Tinnelly boosts Shels' survival hopes
Shelbourne 2 Cork City 1
On a night when Bohemians lost heavily in Dundalk, Shelbourne maintained their recent revival under John McDonnell to suggest the relegation pendulum is swinging heavily in their favour.
With seven points secured from their last four games – more than they gathered in their previous 16 – safety is no longer a distant dream.
That McDonnell is to be credited for the turnaround is undeniable. Aside from restoring their spirit, his deft eye for organisational detail was evident in the set-piece department, which led to their opening goal by Lee Murtagh.
Yet McDonnell will also be the first to say the key turning points in this game went Shelbourne's way. First, Ciaran Kilduff missed a gilt-edged chance on 26 seconds, a goal which could have set the tone.
Instead, the opening strike, after 55 minutes, went to Shels, when Murtagh poked in from six yards after Ian Ryan had headed the ball back across goal. On top from there on in, another key incident ended in their favour – when John Kavanagh had a penalty appeal turned down.
Within a minute Shels went 2-0 up, with sub Darren Tinnelly slotting home from the left side of the Cork penalty area. Kalen Spillane's late reply was no more than a consolation.
Shelbourne – Murphy; Ryan, Gartland, Flynn, Shortall; Hurley, Hanlon (Mooney 90), Doyle (Tinnelly 78), Cronin, Brennan; Murtagh (Kelly 85)
Cork City – McNulty; J Kavanagh, Buckley, Spillane, N Horgan; Turner (Rundle 66), Dunleavy, Duggan, D Horgan; Kilduff, D Kavanagh (Behan 90)
Ref – D Tomney (Dublin