League Report: Dundalk 2 - 1 Shelbourne
- Aoife Mullen
- Tue, Mar 07 2023
Second-half goals from Rayhaan Tulloch and Andy Boyle sealed a victory for Dundalk on Monday night against Shelbourne at Oriel Park.
Shelbourne were the visitors to the Carrick Road venue for the first Monday night fixture of the 2023 season, hoping that they would not suffer the same fate as St Patrick’s Athletic.
The Saints succumbed to a 5-0 defeat at the hands of the Lilywhites during their match on Friday last.
Both came into this game on four points with an identical record of one draw, one defeat and one win.
Stephen O’Donnell made five changes to the starting eleven with Hayden Muller, Louis Annesley, Johannes Yil-Kokko, Daniel Kelly and Patrick Hoban making way for Archie Davies, Wasiri Williams, Keith Ward, John Martin and Cameron Elliott.
For Shelbourne, there were three changes to the side that secured a 1-0 in a Dublin derby against Bohemians with Andrew Quinn, Kian Leavy and Kameron Ledwidge replacing Luke Byrne, Mark Coyle and Shane Farrell.
In contrast to the bright start that has been a feature of Dundalk’s opening games this season, it was the visitors who deservedly took the lead through John Ross Wilson in the 15th minute.
The Shels defender snatched the ball from Darragh Leahy, rounded Nathan Shepperd and demonstrated remarkable composure to calmly finish into the empty net.
Damien Duff’s charges almost doubled their advantage just under the thirty-minute mark when Jack Moylan tried to capitalise on an error from Wasiri Williams, who started for Dundalk having made his debut off the bench on Friday night.
Lilywhite captain Andy Boyle averted the danger on this occasion and the home side managed to deny Shels a second goal before half time.
Despite dominating possession in the opening half, Dundalk failed to create many scoring opportunities with their single shot on target coming from Tulloch in the 44th minute.
The home side were first to emerge from the dressing rooms before the restart and though there was no change of personnel, there was certainly a change of intensity.
Tulloch made amends for his missed opportunity when he headed home from a Darragh Leahy cross after just two minutes to give Stephen O’ Donnell’s side the perfect start to the second half.
The 22-year old on loan from West Brom came close to netting a second goal minutes later, but his shot was blocked by Shelbourne keeper Conor Kearns.
On the hour mark, Stephen O’Donnell made two changes with Patrick Hoban and Ryan O’ Kane replacing John Martin and Keith Ward respectively, increasing Dundalk’s attacking threat.
With the hosts chasing the game, the substitutes had the desired effect and Hoban almost gave the home side the lead after seven minutes on the pitch, but his acrobatic effort took a deflection and was pushed over the crossbar by Kearns.
Moments later Hoban’s pressure forced a corner and Connor Malley’s set-piece was met by the head of Andy Boyle in a crowded six-yard box to give Dundalk a 2-1 lead – an early gift for the team captain on the eve of his 32nd birthday!
Shelbourne applied pressure in the closing stages and found the back of the net in the 92nd minute through their substitute Kyle Robinson.
However, his goal was ruled out for offside. The home side managed to withstand the pressure and claimed a hard-earned three points.
Tension on the touchline boiled over after Damien MacGraith’s full-time whistle involving staff and players from both teams which may have ramifications for both clubs.
After another dramatic night in Oriel Park, the hosts will be encouraged by their back-to-back wins as they travel to the Brandywell to take on table-toppers Derry City.
For Shels, their next fixture is another Dublin derby with Shamrock Rovers visiting Tolka Park on Friday night.
Dundalk: Nathan Shepperd; Andy Boyle, Archie Davies, Darragh Leahy, Wasiri Williams; Connor Malley (Alfie Lewis 79), John Martin (Patrick Hoban 60), Greg Sloggett, Rayhaan Tulloch (Hayden Muller 87), Keith Ward (Ryan O'Kane 59); Cameron Elliott.
Subs not used: Mark Byrne, Peter Cherrie, Robbie McCourt, Anthony Moyo, Robbie Benson.
Booked: Greg Sloggett (25), Rayhaan Tulloch (56).
Shelbourne: Conor Kearns; Paddy Barrett, Kameron Ledwidge, Andrew Quinn, John Ross Wilson, Tyreke Wilson; Kian Leavy, JJ Lunney (Brian McManus 60), Gavin Molloy, Jack Moylan (Kyle Robinson 73); Evan Caffrey (Shane Farrell 73).
Subs not used: Scott Van der Sluis, Daithi Folan, Luke Byrne, Matty Smith.
Booked: JJ Lunney (34), Tyreke Wilson (59), Kyle Robinson (84).
Referee: Damien MacGraith.
Attendance: 2, 766.
extratime.com Player of the Match: Rayhaan Tulloch (Dundalk).
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