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 0, BORO 0.

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://justgiving.com/John-hillan2

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


Sunday, April 6, 2014

How long can this go on ?

WIGAN 1 (Waghorn 33), UNITED 0.

Wigan: Al Habsi, Crainey, Gomez, McManaman (McClean 62), McArthur, Boyce, Powell (Collison 55), Ramis. Perch, Kiernan, Waghorn (Fortune 68). Subs. Carson, Maloney, Barnett, Maynard.

United: Butland, Wootton, Lees, Pearce, Byram, Warnock, Brown, Tonge, McCormack, Smith, Hunt (Poleon 69). Subs. Cairns, Zaliukas, Pugh, Murphy, Mowatt, Stewart.

Referee: N Swarbrick

Booked: Perch, Gomez (Wigan), Wootton, Brown (Leeds).

Att: 16,443 (3,404 Leeds)

Shut the door on the way out Brian there's a good man 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Misery continues

UNITED 1 (McCormack 62), DONCASTER 2 (Cotterill 23, Sharp 45+1).

United: Butland, Byram, Lees, Pearce, Pugh, Austin (White 46), Murphy (Tonge 46), Mowatt, Stewart, Smith, McCormack. Subs. Cairns, Warnock, Wootton, Poleon, Hunt.

Doncaster: Johnstone, Quinn, Husband, Keegan, Wellens (Furman 71), Meite, Neill, Cotterill, Coppinger, Brown, Sharp (Robinson 83). Subs. Turnbull, Duffy, McCullough, De Val, Stevens.

Referee: D Bond

Booked: Lees, Byram, Tonge (Leeds), Quinn, Keegan, Johnstone (Doncaster).

Att: 23,476


Saturday, March 15, 2014

Defeated again

BURNLEY 2 (Pearce og 38, Arfield 67), UNITED 1 (McCrormack 27).

Burnley: Heaton, Trippier, Mee, Shackell, Duff, Marney, Jones, Wallace (Stanislas 60), Arfield, Barnes (Treacy 90), Vokes. Subs. Cisak, Long, Kightly, Edgar, Lafferty.

United: Butland, Byram, Lees, Pearce, Pugh, Murphy, Austin, Mowatt (Poleon 66), Wickham, Smith, McCormack. Subs. Cairns, Wootton, Brown, Warnock, Stewart, Hunt.

Referee: S Hooper

Booked: Jones (Burnley), Pearce (Leeds).

Att: 18,109 (3,587 Leeds)

United manager Brian McDermott made one change for the trip to face Burnley. The boss included Matt Smith from the start after the United forward netted from the bench with a goal in each of the last two games.

 It was United who came the closest during the opening stages. The first chance of the game saw Smith have a sight of goal but his shot was saved comfortably by Tom Heaton.

Then, in the 10th minute United striker Ross McCormack broke free and only had the Burnley keeper to beat. The Scot chipped the onrushing Heaton but McCormack's effort came back of the inside of the post and unfortunately for United, away from danger.

Although United had the early chances there was nothing between the two sides as the midway point approached. But United were ahead in the 27th minute through McCormack. Connor Wickham, who was operating on the wing, took a throw-in that was flick on by Smith and McCormack was at the back-post to place a superb header into the top corner.

The home side responded when Ashley Barnes headed Kieran Trippier's cross just over the bar. Burnley tried their luck with a free-kick from distance moments later but Jack Butland wasn't troubled.

Burnley levelled the contest on 38 minutes when Trippier was releashed by Dean Marney down the right hand side. Trippier crossed into the danger area, and with Sam Vokes pressuring Jason Pearce, the United defender turned the ball into his own net.

The home side ended the half the stronger but both sides had half chances before the break. Vokes went close for Burnley and only a great tackle from Ben Mee prevented McCormack having a shot on goal from inside the penalty area.

The opening stages of the second half were evenly contested as both teams looked to gain the upper hand. Although the home side enjoyed good possession it was United that continued having the better chances. Wickham's shot from wide was saved well and Smith had a strike blocked from close range coming before the 60-minute mark.

United were made to pay for missed chances as the home side took the lead on 67 minutes. Scott Arfield was the man that eventually got the goal after United originally blocked an effort well, but the ball rebounded into the wingers path and he slotted the ball home.

After taking the lead the home side continued to look dangerous on the attack, but the United defence played well to keep Burnley at bay.

As the game headed into the final 15 minutes United began to apply pressure on the home goal. United looked dangerous and had three corners in quick succession, Smith had the best effort with a header but his attampt went over the bar.

United piled on the pressure during the closing stages but couldn't find a way through the Burnley backline.