/ Soccer

Shelbourne 3-1 Kildare County

Updated: Thursday, 25 Sep 2008 22:46

Shels boss Dermot Keely
Shels boss Dermot Keely

Shelbourne kept their slim First Division title hopes alive with a workmanlike win over Kildare County at Tolka Park.

A Darren Forsyth header gave Shels the lead in the 25th minute and they were cruising when Philip Gorman made it 2-0 with a classy finish ten minutes into the second half.

But Kildare made sure Shels would sweat for the three points when substitute Trevor Bowers netted in the 71st minute.

The hosts sealed the win when substitute Mark Rutherford found the target in stoppage time.

This was the hosts’ third game in eight days, with defeat to Dundalk and a draw with Waterford United putting them firmly on the periphery of the race for promotion.

Gary McCabe occupied the left wing for Shelbourne and looked their main threat early on, cutting inside and shooting wide in the 13th minute.

County had a great chance to hit the front two minutes later when Cathal Brady picked out Ger Robinson with a sumptuous ball off the outside of his right boot. The Kildare striker blasted straight at Dean Delaney, however, and Colin Fortune was wild with his effort on the rebound.

Shels were having slightly the better of proceedings and took the lead in the 25th minute after good work down the right flank ended with James Keddy whipping in a cross that was met by Forsyth who rose highest and headed in with the assistance of the right post.

The hosts went close with another header three minutes before half-time, with centre-back Alan Byrne forcing Austin O’Neill into a fine one-handed save.

Byrne almost extended Shels’ lead in first-half injury time when he got on the end of a McCabe corner but his looping effort just cleared the crossbar with O’Neill stranded.

Shelbourne should have doubled their advantage five minutes after the interval when Mark O’Brien led a counter-attack and slipped a ball through to Philip Gorman but the former Kildare striker’s side-footed effort went just wide.

But it wasn’t long before Gorman netted against his old club. County failed to clear a short corner, allowing O’Brien to poke the ball on to Gorman and this time his shot was the right side of the post.

Kildare were posing Shelbourne few problems, but the Thoroughbreds pulled one back with just under 20 minutes to play. Kilduff’s initial shot was half-blocked, but Bowers did well to control the ball before shooting on the turn to beat a wrong-footed Delaney.

The goal gave the visitors hope and a cross from Brady from the edge of the box almost sneaked into Delaney’s net.

Kildare had goalkeeper O’Neill to thank for keeping them in the game with five minutes remaining when he pulled off an excellent double save as Robbie Hedderman sought to seal the points for Shels.

But the victory was confirmed when substitutes Andrei Georgescu and Mark Rutherford combined for the latter to calmly pick his spot from 12 yards.

Shelbourne: Delaney; Murphy, Byrne, Brennan, Hedderman; Keddy (Rutherford, 83 mins), McAllister, O’Brien, McCabe (Rutherford, 90); Gorman (Georgescu, 79), Forsyth.

Kildare County: O’Neill; Osbourne, Walsh, O’Connell, Donnelly; Brady, Fortune (Kavanagh, 73 mins), Slattery, Farrell (Mooney, 53); Robinson (Bowers, 62), Kilduff.

Referee: Darren Combes.