Date Time League Season
29 August 2022 7:45 pm Premier Division 2022

Match Report

Derry City leave it late to beat Shels at Tolka Park

Ryan Graydon's deflected strike in second-half stoppage-time saw Derry City snatch victory and keep their title hopes alive against a stubborn Shelbourne at Tolka Park.

Damien Duff's men defended well, rode their luck at times and needed a handful of last-ditch interventions, as well as goalkeeper Brandon Clarke making multiple saves throughout.  

However, he was helpless to stop Graydon stealing a late winner at the death, with Ruaidhrí Higgins' side leapfrogging Dundalk into second after their other title rivals lost at Sligo elsewhere tonight.  

It was a competitive, if unspectacular start by both – though the visitors could've scored after 35 seconds. Patrick McEleney curled an effort narrowly wide, in an early warning sign for the hosts.

Shelbourne had two half-hearted penalty appeals waved away in the first half, as Jack Moylan and Sean Boyd both went down in quick succession under physical but fair challenges.  

JJ Lunney, the hosts' best player on the evening, tried his luck from distance while Brian McManus scooped an effort over before the interval.  

Lunney made two big interventions just before the break as Derry's counter-attacking threat remained, largely powered by the quick feet and intelligence of James Akintunde.  

Akintunde, who had a goal disallowed for offside in the first half, could've had a second-half brace.  

The visitors were frequently dangerous in transition, Joe Thomson's low pass across the box for him just two minutes after the restart was weakly struck and Clarke made a comfortable save.

Then, a minute after Clarke was forced into an acrobatic stop to deny McEleney's latest curling effort, the 26-year-old could've broken the deadlock with marginally better reactions.

Cameron Dummigan's low ball ricocheted into his path, but as he shot, Luke Byrne's goal-saving sliding tackle in the six-yard area kept the scores goalless on 65 minutes. Given his timely contribution there, it feels somewhat cruel Byrne was to be involved in Derry's dramatic winner.

Before then, Graydon forced Clarke into a great save from point-blank range 15 minutes from time, after Gavin Molloy was the latest to cheaply relinquish possession and the winger marauded through midfield beyond Byrne and Kameron Ledwidge.  

A succession of well-timed blocks saw Shelbourne hold on as Derry refused to let up, Cian Kavanagh heading over the crossbar from close range.  

Shels were stung late on, but the goal had been coming. Graydon let fly, watching his speculative effort take a wicked deflection off Byrne to wrongfoot Clarke and nestle into the far corner.

Sean Boyd was sent off for an incident after the full-time whistle as frustration spilled over, though Higgins' pre-match comments expecting a tough game but for their individual quality to eventually shine through proved prophetic. Tough to take, but Shelbourne could have no complaints.

  • I hope you enjoyed following the evening\'s action with me, thanks as always and be sure to stay tuned for the full match report - as well as reaction across the grounds as two other Premier Division fixtures were on show in Ireland tonight. Shelbourne performed valiantly, Derry were just better. Until next time, goodnight!

  • 94'

    Some tempers flaring on the pitch now at the conclusion of this narrow Derry victory, with an off-the-ball incident prompting the referee to dismiss Sean Boyd for tangling with McJannet!

  • 94'

    FT: Shelbourne 0-1 Derry City. Full-time and the better side snatch a deserved victory, though Shels will feel hard done by given how things unfolded in the last few minutes there. Football is cruel at the best of times, but they had some chances and their goalkeeper to thank for keeping them in the encounter, truthfully.

  • 92'

    Danny Lafferty on in the goalscorer's place, as Derry winding down the clock now.

  • 92'

    Shelbourne are stunned but it had been coming. It turns out to be Graydon's final action of the evening, watching his ambitious effort take a wicked deflection and wrongfoot Brendan Clarke. Wow!

  • 91'


  • 90'

    Four minutes of stoppage-time to be played now.

  • 87'

    Succession of big-time blocks by Shelbourne as danger lurks, then a lofted delivery is headed over the crossbar!

