LUFC Leeds battle to hard earned win
Leeds came from behind to earn a hard fought 4-2 win against a struggling Stockport side who lost their eleventh game in a row.
Leeds United made a fantastic start when Robert Snodgrass gave them the lead inside the first five minutes.
Snodgrass cut inside and his curling effort gave Fon Williams in the Stockport goal no chance.
Stockport were on level terms within ten minutes, Carl Baker who is rumoured to be leaving the club when the transfer window opens won his side a free kick after a long and mazy run.
From the resulting free kick he gave Ankergren no chance in the Leeds goal although questions were being asked about the big Dane`s positioning.
Leeds were almost back in front soon afterwards but Becchio was thwarted by a fantastic save by the County keeper.
Stockport who had lost their last ten games in a row didn`t look like aside struggling, David Poole had a great double chance but was denied by Ankergren and Kisnorbo.
Bradley Johnson was next to go close for Leeds but his terrific volley came back off the bar.
Leeds had three players booked within the space of a few minutes when Snodgrass, Becchio and Bromby all went in the referee`s notebook.
Bromby`s booking proved costly for him as it was his fifth of the season and he will now miss the trip to Old Trafford to face Manchester United on Sunday.
The game turned into something of a midfield battle after this, with no real flow to the game.
The sides went in 1-1 at half time and it didn`t have the look of a top versus bottom fixure.
Matt McNeil had the best chance in the opening minutes of the second half but he shot well over when in a great position.
Leeds were still enjoying most of the game and Kilkenny went close but Fon Williams made a good save.
He then had to be alert when Beckford had a chance but he was quickly out to cut out the danger.
The home side took the lead with their first corner of the game, the ball was knocked short to Baker who found Mullins at the far post whose header beat Ankergren.
Boss Simon Grayson quickly made changes bringing on Howson and Gradel and reverting to three at the back, moving Andy Hughes into the midfield.
The move was quickly rewarded when the keeper misjudged a cross into the middle and Beckford was there to head in.
Gradel was once again making an impact and his cross into the middle was just missed by Beckford.
Baker was causing Leeds problems and the defence had to be alert to block his shot.
Gradel again caused the defence problems and his good run was let down by a poor effort on goal which went well wide.
Leeds made their last change bringing on Kandol for Becchio.
Johnson had a great chance but headed wide when unmarked six yards out.
The game was delicately poised with Leeds doing most of the attacking but County still looking dangerous on the break.
Turnbull went close for the visitors inside the last five minutes and his shot went just wide.
Leeds took the lead soon after when Leigh Bromby put the disappointment of missing the Manchester United game behind him with a terrific strike from the edge of the area, his first for the club since joining in August.
Ankergren was booked in injury time for wasting time but from the resulting goal kick, the ball was put through to Beckford who scored his second of the afternoon.
Tempers boiled over after the goal and David Poole was sent off for the home side.
The referee blew the whistle for full time soon afterwards.
The win finished of a fantastic first half of the season for Leeds and they are now nine points clear with 56 points from 23 games going into 2010.
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