With neither goalkeeper really been tested for long periods of the first half, the visitors were reduced to 10 players on 36 minutes when a moment of madness from striker Chris Mulhall saw him receive two yellow cards in the space of 10 seconds.
After referee John McLoughlin showed the centre forward a yellow card for a foul on Kenny Browne, Mulhall was far from impressed with the decision and after hopping the ball away in anger, he saw the referee go for his pocket again and received his marching orders.
Shels nonetheless shocked the Blues with the lead goal less than four minutes later when Lorcan Fitzgerald’s long-range free-kick beat keeper Kevin Burns and came crashing back off the post, Hughes hammering the rebound to the net from close range.
Burns kept his side in the game with a decent save on 57 minutes from substitute David McGill. The home side were reduced to 10 players in the second minute of added time when Paul Murphy was issued with a straight red card for a rash tackle on Lorcan Fitzgerald.
WATERFORD UNITED: Burns; Chin, Breen, Murray, Coady; Murphy, Dempsey (Sinnott `73), Browne, Quinn; Keane (Wilson `73), Rafter
SHELBOURNE: Delaney; Fitzgerald, Clancy, Boyle, Ryan; Dawson (D. McGill `46), James, Cassidy (Byrne `90), B. McGill; Hughes (Bermingham `82), Mulhall
Referee: John McLoughlin (Athlone)
- NORWICH moved up into second place in the npower Championship as they romped to a 5-1 victory in the East Anglia derby against Ipswich at Portman Road last night.
The Canaries win came courtesy of goals from Andrew Surman, an own goal from Gareth McAuley and further efforts from Simeon Jackson, Russell Martin and Daniel Pacheco. Jimmy Bullard scored Ipswich’s consolation.