Saturday, November 29, 2014

Victory at Last

UNITED 2 (Antenucci 43, 50), DERBY 0

United: Silvestri, Byram, Cooper, Bellusci, Warnock, Cook, Bianchi (Austin 68), Mowatt, Adryan (Tonge 90+4), Antenucci, Doukara. Subs. S Taylor, Berardi, Pearce, Dawson, Sharp.

Derby: Grant, Christie, Keogh, Shotton, Forsyth, Mascarell (Bryson 66), Hughes, Hendrick, Russell (Thomas 66), Ibe (Dawkins 66), Martin. Subs. Roos, Buxton, Eustace, Coutts.

Referee: M Russell

Booked: Bianchi, Doukara, Cooper, Bellusci (United), Christie, Mascarell, Martin, Russell, Shotton (Derby)

Att: 26,028

For the visit of league leaders Derby County, Neil Redfearn made just the one change from the side beaten at Blackburn a week earlier as Giuseppe Bellusci returned to defence in place of Jason Pearce.

Ahead of kick-off, Elland Road stood to a minute’s applause in memory of Blake Cairns, the younger brother of United goalkeeper Alex, who tragically passed away two weeks earlier.

It was the was the visitors who started on the front foot, with Jeff Hendrick and Chris Martin both threatening inside the first 10 minutes, but United soon started to enjoy good spells of possession inside the Derby half.

Both goalkeeper’s had relatively quiet opening 25 minutes, though, as both sides probed for ways through without truly testing Marco Silvestri or Lee Grant.

United's first real sight of goal came on 34 minutes as Mirco Antenucci skipped away from his marker on the edge of the area, only to fire way over Grant’s bar under the close watch of Richard Keogh.

Grant was then called into action moments later, getting down to his left to beat away Alex Mowatt’s dipping strike behind after a swift break up-field. Antenucci then blazed over the bar from the resulting corner as United began to apply some decent pressure.

Souleymane Doukara dragged a low effort wide after 39 minutes following another counter-attack but the deadlock was finally broken just two minutes before the half-time whistle thanks to Antenucci’s sixth of the season.

Some industrious work down the left saw Mowatt head towards the byline and cut a low ball back across goal where the Italian striker was lurking. He made no mistake from 12 yards out, steering beyond Grant with an emphatic finish to give Redfearn’s side the lead.

Buoyed by Antenucci’s opener, United looked to pick up where they left off after the restart and the 30-year-old was soon celebrating his second of the afternoon from a similar scenario to his first.

Stephen Warnock burst down the left and delivered a low cross which Doukara dummied and there was Antenucci to fire beyond Grant and into the bottom corner, lifting Elland Road to its feet once again.

Sam Byram then looked to make it three, skipping beyond two defenders before firing a low effort into the arms of Grant from outside the area.

United were continuing to dominate proceedings and Antenucci, going in search of his hat-trick, tested Grant once again as the Derby keeper pushed away his goal-bound strike. Redfearn was then prompted into his first change of the afternoon as Rodolph Austin replaced the tireless Tommaso Bianchi in midfield with just over 20 minutes remaining.

Derby boss Steve McClaren, who had watched the opening hour from up in the Elland Road press box, made his way down to the technical area to urge his side forward, making all three substitutions in one go, but it was the hosts who still looked the most likely to grab the game’s third.

Antenucci fizzed an effort inches over Grant’s bar and into the Kop after cutting inside, before Simon Dawkins threatened at the opposite end but could only find the South Stand as Silvestri remained untested.

Derby then passed up a glaring opportunity and their clearest sight of goal on 81 minutes as Warnock was forced into a heroic last-ditch tackle in front of goal before Kwame Thomas smashed over the loose ball from inside the area.

Derby were throwing men forward and gaps were inevitably appearing inside their half. Doukara spotted one as he looked to feed Antenucci, who had beaten the onrushing Grant to the ball, but the Derby keeper stood firm to block his effort from way outside his area.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Leeds in Turmoil

Leeds United can confirm that Darko Milanic has parted company with the club.

The Slovenian, who arrived from Austrian side Sturm Graz at the end of September, picked up three points from a possible 18 during his six-game stay at Elland Road.

