Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Two-goal Robins do the double over Leeds

Gary McAllister fielded an unchanged side for the third game running. At a windy Elland Road, Leeds United attempted to make it three wins in a row when they ran out to face lowly Cheltenham Town.

The Whites got off to a flyer when a 20-yard strike by Jermaine Beckford shot hit the upright after just over one minute from the start.

A packed Town midfield held up any further progress by Leeds for the next 20 minutes.

A cross by Bradley Johnson found the head of Tresor Kandol but the ball sailed over the bar on 22 minutes. Darren Kenton volleyed wide from 35 yards two minutes later. On the half hour Jonathan Howson tried a 30 yarder which sailed off to the right of the post.

The Robins seemed content to stifle United's attempts to make progress at the front and then in the 37th minute a mistake by Frazer Richardson led to an opportunity for Town's David Bird, who fired in from 20 yards, 0-1.

With a minute of normal time to go to in the first half a shot by Beckford flew over the bar from 12 yards. An injury time header from Lubomir Michalik landed on the roof of the net.

It was looking like Leeds were having a nightmare repeat of their trip to Whaddon Road in November when they dominated the game and lost out to a late Cheltenham goal against the run of play.

The Whites had more time to put things right this time and came out for the second half with a sense of urgency. A free kick by Bradley Johnson, one minute after the re-start, was saved by the Robin's goalie, Shane Higgs Then a minute later Johnson volleyed over the bar from 20 yards. In the 51st minute an overhead kick from Beckford sailed over the bar as Leeds kept up the pressure.

A 20-yard shot from Kandol was saved by Higgs in the 58th minute. Howson was replaced by striker Dougie Freedman on the hour. Then from nowhere, in the 62nd minute, disaster struck as Town's Alex Russell fired in from 18 yards to make it 0-2.

Leeds made a double substitution in the 70th minute, Anthony Elding and Andy Hughes came on for Richardson and Kandol.

With eight minutes remaining Beckford had the ball in the net but it was ruled offside. In the 85th minute some good build up play led to a cross from Johnson, which reached Elding who headed in from 12 yards to score is first goal for the club 1-2.

Leeds had little chance to even up the score as Cheltenham, languishing in the relegation zone, held on to their lead and went in winners against United for the second time this season.

Attendance 20,257

Leeds United 1 Cheltenham Town 2

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