Shelbourne off bottom of table despite squandering two-goal lead

Goals from Derek Doyle and Paul Andrews cancelled out by Gavin Brennan brace


Shelbourne 2 Drogheda United 2

Shelbourne blew a two goal lead but still did enough to scrape themselves off the foot of the Premier Division table.

Early goals from Derek Doyle and Paul Andrews appeared to have Shelbourne in control at Tolka Park. But a brace from Gavin Brennan got Drogheda back into it as home ‘keeper Lee Murphy had to make two terrific saves in each half as Shelbourne hung on.

The point is enough to lift John McDonnell’s side off the foot of the table on goal difference ahead of Bray Wanderers who lost at Shamrock Rovers. Shelbourne also have a game in hand at Derry City on Friday.

After five straight defeats, Shelbourne were in need a bit of good fortune and their bright start was rewarded with a freakish lead goal on 13 minutes.

Skipper Dean Kelly’s persistence won a second corner of the night and Doyle’s in-swinging delivery dropped into the net at the far post.

It got better for the home side ten minutes later when they stretched their lead on the counterattack. Kelly again did well before Sean Brennan won a throw in the corner.

Robert Cornwall’s long throw wasn’t cleared, with Brennan’s initial shot being blocked, before central defender Andrews’ low drive took a slight deflection to enter the net off a post despite Micheal Schlingermann getting a glove to it.

Drogheda were back in it on the half hour. Doyle was guilty of a push on Peter Hynes as they came to meet a Philip Hand free kick and Gavin Brennan smashed the resulting penalty down the middle.

Eight minutes later Shelbourne had Murphy to thank for an absolutely stunning one-handed save to push Ryan Brennan’s 25-yard shot over the bar.

But Murphy was at fault for Drogheda’s equaliser on 61 minutes, allowing Gavin Brennan low cross-shot from the left to go right across him and into the far bottom corner of the net for a soft goal.

Murphy redeemed himself with his second top stop of the night when parry away Paul O’Conor’s drive on 70 minutes before Schlingermann deprived Shelbourne substitute Darren Tinnelly at the other end.

Shelbourne: Murphy; Cornwall, O’Connor, Andrews, Flynn; Hanlon, Gannon (Gartland, 90), Hurley, Doyle (Tinneely, 73); Brennan (Bayly, 77); Kelly.
Drogheda United: Schlingermann; Holohan, McNally, Daly, Hand; Brady (Marks, 74), R. Brennan, O’Connor (Foley, 87), G. Brennan; O’Brien, Hynes.
Referee: Paul McLaughlin (Monaghan).