Milanic oversaw three draws and three defeats, with the 2-1 loss at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers proving to be his final game at the helm.

Club president Massimo Cellino said: "I want to apologise to the supporters, they deserve better results."

Neil Redfearn will now take charge of first-team training on Monday morning.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Derby Victory

UNITED 3 (Austin 19, Antenucci 45+1, Doukara), HUDDERSFIELD 0.

United: Silvestri, Berardi, Bellusci, Pearce, Warnock, Austin (Tonge 90), Cook, Bianchi, Sloth (Byram 74), Doukara (Morison 85), Antenucci. Subs. S Taylor, Cooper, Adryan, Sharp.

Huddersfield: Smithies; Robinson, Lynch, Hudson, Peltier, Coady, Hogg (Ward 59), Butterfield, Bunn, Wells, Scannell (Stead 74). Subs. Murphy, Dixon, Wallace, Smith, Majewski.

Referee: C Foy

Booked: Berardi, Bellusci (Leeds), Lynch (Huddersfield)

Sent Off: Berardi (Leeds)

Neil Redfearn took charge of his fourth game as caretaker head coach for the visit of Huddersfield Town and he made just one change from the side that beat Bournemouth 3-1 on Tuesday night as Casper Sloth returned in place of Billy Sharp. There was also a place among the substitutes for striker Steve Morison for the first time this season.

United started the with a confidence that comes with an unbeaten run of three games and were the better side during the opening stages of the contest. United had two half chances during the opening minutes, firstly Casper Sloth almost capitalised on a poor backpass and Mirco Antenucci had a shot blocked.

It wasn't long though until United's dominant start brought the first goal of the game. Fantasic pressing from Antenucci meant Joel Lynch's attempted clearance rebounded into the path of Rudy Austin whose powerful strike from just inside the box gave Smithies no chance in the 19th minute.

Follwing taking the lead United looked comfortable in possession and continued to control the flow of the game.

Prior to the interval both sides threatened in front of goal. Huddersfield went close with a header from Jonathan Hogg and Harry Bunn's strike from inside the box went high and wide.

Antenucci went close towards the end of the half but that didn't stop him giving United a two goal lead before the break. In the one minute of added time United broke forward through Giuseppe Bellusci and Antenucci. Bellusci looked to have got on the scoresheet but his chipped effort came back off the bar and Antenucci smashed in the rebound.

It was the visitors that looked dangerous as the second half got underway and had a couple of half chances with headed efforts. Jacob Butterfield and Mark Hudson were the men with the attempts but both didn't trouble Marco Silvestri and went wide.

United had a great chance to get a third when Souleymane Doukara was played through on goal with a great pass from Austin. The striker got the ball onto his right foot but his shot was saved superbly by Smithies.

But in the 69th minute Doukara did make it 3-0 to United. The striker was once again played through by Austin and this time Doukara made no mistake and sent the ball into the back of the net. Smithies had no chance as the power took it beyond the goalkeeper.

United may have been leading by three goals but they were dealt a blow when Gaetano Berardi was sent off, a second yellow card, for a foul on Bunn. Neil Redfearn reacted by bringing on Sam Byram for Casper Sloth.

United may have been down to 10-men but it was the home side that remained in control of the football. Jon Stead did have a chance for the visitors but he smashed his effort over Silvestri's crossbar.

In the closing minutes United went close to getting a fourth and pilling more misery on the visitors. Antenucci picked up the ball in his own half and ran the full length of Huddersfield's half of the field. Once in front of goal he mistimed his effort and it struck the outside of the post.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Much Needed Victory

UNITED 1 (Warnock 17), BOLTON 0.

United: Silvestri, Wootton, Pearce, Bellusci, Warnock (C Taylor 55), Cook, Mowatt, Bianchi, Sloth (Benedicic 78), Sharp, Antenucci. Subs. S Taylor, Cooper, Dawson, Tonge, Smith.

Bolton: Bogdan, Mills, Ream, Spearing, Mason, Danns, Chung-Yong, Davies (Beckford 78), Wheater (Dervite 7), White, Medo (Feeney 82). Subs. Lonergan, Hall, Pratley, Hughes.

Referee: S Hooper.

Booked: Wootton, Pearce (Leeds).

