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Match Recap - Leeds u23s 3 v 2 Millwall u23s

Leeds made hard work of it - but get their defence of the PDL title of to a winning start.

Salford City v Leeds United - Carabao Cup First Round Photo by Pat Scaasi/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Mateusz Bogusz scored a free-kick with the last kick of the game to give Leeds United u23s a 3-2 win over Millwall FC u23s at Thorp Arch.

Goals from Pascal Struijk and Eddie Nketiah were cancelled out by George Alexander and Billy Mitchell before Bogusz rescued the three points.

This was Leeds United U23s first game in their defence of the PDL National title they secured with a victory over Birmingham City at Elland Roadand Carlos Cobreran named a very strong side. Showing that Marcelo Bielsa is still just as committed to getting minutes into the players’ legs as he was last season.

Leeds started the game quickly and had an effort in the first minute. Jack Clarke crossing from the left but Robbie Gotts fired his shot over.

Millwall had the ball in the net in the 3rd minute from a corner, Illan Meslier came out and claimed the corner - he then lost the ball but it was due to clear foul so the resulting finish was disallowed.

The quick start then continued, Jack Clarke having an effort saved by Ryan Sandford following a one-two which got him in behind down the left. Then, Illan Meslier made a very good save with his feet to save Tyler Burey’s deflected effort following some good passing play from Millwall.

The game shifted into a more sloppy pattern after the opening 10 minutes, with neither side really creating any major chances of note.

This changed on 32 minutes. Macedonia international Ezgjan Alioski put in a great cross from the left wing but Jordan Stevens headed it wide when he should have done better. Then, a minute later - Jamie Shackleton forced Sandford into an excellent save from the edge of the box with a curling effort.

Leeds were now well on top and they took the lead in the 38th minute. Alioski had a corner cleared but Leeds recycled the ball well in the second phase. The ball was played back out to Alioksi who beat the full-back and got into the box. Alioski got his head up well and picked out Pascal Struijk who finished well with his left-foot.

Jack Clarke caused more problems two minutes later with a good strike from the edge of the box having cut inside, Sandford making another decent save - although it was close to falling to Stevens on the rebound.

Leeds made three changes at half-time. Introducing England youth international Eddie Nketiah, Mateusz Bogusz, and Gaetano Berardi for Helder Costa, Jamie Shackleton, and Ezgjan Alioski.

Leeds doubled their lead 10 minutes into the second half with a wonderful piece of play. Jack Clarke received the ball in the middle of midfield, he beat a man and played a perfectly weighted through ball to get Jordan Stevens in down the left. He played the ball first time in behind the defence and Eddie Nketiah was well-placed in the box to finish calmly into the bottom-left corner.

Mateusz Bogusz had a chance to add a third following some good play to create some space in the penalty area but his shot was far too close to Sandford in the Millwall goal. Bogusz then forced another save with a stinging 25 yard strike following another good turn from the Poland youth international.

Nketiah had another decent chance in the 71st minute which he curled wide of the far post - the set-up play from Bryce Hosannah was fantastic, bringing the ball forward 60 yards and beating 5 players to set up the chance.

However, Hosannah gave away a penalty for a really poor sliding tackle two minutes later which he will be really disappointed with.

George Alexander’s penalty was saved brilliantly by France U20 international Illan Meslier but unfortunately the rebound fell back to Alexander via the post who tucked the rebound away.

Meslier was forced into another save after McCalmont was taken on in the area but he did well at his near post. It only delayed the equaliser though unfortunately. Leeds missed a chance to clear and then didn’t close down Billy Mitchell 25 yards out and allowed him a free shot, he took advantage to find the bottom-left corner with a good strike.

Leeds had become very sloppy, looking like they thought the match was done at 2-0 and had been punished for it.

Leeds only created one chance following Millwall’s goals - With Kun Temenuzhkov snatching at a left-foot effort from 12 yards out and slicing it wide....... UNTIL.........

Mateusz Bogusz was fouled 25 yards from goal in the last minute, he was booked for catching a Millwall player after the foul (a la Joe Williams’ Red Card for Wigan Athletic on Saturday) but Leeds got the free-kick for the first offense. He dusted himself off to take the free-kick himself and was able to find the net with a deflected free-kick in the 95th minute, the literal last kick of the game, to give Leeds u23s the three points at Thorp Arch.