Shelbourne to appeal red card for Paul Skinner after ‘melee’ following winner against St Pat’s

Evan Caffrey’s 96th-minute winner gives Shelbourne a four-point lead at the top of the League of Ireland Premier Division

Shelbourne intend to appeal the red card shown to goalkeeping coach Paul Skinner after a “melee” broke out on the sideline following Evan Caffrey’s 96th-minute winner at Richmond Park last night.

“It was just for celebrating,” said Shelbourne manager Damien Duff following his side’s 2-1 defeat of St Patrick’s Athletic. “I think he slipped, so I think there has been a misunderstanding.”

Experienced referee Rob Hennessy also flashed 10 yellow cards during a hectic Dublin derby that leaves Shelbourne four points clear of Derry City at the halfway stage of the season. Two of the 10 bookings went to Shelbourne assistant coaches Joey O’Brien and Mauro Martins.

“I’m not sure why Paul was sent off,” Duff said. “He is a brilliant, brilliant guy and he slipped, I think John O’Sullivan jumped on his back. There was a melee down the bottom of the steps, but it was nothing to do with Paul. I’m really surprised. I’ll have to speak to the relevant people to see how we fight it because we need Paul and he’s done nothing wrong.”


The dugouts at Richmond Park are close together with stone steps under the old stand leading into the changing rooms. “I don’t know, there seemed to be a lot of noise and confusion down there, I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the bottom of the steps, it’s hard to look down but all I am saying is that Paul was at the top of the steps. So, eh, I’m not sure what Paul has done.”

Ahead of Shelbourne’s meeting with champions Shamrock Rovers at Tallaght stadium on Friday, the League of Ireland will view video footage of the Skinner incident and they might examine which section of fans threw flares on the pitch after Caffrey scored.

Meanwhile, St Pat’s manager Stephen Kenny is already under pressure; his 5½-year contract could begin with three straight losses unless they get a result against Bohemians at Dalymount Park on Friday.

“I just hope Stephen can get the club back winning and get back into contention to win trophies,” Brian Kerr, the former St Pat’s and Ireland manager, told Virgin Media. “The five League of Ireland clubs he has managed previously, it’s gone quite well, it didn’t go well at Shamrock Rovers.

“You’d be hopeful it will go well, he’s a 5½-ear contract, I managed here for 10 years and never had a contract, we had some success and some tough games.”

Kenny stated last week that he would not be seeking Kerr’s advice, following criticism of his time as Ireland manager.

“Well, he actually said he wouldn’t go for a cup of tea or coffee,” Kerr said. “I’ve never drank coffee in my life. The last time I had a cup of tea with Stephen was 25 years ago in Israel when he was with Longford and I brought him in to see what the international game was like. I haven’t had a cup of tea with Stephen since, I’ve had plenty of chats with him.

“I certainly always backed every manager here, I’ve never criticised a manager here. If he ever wanted help, I’d be available. That’s his call, I’m a supporter of this club, it’s the only League of Ireland club I’ve managed. This is Stephen’s sixth club. I hope he is successful.”

Anto Breslin, who Kenny noted was “the only left back at the club”, went off injured at half-time and is a doubt for Friday’s trip to Dalymount, where St Pat’s hope to avoid their 10th defeat of the campaign.

“It is Damien’s third season at Shelbourne and each year you can see they have got better,” said Kenny. “They look a really cohesive team, which St Patrick’s Athletic aren’t, you can sense that. It is a challenge. That’s the job.”

Gavin Cummiskey

Gavin Cummiskey

Gavin Cummiskey is The Irish Times' Soccer Correspondent