinness, Burns, Powell; Hunt, T Heary, Fenn, Kingsberry; Mansaram, Crowe. Subs:
Kelly for Fenn (53), Rice for Kingsberry (70), Mooney for Mansaram (87). Booked:
I Stokes (Dublin)