  • 84'

    Jack Moylan is replaced now, with Hodgins on in his place. Not long left, can either side snatch a late winner?

  • 77'

    Akintunde, who was reduced to half-chances but probably would've expected at least a goal tonight, is next withdrawn. Kavanagh replaces him.

  • 75'

    Lunney, Shelbourne's best player this evening, appears to have come off worse for wear after a 50-50 challenge and is off. Highly-regarded youngster Jad Hakiki replaces him.

  • 74'

    Great save! Molloy relinquishes possession cheaply, Ryan Graydon latches onto it before marauding forward, sprints beyond the challenge of one defender and lets fly but again Clarke responds quickly to close down the angles and make another save, this time from close-range.

  • 67'

    Shelbourne making their first alteration of the evening now, with Aodh Dervin on for Brian McManus.

  • 65'

    WHAT A CHANCE! Akintunde is down, writhing in pain, but had he reacted a fraction quicker, he'd have broken the deadlock there. Dummigan's low ball ricochets to Akintunde, but Byrne's goal-saving sliding tackle in the six-yard area stops Derry in their tracks. Somehow, this is still goalless.

  • 64'

    Top save! Clarke forced into an acrobatic stop, thwarting McEleney's curled effort out for a corner... free header in the subsequent attack, though Shelbourne clear.

  • 60'

    Double change for Derry on the hour mark then: Ronan Boyce and Michael Duffy on for Kavanagh and Thomson.

  • 58'

    Moylan lets fly from distance, but his strke whistles harmlessly wide of the goal.

  • 52'

    Cameron Dummigan next into the book for a cynical challenge, Shelbourne's promising free-kick position ultimately comes of nothing though.

  • 51'

    Brian McManus, lucky to escape a booking moments earlier for a late sliding tackle, talks his way into the referee's book.

  • 47'

    Let-off for Shelbourne! After a defence-splitting through ball and quick transition with Thomson on the far side, Akintunde sidefoots low goalwards but Clarke is equal to the strike. Should've scored!

  • 46'

    Kick-off! Second-half underway, no subs made by either side yet. I'll let you know when that changes.

  • 45'

    HT: Shelbourne 0-0 Derry City. No additional time to finish a competitive, yet unspectacular opening here. Both need to sharpen up their incisiveness and execution, though the visitors will be happier with their play.

  • 44'

    Lunney makes a last-ditch intervention, stopping a Derry counter as Akintunde's low cross fizzed across the box... a great corner delivery follows, they partially clear and Lunney again sweeps up the danger in his own half.

  • 40'

    McManus leans back, gets underneath a promising half-chance, and scoops over the bar as another Shels opportunity goes askew. It's been that sort of match so far for both sides, in fairness.

  • 37'

    Kameron Ledwidge cries his innocence but gives away a free-kick in his own half for being overtly physical, Derry play it short and Akintunde's quick feet and hold-up play helps create a half-chance... only for his teammates to overcook a pair of passes, ending the move rather unceremoniously.

  • 34'

    Sadou Diallo slides in with a hefty challenge and Lunney goes flying, sending the Shels players into bedlam, screaming for a sending off. Referee gives himself time to think, and brandishes yellow in the end.

  • 32'

    Shelbourne starting to ramp up their attacks now, this time Lunney fires a long-range low drive through traffic from a corner but his effort isn't powerful enough and trickles into the 'keeper's gloves.

  • 23'

    Another penalty shout is waved away, despite fiercer protests this time - after Moylan and Boyd exchange intricate one-two passes in the area, the latter falls to the turf and Derry clear their lines.

  • 19'

    McEleney shows strength and composure in equal measure, holding firm to deny Moylan a shot on goal as he charges into the area dangerously. Half-hearted penalty appeals ignored.

  • 15'

    Close! A fantastic piece of passing play sees Derry carve their hosts apart, with an overlapping Coll blasting goalwards just inside the area... corner given as it whistles over the bar, eventually comes of nothing.

