Shelbourne started the new SSE Airtricity League First Division with a 2-1 defeat to UCD in the Dublin Derby. The Tolka Park men were ahead at the break, thanks a James English header. UCD were always on top however, and eventually they drew level,
Shelbourne started the new SSE Airtricity League First Division with a 2-1 defeat to UCD in the Dublin Derby.
The Tolka Park men were ahead at the break, thanks a James English header. UCD were always on top however, and eventually they drew level, before Timmy Molloy fired in what would prove to be the winning goal for the hosts with just over twenty-five minutes to go.
Shels manager Owen Heary tells our reporter Peter Branigan that UCD's success in the Collingwood Cup had given them a sharpness on the night.
"We took the lead, probably against the run of play, if I'm being honest. UCD had a lot of the ball, which we expected. We knew they had played some Collingwood Cup, so that they were in the groove.
"Unfortunately we just came off on the wrong side of the result."
But Heary was proud of the effort his players put in against Collie O'Neill' side, particularly with players missing, and new players making their debuts.
"A couple of mistakes in the second-half cost us the game. In the last fifteen minutes we were on top.
"Their keeper pulled off a great save from header (from James English), and then Davey (O'Sullivan) lifted that one over the crossbar. It wasn't our night.
"We made five signings in the off season, and three of them started tonight (David Mulcahy, David O'Sullivan, and Gavin Boyne). Then Mark Hughes, James O'Brien, and Alan Byrne weren't available. So you have to allow for a little bit of a settling in period.
"That's not an excuse though, UCD played very well, and the better team won."
While there was only one promotion place available in 2017, this year there are four, between automatic promotion and play-offs. Heary says it gives you a little bit more room for error, but he warns that you can't make losing a habit.
"You don't want teams to get too far away from you, with obviously UCD, and Galway having won tonight. So we'll get back training tomorrow, and begin to prepare for Drogheda."
There has been much discussion about Shelbourne off the field this week. They announced a new venture with DCU, which will see experts from the University helping with the development of players at the club. There has also been much speculation about a new owner at the club.
"It'd be great to have someone come in, and invest in the club. I'd like to think it can have a positive impact on the squad. I don't know what the specifics are, but it could help us to keep going in the right direction.
"The link up with DCU is brilliant. Hopefully we can make use of the facilities they have, and that can improve the younger players in the squad."