Gerard Grimes reports from United Park
James English went closest to scoring at United Park as Drogheda United and Shelbourne played out a scoreless draw on Friday night.
Both sides had chances to win the game but neither could find the net as Drogheda missed out on a chance to go top of the First Division.
Drogheda had the first chance early on as a free kick was played over the top from the halfway line, Stephen Meaney took the ball down well and played the ball into the path of Mark Doyle.
However Drogheda’s top scorer so far this season failed to hit the target as his shot rose high, never troubling Colin McCabe in the Shelbourne goal.
Chances were hard to come by in the first half as it took a further ten minutes for the next effort as Meaney held the ball up on the right.
That allowed two former Shelbourne men to link up as James Brown got forward in support and crossed to Cian Kavanagh, who watched his header hit a Shelbourne player and bounce out for a corner.
The introduction of Aiden Friel for the injured John Ross Wilson on 22 minutes straight away began to turn the momentum in Shelbourne's favour.
Friel was the first to test Skinner as his low drive from 25 yards forced Skinner to dive to his right and get a strong hand to the ball and palm it clear.
The last three chances of the first half were perhaps the best. First, Aiden Friel picked out James English with a long ball. English controlled on his chest but hit his first-time strike over the bar.
Drogheda's best chance of the half came a minute later as Luke Gallagher's long ball from the halfway line was flicked on by Meaney to Doyle but his shot was saved by the onrushing McCabe.
Finally, Cian Kavanagh's free kick from just inside the Shelbourne half on the wide right was delivered to Luke McNally who got a run on the defender but headed onto the roof of the net.
A sub for either side, a speculative effort from Stephen Meaney and yellow cards for Drogheda’s Mark Hughes, and Oscar Brennan and Ryan Brennan of Shelbourne summed up the first 25 minutes of the second half.
The chance of the game fell to Shelbourne with 20 minutes to play as Lorcan Fitzgerald put a cross seemingly on a plate for James English.
The striker was denied by a stunning save from Paul Skinner, however, before Sean Quinn missed the follow up.
James Brown flashed an effort wide of McCabe’s goal before Skinner was forced off with what looked like a possible hip injury.
Luca Gratzer replaced him as Drogheda number one before Conor Kane flashed a show wide of the far post in what would be the last action of the game.
Drogheda United: Paul Skinner (Luca Gratzer 81); Kevin Farragher, Luke Gallagher, Luke McNally; James Brown, Mark Hughes, Cian Kavanagh, Jake Hyland (C) (Sean Brennan 57), Conor Kane; Mark Doyle, Stephen Meaney.
Unused Subs: Sean Trimble, Eoin McPhillips, Luke Heeney, Jordan Adeyemo, Chris Lyons.
Booked: Mark Hughes (63).
Shelbourne: Colin McCabe; John Ross Wilson (Aiden Friel 22), Luke Byrne, Derek Prendergast, Lorcan Fitzgerald (C); Daniel McKenna (Dayle Rooney 79), Oscar Brennan, Ryan Brennan, Karl Moore; James English, Greg Moorhouse (Sean Quinn 46).
Unused Subs: Dean Delany (gk), Alex O’Hanlon, Darragh Noone, Daniel Byrne.
Booked: Oscar Brennan (59'), Ryan Brennan (63'), Sean Quinn (87').
Referee: Michael Connolly.
Attendance: 650 (estimate).
Extratime.ie Player of the Match: Conor Kane (Drogheda United).