Monday, July 3, 2017

Shelbourne FC 1, Blues 1 (30/6/17, Tolka Park, Dublin)

In the end a fair result.....the Blues dominated the first period and Shels dominated the second albeit to a much lesser extent. That said had the Blues gone in at half time two or three goals to the good as they should have, the stuffing would have been knocked out of the home side and the travelling Blues' fans would have gone home much happier. 

Tolka Park is a hard place to win three points at any time so a draw might be viewed as satisfactory. UCD drew in a much easier game against Wexford in Ferrycarrig but Cobh won on Saturday at home to Athlone so it is back to squeaky bum time. Both Cobh and UCD are still too close for comfort.

Shane O'Connor hit his first goal for the Blues with only four minutes on the clock and the Blues should have added at two or three more goals before the break such was the gap between the sides but it did not happen and questions will be asked. Why are the Blues not putting lesser sides away? Why have they not shaken off the chasers? Why are the playing so conservatively?

Matt Connor was called upon several times especially in the second half and had to pull off some fine saves. How often is this said of the big man who has  grown in stature and reputation since coming in to the team. Shane O' Copnnor and Garry Comerford both put in decent shifts in the middle sector. Sully worked his butt off up front without reward unfortunately.

Conditions were perfect and some minor but improvements were in evidence at Tolka Park. The designation of the game as Category A by the FAI, due in part to the events at the Belfield Bowl last week, was shown to be ridiculous and excessive. ....absolutely no problem with the travelling fans who once again brought a great atmosphere to the the venue. On this occasion they were permitted access to all areas of the ground. There was hardly a sound from the home fans until the very late but deserved equaliser at the death. The match officials did well.

Two difficult away games over the last two weekends but only one point to show. However with six of the remaining league games at the RSC it should be possible to pull away at the top of the table especially if the rumoured additions to Rennie's squad materialise in the next couple of weeks.

Wexford at home next Friday....should yield three more points. 

C'mon the Blues! 

Blues: Matt 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. Unused subs: Dean Walsh, Jack Lynch, Kenny McEvoy, Matt Sheehan, Owen Wall.

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