Early Shels’ goal leaves Cors chasing cup tie
COLLEGE CORINTHIANS……………………. 0
By DAIRE WALSH
A FIFTH-MINUTE goal by Dean Kelly proved decisive in Tolka Park last night, as College Corinthians produced a brave show before suffering a narrow defeat to Shelbourne in a lively FAI Ford Cup third-round fixture.
Having earlier defeated Newbridge Town and Tolka Rovers at the second time of asking, this was the fifth cup outing of 2013 for the Munster Senior League side.
Right-winger Peter Moreland did go close for the visitors with just two minutes gone, but with their big-time opponents eager to impress new manager Johnny McDonnell, Corinthians found themselves a goal behind just three minutes later when a glancing Kelly header from a Sean Brennan corner on the left side proved too strong for Corinthians’ netminder Mark Power.
This score certainly decreased the prospects of the MSL outfit causing an upset, but they did respond positively, as front man David Welch’s strike after six minutes stung the hands of Shels’ Niall Burdon, before the French-born shotstopper eventually gathered at the second attempt.
Thanks largely to fine displays by the industrious Moreland and striker Luke Connelly, the Douglas men remained in contention, although Kelly and Adam Hanlon were narrowly off-target for the Airtricity Premier Division side towards the end of the half.
The play was rather scrappy during the closing stages, though, and with both Colin O’Shea and Josh Kra showing good defensive leadership, there was still an outside chance that Corinthians could progress to the next phase.
However, in spite of their best endeavours, Shels always looked the more likely of the two teams to score in the second period, and Drogheda native Brennan was just wide of the mark with an effort from a tight left-hand angle just shy of the hour mark following a majestic through-ball by Kelly.
Yet, with each missed opportunity, a growing sense of edginess engulfed the Shels play and with Welch posing a number of questions for their rearguard (he forced Burdon into action from a goal-bound attempt on 65 minutes), it was clear that Corinthians were prepared to die with their boots on.
If Shels had designs on put the result beyond doubt, then a second goal was required, and when substitute Darren Tinnelly met Adam Hanlon’s 74th minute left-flank delivery in the air, it looked like it was finally going to arrive.
The excellent Power tipped his header onto the crossbar in spectacular fashion, however, and with the ball still destined to find the net from the rebound, he tipped it around the post while his feet were still planted to the floor.
The heroics of their number one galvanised Corinthians, and they very nearly grabbed a share of the spoils 12 minutes from time when Welch’s left-footed drive drifted marginally past the bottom right-corner of the opposition goal.
This was their final realistic opportunity of forcing the tie to a replay, but even though they will be disappointed at exiting the cup, they can still reflect positively on their adventures in the competition.
SHELBOURNE: Niall Burdon; Robert Cornwall, Ian Ryan, Paul Andrews, Pat Flynn; Adam Hanlon, Glen Cronin (Stephen Sheerin 70), Stephen Hurley, Sean Brennan (Darren Tinnelly 59); Lee Murtagh, Dean Kelly.
Subs not used: Charlie Treacy, Jake Donnelly, Carl Walshe, Dylan Connolly, Suen Biansumba.
COLLEGE CORINTHIANS: Mark Power; Richard Cronin, Colin O’Shea, Josh Kra, Robbie Brohan; Peter Moreland, Ricky O’Sullivan, Chris Madden (Sebastian Stihler 68), Edwin Buckley (Evan Browne 82); David Welch, Luke Connelly.
Subs not used: Fergus McDonald, Rufus Holmes, Rory O’Neill.
Referee: Robert Rogers (Dublin).