Damien Duff and Colin Healy before the game. Laszlo Geczo/INPHO
super shels

Duff's Shelbourne move up to fourth as they hold off Cork City for victory

Having posed little threat in the first half, Shelbourne were inspired from the restart.

Shelbourne 2

Cork City 1

Paul Buttner reports from Tolka Park

A CLASSY MATTY Smith goal – his third in four games – helped Shelbourne to a double over Cork City in a game of two halves at Tolka Park.

Jack Moylan added a poacher’s second as Shelbourne, unbeaten now in five games, move up to fourth in the table, their highest placing since manager Damien Duff took charge.

A third successive defeat sees second-bottom Cork remain four points from safety in the relegation play-off place.

Cork City manager Colin Healy gave a debut in goal to 18-year-old Daniel Moynihan as the away team came to play, troubling injury and suspension hit Shelbourne inside two minutes. A sloppy Paddy Barrett back pass ran for the alert Ruairi Keating whose drive Conor Kearns pushed out for a corner.

And the Shelbourne number one remained the busier goalkeeper in the first half with a terrific double save on 36 minutes. First Kearns got down smartly to tip away a glancing header by Keating from Darragh Crowley’s fine cross before saving Ally Gilchrist’s follow-up with his legs. The lively Keating was in again four minutes later when outfoxing Kameron Ledwidge to force a tip over save.

Having posed little threat in the first half, Shelbourne were inspired from the restart and were ahead within two minutes.

matty-smith-celebrates-scoring-a-goal Matty Smith celebrates his goal for Shelbourne. Laszlo Geczo / INPHO Laszlo Geczo / INPHO / INPHO

An attack appeared to have broken down, but the ball ran for Smith on the left. He skilfully cut back inside City skipper Cian Coleman to find the far top corner with a stunning finish.

Midfielder Moylan added Shelbourne’s second on 82 minutes, pouncing on a mistake by Aaron Bolger to run clear and slide the ball past Moynihan.

Joe O’Brien-Whitmarsh got what proved Cork’s consolation five minutes later, blasting to the net from fellow substitute Cian Murphy’s pass.

Shelbourne: Kearns; Barrett, Byrne, Ledwidge; Toure (JR Wilson, 57), Caffrey, Lunney, T Wilson; Hakiki (McManus, 78), Moylan (Robinson, 85), Smith.

Cork City: Moynihan; Coleman, Gilchrist, Honohan; Crowley, Healy (O’Brien-Whitmarsh, 78), Bolger, Coffey, Varian; Keating, Owolabi (Murphy, 64).

Referee: Ray Matthews (Midlands).

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