Sunday, 13 April 2008

Freedman brace sinks the Blues

Is Dougie Freedman the new Bobby Collins?

The veteran Crystal Palace striker has certainly made a huge impact since he was brought in on loan at a time when Leeds United's season seemed to be falling apart. His influence on the team has been dramatic and reminds us of the great Bobby Collins who inspired Don Revie's young team in the early 1960's.

Dougie's deft touches and unselfish play have made a huge difference. His second-half brace of goals that sunk Carlisle could help ensure that United at least make the play-offs. Gary McAllister should consider making him skipper for the remaining games and seek to sign him for at least another season.

Dougie's goals and another from young Jonny Howson, who has also made a huge impact on the team since McAllister took charge, sent the Blues home pointless and knowing that their lofty automatic promotion position of second in the league is courtesy of the unfair 15-point penalty imposed on the Mighty Whites at the start of this season. The independent tribunal, which begins its deliberations on Wednesday, may change that but for now United must be content that having given their promotion rivals a 15-point start they are still there with a chance to get out of the doldrums at the first attempt.

A crowd of 28,530 watched a first-half that saw United gain more than 60% of the possession but fail to match the 16th minute goal by Carlisle's Scott Dobie and the Blues went in for the 0-1 up.

In a pulsating second-half Freedman evened up the score just four minutes in and Howson put United in front in the 58th minute only for Carlisle's Danny Graham to equalise two minutes later, 2-2.

Dougie Freedman fired Leeds back into the lead in the 69th minute with a volley from a re-bounded Neil Kilkenny fee-kick and United make in three wins on the trot, 3-2.

They can now look forward to the re-arranged derby match against the Terriers at Huddersfield on Tuesday night before another trip to face Millwall in the Lion's Den.

Leeds United 3 Carlisle 2

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