Shelbourne came from behind to take all three points away at UCD in a 2-1 victory in the Airtricity Premier Division, and the home side have indiscipline to blame as sendings-off either side of the break saw them reduced to nine men.
Without having had much of the ball for the first quarter of an hour, the home side took the lead on 18 minutes thanks to a wonder strike from Craig Walsh.
He latched onto a throw-in halfway inside the Shels half, cut inside an unleashed a special effort with the outside of his right foot, giving Murphy no chance as it screamed past him into the top corner.
The goal settled UCD and had the opposite effect on Shels, who suddenly began to look every bit a team struggling at the bottom of the league.
The match took a crucial turn six minutes before the break. UCD’s Mark Langtry initially did well to bring the ball out of defence, but when he was caught in possession by Adam Hanlon he attempted to regain the ball by knocking him down with his elbow. The referee, on consulting the near side assistant, eventually showed a straight red card, and Langtry was off.
Shels’ man advantage was not long in translating into tangible benefit. In the 44th minute, Shels raided up the middle. Lee Murtagh knocked it down to Seán Brennan, who calmly side-footed it high from 15 yards past the stretching McGinley in the College goal, and the sides were level.
John McDonnell’s charges didn't have to wait for long into the second half to take the lead. Excellent work on the right hand side saw Hanlon deliver a superb cross which was met by the head of Dean Kelly at point-blank range and he made no mistake converting the chance.
Two minutes later, the same assistant who advised the referee on the Langtry sending-off again took a lead role in a significant decision.
Murtagh was upended by James Kavanagh 25 yards from goal. The referee had seemed content to give the foul and leave it at that, but frantic gesticulating at the back pocket by the assistant, saw the referee brandish the second red card of the match and UCD were down to nine men.
From that point there was only going to be one result as UCD manager Martin Russell was forced into making positional and personnel changes.
And although UCD did put some pressure on the Shelbourne goal, particularly in the last ten minutes, the visitors hung on for what could prove to be an invaluable three points come the end of the season.
UCD: Mark McGinley, Gareth Mathews, Hugh Douglas (Samir Belhout 60), David O’Connor, Mark Langtry, Craig Walsh (Cillian Morrison 72), Barry McCabe, James Kavanagh, Robbie Benson, Dean Clarke (Tomás Boyle 57), Seán Russell.
Shelbourne: Lee Murphy, Brian Shorthall (Robert Cornwall 90), Derek Doyle, Stephen Hurley, Adam O’Connor, Glen Cronin, Seán Brennan, Lee Murtagh, Dean Kelly (Darren Tinnelly 85), Pat Flynn, Adam Hanlon.
Referee: S Grant.