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Shels go unbeaten in preseason

Shelbourne draw away again to Premier Division side - by Fintan Cassidy

Shels pulled off a very credible draw against Bohemians on Friday night in Dalymount, their fourth draw against Premier Division opposition in their preseason programme. The home side had taken the lead 55 minutes into the game after a defensive mix up when Alan Keely headed the ball across his own goal, only to gift Bohs midfielder Glen Cronin with a simple tap-in.

However, the Reds dug in and were rewarded with an equaliser just five minutes from the whistle when Philly Hughes fashioned a cross from the right and Jason McGuinness under pressure from Kevin Cornwall, turned the ball into his own net.

Dermot Keely made several changes to the side that beat Beggsboro last Tuesday, with club captain Damian Brennan returning from injury, at centre half alongside Alan Keely. Dean Lawrence moved across to right back in place of rested Alan Murphy. In midfield James Chambers pushed out to the right wing, with David McGill slotting in beside Mark O’Brien in the middle. James Keddy returned to the left side. Up front, Alan Freeman lined out with Anto Flood.

Daisy Brennan showed his worth twice in the first half, denying both Jason Byrne – in his first start for the Gypsies – and Bohs best player John Paul Kelly. The almost gale force winds made conditions very difficult and both sides struggled to play any constructive football.

The second half saw many changes wrought, with the visitors making four changes on the turn-around. Alan Byrne came in for Brennan, while Chambers and Keddy on the wings were replaced by Alan Mulcahy and Mark Rutherford. Up front, Philly Hughes came on for Bisto.

Shortly after conceding the goal to Bohs, Keely went off injured resulting in a major reshuffle. Kevin Cornwall came on at centre forward, with Freeman dropping back to the right side of midfield, with Mulcahy switching to the left. Robbie Hedderman moved into centre half to allow Mark Rutherford go left full.

Although only just on the pitch, Rutherford turned in a great performance, curtailing JP Kelly in particular. However, he was fortunate not to concede a penalty, when he nudged Jason Byrne over in the box just after the hour mark. David McGill who took over the captain’s armband for the second half also turned in a busy workman-like performance.

Later substitutions, John McGuinness for Delaney and Max Cream for Freeman also played their part in this worthwhile draw with another Premier Division team.

D Delaney; D Lawrence, A Keely, D Brennan, R Heddermam; J Chambers, M O’Brien, J Keddy; A Flood, D Freeman.

Subs: A Byrne, A Mulcahy, P Hughes, M Rutherford, M Cream, K Cornwall, J McGuinness.


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