League Report: Shelbourne 1 - 0 Bohemians
- Rónán MacNamara
- Fri, Mar 03 2023
A superb Kian Leavy effort gave Shelbourne their first goal and win of the season as they punished ten-man Bohemians at a cauldron-like Tolka Park.
Leavy’s 77th minute strike triggered chaotic celebrations in Tolka Park. After Kacper Radkowski butchered a clearance, Leavy took a great first touch to get by Kris Twardek before driving a low left footed effort past James Talbot to give the home side bragging rights.
A major flashpoint came midway through the second-half when Dylan Connolly was shown a straight red card for an elbow off the ball on JR Wilson.
That turned the game on its head and Shels made them pay through Leavy who scored his first goal since joining on loan from EFL Championship side Reading.
The players emerged to a simmering atmosphere and it all boiled over just as referee Arnold Hunter was about to sound the whistle for kick-off. A scuffle broke out, not on the pitch but in the main stand as the excess Bohemians fans managed to squirm into the home end and cause a commotion.
There was already a sizzling subplot to this fixture after Shelbourne humbled Bohemians 3-0 in last season’s FAI Cup Quarter-Final which ultimately proved the low point for Bohs in what was a disastrous season.
Declan Devine waxed lyrical about the prowess of Jonathan Afolabi after his performance against Dundalk last week saying he wouldn’t want to play against him and that he scares people. The former Celtic man gave an indication of what he’s capable of when he turned Paddy Barrett and flashed a wicked ball across the six-yard area and Connolly botched the finish.
The opening half lacked quality in truth but made up for it in intensity with fierce challenges flying around in true North Dublin Derby style. It took an Adam McDonnell stinger in the 28th minute to register the first shot on target – which was well held by Conor Kearns.
Jack Moylan and Evan Caffrey were the bright sparks for the hosts in the first half who pressed their Royal Canal rivals from the front. Moylan had the best moment for Shels when he dribbled by Keith Buckley and Grant Horton before running out of space for a shot.
Former Gypsie, Tyreke Wilson scored a terrific free kick in this fixture last season and from a similar spot, this time in Shelbourne scarlet, he almost repeated the feat but Talbot held firm.
Devine made the first move with a half-time substitution as youngster James McManus entered the fray for the already booked Paddy Kirk which saw Jordan Flores move to left back in a rejig.
The industrious Mark Coyle was replaced shortly after the interval with an injury by Kameron Ledwidge which saw Gavin Molloy advance from centre back to midfield.
The atmosphere became raucous as the Gardai and the riot brigade were summoned to the Riverside Stand to remove one fan.
Amidst the entertainment in the stands, those who still had their attention on the game applauded a fine save from Kearns to deny Ali Coote who had unleashed a venomous low volley on the hour.
The tension in the stands boiled over onto the pitch as Connolly saw red for an elbow on JR Wilson after the Shelbourne right-back came steaming across the pitch to win the ball off the winger to stop a quick counterattack.
Passion was running high as Wilson roared in the face of Connolly who took offence and ran at him, leading with his elbow.
Goalless in their first two games so far, Damien Duff’s Shelbourne were not going to get a better opportunity to not only hit the net for the first time but pick up their first win.
Substitute Leavy did just that with thirteen minutes to send Tolka Park into raptures and give this fiery atmosphere the lift off it deserved.
Flores was presented a 93rd minute free kick from 23 yards but he couldn’t repeat his heroics of seven days ago as Bohemians’ last chance for an equaliser went begging.
Shelbourne: Conor Kearns; Paddy Barrett, Luke Byrne, John Ross Wilson, Tyreke Wilson; Mark Coyle (Kameron Ledwidge 49), Shane Farrell (Kian Leavy 58), JJ Lunney, Gavin Molloy, Jack Moylan (Kyle Robinson 85); Evan Caffrey (Brian McManus 85).
Subs not used: Scott Van der Sluis, Daithi Folan, Andrew Quinn.
Booked: Shane Farrell (16), Paddy Barrett (55), JJ Lunney (61), Kian Leavy (69), Damien Duff (81).
Sent off: None.
Bohemians: James Talbot; Keith Buckley, Grant Horton, Patrick Kirk (James McManus 46), Kacper Radkowski; Ali Coote (Kris Twardek 70), Jordan Flores, Adam McDonnell (John O'Sullivan 89); Jonathan Afolabi (Dean Williams 76), Dylan Connolly, Declan McDaid (James Akintunde 70).
Subs not used: Luke Dennison, Drew Baker, Krystian Nowak, Jay Benn.
Booked: Patrick Kirk (33), Adam McDonnell (56), James McManus (72).
Sent off: Dylan Connolly (66).
Referee: . Arnold Hunter
extratime.com Player of the Match: JR Wilson
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