Shelbourne 0-4 Town
Saturday, 12th Jul 2014 16:58 by Josh Prenderville
Town got their pre-season campaign off to a good start by beating Shelbourne 4-0 at Tolka Park, with goals from Paul Anderson, Darren McQueen, Tyrone Mings and Jack Marriott.
Two goals in each half meant that it was a comfortable victory for Town, who never really looked threatened by a Shelbourne side made up mainly of younger players.
Town's first real bit of promise came in the fourth minute of the game, with good work from Anthony Wordsworth, who fed the ball out Paul Taylor, whose cross cannoned into Wordsworth and out for a goal kick.
In the minutes that followed, Shelbourne attempted several long balls which were met by the head of Town skipper Luke Chambers.
Wordsworth, Anderson and Taylor continued to combine nicely, but Town lacked that end product as they quietly bedded into the game.
In the ninth minute, good individual work down the left from Alex Henshall, playing in his first game since signing for Town permanently, gave the ball into Taylor, whose shot was deflected out for a corner.
In the 12th minute, Town went ahead. The lively Henshall laid off to Anderson, who sweetly struck the ball into the net from 20 yards.
Town began to get comfortable and were starting to dominate Shelbourne, as Taylor won a free kick on the edge of the box in the 15th minute after skipping past two players. Taylor dusted himself down and the free kick was deflected narrowly wide of the post. Wordsworth headed wide from the following Henshall corner.
In the 18th minute, a good combination from Parr and Henshall down the left saw Henshall work his way into the box, before laying it off to Parr who struck well wide.
Paul Taylor continued to threaten, with a marauding run down the right leading to a corner on the 20 minute mark.
Town continued to come close and threaten with Taylor again shooting straight at the keeper in the 24th minute.
In the 28th minute, Town made it 2-0. After a long ball from Chambers, Shelbourne's Willo McDonagh dwelt on the ball, allowing the energetic Taylor to nick the ball from his feet. After Taylor was brought down by the keeper, Darren McQueen put the ball into an empty net.
In the 35th minute after good work from Ben Wyatt, who was playing at right back in his first game since moving from Norwich, McQueen turned and shot, with the ball being deflected narrowly over the Shelbourne bar.
Two minutes later, Anderson combined with Luke Hyam, who drove the ball low into the six yard box only for Shelbourne keeper Nathan Murphy to make a point blank save from McQueen.
The minute after, Shelbourne's Alan Sullivan forced a smart save from Town keeper Dean Gerken after Hyam sold Wyatt short with a pass.
Five minutes before half time, Wordsworth broke quickly and gave it to Anderson, who came inside and tried to replicate his goal, but the ball cannoned harmlessly into the keeper's arms.
Shelbourne's defence looked increasingly error-prone and McQueen and Taylor's pace was something that they struggled to handle.
In the 43rd minute Taylor easily worked his way around two players before passing the ball into Wordsworth's path, who sidefooted it harmlessly into Murphy's grateful arms.
Heading into added time Henshall's run down the left forced a corner which Smith headed well over.
Town's superiority was apparent straight from the kick-off as Shelbourne struggled to match their class.
The younger players, particularly Henshall and McQueen, looked ever more lively as the first half went on, with the experienced players such as Chambers and Anderson looked assured on the ball when necessary.
Town made eleven changes at half time, much like the corresponding fixture last year.
The energy and liveliness that epitomised Town's first half disappeared briefly at the start of the second, with Cole Skuse's attempt at putting Frank Nouble through with the keeper resulting in a goal kick the only event of note in the first few minutes.
In the 53rd minute, Stewart's corner met the head of Berra, who couldn't connect fully with it but never the less headed narrowly wide.
In the 59th minute, a promising run from Tyrone Mings led to a lay-off to Nouble, who crossed onto Elliott Hewitt's head for the first real chance of the second half, but the Welshman headed straight at the keeper.
Just after the hour, a ball from halfway from Byron Lawrence threatened to slice the Shelbourne defence open and let in Nouble, but the Shelbourne defence managed to scramble clear.
Town began looking like they were going through the motions as the second half wore on, with the Shelbourne players noticeably tiring.
Skuse's ball through to Marriott looked to threaten the Shelbourne defence in the 69th minute, but keeper Murphy sheltered the ball comfortably.
In the 70th minute, new signing Stewart crossed from the right and his ball found the unmarked Tyrone Mings, whose header found the net from about six yards out.
Shelbourne striker Daryl McGuinness tried to hit back immediately, but ultimately didn't threaten Crowe from about 25 yards out.
A lovely passing move from Town in the 76th minute ended with Town making it 4-0. Jay Tabb's ball sliced the Shelbourne defence open, allowing Jack Marriott to power home. The ball cannoned off the underside of the crossbar and bounced away, with the referee judging that it had crossed the line.
Teddy Bishop replaced Byron Lawrence in the 77th minute as Mick McCarthy made his 12th substitution of the game.
Winger Stewart forced a foul about 25 yards from goal in the 85th minute, which he struck straight at the Shelbourne shot stopper.
In the 86th minute, Shelbourne's Lee Duffy shot from distance but the ball went into the hands of the composed Crowe.
In stoppage time, Stewart again found Mings but this time the left-back headed well over the bar.
Town's second half performance was arguably less energetic than their first half efforts but no less composed. New signing Stewart particularly impressed with his creativity down the right, with Jack Marriott also proving problematic for Shelbourne's young defenders.
Town first half: Gerken, Parr, Chambers, Smith, Wyatt, Anderson, Hyam, Wordsworth, Henshall, McQueen, Taylor.
Second half: Crowe, Hewitt, Clarke, Berra, Mings, Stewart, Lawrence (Bishop 77), Tabb, Skuse, Nouble, Marriott.
Photo: Ian Summers
Photo: Action Images
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