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Leeds Player Ratings: Leeds u23s 2 - 1 Newcastle u23s.

The u23 side move a step closer to promotion.

Leeds United v Newcastle United: Premier League 2 Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images

All the goals came in the first half as Leeds United’s u23 side beat Newcastle United 2-1 at Thorp Arch. A Joe Gelhardt penalty and a Charlie Cresswell header were enough for the Whites to secure another victory.

After a quiet opening 15 minutes, Leeds took the lead. Joe Gelhardt was fouled in the box for a penalty, before stepping up homself and sending the keeper the wrong way. The lead was doubled by Charlie Cresswell with an excellent header from a Gelhardt corner. Leeds looked dominant throughout the first half, but Newcastle did get one back just before half-time through Ghana international Christian Atsu.

Newcastle had more of the play in the second half, and Elia Caprile was forced into a couple of good saves, the best of which saw him deny Elliot Anderson in a one-on-one. Leeds also had good chances for Liam McCarron, Stuart McKinstry, and the impressive Joe Gelhardt but in the end there were no more goals and Leeds moved a step closer to what looks a likely promotion.

STARTING LINEUP

Elia Caprile - Not at fault for Atsu’s goal, and the hardest things he had to deal with in the first half were a couple of difficult passes from his own defenders. Made a good save with 20 minutes to go and an even better one five minutes later to deny Elliot Anderson. 7.5/10

Cody Drameh - Looked really good defending one-on-one against Atsu, who was switched to the other side. The excellent one against one defending carried on throughout, only Elliot Anderson managed to beat him a couple of times but those were the only ones. Really good on the ball as well and his ability to dribble out of tight situations really helped Leeds. 8/10

Gaetano Berardi - Made some good tackles in the first half and looked assured in defence. 6.5/10

Charlie Cresswell - Had a very impressive opening half hour being defensively solid and excellent on the ball before scoring Leeds’ second goal with an excellent header from a corner. Excellent defensive work continued throughout the game. 7.5/10

Niall Huggins - Lots of energy getting up and down the left wing as we are used to seeing. Got caught on his heels for Atsu to pull a goal back late in the first half. Some of the attempted link up play between him and McCarron was a bit sloppy in the first half. 6.5/10

Robin Koch - His first action since his knee surgery and a move into the DM role. Gave away four fouls in the opening 15 minutes but none were in dangerous areas. Played some nice passes and made crucial challenge to prevent a good chance. Good to see him back, replaced for the second half. 7/10

Ian Poveda - A couple of bright moments in the first half but nothing major in terms of end product. One of three replaced at half-time. 6/10

Jack Jenkins - Had some nice moments as an “8” in the first half, Moved into the defensive midfielder role for the second half and played solidly. 6.5/10

Sam Greenwood - Still doesn’t look as comfortable in midfield as he did up front early on the season but looked good in possession and is always looking to play incisive passes. 6/10

Liam McCarron - Time at left-back has obviously helped him, very disciplined covering for Huggins when he bombed forward and looked good in that regard himself. Some of the passing between the two in the first half didn’t come off. Had a good chance early in the second half which was saved well. 6/10

Joe Gelhardt - Won the penalty and converted it himself for the opening goal. Good corner to get the assist for the second. Constant threat with his skill and strength in possession, as usual at this level he stood out a mile. 8/10

SUBSTITUTES

Stuart McKinstry (for Poveda, HT) - Had a great headed chance early in the second half but put it straight at the keeper. 6/10

Oliver Casey (for Berardi, HT) - Did fine in the second half without standing out. 6/10

Jamie Shackleton (for Koch, HT) - Did ok, stood out more later in the half when Leeds were under pressure and his pace was able to bring Leeds forward well. 6.5/10