In a match just concluding Leeds defeated Carlisle 2-0 on the strength of a Luciano Beechio goal and a late effort by Jermaine Beckford.
From the get-go this match had a few surprises, most notably Gary McAllister's decision to give Aidan White the start with Alan Sheehan in the sin-bin. While I had hoped to see the sixteen year-old penciled-in, I quite honestly didn't think he'd be given the opportunity in such a important match. The match started a bit slower as both clubs seemed content to slowly build-up play and get accustomed to each others play. Leeds midfield pace of the last few matches is definitely under-wraps with a less tactically aggressive lineup. From the start Leeds is back on their heels and Carlisle is in control of play. At the thirty minute mark, a Neil Kilkenny drive is pushed wide by Carlisle 'keeper Ben Williams with a corner resulting. Neil Kilkenny swings in the corner, which Paul Telfer bashes back into the box and Luciano Becchio pounces on the opportunity and quick sends the ball to the back of the net for a 1-0 Leeds. Carlisle definitely is controlling play and looking dangerous on the attack with Cleveland Taylor stinging David Lucas with a powerful strike and Marc Bridge-Wilkinson sending a ball just over the post before the half. The second half begins where the first left off, Carlisle is looking more aggressive and Leeds attacking vision is muffled. The home clubs efforts take a downturn as Danny Graham is substituted for with Scott Dobie due to an injury he sustained in the first forty-five. Nine minutes after the break Aidan White is hobbling around and Jonny Howson is brought in as a substitute and will juggle the midfield around a morsel. Simon Hackney comes close to bringing the match level a few minutes later but with the shot is blocked and Andy Hughes clears it away. Carlisle is swarming and looking very ready to to breakthrough at the sixty-fifth minute as Simon Hackney blisters another shot that David Lucas saves. Michael Bridges comes close ten minutes later but once again David Lucas gets his mitts in front of the drive. With sixteen minutes to go the siege is on and Leeds is well back on their heels. One minute later the young Scot Robert Snodgrass comes in for Neil Kilkenny. Eleven minutes from time, a Marc Bridge-Wilkinson corner swings in dangerously but Luciano Beechio clears it out but Carlisle is fighting to the death and not prepared to give up points at home. Out of nowhere a Leeds counter-attack sees a Frazer Richardson shot rattle off the bar but it isn't long till the home squad is pushing forward. With four minutes left a Robert Snodgrass feeds Jermaine Beckford from five meters out for an easy goal and to give Leeds a 2-0 lead and the eventual victory. The victory sends Leeds, temporarily, to second in the table behind Oldham.
Leeds faces Hartlepool this Tuesday in a Carling Cup match.
David Lucas, Frazer Richardson, Paul Telfer, Rui Marques, Aidan White (Jonny Howson 54'), Andy Hughes, Neil Kilkenny (Robert Snodgrass 75'), Jonathan Douglas, Fabian Delph, Jermaine Beckford (Andy Robinson 90'), Luciano Becchio
Substitutes: Casper Ankergren, David Prutton
Ben Williams, David Raven, Danny Livesey, Richard Keogh, Evan Horwood,Paul Thirlwell,Cleveland Taylor (Michael Bridges 63'), Marc Bridge-Wilkinson, Simon Hackney, Danny Carlton (Jennison Myrie-Williams 72'), Danny Graham (Scott Dobie 46')
Substitutes: Chris Howarth, Luke Joyce,