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Shelbourne stretch First Division lead to 10 points after scoreless draw against UCD

It was a huge result for the Reds who came into the game with several players unavailable this week.

The action took place at UCD Bowl.
The action took place at UCD Bowl.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

UCD 0

Shelbourne 0

Andrew Dempsey reports from the UCD Bowl

SHELBOURNE STRETCHED THEIR lead at the top of the First Division to ten points following a scoreless draw with UCD at the Belfield Bowl.

It was a huge result for the Reds who came into the game with several players unavailable this week. It proved even more important following defeats to title rivals Galway United and Treaty United respectively.

Shelbourne had to make do with five enforced changes from last weekend’s 2-2 draw at home to Cobh Ramblers.

UCD were also missing forward Colm Whelan, albeit, through suspension. But they started the slower of the two sides, with Shels impressing early doors with a high press.
But that endeavour saw them cough up the first real opening of the game, with Harvey O’Brien heading wide from a Paul Doyle free-kick.

Shels stand-in keeper Jack McCarthy was then called into action. And after some early hesitancy, he rose to the challenge presented in front of him to deny both Dara Keane and Liam Kerrigan in quick succession with two one-on-ones.

The Students shaded most of the half, however, but their attacking threat waned as the half wore on. It was most notable later on in the half as Doyle’s curling effort flew over the bar in the best opening they could create of a drab last third of the half.

But Shels, remarkably would go closest to breaking the deadlock before the half-time whistle. Ryan Brennan broke off at the back post following a Dayle Rooney free-kick, but his low shot was blocked by a UCD defender’s stray leg.

And that seemed to be the cue for a much-improved performance from a much-changed Shelbourne side, as they started the second period well. Michael O’Connor and Dayle Rooney went close, but it was Brian McManus who went closest for the Reds.

The former Preston North End youth had two free headers in the space of five minutes, but he could not hit the target on either occasion. Firstly, he saw a header come off the bar from a corner, and then he headed wide a Farrell cross.

Rooney would then go close himself as the Reds upped the ante yet again heading into the final ten minutes, but he neither could find the back of the net despite his best efforts to do so.

The visitors had further chances to win the game as the lively Farrell went close again, forcing a good save from Lorcan Healy.

But the best chance of a dramatic ending went to UCD through Adam Lennon, but Jack McCarthy stood tall to deny the teenager and earn his side a pivotal point.

UCD: Lorcan Healy; Evan Weir, Sam Todd, Evan Osam, Harvey O’Brien; Liam Kerrigan, Jack Keaney (c), Paul Doyle, Mark Dignam (Adam Lennon 77), Sean Brennan (Eoin Farrell 71); Dara Keane (Danu Kinsella Bishop 89).

SHELBOURNE: Jack McCarthy; Kameron Ledwidge, Maxim Kouogun, Michael Barker, John Ross Wilson; Brian McManus, JJ Lunney, Shane Farrell, Ryan Brennan, Dayle Rooney; Michael O’Connor (Eric Molloy 78).

Referee: Gavin Colfer.

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First Division Results:

Bray Wanderers 3-1 Wexford FC

Treaty United 1-4 Cabinteely FC

Galway United 2-3 Cork City

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