Match Report

 

Sat 29 Aug 09


A Jermaine Beckford goal was enough to earn Leeds United the win on Saturday as the Yorkshire side continued their bright start to the season.

For the sixth game out of seven this season, the U's were involved in a 2-1 scoreline - but on this occasion it went against them.

In a hard fought afternoon at the Weston Homes Community Stadium, the U's fought like lions, but were eventually seen off by a single goal.


The U's made just the one change to their starting eleven for the game against Leeds United.

With Lee Beevers struggling with his dislocated shoulder, former Leeds man Alan Maybury came into the side to replace him.

However, that aside, the U's were unchanged as Clive Platt had to make do with a place on the bench as he returned from his suspension.

The troublesome Beckford was causing problems after just five minutes, picking up the ball on the halfway line and turning to run towards goal, where he was unceremoniously dumped to the ground by Okuonghae. The U's defender went into the book for his foul.

The front man then tucked the ball home two minutes later but, despite the celebrations of the away support, most in the stadium were comfortable with the fact that the flag had gone up well before.

The U's first chance arrived after eight minutes as Fox seized on a poor clearance by Kisnorbo to strike in a low shot that Higgs did well to turn around the post at full stretch.

The visitors then came again as a ball was thrust in towards goal and it was a good head away from Tierney, who was caught by Snodgrass, much to the annoyance of the home fans behind the goal.

The away fans were celebrating again on fifteen minutes when Becchio slotted Beckford through to round Williams but again the flag was up early to deny the free scoring striker as he hit the back of the net.

The U's were working hard though to deny Leeds any space and in turn try to turn them around to find chances of their own.

But the visitors were the next to go close on 24 minutes. A long ball forward was helped away from the danger area by Okuonghae as he and Beckford chased the ball down, but the Leeds striker lashed the ball towards goal as it dropped and Williams blocked it with his legs.

The U's were proving to be very competitive, winning some crunching tackles in the heart of the park to ensure that no visiting player was giving them an easy ride.

Howson reacted to one such competitive tackle from the U's, pushing Maybury away to be put into the book by the referee with five minutes to go before half time. Beckford followed him in shortly afterwards, as he hauled down Baldwin as they contested the free kick as it came in.

The visiting fans were not impressed with a corner that was given on the stroke of half time. Goalkeeper Higgs claimed the ball was behind the line before he turned it away for a set piece, but it had already clipped a Leeds man on its way.

From that set piece, the ball twice fell to U's men, but Vincent was the man who was the player to have the final shot, lashing his effort high, wide and handsome once again.

At the other end, Snodgrass smashed in a free kick from distance that was swerving all over the place, eventually dipping just over the crossbar.

There was confusion in the U's defence at the start of the second half as Okuonghae misjudged his header, before Becchio and Snodgrass got in each other's way with the follow up shot.

The U's defender was then harshly adjudged to have given away a free kick by the byline and Johnson made no mistake to head the ball home from close range.

The home side were almost instantly level. They won a free kick on the edge of the box and duties were left to Hackney, who forced a reaction save out of Higgs to tip it over the crossbar.

Leeds sensed blood though and it required first Baldwin and then Tierney to block shots in the box to ensure that the visitors did not further extend their advantage.

Vernon could consider himself unlucky not to have gained more from a clever touch on the edge of the box, winning only a corner, but the U's soon got their chance to get back into the game.

Lisbie turned his man well inside box and was pulled down, with the referee pointing straight to the spot. The front man picked himself up and he made no mistake as he smashed the penalty into the top corner to level up the scores.

The home fans were clearly delighted and caretaker manager Joe Dunne pumped his fist at the West Stand as the U's celebrated.

Front man Lisbie's tenacity was proving problematic for the visiting defenders, but some of the referee's decisions were causing problems for the U's as a number of calls went against them.

But they almost broke from a Leeds free kick with Tierney and Lisbie getting away down the left. The ball was switched to Vincent who, with players in the box, could only find a Leeds man.

He and Izzet joined the ever growing list of yellow cards as the referee's contentious decisions continued, but the U's were giving it a real go as they looked for the goal to put them in front.

However, defensive confusion put the visitors back in front. Twice the U's had a chance to clear it with Fox trying to hook clear and as they went to clear the ball, the ball cannoned off Beckford and into the net.

It was time for the U's to make a change, as they reintroduced Clive Platt following his three game suspension in place of Scott Vernon.

Tierney was the next to go in the book when it seemed that he might have won the ball down the left from Snodgrass, his yellow card only serving to increase the frustration amongst the home fans.

The U's made their second change midway through the second half, with Perkins coming on for Vincent.

But it was Lisbie who was next to have a go - he turned his man midway inside the Leeds half and went for goal, eventually curling an effort well lover the crossbar.

With the clock running down, the visitors shored things up a little by bringing on Prutton for Snodgrass and Marques was also replaced by Michalik.

The U's made a change of their own between those two changes, as they introduced Wordsworth for Fox and he almost made an immediate impression in getting Lisbie in on goal, the ball eventually cleared for a corner.

Okuonghae had an effort easily saved by Higgs, before Perkins strode onto a ball knocked down by Platt but, unlike his effort at Norwich, this one went well wide of the goal.

At the other end, with injury time underway, Baldwin pulled off a superb tackle to see off Beckford, just as the front man was about to pull the trigger and close out the game.

The U's had a shot on the edge of the box by Wordsworth that was well blocked by Kisnorbo and the big Aussie did well to see off another U's ball into the box as the visitors defended to protect their advantage.

And he did enough as the Yorkshire side held on to keep up their 100% record for the season.

U's: Williams, Maybury, Baldwin, Okuonghae, Tierney, Hackney, Fox, Izzet, Vincent, Vernon, Lisbie

Subs: Cousins, Lockwood, Holt, Wordsworth, Perkins, Thomas, Platt

    Data provided by Press Association

    Recent Match Reports