Carlow Kilkenny 0 Shelbourne 2 by Trevor Spillane
They started their campaign with an impressive win, but the Carlow Kilkenny under-15s were brought back to earth with a bump as two goals in three minutes gave Shelbourne all three Airtricity League points.

Hopes of a second win on the spin bit the dust as the home side were finally undone by a second half of relentless pressure from the Dubs, who looked a little relieved at getting a late win in Derdimus, their victory assured by two late goals in three minutes.

It was a hard result on the locals, who sparkled for much of the first half. They will feel they should have taken something from the game, but they had no answer once Shels ramped up the pace and intent.

Speed played a big part in how the Dubliners finally broke the deadlock with 12 minutes left on the clock. Shane Maher did a lot of the damage with a surging run down the right before drilling a low ball into the box from the end line. Gbemi Arubi snapped up the loose ball and took a touch before fizzing a low shot inside the far right post.

On a high, Shels doubled their newfound advantage within three minutes, Shane Forbes rifling an unstoppable shot high into the roof of the net.

The double-whammy was tough on the hosts, who weathered a spell of early pressure before asking some questions of their own. Spurred on by the defensive confidence of Evan Rudkins and Scott Roycroft, plus the midfield threat posed by Jack Byrne and Aaron Dorgan, they impressed as they confidently fizzed the ball about, all the while looking for an opening.

Dorgan had the first bite at the target, bringing a good save from Cian Culleton, but Shels were no slouches in attack. Arubi went close to breaking the deadlock when he seized on a loose ball in the box but he dragged his 14th minute shot wide of the mark.

The home side continued with their high-tempo game, helped by smart play from Nathan Murray and Dylan Hunston. The latter had the best of the first half’s late chances when Jamie Murphy played a clever ball into his path but his 40th minute strike fizzed wide.

Carlow Kilkenny were full of confidence on the restart and went within a whisker of taking the lead inside 10 minutes. A Jack Byrne free floated in from halfway caused panic in the Shels box. Eoin Dempsey got the slightest of touches on the ball, enough to take it goalwards, but sub goalkeeper Jack Harrington made a superb reaction save to preserve his clean sheet.

Shels were spooked by that near-miss and raised their game. Daniel Ojo sparked them into life with a testing long-range shot, but sub goalkeeper Josh Coady took no chances as he tipped the dropping ball out for a corner.

Ojo proved to be a real handful, bringing another good save from Coady soon after. The netminder made it a hat-trick of stops after the hour, spreading himself to make the save after the striker nipped in to pick off a stray back-pass.

Shels remained calm, however, and saw their patience rewarded with the late brace that yielded three points.

Carlow Kilkenny: Cian Ward; Tom Maloney, Evan Rudkins, Che Scott, Scott Roycroft; Aaron Dorgan, Dylan Hunston, Nathan Murray, Jack Byrne; Dean Owens, Cillian Hackett. Subs: Josh Coady, Eoin Dempsey, Cathal Kennedy, Jamie Murphy, Dylan Hand.

Shelbourne: Cian Culleton; James Kimmage, Dean Rooney, Lee McGregor, Toby Conteh; Michael Onibokun, Bobby Pender; Shane Maher, David Toure, Clayton Foran; Gbemi Arubi. Subs: Shane Forbes, Marc Nolan, Daniel Ojo, Jack Harrington, Ultan Tracey, Aaron Moore, Jamie Kelly, Brian Johnson.

Referee: Pat O'Connor.

24/03/2019 20:43