Reds and Blues draw in Tolka Park
Waterford FC had to travel to Dublin for the second week in succession on Friday last and they had to settle for a point. The previous week they had defeated UCD at the Belfield Bowl. Sander Puri had to sit out this game due to injury and he was replaced by Derek Daly. That was the only change to the starting eleven from the previous contest. Overall a share of the points was a fair outcome although if the excellent Davy McDaid had made it 3-1 when the score stood at 2-1 the three points on offer could have been taken from the Tolka Park. His shot on the run struck the outside of the post.
Shelbourne shocked the Blues with a goal inside the opening nine minutes when Dayle Rooney whipped in a free kick from the left that was knocked down into the path of Derek Prendergast and he touched the ball past keeper Ian McLoughlin from close range.
Waterford could have brought themselves back on level terms on 19 minutes when Kenny McEvoy showed neat footwork down the right channel to send the ball to the back post for Derek Daly but his left-footed shot was into the sidenetting of Dean Delany's goal.
Ian McLoughlin was called into action to make a smart save less than sixty seconds later when Adam Evans sent James English into the clear on the left side of the penalty area but the effort from the striker from 12 yards was tipped over the crossbar.
The visitors to Tolka Park should have levelled the tie when a sweeping move saw Anthony McAlavey slipped the ball out to the left for Derek Daly and after he put a ball on a plate for Garry Comerford, his goalbound effort was blocked by a Shelbourne defender.
Shelbourne keeper Dean Delany showed his class with a tremendous save to keep his side in front on 41 minutes when Daly's delivery from a right-wing free kick was cleared to David McDaid but his stunning effort was magnificently tipped over the bar.
With two minutes of added time signalled at the end of the first half, the Blues did get back level when Gary Comerford was fouled on the right side of the penalty area and Daly's superb free kick saw Kenny Browne rise highest to plant a header to the corner of the net at the back post.
The home side could have regained their lead five minutes into the second half when Dayle Rooney sent in a corner kick from the left that found the head of Niall Lanigan at the near post but his free header was just inches wide of the target.
McLoughlin made a brilliant save to keep his side from conceding a goal on 57 minutes when Adam Evans crossed from the right that fell nicely for James English but his cracking right-footed shot was superbly kept out by the former Republic of Ireland Under 21 keeper.
Waterford took the lead less than two minutes later when they won a corner kick out on the left that saw Derek Daly play the ball to the back post for Kenny Browne and after his mishit effort fell nicely for David McDaid, he swept a right-footed shot high to the roof of the net from deep inside the penalty area.
Derek Prendergast went close to adding his second goal of the contest on 65 minutes when the defender got his head on the end of a Dayle Rooney free kick from the left at the back post but his effort just cleared the crossbar before McDaid hit the post at the other end two minutes later after racing onto a Patrick McClean long ball.
The Blues were caught on the break by Shelbourne as they levelled the tie with just over ten minutes remaining in the tie when Dayle Rooney got free down the left and after his cross was cut out by Dean O'Halloran, the ball fell for Derek Prendergast, he hammered past Ian McLoughlin from 12 yards.
Shelbourne. Dean Delany, James Browne, Reece McEnteer, Derek Prendergast, Aidan Collins (Niall Lanigan `46), Mark Hughes, Alan Byrne, Dayle Rooney, James English, Lorcan Shannon (Jackson Ryan `71), Adam Evans
Waterford FC. Ian McLoughlin, Dave Mulcahy, Kenny Browne, Patrick McClean, Shane O'Connor, Garry Comerford, Tom Smith, Anthony McAlavey (Jake Evans `78), Kenny McEvoy (Dean O'Halloran `69), David McDaid, Derek Daly (Mark O'Sullivan `83)
Referee: Paula Brady. Assistants. Ciaran Delaney and Philip Harrison.