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Match Recap: Leeds United u23s 3-2 Aston Villa u23s

The young Whites came back from 2 goals down to go 3-2 up and claim a vital three points at Thorp Arch.

Leeds United U23 v Wolverhampton Wanderers U23 - Under 18s Premier League
Joe Gelhardt celebrates his goal earlier in the season against Wolves.
Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

The Leeds United u23s completed a brilliant comeback to go top of the PL2 Division 2 table against Aston Villa at Thorp Arch.

The Whites lined-up with first-teamers Pablo Hernandez, Pascal Struijk and Leif Davis from the start, with Ian Poveda and Tyler Roberts on the bench. Kamwa shifted out-wide while Sam Greenwood dropped into the midfield as the ‘number eight’, a position in which he filled in for an injury in the last game against West Bromwich Albion.

Leeds’ first chance came just after the six-minute mark as Greenwood picked-up the ball deep in the midfield. He turned onto his left foot before lifting a lovely pass over to Huggins in the box who was surrounded. He turned well as fired goalward but the strike was no problem for the keeper.

Hernandez forced Tom Heaton into action on ten minutes after some nice triangular play between Greenwood, Gelhardt and Hernandez, with his low-driven shot from range well parried.

But after a spell of pressure Villa took the lead on 24 minutes with a shot from outside the box bouncing in front of Caprile who couldn’t parry the ball away from the post.

Leeds had a brilliant chance go just wayward on 32 minutes with a brilliant counter-attack as Hernandez latched on to a deflected touch from Greenwood before sending a perfect ball across to Kamwa on the right. Kamwa drove inside the box with his shot toward the near post being turned wide by the keeper.

But Villa doubled their lead soon after their winger opened up a great pass from the left side of the box to the right. The Villa number nine cut onto his right and then his left before swinging the ball into the far corner.

Down but not out, The Whites responded instantly as Hernandez’s corner resulted in a scrap by the penalty spot. Bobby Kamwa came out on top, turning onto his right and beating Heaton at the bottom right corner.

Incredibly, the youngsters equalised less than a minute later, with Sam Greenwood’s low cross from the left being hand-balled during the sliding block. Greenwood stepped-up for the penalty, finding the left side-netting fantastically as Heaton couldn’t reach his unstoppable strike.

They even came ever so close to taking the lead on the stroke of half-time as Hernandez slipped the ball through to Joe Gelhardt on the edge of the box. He broke from the two defenders either side of him before lashing a shot at goal which was well saved by the keeper.

Villa came just as close just moments later, as a freekick from 25 yards beat everyone except the crossbar as it bounced off the top of the woodwork, closing out the half at 2-2.

The Villains came very close to taking the lead again just minutes into the second half as a long ball over the top was not claimed by Caprile who stayed on his line. The attacker was open and had a shot across goal from the right, with Caprile pulling-off a brilliant save to keep the score level.

Leeds won another penalty in the 70th minute as Kamwa was brought down off-the-ball. Substitute Tyler Roberts took this one, calmly slotting home into the bottom right corner as Heaton was sent the wrong way.

Joe Gelhardt almost finished the game just a couple minutes later as he met a great cutback 16 yards from goal, with his left-footed finish dragging wide of the bottom right corner.

Leeds almost finished it again on 77 minutes as Olley Casey rose highest to meet a corner-kick, with Tom Heaton clawing the ball off the line with his left hand to keep The Villains in the game.

Gelhardt came close once again in the 93rd minute as Poveda broke brilliantly, beating too before finding Gelhardt ahead of him. He rounded another before driving a shot just wide across goal.

But the three points were seen out as the Leeds u23s move to the top of The PL2 Division 2 table while third-placed Norwich have a game in hand.