|4 March 2022||7:45 pm||LOI Men's Premier Division||2022|
Patrick McEleney set his mark on his Derry City return with the all-important goal in Tolka Park as his goal took the three points back to Foyleside in a tight game against Shelbourne.
A game that was tactical and precise from the opening minute, it was always going to take something special to break the deadlock. McEleney proved to be the man with the Midas touch to produce the goods.
The first half produced little in terms of clear chances, but it did show how these sides are going to fare in terms of playing performance this season.
The opening opportunity for the home side was courtesy of Conor Kane's cross into the area that was nearly met by Brian McManus as the ball just went over the midfielder's path.
Jamie McGonigle had a series of chances that on another night would have seen him score with ease, however, both opportunities failed to see the Derry frontman find the net. The best of those was when a clever ball came to McGonigle's feet in the box and he turned on a sixpence to strike a low curling effort that failed to test Lewis Webb with any real urgency.
The second half saw Derry continue to test Damien Duff's men with Danny Lafferty going close as his header from a corner that was cleared on the second occasion. Brandon Kavanagh and McGonigle combined once again but McGonigle's effort from close range went high over the bar.
The Candystripes' persistence did pay off as like so many times before in his career Patrick McEleney was on hand to score the only goal of the match. A cross from second-half substitute Matty Smith was initially saved on the line by Webb in the Shelbourne goal but the ball fell into the path of McEleney who was on hand to tap it home from close range at the back post
Damien Duff and Ruaidhrí Higgins went to battle in a tactical game of chess this evening with McEleney proving the all-important checkmate, but for Shelbourne, the signs are showing this side could become a master of this game yet.
|Tolka Park (Shelbourne FC), Drumcondra South A ED, Dublin, County Dublin, Leinster, Ireland|