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Leeds U23s hold on to defeat Sheffield Wednesday

Academy team paced by goals of Paweł Cibicki and Adrian Balbao

Newport County v Leeds United - The Emirates FA Cup Third Round Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

The Leeds United U23s played today and defeated Sheffield Wednesday U23s 3-2 to continue their undefeated home streak.

Usual first-team player Paweł Cibicki scored a pair of quick goals right out of the gate, scoring in both the first and second minutes of the match. Cibicki has not been able to get on the pitch at all under Paul Heckingbottom and rarely featured under previous boss Thomas Christiansen, so it is good to see him get not only get some time on the pitch, but also see him put the ball in the back of the net twice.

Cibicki showed real promise earlier this year, after he did well against Queens Park Rangers when called on to enter the match. He provided two assists in that match, but was unable to string together consistent enough performances to justify a regular starting place.

Jay-Roy Grot also apparently played well today. Grot has featured a number of times in the first team this season, but he hasn’t been able to make much of an impression. And while it’s easy to forget, given his size and hype that the club had for him when he signed, Grot is still only a teenager and new to the country, having transferred to Leeds back in August from NEC.

Sheffield Wednesday got back into the match in the second half after Leeds took a 2-1 lead into halftime. George Hirst, who had been linked with Leeds in the summer transfer window, and rumoured to have refused to sign a new contract, scored the goal that drew Wednesday level. Hirst was also apparently linked with a £2 million bid from Leicester City, but Wednesday do not seem interested in selling the young striker.

Leeds almost took the lead from a Tom Pearce corner, but the chance fell just out of the range of the Leeds attackers in the box. Leeds finally did take the lead for good later in the match as Adrian Balboa scored the winner.

Good to see the U23s get a win over Yorkshire rivals Wednesday, and even better to see some players get some confidence. And who knows? Once the playoffs are firmly out of reach, it would be good to see the kids play in the first team to give them some valuable experience.