Colm Whelan and Harvey O’Brien grabbed second half goals at Belfield last night to give UCD an impressive Dublin derby victory over Shelbourne in the FAI Cup first round.
Despite being 15 points adrift of their Drumcondra rivals in the League of Ireland First Division table, the Students defied the odds to book their spot in the next phase.
Republic of Ireland U21 international Whelan had forced a fine stop out of Brendan Clarke during the early exchanges, before Shels winger Shane Farrell pressed UCD netminder Lorcan Healy into action at the opposite end.
Centre-half Maxim Kouogon was close to breaking the deadlock for the visitors with a brace of set-piece headers, but the sides were ultimately inseparable at the interval.
Whelan was booked for diving four minutes after the resumption, before making amends in the eyes of the UCD faithful by coolly converting a 56th-minute penalty after George Poynton had fouled him inside the box.
This threw down the gauntlet to Shels, who are yet to taste defeat at league level this year. While Doyle Rooney and Michael Barker tried their luck from distance, UCD remained in control and O’Brien’s powerful headed finish off Paul Doyle’s corner on 80 minutes placed the outcome beyond doubt.