The 10-men of Shelbourne held out for a point against old rivals Bohs in a feisty Dublin Derby at a sold out Tolka Park in a game that contained nine yellow cards and a red card.
Shane Farrell’s second half penalty secured a point, cancelling out Tyreke Wilson’s early opener in a rip-roaring affair.
In a highly emotionally charged evening, both side’s met in the centre circle to mourn the loss of club stalwarts in recent times, with a minute's silence impeccably kept.
But that was where the niceties ended, as the game got off to a fiery start. Within the first five minutes, the home side committed three reckless fouls that pretty much set the tone.
One of which, from Aaron O’Driscoll on Ali Coote right at the edge of his box, resulted in the opener.
Up stepped Tyreke Wilson, operating in the unusual position of right back, who whipped the free kick low into the corner giving Brendan Clarke no chance.
Minutes later, one of the Gypsies new summer recruits, Ethon Varion, was next in the book for his part in a horrific three-way collision including the striker, O’Driscoll and the onrushing Clarke who looked to clear his lines. After a lengthy delay, the stretcher was called for as O’Driscoll was eventually carried off for further tests.
The hosts responded well to the double setback, and a new recruit of their own, Matty Smith, began to come to life. The on-loan Derry striker showed great pace and strength to outmuscle Ciaran Kelly before seeing his low strike agonisingly miss the bottom corner by inches.
Keith Long opted for five changes to the side that went down to 10-man Dundalk last Friday.
The most notable inclusion was the on-loan Norwich under-21 keeper, Jon McCracken, replacing Tadhg Ryan, who’s costly error proved the difference a week ago at Dalymount Park. And the Scottish stopper was called into action just minutes later, as that man again Smith hit a thunderous strike from 25-yards out which needed the fingertips of the 22-year old at full stretch to touch it behind.
The tension was palpable throughout the first half and boiled over once again, as just before the break the home side were reduced to 10 when John Ross Wilson saw red for a wild challenge on Declan McDaid, who seemed to be going nowhere deep in his own half.
The second half was just as explosive, and incredibly the 10-men of Shels got themselves back on level terms with just ten minutes played. Shane Farrell coolly converted a penalty following a penalty awarded for a coming together between Jack Moylan and Ciaran Kelly in the area.
Keith Long’s decision to change keepers was further justified as minutes later McCracken pulled off one of the saves of the season to deny substitute JJ Lunney, who’s left footed rocket looked destined for the top corner.
Damien Duff’s battling reds showed tremendous heart, as they held on for a valuable point in the race for top four but for the frustrated travelling Gypsies it's a second successive week in which they failed to break down a side with a man less.
Brendan Clarke, John Ross Wilson, Aaron O’Driscoll (Kameron Ledwidge, 17’), Luke Byrne (JJ Lunney, 17’), Shane Griffin, Conor Kane (Aodh Dervin,53’), Gavin Molloy, Brian McManus, Shane Farrell, Matty Smith, Jack Moylan (Dan Carr, 83’).
Scott Van Der Sluis, Gavin Hodgins, Jad Hakiki, Josh Giurgi, Lewis Temple.
Jon McCracken, Tyreke Wilson, Rory Feely, Ciaran Kelly, Ryan Burke (Max Murphy, 58’), James Clarke, Ali Coote (Jamie Mullins, 83’), John O’Sullivan (James McManus, 90+2’), Kris Twardek (Liam Burt, 66’), Declan McDaid, Ethon Varian (Johnny Afolabi, 58’).
Tadhg Ryan, Josh Kerr, Cian Byrne, Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe.