Leeds United made the short trip to Doncaster Rovers on Tuesday night for a second round Capital One Cup tie at the Keepmoat Stadium.
United boss Brian McDermott made five changes to the side that beat Ipswich at the weekend. The changes included debuts for new signing Scott Wootton and a first appearance in the first team for youngster Alex Mowatt. Matt Smith got a start up front, Adam Drury replaced Stephen Warnock and Dom Poleon returned to the side in place of Noel Hunt.
It was the hosts who started the game on the front foot and Wootton's first piece of action in a Leeds shirt was to clear the ball off the line. Fortunately though, there was no early goal for Rovers and the Whites soon settled into the game. Leeds got their first real chance of the match when the ball fell to Ross McCormack and given the form he has been in, you would be forgiven for presuming it was set to be a goal. A poor clearance saw the ball fall at the feet of the Scotland International but he fired over when he should have scored.
Mowatt was beginning to be at the centre of all of United's attacking play and it was his cross that got to Matt Smith at the back post. The former Oldham man got his head to the ball but his effort was straight at Ross Turnbull in the Rovers goal.
It was from another Alex Mowatt cross which saw the Whites make the breakthrough just before half-time. It was another deep cross to the back post that again found Matt Smith who this time flicked it back across goal where Scott Wootton was waiting to head home via the crossbar. Not a bad start for the former Manchester United defender who had got his first goal for the club 41 minutes into his debut.
There was an early second half chance for Ross McCormack to double the lead but his effort was well saved by Turnbull. Meanwhile, Dom Poleon was really starting to enjoy himself down United's left hand side. Real hard work and endeavour was seeing the youngster beat his marker and on this occasion he was unlucky to see his shot deflected into the side-netting for a corner.
Just as Brian McDemott's side were really starting to look comfortable in the tie, it was 1-1. It was former United striker Billy Paynter who had only been on the field for three minutes who grabbed the goal.
Despite the United faithful claiming that if 'Billy Scores...we're on the pitch' no such thing happened and the game continued. Despite Doncaster having renewed momentum thanks to the equaliser, it was Matt Smith who almost restored Leeds' lead. He controlled well in the area and then connected well with a volley but once again Turnbull was equal to it.
It wasn't long before the lead was restored though and on a night full of firsts, it was Matt Smith who got his first goal for the club. A perfect cross from Lee Peltier landed on Smith's head and he guided the ball past Turnbull to make it 2-1 Leeds.
Moments later, the Doncaster defenders grew tired of being beaten by Poleon and a combination of two of them hauled him down and it was a penalty. Ross McCormack sent Turnbull the wrong way and United were in the next round of the cup.
It was a night full of positives for Brian McDermott and the 3,770 Leeds fans. The biggest one being a top performance from the latest academy graduate Alex Mowatt. Scott Wootton looks full of confidence and he also made a great start to his United career with a goal being a bonus. Matt Smith got his first goal for the club and United made it two away wins out of three away fixtures this season as well as still being unbeaten in all competitions. On to QPR now, hopefully it will be seven games unbeaten.