For privacy reasons YouTube needs your permission to be loaded. For more details, please see our PRIVACY POLICY.
I Accept

Match Report

Liam Burt was goalscorer and creator as Shelbourne extended their lead at the top of the SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division table to seven points with a 2-1 win over Dundalk at Tolka Park on Good Friday.

Dundalk started well and had the best chance of the first half through Archie Davies, who forced a smart stop from Conor Kearns.

The Lilywhites, though, found themselves behind shortly after the resumption as Burt eased past a number of players before lifting the ball over Ross Munro, who moments earlier had pulled off an outstanding save from JJ Lunney.

It was 2-0 on 74 minutes when Burt burst into the box and his pull-back was put into the net by the luckless Hayden Muller, which appeared to have put a seal on all three points.

However, after Munro kept the score down with saves from substitutes Evan Caffrey and John Martin, Dundalk staged a late, late rally.

Robbie Benson headed in in the 91st minute and then Ryan O’Kane almost got on the end of Daryl Horgan’s cross at the back post only for the ball to run away from him, as time ran out on their bid to salvage an unlikely point.

For the game, manager Stephen O’Donnell made three changes to the team that drew with Waterford before the international break. Horgan, Koen Oostenbrink and Cami Elliott came in for Ciaran McGuckin, Zak Bradshaw and Jamie Gullan, who were all named on the bench.

Dundalk started on the front foot and forced a couple of early set-pieces. In the seventh minute, Shels threatened through Seán Boyd, but young defender Zak Johnson stopped the danger with a good block.

Two minutes later, Dundalk continued to show positive signs when right-back Davies raided into the box and, after the ball broke back to him, fired a powerful strike which was beaten away by Kearns.

There was plenty of effort from both sides but little in the way of goalscoring chances as the first half progressed, Dundalk at times giving the league leaders encouragement through their own mistakes.

On 38 minutes, Boyd broke into the box, but a heavy touch did not help him as he eventually attempted to square the ball to the in-rushing Matty Smith, but Davies was alert to get across and clear.

Before the break, a tackle on Elliott lit a spark as both sets of players came together, with referee Damien MacGraith deciding that yellow cards for Elliott, Mark Coyle and Paddy Barrett was enough punishment.

After the restart, Shels began with intent and when Lunney unleashed a shot from distance it appeared goal-bound, only for Munro to produce an outstanding save as he pushed the ball away.

However, on 51 minutes, the hosts were in front. Burt was allowed to turn in the centre circle and run past a number of players before, from the edge of the box, lifting the ball high into the net.

O’Kane was introduced approaching the midway point of the second half as Dundalk desperately searched for a way back into the game.

McGuckin and Gullan then entered but, within moments of their introductions, Shels scored again. Good interplay from the home side ended with Burt turning Louie Annesley and breaking in close to the by-line, his cutback sliced into the net by Muller.

Shels could have added further goals but, four minutes from time, Munro denied Caffrey with a strong hand at his near post and, soon after, he closed down Martin well in a one-on-one.

Those saves kept Dundalk just about in it and, in injury time, they scored their first goal since the first game of the season when Benson headed an excellent John Mountney cross to the bottom corner. Mountney had made his long-awaited return to action when coming off the bench in the 81st minute.

That gave the Louth men hope and Horgan almost delivered a chance for O’Kane to equalise, but the young winger was unable to get control of the ball in the box as Dundalk were left three points adrift at the bottom of the table.

SHELBOURNE: Conor Kearns, Sean Gannon, Gavin Molloy, Paddy Barrett, Tyreke Wilson, JJ Lunney (Dean Williams 83), Mark Coyle, Liam Burt (John O’Sullivan 77), Matty Smith (Evan Caffrey 63), Will Jarvis (Kameron Ledwidge 83), Seán Boyd (John Martin 76). Subs not used: Lorcan Healy (GK), Shane Farrell, Keith Ward, Lewis Temple.

DUNDALK FC: Ross Munro, Archie Davies, Louie Annesley, Zak Johnson (Zak Bradshaw 81), Hayden Muller (John Mountney 81), Scott High, Koen Oostenbrink (Ciaran McGuckin 73), Daryl Horgan, Robbie Benson, Sam Durrant (Ryan O’Kane 65), Cami Elliott (Jamie Gullan 73). Subs not used: George Shelvey (GK), Robbie Mahon, Mayowa Animasahun, Paul Doyle.

REFEREE: Damien MacGraith.


Club1st Half2nd HalfGoals
Dundalk FC011


Date Time League Season
March 29, 2024 7:45 pm Premier Division 2024 League of Ireland