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The Report: Shamrock Rovers 0 Blues 4

Posted: Mon 08 Jul 2013
Author: Andy Walker
Lee Novak

Lee Novak opens the scoring against Shamrock Rovers.

Image by: Roy Smiljanic

Blues ran out comfortable winners during an eventful night in Dublin.

First-half goals from Lee Novak, Nikola Zigic and Callum Reilly were backed up by a clinical Matt Green header after the break.

However the result was overshadowed by each side having a player stretchered off with Shamrock Rovers goalkeeper Barry Murphy and Blues striker Green both receiving lengthy bouts of treatment on the pitch.

To add to the drama at the Tallaght Stadium, Blues ‘keeper Colin Doyle, as the only available substitute, played the closing stages as a makeshift striker.

After a bright start, the game was halted just before the quarter-of-an-hour mark following a collision between Novak and Murphy, with the latter coming off worse with a cracked rib. Following a lengthy delay, Murphy was replaced by Richard Bursh.

The unscathed Novak managed to dust himself off and go on to tuck home the opener in the 18th minute. The new recruit raced on to a perfectly-paced throughball from Zigic before tucking a low effort beyond the reach of Bursh.

The second from Zigic in the 36th minute was equally as impressive. Neat build up play from Chris Burke, Novak and Callum Reilly finally found its way to Zigic on the left side of the area and the big Serbian slotted his low shot in off the far post.

It was 3-0 by the break as Republic of Ireland U21 international Reilly saw his shot from the edge of the box deflect home.

New recruit Green entered the fray in the 54th minute and was on the scoresheet by the hour mark. Burke's pinpoint cross from the right picked out the ex-Mansfield striker at the near post and his clinical header gave Bursh no chance.

However a positive night took an uncomfortable twist when Green was knocked unconscious by Jason McGuinness as he beared down on goal. After a worrying and lengthy spell of treatment, Green was stretchered off and thankfully gave a thumbs up to the standing ovation from both sets of fans. 

With Lee Clark's full complement of subs already on the field, Doyle emerged with an outfield kit on and played the closing stages up top. The Irishman even went close to making it 5-0 when Darren Ambrose picked out his run into the six-yard box only for Ken Oman to make a last-gasp clearance.

Blues: Darren Randolph; Jonathan Spector (Dan Burn 62), Hayden Mullins (Mitch Hancox 62), Paul Robinson (Kyle Bartley 62); Neal Eardley (Wade Elliott 42), Olly Lee, Callum Reilly (Darren Ambrose 62), Liam Davis; Chris Burke (Koby Arthur 62); Lee Novak (Matt Green 54) (Colin Doyle 84), Nikola Zigic (Andrew Shinnie 62).