Leeds Utd ended their Irish tour on Wednesday night with a one all draw with Shelbourne. The Elland Road side had already played Galway Utd and Bray Wanderers in the last week.
Despite having an important league game on Friday night, Shelbourne manager Dermot Keely opted to field an starting line up that contained eight players that could be considered first team regulars. They were joined by UCD's Darren Forsyth and Greg Bolger. Gary McAllister fielded a strong line up, including Irish players Alan Sheehan and Jonathan Douglas.
Dave Freeman had two half chances early on, he sent one high and wide, while the second lacked the power to trouble the keeper. While Leeds came close to opening the scoring after eighteen minutes. Goalkeeper Vinny Whelan had come to clear a long through ball with his head, but only succeeded in flicking it on, giving new Leeds signing Luciano what looked like the easy task of rolling the ball into the empty net - however Damien Brennan got back and cleared the strikers weak effort off the line.
The Argentine turned provider five minutes later, when Jonathan Howson connected sweetly with his right wing cross, however with Whelan beaten, the crossbar saved Shels.
Anto Flood's name finally returned to the score sheet midway through the half. Leeds goalkeeper Alan Martin miscued his attempted clearance of a back pass, leaving the grateful Flood all the time in the world to walk the ball into the goal. Floods joy was shortlived however, his involvement in the game lasted a mere ten minutes more, having to be stretchered off with suspected ligament damage.
Shels nearly extended their lead immediately. Mark Rutherford burst into the box and squared it across the six yard line, but Bradley Johnson was on hand to clear the danger.
On the stroke of half time Leeds equalised. Enoch Showunmi had his shot from sixteen yards pushed around the post by Whelan and from the resulting corner, Leeds captain Paul Huntington headed home a powerful header.
As expected both sides made numerous half time and second half substitutions and it was the visitors who seemed to benefit from them the most. Douglas fired wide from inside the box, and just before the hour mark Luciano was again giving the Shelbourne defence problems. He got in front of his marker, but could only direct his header straight into the arms of substitute keeper John McGuinness. Leeds trialist Marcus Haber then came close when he was set free on the right hand side.
Peter McGlynn had a glimpse of goal with ten minutes remaining, but Martin was quick off his line to narrow the angles. Scott Gardner had the ball in the net in the dying minutes, however the referees assistant raised his flag and adjudged him to be in an offside position.
Shelbourne: Vinny Whelan; James Chambers, Alan Byrne, Damien Brennan, Alan Murphy; Darren Forsyth, Greg Bolger, David McGill, Mark Rutherford; Anto Flood, David Freeman.
Subs: John McGuinness, Robbie Hedderman, Andrei Georgescu, Brian Farrell, Mark O'Brien, Dean Lawrence, Peter McGlynn, Gary McCabe, O'Reilly, Notando.
Leeds United: Alan Martin; Frazer Richardson, Alan Sheehan, Jonathan Douglas, Rui Marques, Paul Huntington, David Prutton, Johnny Howson, Luciano Becchio, Enoch Showunmi, Bradley Johnson.
Subs: Casper Ankergren, David Lucas, Paul Telfer, Peter Sweeney, Scott Gardner, Ben Parker, Robert Bayly, Marcus Haber, Lubo Michalik.
Booked: Marques, Johnson, Douglas, Sheehan.
Referee: Ian Stokes.
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