Tuesday, 12th December 2017
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Waterford's lead reduced to three points

Shelbourne 1 Waterford FC 1

Waterford got caught in the dying minutes for the second time this season in Tolka Park on Friday night last. Back on St Patrick's Day they were leading 2-1 but the Reds snatched a goal to grab a late point. Last Friday the Blues were leading one nil and a precious victory was looking odds on but again the hosts somehow managed to find the Blues net with time almost up. Substitute Aaron Ashe was only on the field for two minutes when he took a pass from another replacement, Dayle Rooney and he drilled the ball past Matthew Connor in the Waterford goal. It was a hard goal to take from a Waterford point of view but all things considered Shelbourne deserved a share of the spoils for the game. On Saturday Cobh Ramblers defeated Athlone Town 3-1 in St Coleman's Park and they have now closed the gap on Waterford to just three points. Third placed UCD are a further point adrift after being held by Wexford in Ferrycarraig Park. Next up for the Blues is a home match this Friday against an improving Wexford team and a victory would be welcomed because the past two games in Dublin produced only one point from a possible six. Prior to the Shelbourne contest the Blues were beaten by UCD at the Belfield Bowl.

The Blues got off to a whirlwind start when they took the lead with four minutes on the clock as a neat flick from Mark O’Sullivan set up Derek Daly on the left-side and his first-time cross was fired home by Shane O’Connor under the body of Shelbourne Dean Delany from 12 yards.

Derek Daly stood over a free kick 25-yards from goal after Shelbourne defender Alan Byrne brought down David McDaid as he raced clear on the right-side of the penalty area but the effort from the wide player went over Delany’s crossbar.

Shelbourne keeper Dean Delany made a brilliant save to deny the Blues their second goal of the game on 15 minutes when Daly turned provider for Mark O’Sullivan on the left-side of the area but his right-footed effort was superbly turned around the posts.

The home side created their first chance two minutes later when James English did well down the left-side but his shot from inside the penalty area was wide of Matthew Connor’s near post before English missed a glorious chance to level on 26 minutes.

When Robin Dempsey put in a brilliant tackle on Dylan Kavanagh as he looked to race clear on goal, the ball broke to the Shelbourne striker on the right-side of the penalty area but he blazed wide of Connor’s near post when he should have hit the target.

Adam Evans carved out a half chance for himself with 41 minutes played when he took possession of a breaking ball 20-yards from goal but his shot failed to trouble Blues keeper Matthew Connor as the hosts started to grow in confidence as the half wore on.

The second half saw Shelbourne certainly cause the Blues into some panic situations in possession and it was James English that got onto a pass from Adam O’Connor on the right-side of the area but his shot across the area was cut out by keeper Matthew Connor.

It was James English that could have brought his side back on level terms on 76 minutes when he got his head on the end of a left-wing delivery from Adam Evans but his glancing header was just inches wide of Matthew Connor’s far post.

With the Blues defending resolutely throughout the half, they failed to real create a chance of their own before Patrick McClean set up Anthony McAlavey with 86 minutes played but his well-struck effort flashed over Dean Delany’s crossbar.

Shelbourne struck for an equalising goal to break the hearts of the Waterford faithful as the game entered second half injury time when Dayle Rooney slipped the ball out to the right channel for Aaron Ashe and he drilled right-footed shot past Matthew Connor.

SHELBOURNE: Dean Delany, Adam O’Connor, Sean Byrne, Alan Byrne, Aaron Molloy (Aaron Ashe `88), Mark Hughes, Adam Evans, Niall Lanigan, Dylan Kavanagh (Chris Lyons `65), Dylan Grimes (Dayle Rooney `80), James English

WATERFORD FC: Matthew Connor, Robin Dempsey, Patrick McClean, Kenny Browne, Gary Delaney, Derek Daly (John Martin `74), Garry Comerford, Anthony McAlavey, Shane O’Connor, David McDaid (Conor Whittle `90), Mark O’Sullivan

Referee: John McLoughlin. Assistants. Alan Sherlock and Declan Toland.

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