Leeds salvage late point in another poor show
Leeds United for the second weekend in a row had to rely on an equaliser deep into added time to salvage a point in another lacklustre performance.
The Whites welcomed back Patrick Kisnorbo to the heart of the defence after six games out and Simon Grayson made three other changes after the inept performance against Walsall in midweek.
Andy Hughes, Mike Doyle and Jon Howson all returned to the squad with Robert Snodgrass, Leigh Bromby and Luciano Becchio dropping to the bench.
Boss Simon Grayson and the Leeds faithful were looking for a response after the midweek loss but unfortunately, once again it failed to materialise with the Brighton keeper being a redundant spectator for long periods of the game.
Leeds enjoyed a great deal of possession but couldn`t muster a meaningful attack on goal during another dour first half performance.
Leeds first real effort on goal came halfway through the half but Johnson`s effort was well off target.
Howson was finding space down the right hand side and he had a couple of chances in the space of a few minutes but neither made the keeper work.
Leeds had to wait until the final five minutes before half time to work Brezovan in the Brighton goal but McSheffrey`s weak effort was easy for the Brighton keeper.
Brighton had set out their stall early on in the game to frustrate Leeds and waste time at any opportunity and they had succeeded in doing this in the first half, as boo`s from the crowd welcomed the half time whistle.
The visitors came into the game a little more in the second half and Lua Lua was giving Andy Hughes a torrid time down the left hand side leaving the Leeds defender for dead on a number of occasions.
Leeds boss Simon Grayson made a couple of changes around the hour mark bringing on Max Gradel and Luciano Becchio in place of Bradley Johnson and Jon Howson.
Gradel missed the best chance to put Leeds into the lead inside the final twenty minutes when he had time to chest down and shoot from just outside the six-yard box but his effort also cleared the bar.
Leeds were made to pay within minutes when Glenn Murray went down under an innocuous challenge from Richard Naylor and Patrick Kisnorbo and the referee Carl Boyeson pointed to the spot.
The referee had done his best to be centre of attention all afternoon with his over fussy refereeing and it was more like the 'Carl Boyeson show` than Leeds v Brighton.
Glenn Murray dusted himself down to drill the penalty straight down the middle and give the diving Ankergren no chance.
Leeds were looking down the barrel of their second home defeat in the space of four days and the fans were wondering where it was all going wrong.
Leeds immediately introduced Robert Snodgrass to the proceedings and he quickly became involved with a number of balls into the box.
Max Gradel had shouts for a penalty turned down when he tumbled inside the penalty area but the referee waved away the appeals. The Brighton players were less than impressed with how easily Gradel went to ground and in the next few minutes Gradel was involved in a couple of incidents with Brighton players.
Firstly after managing to keep the ball in down the right hand side a Brighton player held Gradel to the ground which somehow went unpunished with the linesman less than two yards away. What was more curious was the fact that the linesman had to have a word with the referee about the incident, the referee then had a word with the Brighton left back but went unpunished as the 'Carl Boyeson and now the linesman show` continued.
The next incident was more clear-cut though, after a poor throw out by Brezovan, Gradel intercepted the ball only to be hacked down by Brighton defender Adam Virgo who received a straight red card. Gradel was hit that hard, he did a cartwheel before hitting the deck.
Leeds were now breathing down the neck of the Brighton goal and an off balanced Kisnorbo shot just wide of the post.
Naylor was next to have a chance but his glancing header was easy for Brezovan.
Becchio was next to go close but his header also failed to hit the target as the game went into five added minutes.
With just seconds remaining Leeds finally found the back of the net, Gradel`s deep cross was headed back to Snodgrass from Kisnorbo who from five yards out drilled the ball home to salvage a point for Leeds.
A draw was probably a fair result, Leeds didn`t do enough in an attacking sense to be worthy of the three points until they fell behind.
At the moment they look disjointed and the midfield are not doing enough to supply the attack, with Beckford once again hardly having a kick all afternoon.
Loan signing Gary McSheffrey has added little to the side since his arrival and maybe Simon Grayson now needs to revert back to the tried and tested players of the first half of the season rather than chopping and changing and using loan players who are no better than what we already have at the club.
Great to have the big man back and he brought an assurance back to the Leeds defence that`s been missing during his absence.
Casper Ankergren 5
Andy Hughes 5
Richard Naylor 6
Patrick Kisnorbo 7 Star Man
Shane Lowry 4
John Howson 6
Neil Kilkenny 4
Mike Doyle 6
Gary McSheffrey 3
Time to either bench him or send him back to Birmingham.
Jermaine Beckford 4
Bradley Johnson 4
Max Gradel 5
Luciano Becchio 6
Robert Snodgrass 6
Must be wondering what to do next, for me he needs to stop swapping and changing the side around, should send the two recent loan signings back to their clubs.
Get back to playing the eleven that served us so well in the first half of the season. Does he have opposition teams watched? If he does then whey does he bring back Andy Hughes on the right of defence to face a fast and tricky winger who skipped past him with ease.
First real test of his managerial career at Elland Road, must come up with the goods against Oldham on Tuesday night as three points is a must with teams below us breathing down our necks.
We have a really tough run of games after Tuesday and we need to get back to the basics that made us look unbeatable before Christmas.
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