Leeds 0-1 Town - Half-Time
Tuesday, 15th Sep 2015 20:45
Tommy Smith’s 32nd minute goal has given the Blues a 1-0 half-time lead over Leeds at Elland Road.
Town boss Mick McCarthy made two changes following Friday’s 5-1 defeat at Reading. Daryl Murphy came into the side for Brett Pitman, who dropped to the bench, while Ainsley Maitland-Niles returned on the right of midfield for Freddie Sears, who missed out with a hamstring injury.
Leeds included former Blues loan striker Chris Wood with Mirco Antenucci joining him up front and Luke Murphy coming into the midfield with Alex Mowatt and Sam Byram dropping to the bench.
The home side threatened first in the third minute, Gaetano Beradi whipping over a low cross from the right but Wood couldn’t get on to it and Town cleared. At the other end, Ryan Fraser curled over a low ball from the left but Whites keeper Marco Silvestri claimed at a stretch.
On seven, Leeds skipper Sol Bamba was yellow-carded for a late tackle as Fraser skipped past him on the touchline, the Blues winger requiring treatment before continuing. Maitland-Niles’s mis-hit freekick found David McGoldrick but his shot was blocked.
In the ninth minute, Wood sent Lewis Cook in on goal on the left of the Town area, but skipper Luke Chambers got back to outmuscle the midfielder, who ought to have done much better having gone to ground very easily. Referee James Adcock swiftly waved away home protests.
McGoldrick found Maitland-Niles breaking from deep towards the Leeds area in the 17th minute but the ball was slightly behind where the on-loan Arsenal man wanted it and Cook chased back to dispossess him.
Dean Gerken was forced into his first save of the evening on 27 but Antenucci’s effort - the game’s first shot on goal at either end - deflected harmlessly through to the Blues keeper.
Beradi shot well wide for Leeds on 29, then two minutes later Douglas won the ball just inside the Leeds half and sent McGoldrick away down the left. The striker cut in and was crowded out when he might have played an early cross towards Murphy.
On 32 a Jonas Knudsen throw on the left forced a corner from which the Blues went in front. Keeper Silvestri missed Fraser’s flag-kick, Leeds defender Liam Cooper inadvertently diverted it back across his own area from the far post and Smith nodded home his second goal of the season.
McGoldrick immediately created himself an opening, flicking the ball over a defender before shooting well over from a tight angle on the right.
Neither side came close to scoring again before the break. Leeds had a lot of the ball without threatening, while the Blues looked more dangerous when breaking.
Overall, it had been an entertaining half but with neither side able to create many chances. As so often in the Championship a mistake - or series of mistakes - were the difference between the teams at the break, Smith having profited from Silvestri and Cooper’s errors.
Town repelled everything thrown at them by the Whites, although Cook should have done better when he had his opportunity, with - so far - no repeat of Friday’s defensive mistakes.
Leeds: Silvestri, Berardi, Cooper, Bamba (c), Taylor, Murphy, Cook, Adeyemi, Dallas, Wood, Antenucci. Subs: Turnbull, Wootton, Bellusci, Mowatt, Phillips, Byram, Doukara.
Town: Gerken, Chambers (c), Smith, Berra, Knudsen, Skuse, Douglas, Maitland-Niles, Fraser, Murphy, McGoldrick. Subs: Bialkowski, Malarczyk, Parr, Coke, Tabb, Touré, Pitman. Referee: James Adcock (Nottinghamshire).
Photo: Action Images
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