Monday, October 17, 2016

15 October, Tolka Park, Dublin

Shelbourne FC 0, Blues 1

Last Friday night's performance was one of those that come round maybe once or twice every season and make it all worth while. Blues' fans everywhere can be very proud of the efforts of this young team in recent weeks and to finish the season with two successive wins was beyond the dreams of even the most optimistic of those fans.

Let's be honest......Shels should have won this game by a country mile, such was the extent to which they dominated the exchanges from start to finish, which made the result for the small band of travelling Blues' fans even more enjoyable. For the entire ninety minutes, with the exception of a few raids into the Shels' half the Blues had to work hard to contain a lively home side. At times it really was back to the wall stuff.

Hero and stand out on the night was keeper Matt Sheehan who display was quite amazing. Seldom if ever can there have been a better display by a Waterford keeper. He produced a string of top drawer saves which left the Shels' marksmen baffled and frustrated. He really was that good.

The only goal of the game was scored by another youngster Owen Wall, a few minutes before the break. Sean Noble and Phillip Gorman did the groundwork out wide on the right. Philly sent over a lovely cross and young Owen Wall was there to drop volley it to the net..... a real beauty and the only real chance for the Blues up to the break.

There were heroes right across the pitch in Blue shirts, none more impressive than player of the year David O'Leary who once again put in a huge shift. Dara Keane caught the eye also and how good it was to see Philly Gorman back again, even if he was off the pace at times. David Osasere is beginning to look the part....he had a fine game.

Stand in manager Derek Browne can be very pleased with himself - 100% record!

The occasion was spoilt to some extent by a protest carried out by some Shels fans, opposed to the club's planned move to Dalymount. Their protest delayed the game by about five minutes and it must be said that regardless of their views on the ground sharing (with Bohs) proposal, the manner in which they went about their business was a disgrace and did not serve their club well. How often have we seen Shels' fans let themselves down in recent years and damage the reputation of the football family and their club?

The game was played in perfect conditions. Tolka Park can boast of a fine playing surface, even it is about the only thing good about the place. The match officials did well....seen but not heard for the most part. Black mark however for the prick with the clipboard at the entrance for media personnel. Wherever you come across a Paddy with a clipboard or a badge of any sort in this country there is a good chance that he/she will act the maggot. He could learn a lot from the decent and polite attitude of similar club officials in Cobh, Athlone, Limerick to name but a few (but this is Dublin). In Limerick none less than the club chairman personally welcomes media personnel and ensures that they have all they need to get the job done. Not in Tolka.

Blues: Matt Sheehan, Tunmise Sonawale, Ian Sinnott, David O'Leary, Dara Keane, Sean Noble (Jake Mooney 88), David Osasere, Phillip Gorman, Dean Walsh, Owen Wall. Subs: Mark Feeney,

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