Bohemians held on to an early lead to claim three points at Tolka Park beating Shelbourne 1-0 in tonight’s exciting Airtricity League Premier Division clash.

Kevin Devaney grabbed the only goal of the game, scoring for the visitors after just five minutes of play on a freezing cold night at the Drumcondra venue.

Stephen Traynor’s corner was miscued by Roberto Lopes, the ball fell to Devaney at the edge of the box and his low, well-struck shot gave Niall Burdon no chance.

Philly Hughes could have equalised for the hosts on 21 minutes, after good work by Dean Kelly, but the striker’s spectacular overhead effort from the edge of the box went just wide.

Shels spurned another chance to regain parity after half an hour, with Hughes and Kelly combining again. This time Hughes was the provider but Kelly’s effort was blocked by the ever-impressive Derek Pender.

Bohs controlld the remainder of the first-half and the visitors had a chance to double their lead in the 33rd minute after Ciarán Nangle got on the end of a Derek Pender cutback deep in the area, but his effort was blocked by Brian Shortall.

Shels improved dramatically after the break and 11 minutes into the second half they could have levelled it. Jack Memery sent a long free-kick into the box but Kelly’s header sailed harmlessly into Dean Delany's arms.

Seven minutes later the home crowd thought they had equalised when Robert Bayly's beautifully struck shot crashed off the crossbar.

The dynamic of the game changed in the 73rd minute as the much-improved Shelbourne had skipper Ian Ryan sent off after picking up a second yellow card, following a foul on Dave Scully in the middle of the field.

From then on the home side’s hopes of getting something from the game evaporated and it was Bohs who came closest to scoring in the final stages as Niall Burdon was forced to save smartly from substitute Dwayne Wilson.

The victory sees Bohemians move up to fourth place in the table, while Alan Mathews’ Shelboure are still searching for their first league win of the season and prop up the table alongside UCD.

Shelbourne: Niall Burdon, Jack Memery, Paul Crowley, Philly Hughes, Dean Kelly, Adam Hanlon, Brian Shorthall, Pat Flynn, Robert Bayly (Stephen Hurley 82), Robert Cornwall (Mark Leech 86), Ian Ryan (sent off 73).

Bohemians: Dean Delany, Derek Pender, Roberto Lopes, Stephen Paisley, Luke Byrne, David Mulcahy, Ryan McEvoy, Stephen Traynor (Dwayne Wilson 65), Dave Scully, Ciaran Nangle, Kevin Devaney (Keith Buckley 77).