Att: 21,901

Following the departure of David Hockaday on Thursday it was Neil Redfearn that was in caretaker charge of the United first team on Saturday for the visit of Bolton Wanderers. Redfearn made a number of changes to his side and gave Alex Mowatt his first appearance of the season. Also, Lewis Cook was named from the start and there was home debuts for Giuseppe Bellusci and Mirco Antenucci. And, Danish international Casper Sloth made his United debut.

United started the game well and played the more adventurous football. There was very little in the way of chances during the opening 10 minutes but United were playing bright and penetrating football. The midfield foursome of Tommaso Bianchi, Mowatt, Cook and Sloth controlled the game during the opening quarter-hour.

But, against the run of play in the 12th minute, the away side had the meaningful opportunity of the match. Joe Mason was played through on goal with a killer through-ball but Marco Silvestri made a great save and tipped his strike onto his crossbar.

Following Mason's effort United regained control of the game and were rewarded in the 17th minute when Stephen Warnock struck. The full-back was played through high up the pitch and his low drive beat Adam Bogdan and sweetly nestled in the back of the net.

United's opener was just rewards for a bright start to the match and after the goal the away side didn't really caused United's back line too many problems. With five minutes of the half remaining the game sparked into life with a flurry of opportunities. Cook, who had an outstanding first 45 minutes, pulled the strings for United's attack on 40 minutes when Mowatt collected the ball on the edge of the box but his strike was just too high.

Then, once again against the run of play, Mason showed pace and determination to break forward, but his shot was straight into the grateful hands of Silvestri. The former Cardiff City striker had a further chance but the interval but Silvestri once again thwarted the forward.

Billy Sharp also threatened before the break when he showed great movement to open up the space to shoot but his effort went over the crossbar.

Both sides came out unchanged from half-time and Bolton were the first to threaten early on in the second half as Craig Davies was unable to find the target. United were then forced into their first change of the afternoon on 55 minutes as the goalscorer, Warnock, limped off to be replaced by Charlie Taylor after coming off worse in a strong challenge with Hayden White.

Bolton continued to press in search of an equaliser and Silvestri was forced into action once again as he kept out Jay Spearing's strike from range before thwarting Mason on the rebound.

United were having to defend in numbers to stem the tide as Dougie Freedman urged his men forward, but Cook's pin-point ball over the top for Sharp almost created an opening, only for Sharp's slightly heavy touch to take the ball into Bodgan's arms.

Redfearn's side were standing firm as Silvestri was once again alert to keep out Lee Chung-yong's 20-yard strike before the following corner was scrambled clear. United were still looking a threat on the break and they almost caught Bolton out with a swift counter-attack, only for Bianchi's low cross to be cut out inside the area.

Mason then fired over from range before Silvestri was equal to a Neil Danns free-kick. United debutant Sloth left the field to a standing ovation as he made way for Zan Benedicic with 12 minutes remaining, while Jermaine Beckford also received a similar reception from the Elland Road crowd as he replaced Davies for the visitors.

A tense final 10 minutes remained and both sides took turn to have efforts on goal. Beckford, who had saluted the home fans just moments earlier, lashed a strike wide after skipping past two United defenders, while Antenucci's movement was continuing to cause Bolton problems and his curling effort just evaded Bodgan's far post.

Five minutes of stoppage time were added on and a frantic finale ensued as Bolton threw everyone forward in search of a dramatic late equaliser. Former Liverpool midfielder Jay Spearing fired wide from outside the box before Silvestri clutched onto a searching Liam Feeney cross.

Bolton's golden opportunity to leave West Yorkshire with a point fell to Beckford inside the area but, yet again, Silvestri was on hand to preserve his clean sheet with a superb reflex save to keep out the striker's downward header before pouncing on the loose ball.

A final attack saw Bolton send Bogdan forward for a free-kick but the United defence held tight to secure a much-needed three points ahead the international break.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sharp nets on debut


United: Silvestri, Byram, Cooper, Pearce, Warnock, Murphy, Austin (Cook 86), Bianchi, Ajose (Poleon 75), Sharp, Doukara (Tonge 53). Subs. S Taylor, C Taylor, Wootton, Smith.

