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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Mark McCadden

Damien Duff sent off during Shelbourne's ill-tempered defeat to Dundalk

IT WAS a tale of two benches tonight - as Shelbourne boss Damien Duff received the first red card of his career before Dundalk’s super sub John Martin earned his side all three points.

A pair of yellows in quick succession, just moments before half-time tonight, meant Duff watched the second-half from the stand.

His initial caution was for his protest at the red card shown to Shels defender Shane Griffin.

Having been booked earlier in the half for a foul on Steven Bradley, Griffin could hardly complain - even if his manager did - when he was shown a second yellow for wrestling Patrick Hoban to the ground.

He knew he was in trouble and lay on the turf with his head in his hands, before getting slowly to his feet to face the music.

Duff, having just been booked by referee Paul McLaughlin, then picked up a water bottle and angrily spilled some of the contents. This appeared to be the reason for his second yellow.

Dundalk didn’t get to enjoy their on-field numerical advantage for too long - they too were reduced to 10 men when Bradley was shown a straight red on 57 minutes.

His was an off-the-ball indiscretion, which was missed initially by the referee and reported to him by his assistant Emmet Dynan.

McLaughlin’s attention had been taken by a mini-melee that erupted after a Shane Farrell foul, which earned the Shels ace a booking.

His was one of a total of nine yellow cards dished out by McLaughlin.

While the Bradley red evened things up on the pitch, the damage was already done as far as Shelbourne were concerned.

The extra space on the pitch suited the hosts, who had been deeply frustrated by the tactical discipline of their visitors during the first-half.

Shels worked extremely hard to suffocate Dundalk in all areas of the pitch, not just in the final third, where a five-man Reds defence stuck dutifully to their task.

They also pressed the Lilywhites high up the pitch and forced errors that snuffed out potential attacks before they began.

But with two players fewer on the pitch, Paul Doyle found the space to send over a brilliant in-swinger on 64 minutes, which was poked home by Kelly.

Daniel Kelly celebrates scoring their first goal (©INPHO/Ciaran Culligan)

Assistant referee Dynan made another telling contribution when, on 81 minutes, he flagged for a penalty when John Ross Wilson fell in the area under a Kelly challenge.

Farrell stepped up and smashed the ball home from the spot - and Shels looked set for another point against Dundalk, after their 1-1 draw at Tolka earlier in the season.

But there was one more twist in this one as super sub Martin, less than a minute after his arrival, steered his header, from fellow sub Keith Ward’s brilliant cross, beyond Brendan Clarke.

Shels went route one in search of a second equaliser and there were five minutes of injury time for the nervous home fans to endure, but they held on for their fourth win of the season.

DUNDALK: Sheppard 6; Macari 7 (McMillan 84), Boyle 6, Connolly 8, Leahy 6; Sloggett 6 (Ward 55, 7), Doyle 6 (Bone 74, 6); Kelly 6, Adams 6, Bradley 5; Hoban 6 (Martin 84).

SUBS NOT USED: Cherrie, Animashaun, Hanratty, O’Kane, Mountney.

SHELBOURNE: Clarke 6; Wilson 7, O’Driscoll 6, Byrne 7, Griffin 5, Kane 6 (Boyd 70, 6); Farrell 7, Coyle 7, Dervin 7 (McEneff 78); Carr 6 (Ledwidge 46, 6), Moylan m6.

SUBS NOT USED: Webb, Lunney, Hakiki, Anaebonam, Molloy, Thomas.

REFEREE: Paul McLaughlin

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