Shackleton leads Leeds to successful Boro expedition

Boro report
Boro report

A solitary goal was the difference between Scarborough Athletic and a youthful Leeds United side on Saturday, with the Championship side edging matters at the Flamingo Land Stadium.

An effervescent first 20 minutes from Leeds was the difference, though Boro grew into the friendly clash in front of 1,916 supporters.

Boasting exciting prospect Romario Vieira and a number of trialists from across the seas, Leeds had Steve Kittrick's men chasing shadows in the opening minutes.

That was despite the fact that had spent much of their morning sitting in the jams of the A64.

A delightfully slick move after nine minutes moved Leeds ahead with what turned out to be the only goal of the game.

Spaniard Adrian Balboa cast his spell over the Boro defence, before freeing up Jamie Shackleton, who ghosted through to lift the ball beyond Tommy Taylor.

United continued to knock the ball around with confidence, Balboa himself punching an effort just over the Boro bar from distance.

Reeling from Leeds' early blows, Boro soon began to land some of their own.

Craig Nelthorpe's cross from the left was flicked off the head of diving debutant Michael Coulson.

Then another Nelthorpe delivery was met by Dan Thirkell at the far post, but he failed to divert the ball on target.

Boro maintained this spell of ascendancy, with Dan Stimpson planting a header just wide and sub Nathan Valentine getting a toe to Thirkell's cross, but not managing to force it goalwards.

Leeds had thrown on former Ajax man Boban Lazac by this point and he was unlucky not to double their lead right on the stroke of half-time.

After being fed by Balboa, Lazac beat Taylor, but the dogged determination of Sam Hewitt saw him get back to hook the ball off the line just in time.

Boro brought on Billy Logan for the new half in place of Leon Osborne, then Stimpson left the field injured soon after, Matt Dempsey taking his place.

It was almost Valentine's day on the hour when the midfielder rose well in the box, but planted his header just over the bar.

Boro continued to make changes, James Cadman, Jamie Price, Rob Youhill, Joe Danby and the returning Lewis Clarkson all being introduced.

It took the hosts some time for these alterations to bed in and Leeds almost took advantage.

Taylor had to be at his very best to clasp a superb over-head effort from Eoghan Stokes out of the top corner.

Shackleton probably should have doubled his own and Leeds' tally after that when wriggling free in the box, but he somehow managed to smash well wide from close range.

The last action of the day saw Boro man Price take exception to a late challenge and that led to a bout of handbags.

In the excitement, referee Darren Whatling looked to have been hauled to the ground by a Leeds man, but he later admitted that he had lost his footing.

When Whatling finally regained his composure, he blew time on the action and Leeds set off back down the A64 with the victory.