Middlesbrough: Mejias, Abella, Friend, Ayala, Leadbitter, Kike, Tomlin (Williams 85), Whitehead (Clayton 60), Reach (Nsue 75), Omeruo, Adomah. Subs. Konstantopoulos, Husband, Fewster, Woodgate.

Referee: S Attwell.

Booked: Sharp (Leeds), Ayala, Leadbitter, Friend (Boro).

Att: 24,484.

There were three league debuts for United's first home Sky Bet Championship match of the season. Tommaso Bianchi was making his first league appearance and new signings Billy Sharp and Liam Cooper came in from the start after signing for the club on the previous Wednesday.

The atmosphere inside Elland Road was electric at kick off and United had a great chance to go a goal ahead within two minutes. Debutant Sharp was plyed through on goal and only the quick thinking of Tomas Mejias, who came off his line, prevented the striker having an early attempt. The rebound was latched onto by Nicky Ajose but his effort was cleared off the line.

Apart from Sharp's early chance the opening 25 minutes of the game were very even. Both had their moments on the ball but it was Middlesbrough that looked the more dangerous going forward with Kike causing a threat up top.

On 25 minutes the away side had the ball in the back of the net when Albert Adomah connected with a bicycle kick. Referee Stuart Attwell disallowed the goal for a foul in the build-up. Just moments later Middlesbrough went close when Daniel Ayala connected with a corner but the defender's header went wide.

The Middlesbrough chances kicked United into life and went on to create a number of chances. First Bianchi tried his luck from distance and forced a good save from Mejias. Sam Byram also got forward well and was found on the edge of the box by Luke Murphy, but the defender's shot went wide after great control set up a shooting attempt.

The noise levels rose inside the stadium as United looked more aggressive and lively going forward.

There were further chances for both sides before the break but it was Middlesbrough that went closest. In added time good build-up from the away side led to Adomah being free in the box but a great goal-saving challenge from Stephen Warnock prevented the winger from getting a shot on goal.

United started the second half brightly and caused the away side problems at the back. Two corners in quick succession kept the pressure on Middlesbrough but the keeper was rarely called into action.

There was very little in the way of goalscoring opportunities in the opening 20 minutes of the second period. The away looked to have created an opening in the 69th minute when Kike was played through but a great covering tackle from Warnock prevented the Spaniard having a shot on goal.

With 10 minutes of the game remaining Sharp had two good chances in front of goal. The best of the two was a header from a corner but the striker could only turn it wide of the post. Minutes later the striker closed down a poor backpass but the Boro keeper just beat him to the ball.

But in the 88th minute Sharp was the Elland Road hero when the Middlesbrough keeper soilled a shot and the striker was there to smash the ball home and give his new side a 1-0 win.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Just Like Watching Leeds

There's one thing worse than being a Leedsunited supporter and that is being a Leeds united supporter and an England supporter.
Last nights defeat to the Italians was really hard to bear after such a promising first half performance.Sturridge and Stirling were really impressive while Wayne Rooney looks a shadow of the player who once had The World at his feet ,although he did provide a great cross for the England goal 
It's not all over yet though with Uraguay  up next on Thursday and what with the continuing saga of who we are going to appoint as our new manager there will undoubtedly be interesting times ahead .

On a personal note I am again taking part in The Great North Run again this year for The Children's Heart Unit Fund in Newcastle where my little Niece Summer has now had 2 heart transplants at the tender age of 3 years old .

Please sponsor me on The Just Giving website at www://

Or text sums52 and either £1,£2,£3,£4,£5,£10 to 70070

Thankyou for your support

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Victory at last

UNITED 2 (Murphy 21, 73), BLACKPOOL 0.

United: Butland, Lees, Zaliukas (White 81), Pearce, Wootton, Warnock, Murphy, Brown, Tonge, Smith (Hunt 65), McCormack. Subs. Cairns, Pugh, Mowatt, Stewart, Poleon.

Blackpool: Gilks, McMahon, Robinson, Cathcart, Perkins, MacKenzie, Bishop, Halliday (Keogh 75), Ferguson, Basham (Haroun 67), Goodwillie. Subs. Halstead, Osbourne, Barkhuizen, Dobbie, Grandin.

Referee: D Coote

Booked: Halliday (Blackpool).

Att: 23,416