Shelbourne off mark as Rovers draw blank again

Shelbourne 0 Shamrock Rovers 0

Shelbourne off mark as Rovers draw blank again

For Rovers, still to concede a goal, it was their third scoreless draw in their four games of the campaign and they now trail champions Sligo Rovers by six points.

The Hoops had an early let-off when goalkeeper Barry Murphy dallied on a backpass and was robbed by striker Dean Kelly. But Murphy recovered to scoop the ball to safety.

Shelbourne again threatened on 13 minutes when a high cross by Stephen Hurley was headed over the top by Kelly at the far post. The Reds were enjoying all the early pressure and Sean Brennan then fired just wide from 20 yards.

Conor Powell then went close for Rovers with a 20 yard effort that deflected off defender Brian Shortall but safely into the arms of goalkeeper Niall Burdon. Midfielder Ronan Finn then had a 22 yard snap shot well saved by Burdon.

Finn had another opportunity shortly after, but this time shot straight at the keeper from the edge of the box after Gary McCabe had created the opening.

Early in the second half Shelbourne went close to breaking the deadlock when striker Kelly’s flying header from a cross by Robert Cornwall slid just wide.

Then Philly Hughes, totally unmarked, blazed over the bar from ten yards. Luckily for the striker, a lineman’s flag was up for offside.

Defender Conor McCormack came to Rovers’ rescue with a timely clearance on 62 minutes after a low Robery Bayly cross almost allowed Hughes in on goal. Then substitute Mark Leech had shot over the top on the turn.

Keeper Burdon was the hero late on for Shelbourne with two brilliant saves. First, he stopped a Finn shot from point-blank range and then pushed away an effort from substitute Mark Quigley.

SHELBOURNE: Burdon; Cornwall, Ryan, Cornwall, Memery; Hanlon (Prizeman 82), Bayly, Hurley (Flynn 85), Brennan (Leech 56); Hughes, Kelly.

SHAMROCK ROVERS: Murphy; McCormack, Sullivan, Oman, Powell; Chambers, Finn, Robinson (Quigley 61); McCabe, Kilduff (Sheppard 79), O’Connor (Dennehy 71).

Referee: Alan Kelly (Cork).

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