In-form Mark Leech struck twice, his fifth goals in three games, as Shelbourne recorded a comfortable over Kildare County at Station Road tonight.
Leech’s first goal was worth the entrance fee alone, a superb chip over Kildare ‘keeper Austin O’Neill from fully 40 yards.
Former Irish under-21 international, James Chambers, gave Shels the lead after 13 minutes when he skipped past Barry Clancy before firing a low shot past O’Neill.
Kildare almost equalised in bizarre fashion after 21 minutes. Darren Stapleton’s in-swinging corner was headed against his own bar by Shelbourne skipper Jim Crawford.
Shelbourne came back into the game and had a good spell just before half-time and Philip Byrne needed to hack off the line after Anto Flood’s scuffed effort squirmed past O’Neill.
Just when it seemed that County would go in at the break just the one goal behind, Leech struck his wonder goal to give Shels a two-goal half-time cushion.
Kildare were the better side in the early stages of the second half and they were unlucky when Philip Gorman crashed a superb volley off the crossbar from outside the box.
Stephen Cooling pulled a goal back for County after Aidan Collins had blocked Ian Malone’s header after 66 minutes but any thoughts of a Kildare comeback were dashed five minutes later.
Kildare pushed men forward but Darren Stapleton’s pass was intercepted by Alan Murphy, he ran half the length of the pitch before slipping the ball into Leech who finished well for his tenth goal of season.
Anto Flood put the seal on the win with two minutes to go when he pounced on a slip by Philly Byrne before blasting past O’Neill.
Kildare County: O’Neill; Donnelly, Stapleton (McArdle 73), Malone, P Byrne; Brady, Cooing, A Byrne, Carew (Barrett 82), Cooling; Gorman.
Shelbourne: O’Dowd (Hussey h/t); Murphy, McCulloch, Malcolm, Keely; Chambers, Crawford, O’Brien, Reilly (Collins 62); Leech, Flood.
Referee: H. Whorisky (Meath).