ALL SQUARE AT SCRIBBLESTOWN

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SHELBOURNE 1 BOHEMIANS 1

In an even game at Scribblestown on Friday evening, Jason Byrne’s second-half penalty gave Bohemians the lead but they were pegged back almost immediately by Jordan Keegan, who ensured Shelbourne would earn a deserved draw, writes CONOR HAYES.

The game began under a heavy rain shower and this impacted on both sets of players, who struggled to make an impression in the early stages – the only action of note being Karl Moore’s cross from the left which nearly found lone-striker Byrne but was well gathered by Shelbourne keeper Greg Murray.

As the rain stopped, the game improved and it was Shels who had the first effort on goal in the 18th minute as Gareth Coughlan’s 35-yard free-kick stung the hands of keeper Dean Delany before it was eventually cleared to safety.

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This seemed to spring Bohs into life and soon afterwards Craig Walsh wasn’t too far away with his shot from distance, which was well parried by Murray.

With 30 minutes gone, the best chance of the half arrived. Patrick Kavanagh, playing behind the front man, pushed a lovely through ball to substitute Keith Buckley who couldn’t beat his former Bohs team-mate Murray one-on-one.

Five minutes later, the Shels net-minder was called into action again as Roberto Lopes teed-up a volley for himself, which was clawed away and behind for a corner.

Shelbourne then had the better of the rest of the first period. First, Darren Tinnelly worked his way into the box but then shot over the bar, while just before the half-time whistle sounded, Michael Duffy found himself in space but shot straight at Delany.

The Drumcondra outfit began the second half as they had ended the first and again tested Delany, this time former Bohs Under-19 ace Dylan Connolly with the effort. Another former Gypsy, substitute Conor Murphy, then had a chance in the box but skewed his shot wide.

On 60 minutes and against the run of play, Bohemians took the lead. A back-pass from the right side put Murray under serious pressure and with Andy Mulligan – only brought on seconds before – about to nip in, he pushed the winger over inside the box, a clear penalty. Byrne stepped up and sent the him the wrong way.

Bohs’ lead was to be short-lived, however. Less than three minutes later, Shels were level and again it was a back-pass which put a keeper in difficulty. Lopes left his effort short of Delany, who could only half-clear the ball to substitute Keegan, whose lovely effort from 40 yards found the empty net.

Owen Heary brought on more reinforcements from the bench at this point and with 20 minutes remaining, one of those subs, Anto Murphy, almost found the corner with a curling drive but again Murray was equal to it.

Bohs were playing with more confidence and an excellent move which involved new signings Walsh and Steven Beattie eventually found its way to Dinny Corcoran, who just couldn’t turn in Mulligan’s pull-back.

Skipper Derek Pender, marauding from right-back, was heavily involved as the men in red and black pushed for a winner and five minutes from time, he found Beattie lurking in the box but the forward could only scuff his shot into the ground, which allowed Murray to collect with ease.

This was the last major chance and Shelbourne saw out the remaining minutes to secure a deserved draw. Next up for the Gypsies is the rescheduled Leinster Senior Cup tie against Bray Wanderers at Dalymount Park on Thursday evening.

Bohemians: Dean Delany, Derek Pender, Roberto Lopes, Aidan Price, Jack Memery, Patrick Kavanagh (Steven Beattie 65), Ryan McEvoy (Anto Murphy 58), Craig Walsh (Darragh Reynor 82), Kevin Devaney (Keith Buckley 17), Karl Moore (Andy Mulligan 58), Jason Byrne (Dinny Corcoran 65).

Shelbourne: Greg Murray, Simon Dixon, Philip Hand, Robert Gaul, William McDonagh, Stephen Sherrin, Keith Quinn, Gareth Coughlan, Dylan Connolly, Darren Tinnelly, Michael Duffy, Subs: Brian Gannon, John Sullivan, Lee Murtagh, Jordan Keegan, Conor Murphy.

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