League Report: Shelbourne 2- 1 Dundalk FC


Liam Burt opened the scoring against Dundalk at Tolka Park Credit: Paul Dolan (ETPhotos)

Top of the table Shelbourne defeated bottom of the table Dundalk by two goals to one at Tolka Park. Second half goals from Liam Burt and an own goal from Hayden Muller meant Robbie Benson’s late header was a mere consolation for the visiting Lilywhites.

Following a two week Premier Division break, Reds Head Coach selected the same starting eleven which had beaten St Patrick’s Athletic a fortnight previous. His Lilywhite counterpart Stephen O’Donnell made a trio of changes from their goalless draw at home to Waterford on the same night- with Ciaran McGuckin, Zak Bradshaw and Jamie Gullan replaced by Daryl Horgan, Koen Oostenbrink and Cameron Elliott respectively.

The visitors arrived in Drumcondra looking for their first league win of the season and brought a sense of energy to proceedings, reducing their hosts to a couple of half chances in the first half and tested Conor Kearns themselves- the ex UCD stopper thwarting Archie Davies with a smart stop.

However, all the efforts of their first half performance were undone six minutes into the second half as mercurial Scottish attacker Liam Burt powered forward to crash a shot into the top corner of Ross Munro’s net to break the deadlock from the edge of the area. In truth, it wasn’t wholly unexpected as the Dublin side brought a different tempo to their second half performance.

Former Shamrock Rovers and Bohs schemer Burt was also responsible for Shelbourne’s second goal as he pierced the right hand side of the defence before clipping a cross which Hayden Muller bundled past his own goalkeeper to double the deficit with a quarter hour remaining.

Dundalk captain John Mountney made his first league appearance of the season when he replaced the unfortunate Muller at left back and within moments he had his first assist as his looped cross was nodded to the net by Robbie Benson to set up a grandstand finish. Despite a late penalty appeal when Ryan O’Kane tumbled in the area, Shelbourne held on to increase their lead at the top of the table to seven points.

Shelbourne: Conor Kearns; Patrick Barrett, Sean Gannon, Gavin Molloy, Tyreke Wilson; Liam Burt (John O'Sullivan 77), Mark Coyle, Jonathan Lunney (Dean Williams 83); Sean Boyd (John Martin 77), William Jarvis (Kameron Ledwidge 83), Matthew Smith (Evan Caffrey 62).
Subs not used: Lorcan Healy, Lewis Temple, Keith Ward, Shane Farrell.
Booked: Patrick Barrett (45), Mark Coyle (45).
Sent off: None.

Dundalk: Ross Munro; Louie Annesley, Archie Davies, Zak Johnson (Zak Bradshaw 82), Hayden Muller (John Mountney 81); Robert Benson, Samuel Durrant (Ryan O'Kane 65), Scott High, Daryl Horgan, Koen Oostenbrink (Ciaran McGuckin 73); Cameron Elliott (Jamie Gullan 73).
Subs not used: George Shelvey, Mayowa Animasahun, Robert Mahon, Paul Doyle.
Booked: Hayden Muller (43), Cameron Elliott (45), Ross Munro (55).
Sent off: None.

Referee: Damien MacGraith.