An Alan McDermott goal five minutes into the second half earned 10-man Kildare County a share of the spoils in Saturday night’s Eircom League Division 1 game at Station Road.
The centre-back finished a knockdown from Philly Byrne with aplomb just a minute after midfielder Alan Byrne was sent off following an off-the-ball incident that was spotted by the referee’s assistant.
Former Thoroughbred Darren McKenna had marked his return to his old stomping ground with a powerful header to the net from Kieran Harte’s corner on the stroke of half time.
It was McKenna’s second goal against his former side, having scored the equaliser in the 2-2 draw at Tolka Park at the beginning of the season.
Both teams had opportunities to take the full points, with Mark Leech going close for the visitors before Harte’s stinging volley was well held by Austin O’Neill.
Phillip Gorman could have snatched the victory for County entering added time when sent clear by Dean Barrett but blazed over.
Indeed John Ryan’s side finished very strongly indeed and did not seem unduly hindered by their numerical disadvantage, pushing McDermott forward regularly as they chased the win.
The first half provided plenty of entertainment and Conor Rafferty forced a smart save from O’Neill in the 11th minute with a strong left-footed shot from outside the area.
Darren Hannaphy and Gorman were both off target with headers before Gorman hit the top of the crossbar having caught John Brophy napping.
Mark Leech shot over in the 41st minute having cut in from the left as Shelbourne finished the half strongly.
They were rewarded with the interval lead as McKenna struck and it looked like curtains for the hosts when Byrne was given his marching orders, but McDermott came to the rescue.
Kildare County: O’Neill, L’Estrange, Clancy, McDermott, P Byrne, A Byrne, McCrossan, Donnelly, Gorman, Hannaphy, Stapleton. Sub: Barrett for Hannaphy (20).
Shelbourne: O’Dowd, Murphy, Moran, Collins, Brophy, Harte, Chambers, McEniff, Leech, McKenna, Rafferty. Sub: Walsh for Moran (40); O’Neill for McEniff (78); Byrne for Collins (90).
Referee: E McNally.