League Report: St Patrick's Athletic 1 - 2 Shelbourne


Evan Caffrey scored the late late winner for Shels Credit: Peter Fitzpatrick (ETPhotos)

Shelbourne remarkably extended their lead at the top of the Premier Division thanks to a superbly taken Evan Caffrey winner in the 96th minute as they beat Saint Patrick’s Athletic at Richmond Park.

With the scores level at one apiece after an excellent Sean Boyd header in the first half was cancelled out by a sensational Jake Mulraney free kick with 18 minutes remaining, Shelbourne found the composure in a frantic finish to snatch all three points.

Tyreke Wilson’s pull back fell for Caffrey and he took a touch to set himself and slotted the ball with his left foot through a barrage of bodies and into the bottom corner to send the away end into pandemonium.

Once side by side with the Republic of Ireland, Stephen Kenny and Damien Duff were in opposing dugouts for this Dublin derby. But while all the attention was on the two managers in the build up, what happened on the pitch eclipsed that.

Mulraney’s free kick looked to have swung the pendulum in the favour of Kenny’s side with Shels appearing to be content to hang on for a point until Caffrey ensured the Reds’ unlikely title charge keeps rolling on ahead of a trip to Tallaght on Friday.

Both sides had their moments early in the first half with Paddy Barrett and Mark Coyle testing Daniel Rogers in the Pats goal before Conor Kearns brilliantly tipped Mulraney’s disguised effort wide.

Will Jarvis wreaked havoc when the sides last met in Richmond Park with two superb goals and his cross to find Boyd at the back post was equally as good and the striker couldn’t miss as he notched his fourth goal in four games.

Pats dominated from there and Brandon Kavanagh should have levelled affairs but his volley from an Anto Breslin cross bounced straight at Kearns.

That pattern continued early in the second half but Shels packed a punch on the counter attack, creating some openings, particularly for John O’Sullivan who scooped over from seven yards following a cross into the area.

Duff’s side probably should have doubled their lead with a third of the game remaining. Again, it was a swift counter that fashioned the opportunity. Coyle’s ball found substitute Evan Caffrey and his lash across the box was too heavy for Liam Burt who couldn’t turn the ball home.

They would be punished four minutes later as Pat’s finally turned their dominance in possession into substance.

Mulraney’s sensational free kick rippled the top corner and brought Inchicore to its feet setting up a grandstand finish.

Suddenly it was Shelbourne who were on the back foot. But they found a second wind deep into stoppage time. After a flurry of corners, they fashioned one last attack and Wilson charged to the end line with his ball falling to Caffrey who showed incredible composure amidst the madness to net the winner.

Shelbourne are now four points clear of Derry City and six ahad of Shamrock Rovers ahead of a mammoth task in Tallaght on Friday.