Leeds continued on their unbeaten run so far this pre-season with a lacklustre 1-1 draw away to local rivals Sheffield Wednesday. There were a number of trialists named in the squad with Isaiah Osbourne starting the game on the bench while Alex Mendy started on United's right wing. Their inclusion for the second time following their mid-week appearances was accompanied by a further addition to the bench in Boldiszar Bodor, a Hungarian international who operates as a left full back. However there was no place for fellow trailist JLloyd Samuel who was ruled out through injury and Grayson suggested after the game it is unlikely that Samuel will now win a contract at the club.
The starting eleven was boosted by the return of Patrick Kisnorbo who was missing in midweek. The fans favourite completion of the full 90 minutes is sure to be a welcome boost for boss Simon Grayson as he seeks to work out his favoured back 5 for the new season.
Sheffield Wednesday started the game well on top and nearly took the lead early on when a long throw in was sent into the United box that would have impressed Rory Delap. Wednesday's Chris Sedgwick was unlucky to see his header hit the bar. Leeds shot stopper Paul Rachubka may have got his fingertips to the ball and if so it was a brilliant save by the former Blackpool man.
However, it wasn't long before the whites did find themselves behind following some jittery defending, the United midfield and defence just stood by and watched as former Elland Road midfielder David Prutton, otherwise known as 'Jesus' waltzed through and fired a good shot past Rachubka, 1-0.
It was going from bad to worse for Leeds as two minutes later injury prone left back, Ben Parker was clattered by an opponent forcing him to leave the field of play. This saw trialist Boldiszar Bodor enter the fray for a chance to show what he can do.
The rest of the first half went by without any other real incident with Leeds midfield men Michael Brown and Adam Clayton keeping them ticking over, albeit fairly slowly. The only major chance fell to Billy Paynter who was spear heading United's attack in the first half following some good work from Alex Mendy, however Paynter fluffed it and his tame shot went well wide leading to groans from the Leeds faithful.
At half time, Ross Mccormack replaced Paynter and was joined in attack by Max Gradel. Lloyd Sam took the place of the Quiet Ramon Nunez. Although it was a friendly, the tackles were flying in and tempers at times, got out of control. Shortly after the break, Leeds got closer to getting an equaliser when Max Gradel released Lloyd Sam, however he was on his left peg and as he entered the oppositions box, he cut back on to his right foot and curled a shot, which got the better of Nicky Weaver in the Wednesday goal but unfortunately for him, and Leeds, it didn't beat the post and Sheffield Wednesday still had the advantage. Not many chances were being created and Wednesday looked the more likely to further their advantage without ever really creating any real chances.
Osbourne came on to replace Michael Brown and Aidy White was given a run out in place of Mendy as time in the game ticked on with it looking increasingly likely that the game would be Leeds' first defeat of Pre-season. With only 8 minutes left, tricky ivorian winger Max Gradel was forced to the ground by a Wednesday defender and the referee was quick to point to the spot for a United spot kick giving Leeds the perfect chance to make things all square. Gradel dusted himself down and smashed the penalty home, sending the keeper the wrong way. The final scoreline of 1-1 was if anything harsh on hosts Sheffield Wednesday and the fact that Leeds only managed to scrape a draw thanks a penalty against League one opposition suggests that Simon Grayson should be looking to add to his depleted strike force as the only two fit strikers at the club managed to score 3 goals between them last season.
The new campaign is two weeks away and without a surprise or two in the transfer market in the next few weeks, the 2011-12 season could be a very tough one for Leeds and their supporters.
Sheffield Wednesday: Weaver, Buxton, Bennett, Prutton, Jones, R Johnson, Sedgwick, Semedo, Madine, Amond, J Johnson. Subs: O'Donnell, Beevers, Jones, Reynolds, O'Connor.
United: Rachubka, Connolly, Kisnorbo, Clayton, Bromby (Bruce 85), Parker (Bodor 12), Gradel, Brown (Osbourne 67), Paynter (McCormack 46), Nunez (Sam 46), Mendy (White 74). Subs: Cairns, Lees, N Turner, L Turner, Taylor, Thompson.
Referee: M Haywood