With a playoff promotion battle looming ahead, Leeds edged Stockport County 1-0 at Elland Road on Saturday afternoon. Although any celebration of defeating struggling Stockport is best held off, the victory was an important one in the march towards the playoffs.
Simon Grayson was forced to go forth in the match without the services of Sam Sodje and Jermaine Beckford, inserting Liam Dickinson for the ailing striker. From the get-go Leeds had the upper-hand as Stockport was incapable of launching much of an attacking presence. Nine minutes after the opening whistle Jonathan Douglas's cross from the right, via LucianoBecchio resulted in Jonny Howson sending the ball in. Up 1-0 Leeds went hunting for more with Liam Dickinson quickly pounding the ball off the post shortly thereafter. Leeds, while controlling the balance of play but equally having an unnerving finishing problem as a series of close ranges were added to the log. Ten minutes after the restart Luciano was replaced by Andy Robinson due to injury and for the balance of the match, scoring chances were purely Leeds. While they couldn't hit the mark,Stockport was snuffed out by 'keeper Casper Ankergren and the match concluded with Leeds ninth successive victory at Elland Road.
Repeating the obvious, the victory is well received as Leeds looks to iron-out a spot in the playoffs, however it does raise some concerns over the lack of finishing. Stockport, with respect, have fallen out of bed of late and Leeds had ample opportunity to not only put this match out of reach but layer on an imposing score. Leading into the playoff run, Simon Grayson will need to address these concerns.