Shelbourne missed the chance to leapfrog opponents Finn Harps on Friday night at Tolka Park after being held to a nil-all draw. In a game of few chances, Shels came closer to scoring. Manager Owen Heary tells our reporter Peter Branigan that his tea
Shelbourne missed the chance to leapfrog opponents Finn Harps on Friday night at Tolka Park after being held to a nil-all draw.
In a game of few chances, Shels came closer to scoring. Manager Owen Heary tells our reporter Peter Branigan that his team could have done more.
'We didn't play particularly well, passing wise. Our attacking play wasn't there today.'
'I thought it was scrappy in the middle of the park. More of a battle, with long throws coming into the box, and having to defend corners.'
'We did try to get the ball down and play, but the passes were going astray.'
Heary says the visitors used their experience in certain aspects of the game, and that his younger players are still on a learning curve.
'Finn Harps are a big, physical team. I don't know what age Paddy McCourt is, but still he's pulling the strings.'
'We've a lot of young lads. A few of them have never been that high up the table. The experienced lads we have are trying to guide them through.'
'One or two times, Finn Harps players stood over our free-kicks, and a card wasn't handed out for it until late on. That's just clever play. If it was me, I'd be doing the same thing.'
It's a third draw on the spin for the north Dubs, but Heary says they've been playing teams recently who are going for the title.
'If you think of the teams we've drawn against, Drogheda, UCD, and now Finn Harps, it's teams that are going to be there or thereabouts at the end of the season."
'They all have to play each other over the next few weeks, and we'll be playing teams that we expect to pick up points against. I'm not too worried about it. It's a clean sheet, a game in which we're unbeaten at home.'
Shelbourne failed to capitalise on the better chances in the game. James English had a great chance in the first-half, while some last ditch defending denied Shels' top scorer this season what seemed like a certain goal at the end. One area of the park where Heary was happy was at the back.
'Defensively, we were good. Mulls (Dave Mulcahy) put in a great tackle at one stage to deny their player (Michael O'Connor).'
'James English had a good chance in the first-half, he had a free header, and he seemed to just lose it in the air, and missed it. At the end, their defender did well to get in the block on David (O'Sullivan).'
The result keeps Heary's side fifth in the table, but they're just two points behind Drogheda United in second place. The Shels manager says it's still all to play for at the top.
'We don't want to be out of the running. We're doing alright. We've picked up a point more, by drawing with UCD, than we did in the first round of games. So it's positive.'
'Yes, we can play a lot better. The lads are a bit frustrated, but once you're picking up points, then time will tell where we are come the end of the season."