By Aidan Fitzmaurice
Shelbourne FC manager Pat Fenlon has insisted there is no need for panic at the Tolka Park club despite a miserable run of five games without a win.
Shelbourne fans were planning for a third consecutive league title in 2005 having looked very impressive in the early part of the season with six straight victories. But after a stalemate at Drogheda United FC came three successive defeats in May, including a 2-0 home loss to Northern Ireland's Linfield FC in the final of the first-ever Setanta Cup, the new cross-border competition in Ireland.
A 2-1 reverse at Dublin rivals Bohemian FC deepened the gloom and as injuries mounted, the Reds went down 2-0 at home to Cork City FC, which cost them their Premier Division leadership. They then had to come from behind to draw 1-1 at University College Dublin FC, with Glen Crowe - a close-season signing from Bohemians - scoring his first Shelbourne goal.
"I know some people will take pleasure from us losing but that only galvanises me to come back even stronger," insisted Fenlon. "We have worked too hard to get where we are to give it up easily, and there's no crisis here."
Cork float up
Cork are now the team on top having taken ten points from a possible 12 in May, with wins against Saint Patrick's Athletic FC (3-1), Derry City FC (2-0) and Shelbourne (2-0), and the only blot on the copybook being a 2-2 draw at Waterford United FC.
However, there is some bad news for Cork as they are set to lose one of their best players. Republic of Ireland Under-21 striker Kevin Doyle caught the eye with two goals in the UEFA Intertoto Cup in 2004 and English clubs Reading FC, Stoke City FC and Burnley FC are bidding for his services.
Bohemians on fire
Fifth-placed Bohemians have been the month's form team with four straight wins. Player-manager Gareth Farrelly is readying his side for his first-ever European campaign as Bohemians play KAA Gent in the Intertoto Cup. While the Dubliners are bound for Europe, Waterford forward Daryl Murphy is heading for the Premiership, having joined promoted Sunderland AFC for €145,000.
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