Shelbourne substitute James Chambers was undoubtedly the hero as he powered home an eightieth minute goal in a 2-1 victory over Wexford Youths in this eircom League First Division clash at the Wexford Youths Complex last night.
Wexford Youths enjoyed a bright start. Having forced three successive corners they eventually took the lead after twelve minutes.
Darren Browne controlled the ball down the left, fired over a low centre into the area which was drilled home superbly by Johnny Flynn-O'Connor into the bottom right hand corner of the net.
But that was as good as it got for the homeside, although they were playing some of their best football of the campaign, for Shelbourne came close to equalising one minute later, but Mark Leech powered his shot outside the post from five metres.
After both Stuart Malcolm and Aidan Collins were denied by home keeper Pa Doyle, who tipped a tremendous header from Collins on twenty minutes, on to the crossbar and out for a fruitless corner.
Shelbourne were being afforded lots of space and they punished the home back four after thirty-eight minutes. When the defence failed to clear a Lee Roache corner, Leech atoned for his earlier miss when he knocked the loose ball low into the opposite corner of the net.
Three minutes before the break Browne should have restored Wexford Youths lead, but he pulled his shot over the top from three metres when it seemed easier to score, but still they must have been happy to go in 1-1 at the interval.
During the opening twenty minutes of the second half neither side looked like adding to their tally for the respective back fours were affording little space. Wexford Youths handed senior GAA star Eric Bradley his first outing being introduced as a fifty-sixth minute substitute but he was unable to forge much space against the resolute defending of Jim Crawford and Alan Keeley.
Shelbourne came close to snatching the lead after eighty minutes when Anthony Flood had a shot knocked off the line by substitute Joey Wadding, but thirty seconds later they took the lead for the first time when substitute James Chambers powered home a low left footed shot from the right side of the area.
Wexford Youths: Doyle, Lawlor, Russell, Rossiter, Kelly (Wadding 65), Malone, O'Loughlin, Doyle, Browne (Bradley 56), Sinnott, Flynn-O'Connor.
Shelbourne: O'Dowd, Murphy, McCullough, Keeley, Malcolm, Crawford, Roache (Chambers 45), Collins (Haverty 77), Leech, Flood, Lacey (Quinn 60).
Referee: C. Fitzgerald (Dublin).