Thursday, 15 May 2008

We're on our way Wembley - two-goal Jonny Howson wins it for Leeds

Nineteen years old Jonny Howson was the toast of Leeds when he turned around Monday's one-goal deficit from the first leg of the League 1 play-off semi-final at Elland Road and then banged in the winner in injury time at Brunton Park.

Leeds United looked like a different team as they started the second-leg, with the same line-up. They were compose, patient and disciplined. They won the headers, controlled midfield and played a slick passing game.

Dougie Freedman, who had a hand in both goals, shone out with his clever touches and unselfish play. He really is the new Bobby Collins or Gordon Strachan.

In the 9th minute Freedman's well placed pass, from outside the penalty box found Howson who fired in from five yards to level the aggregate score, o-1.

A 12th minute cross from Bradley Johnson reached the head of Jermaine Beckford but his response was weak. A 19th minute volley from Neil Kilkenny was caught by Blues keeper Keiran Westwood.

Carlisle came close with a couple of chances that tested Casper Ankegran and the Viking did well to stop a goal-bound shot from Marc Bridge-Wilkinson on the stroke of half-time.

Leeds began strongly in the second-half and within a minute Freedman fired in a screamer, from 30 yards that was caught by Westwood. Prutton tried one a minute later, which sailed over the bar. It was Beckford's turn to fire over the bar shortly afterwards.

A header from Carlisle's Danny Graham in the 50th minute was caught by the Viking.

A 51st minute shot by Kilkenny, from just outside the penalty area, went well wide. A minute later he fired in from 30 yards but this time it sailed over the bar. Beckford had a shot from 25 yards in the 57th minute that also went over the bar.

Carlisle began to put the pressure on around the hour mark but their efforts were well defended by Leeds.

On 75 minutes a one-two with Beckford nearly came off when Freedman fired in from 25 yards but it was deflected for a corner. A series of three corners ended with a smart header by Johnson that went wide.

On 80 minutes a Carlisle free-kick was easily dealt with by Leeds and an 82nd minute shot by Leeds skipper, Jonathan Douglas, was deflected for a corner.

Then just as everyone was expecting the whistle to blow for a period of extra-time and the possibility of a nerve-wracking penalty shoot-out, Freedman combined once again with Howson who fired in the winner and sent us all leaping in the air with delight, 0-2.

United are on their way to Wembley, after giving all the other teams in League 1 a 15 point start on them. Only 90 minutes and either Southend or Donny stand between mighty Leeds and a quick return to the Championship.

Attendance 12,873 (1600 Leeds)

Carlisle United 0 Leeds United 2 (aggregate 2-3 to Leeds)

1 comment:

barcharter said...

I'm still hoarse from screaming so loud when that second went it......

Awesome...... I can't believe the season we've had.... from minus 15 to 90mins from promotion..... Unbelievable.

Marching On Together