Date:Wednesday March 11 2009
Jermaine Beckford will be looking for two goals on Saturday to take his Leeds tally to 50 goals in two seasons.
Remarkably he could do this in less than 80 starts for the club since becoming a regular in the staring line up at the start of last season.
Two goals on Saturday would also take his tally to 30 in 30 starts this season.
25 year old Beckford was signed by Kevin Blackwell from Wealdstone in 2006 after scoring 38 goals in just 26 appearances for the non league side.
With Leeds having a host of strikers at the club at the time he was loaned out to Carlisle United where he scored 1 goal in 4 appearances.
Later in the same season he was loaned out to League One side Scunthorpe United and helped them to the title with 8 goals in 17 appearances including the League One goal of the season.
With Dennis Wise now at the helm and Leeds starting the 2007/08 season with minus fifteen points Beckford was given his chance and he quickly got into his routine of scoring goals, in the first home game of the season he scored in the last minute to complete a 4-1 victory over Southend.
By Christmas he`d already scored 15 goals, unfortunately a dip in form saw him finish the season with 20 goals in 45 starts, he did however he was included in the League One team of the season.
He started the 2008/09 season in spectacular fashion; he scored the winner on the opening day of the season and followed this up with a sublime hat trick at Chester City in the Carling Cup.
By the first week in September he`d already got 8 goals to his name.
Having scored six goals in three games including his second hat trick of the season at Northampton Town in the FA Cup Beckford suffered a hamstring injury which would see him miss the next four games, in that time Leeds missed their prolific striker losing all four games, this also spelt the end for Leeds boss Gary McAllister.
Beckford was rushed back over Christmas but suffered a reoccurrence of the injury and missed the next two games.
In the next game Leeds were in a titanic struggle with fellow promotion contenders Peterborough United at Elland Road, with the score at 0-0 after 58 minutes new Leeds boss Simon Grayson decided to bring Beckford off the bench, within 13 minutes Beckford had scored twice and Leeds were on their way to three points.
Beckford then hit the headlines literally when after scoring two fantastic goals against fellow promotion hopefuls Millwall in a 2-0 win at Elland Road, the FA gave him a three match ban for elbowing the Millwall keeper David Forde in an off the ball incident.
During the three match ban Leeds lost the West Yorkshire derby 1-0 at Huddersfield and followed this up with an embarrassing 2-0 defeat at Hereford United, Leeds did salvage some pride in his last game on the sidelines with a 2-0 victory over Cheltenham Town.
Beckford was keen to make up for his time on the sidelines and opened the scoring in a crucial promotion encounter against Scunthorpe United, Leeds eventually won 3-2 with Beckford scoring the winner.
After a couple of below par games against Oldham and Bristol Rovers some fans were unbelievably getting on his back calling him lazy and uninterested and actually wanted him dropped from the squad for the game against Yeovil Town on Tuesday night.
Once again Beckford answered these critics with his feet by scoring his third hat trick of the season and taking his season tally to 28 goals in just 29 starts and 4 substitute appearances.
What`s also been notable since his return to the squad has been the rediscovered goal scoring form of his strike partner Luciano Becchio, although the least said about the penalty against Yeovil the better!
In the fourteen games that Becchio had played since Beckford`s original injury at Northampton the Argentinian forward had failed to find the net. If he`d managed to score with his penalty against Yeovil it would have been three in four games since Beckford`s return.
If not for injury Beckford could be well on his way to 40 goals for the season by now.
With Leeds now going into their final ten games of the season they need a fully fit Jermaine Beckford if they are going to stand any chance of getting out of League One, if they fail to go up the club are going to find it very hard holding onto one of their prize assets.
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Date:Wednesday March 11 2009
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