Report from United Park, with thanks to Gerard Grimes and The42.ie
SHELBOURNE WILL TAKE the advantage into the second leg of their First Division Promotion play-off after a James English header gave Owen Heary’s side a 1-0 win over Drogheda United.
Drogheda started the brighter, having early chances through Jake Hyland and Chris Lyons but saw both saved by Shels’ captain Dean Delany, low to his right.
The visitors grew into the game and should have taken the lead on twenty-three minutes as English kept the ball alive, heading back across goal to O’Sullivan.
O’Sullivan met the ball six yards out but was denied by a brilliant point blank save from Paul Skinner.
Shelbourne took the lead two minutes later though, as English rose highest to head into the roof of the net from Lorcan Fitzgerald’s corner.
The big talking point of the first half came on twenty-eight minutes as Chris Lyons set himself to shoot in the box but looked to have been brought down by Derek Prendergast, only for referee Matthews to instead award Drogheda a corner.
The second half was one of few chances but Drogheda’s best, other than a long-range Sean Brennan free kick, came with eighteen to play.
A well-worked passing move saw the ball eventually fall to captain Jake Hyland on the edge of the box but he could only fire over Delany’s goal.
It was Shels’ who should have scored the second goal of the game, in the final minute as substitute Adam Evans found his way behind the Drogheda defence but rushed his shot and fired wide of the far post.
Drogheda Utd: Paul Skinner, Colm Deasy, Luke Gallagher, Ciaran Kelly, Conor Kane, Richard Purdy, Sean Brennan, Jake Hyland, Gareth McCaffrey (William Hondermarck 85'), Chris Lyons, Mark Doyle.
Subs not used: Luka Gratzer, Kealan Dillon, Kevin Farragher, Lloyd Buckley, Robert Manley.
Shelbourne: Dean Delany, John Ross Wilson, Derek Prendergast, Aidan Collins (Reece McEnteer 50’), Lorcan Fitzgerald, Shane Farrell (Adam Evans 74'), Alan Byrne, Mark Hughes, Karl Moore, David O’Sullivan, James English (Gavin Boyne 93').
Subs not used: Lee Steacy, Patrick Kavanagh, Dayle Rooney, James Brown.