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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.

Berra's cross out on the right after a Cameron Stewart corner was aimed for Marriott, who couldn't quite connect with the goal at his mercy.

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

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TractorBoy666 added 17:04 - Jul 12
Pleased for Marriott, sounded a great goal! A very good first pre season match, long may it continue but it's all about fitness at this stage. Well done Town, lets hammer the hammers on Wednesday now please, COYB!

kuyski added 17:07 - Jul 12
well done boys! very positive!keep on!

kuyski added 17:07 - Jul 12
well done boys! very positive!keep on!

coyb99 added 17:12 - Jul 12
Pleased to see younger players play well... well done to stewart, mcqueen, marriott and henshall. Really hope they get a good chance this season! COYB

flatos97 added 17:16 - Jul 12
Great to see Marriott on the score sheet, hope he has an impact this season for the first team!

Michael11 added 17:27 - Jul 12
Promising start. Hopefully players like Taylor and Marriott can prove that they have what it takes to be important players for us this season.

Lightningboy added 17:27 - Jul 12
Let's hope Marriott makes it impossible for Mick to leave him out this season.

dubblue added 17:45 - Jul 12
A stroll in the park for Town. Gap in class very obvious - shels lie 2nd in the League of Ireland 2nd tier division. All of the goals were well taken, especially the last two from Mings a fine header and Mariott's shot which went in off the bar, some of the Shels players felt it did not cross the line.

In the first half McQueen showed some nice touches, wonder how he might cope against stronger defenders. Nouble who came on in the second half wont have any problems in that area, showed some nice touches and was unlucky not to be on the scoresheet.

Keepers had little to do, Gerken made a fine save on the 40th minute, Crowe saved an easier effort late in the second half.

TractorCam added 17:49 - Jul 12
Sounded like we played really well. Paul Taylor sounded excellent, wonder if we'll end up keeping and using him after all. Good to see youngsters like McQueen, Mings and Marriott chipping in with the goals as well. First of many wins :)

jas0999 added 18:01 - Jul 12
Good result, but more importantly, a useful work out. Great to see Marriott, Mings and McQueen on the score sheet, but need to keep it in perspective. This was a useful pre season friendly against a Shelbourne youth side. Great to win. Great to play well. Great to score four goals and keep a clean sheet. However, Fulham in a few weeks time will be a completely different proposition! Whether Marriott Et al will be ready to play in a competitive championship game remains to be seen! Good today though. Well done all.

linhdi added 18:14 - Jul 12
Better performance and result than last year, and pleasing to see the youngsters contribute well. Difficult to tell much else from an early preseason game. Senior players seem pretty happy in conversation and very willing to pose for pics and do autographs.
Guinness as smooth and as welcome as ever, though good to see some interesting alternative local beers emerging.
Oppo was Shels' ressies per last year btw, so please don't judge anything by the result...

Sindre94 added 18:41 - Jul 12
Great to win a game of football no matter who the opposition is and also fantastic for the likes of McQueen, Marriott and Mingsy to get themselves a goal. Must be a huge confidence-boost for the three of them.
Hope we keep this up, and that Taylor keeps impressing Mick, personally I want him to stay :)

therein61 added 18:57 - Jul 12
Early days I know, but a good start without stretching ourselves too far & no injuries!
good to see some fringe youngsters getting game time and Mr Taylor appeared to be giving his all I still think that he can do the job that Eric Gates did(showing my age I know but i've seen town win the championship fa cup and eufa cup!! in the good old days) taking the ball after hyam & scuse have won it then putting the forwards in on goal or having a punt himself given his head I really think this guy can create havoc in opposition defences(if he has his sensible footballing head on) all in all I am very excited about the season ahead let's get portman road rocking with noise and all of us pushing Town on even your negative buggers on here!!

wark_on_water added 19:38 - Jul 12
Totally agree Sindre94. I've got a feeling Taylor could come good this season. May feel like a new signing

runningout added 20:08 - Jul 12
Can take absolutely nothing from this.... please sit back down some of you...

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 13:53 - Jul 13
"Lively Henshall." I like the sound of that. Agree this result means virtually nothing in one sense, but I still think we can take as positive the performances of some of our younger players. Always good to win, no matter what the quality of the opposition.

sir_george_burley added 17:18 - Jul 13
I don't need to sit back down (although I do rather like the turn of phrase). A game-report and result like this one means quite a lot. It means that the squad is back together, playing again after the summer. It means that some of the players we fans are most interested in (the up-and-coming ones, the new ones, the out-of-favour ones ...) are doing their stuff. And it means that we fans can start to salivate as the season approaches. I'm more optimistic than for some years and I find this match report a real encouragement. But I know it is egging on my positive state of mind and not a guide to form.

bluelady added 21:42 - Jul 13
If we can't look forward to the season ahead what hope us there!!!

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