Laszlo Geczo/INPHO Sean Boyd celebrates his goal with his Shelbourne team-mates
# Tolka tussle
Duff's Shelbourne eke out narrow win over Drogheda thanks to Boyd header
Sean Boyd’s goal was the difference between the teams at Tolka Park.

Shelbourne 1

Drogheda 0

Brendan Graham reports from Tolka Park

A COMPOSED SEAN Boyd header on 51 minutes was enough to give Shelbourne a narrow 1-0 win in a cagey evening at Tolka Park against Drogheda United, with manager Damien Duff currently serving a touchline ban.

Despite neither keeper being tested at all in the first 10 minutes it was a very enjoyable opening with plenty of zip and bite to the game as both sides tried to gain the early control.

Shelbourne’s Conor Kane was the biggest threat on the pitch in the opening half. His roving runs along the left allowed him to ask real questions of Andrew Quinn in the Drogheda defence but to his credit, the Drogheda defender dealt with anything that came his way with real composure at the back.

On the half-hour mark, the evergreen Dane Massey went on his own roving run right through the centre of the Shelbourne midfield with his industrious effort winning a corner for his side.

The corner was a good one from Dayle Rooney right into the box but O’Driscoll was first with a head on it to clear the danger for the home side and get the ball up the pitch.

In such a cagey fixture the experience of Gary Deegan proved to be invaluable. The midfielder kept things simple for Drogheda but at the same time drove them forward with dinky through balls all across the pitch.

Plenty of industry and effort in the first half but lacking any chance at all to talk about on either goal.

On 51 minutes, Shelbourne broke the deadlock with the first real chance of the game and the first goal. In a midfield with very little space to be had, Shane Farrell broke free towards the right before looking up and swinging in a brilliant cross for Sean Boyd to head back across goal before seeing his effort nestle into the far corner.

aaron-odriscoll-and-john-ross-wilson-with-darragh-nugent Laszlo Geczo / INPHO Aaron O’Driscoll and John Ross Wilson with Darragh Nugent. Laszlo Geczo / INPHO / INPHO

Quinn and Cowan were caught napping completely as Boyd timed his run perfectly to nip between both defenders and get his goal.

Duff’s Shelbourne almost doubled their lead just moments later when Luke Byrne whistled a header just over the bar from another Farrell corner.

Farrell really upped his game after the break along with Moylan and Boyd in attack. The lively Jack Moylan played the roving Kane right into the box with a perfectly weighted through ball giving Kane a great chance to get Shelbourne’s second goal. Kane met it well but Sam Long was sharp to make himself big and save well at Kane’s feet.

A lapse of concentration from Shane Griffin with twenty minutes remaining allowed the onrushing Ponyton to control the ball and push forward before laying the ball right to the unmarked Chris Lyons. Lyons scuffed a shot across goal with the ball somehow finding its way to Ryan Brennan but Brennan got it all wrong sending his shot wayward and clear of the goal.

Drogheda did have their chances as the clock ticked down with Doherty’s second-half substitutions having a real impact as his side looked to get back on level terms but Shelbourne showed very well defensively to keep them at bay and hang on for their second win in a row and a really valuable three points.

Shelbourne: Brendan Clarke; John Ross Wilson, Conor Kane, Aaron O’Driscoll, Luke Dervin; Shane Griffin, Jonathan Lunney, Shane Farrell (Cameron Ledwidge 84), Aodh Dervin; Sean Boyd, Jack Moylan (Stan Anaebonam 90)

Drogheda United: Sam Long; Dane Massey (Ryan Brennan 60), Evan Weir (Georgie Poynton 67), Sean Roughan, Keith Cowan; Dayle Rooney, Gary Deegan, Andrew Quinn, James Clarke; Darragh Nugent (Dylan Grimes 67), Dean Williams (Chris Lyons 62).

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