  • 12'

    Shels fans putting pressure on Brian Maher in the visitors' goal whenever the ball finds its way towards him, having had a suspect pass cut out and ballooned over the bar from distance a few minutes ago.

  • 10'

    Akintunde has the ball in the back of the net! But it's quickly ruled offside, as he strayed past the final defender before a delayed pass trickled its way towards him in the six-yard area.

  • 8'

    Moylan fires over the bar from a half-chance, then marauds forward down the flank with the ball at his feet but gets tangled and subsequently thwarted in his tracks.

  • 4'

    Clarke comfortably claims the danger from a lofted cross into the area as Shels stretch the pitch early and aim to cause havoc, but lacking execution. They'll hope that's not a recurring theme tonight...

  • 1'

    Kick-off! Game underway and within 35 seconds, the first chance is curled narrowly wide by Patrick McEleney as Derry start on the front foot.

  • Full team news is in! Check the line-up tab now, get up to speed with the ref's first whistle fast approaching.

  • Some disgruntled Derry fans on social media awaiting team news... just over 15 minutes from KO now.

  • Seven changes for Damien Duff's side tonight: Wilson and Smith, starters against Bonagee on Friday, aren't involved in the matchday squad altogther. Shane Farrell is fit to start after limping off injured.

  • While we wait for full team news to filter through, have a read of my match preview in the article tab! You'll soon understand why I say this clash has high stakes attached...

  • My name's Mosope Ominiyi and I'll be guiding you through the action in a must-win fixture for both, finding themselves in contrasting league positions but with the same goal: a strong finish to this campaign.

  • Good evening and welcome to tonight's live play-by-play commentary, as Shelbourne entertain Derry City in Premier Division action. Kick-off is in 40 minutes' time from Tolka Park, scheduled for 7:45pm.


1Brendan Clarke Goalkeeper
23Luke Byrne Defender
32Kameron Ledwidge Defender
3Conor Kane Defender 90+4'
5Shane Griffin Defender
6JJ Lunney 12 Midfielder
7Brian McManus 16 Midfielder 51'
21Gavin Molloy Midfielder
10Jack Moylan Midfielder
17Shane Farrell Forward
9Sean Boyd Forward 90+3'
Scott Van Der Sluis Goalkeeper
Lewis Temple Defender
8Josh Giurgi Defender
28Stephen Negru Defender
Gavin Hodgins 10 Midfielder
12Jad Hakiki 6 Midfielder
16Aodh Dervin 7 Midfielder
14Daniel Carr Forward
Stephen Mohan Midfielder

Derry City

26Brian Maher Goalkeeper
16Shane McEleney Defender
17Cameron McJannet Defender
3Ciaran Coll Defender
8Joe Thomson 7 Midfielder
10Patrick McEleney Midfielder
19Ryan Graydon 24 Forward 90+1'
20Brandon Kavanagh 2 Midfielder
23Sadou Diallo Midfielder 34'
23Cameron Dummigan Midfielder 52'
11James Akintunde 29 Forward
30Jack Lemoignan Goalkeeper
2Ronan Boyce 20 Defender
24Danny Lafferty 19 Defender
7Michael Duffy 8 Midfielder
Caoimhin Porter Midfielder
14Will Patching Midfielder
29Cian Kavanagh 11 Forward
22Jordan McEneff Midfielder

Past Meetings

(Round 10)
1 - 2
Premier Division
The Brandywell

Derry City v Shelbourne

(Round 4)
0 - 1
Premier Division
Tolka Park

Shelbourne v Derry City

(Series 17)
2 - 0
Premier Division
The Brandywell

Derry City v Shelbourne

(Series 8)
1 - 1
Premier Division
Tolka Park

Shelbourne v Derry City


Tolka Park
Tolka Park (Shelbourne FC), Drumcondra South A ED, Dublin, County Dublin, Leinster, Ireland

Mosope Ominiyi is a freelance sports journalist and sub-editor with over a decade's worth of experience, having graduated in 2020 with a BA Hons degree at Staffordshire University. His work has appeared in The Times, MailOnline and Sportskeeda, among other platforms.