SHELBOURNE LEFT IT late to overcome Wexford Youths on the opening night of the SSE Airticity First Division but they were good value for the three points in the end.
There were no fewer than four yellow cards and a red for the visitors in the final ten minutes and it was that indiscipline that ultimately cost them as Philip Hand’s stunning free kick in the 84th minute gave Shelbourne the lead before Dylan Connolly wrapped things up in the fourth minute of injury time with a goal on the break.
Wexford’s best chance of the game probably came in the 62nd minute when Shels’ goalkeeper Greg Murray dropped Sean Skelly’s corner but Hand was there to save his blushes and clear the danger.
Title favourites Longford Town also got their campaign off to a winning start with a 1-0 victory away to Galway. David O’Sullivan was the hero for the Town after rounding Conor Gleeson and slotting home calmly.
The presence of President Michael D. Higgins in the stands at Eamonn Deacy Park wasn’t enough to inspire the home side to an equaliser.
Finn Harps and Waterford United played out a scoreless draw in the only other game in the division tonight.
Shelbourne 2-0 Wexford Youths
Galway FC 0-1 Longford Town
Finn Harps 0-0 Waterford United