Saturday, March 28, 2009

Leedsunited.com 28/3/09
BECKS DOUBLE SINKS DONS
UNITED 2 (Beckford 37, 54), MK DONS 0

United boss Simon Grayson gave a debut to new loan signing Sam Sodje in place of the injured Rui Marques, and Jermaine Beckford returned from suspension to take the place of Liam Dickinson.
United were looking for an eighth straight league success at Elland Road, and knew that a victory would close the gap on fourth-placed MK Dons to just one point.
Elland Road housed its biggest crowd since Boxing Day, and the fans were rewarded with an enterprising opening to the contest.
The visitors certainly opted an attacking approach and after Jason Puncheon fired high over the top from distance, Casper Ankergren was called upon to make a good save from an 11th minute free-kick.
Leeds also played some bright football with some good approach play, Luciano Becchio almost profiting inside the opening 20 minutes.
Beckford was next to try his luck after he showed real quality to beat Sean O'Hanlon and Shaun Cummings to force an opening.
On 31 minutes, Robert Snodgrass tested Dons keeper Willy Gueret for the first time with an effort from distance.
But it was United who got the first goal on 37 minutes, courtesy of the trusted boot of Beckford.
The leading goalscorer linked up with strike partner Becchio and he bagged his 30th goal of the season with a clinical finish.
Moments later, Dons skipper Dean Lewington averted a second goal after Fabian Delphand Beckford combined well.
It was United who threatened first in the second period when Jonny Howson lifted a shot over the bar.
Beckford also fired over from an acute angle after good build-up play, but the striker made no mistake after 54 minutes with a great strike.
Snodgrass was the architect with an incisive pass, and Beckford applied the finishing touch to double United's advantage.
On the hour-mark, Beckford had an opportunity to record his fourth hat-trick of the season, but he screwed a shot wide after escaping the clutch of two visiting defenders.
Moments later, Grayson made his first change with Sodje, who picked up a knock in the first half, being replaced by Lubo Michalik.
United were dominating the contest, and Gueret made a good low save to deny Becchio on 65 minutes after the striker got up well to meet a Snodgrass cross.
But the visitors came within a whisker of pulling a goal back on 69 minutes when Sam Baldock turned a Puncheon cross across the face of goal.
On 72 minutes, Grayson made his second change, Andrew Hughes replacing Neil Kilkenny.
There was a scare moments later when former Leeds loan man Jemal Johnson took a swipe at Snodgrass, but the Scotsman returned to action after lengthy treatment.
MK shuffled their pack in the closing stages, but the visitors failed to give Leeds any serious concerns as Grayson's men edged towards victory.
Three minutes of stoppage time mattered little as United marched on to an eighth straight league win at home.

Yorkshire Evening Post 28/3/09
Leeds United 2 MK Dons 0
Jermaine Beckford took his tally of goals for the season to 31 as Leeds United claimed a convincing victory over League One promotion rivals MK Dons.
Beckford became the first Leeds player to score 30 goals in a single campaign since Lee Chapman 18 years ago, and his two finishes at Elland Road helped United to their eighth successive home victory.
The 25-year-old brought a tentative game to life in the 37th minute by converting a half-chance with his usual clinical instinct.
The striker was on hand to lash home Luciano Becchio's bouncing header after Ben Parker floated a free-kick into MK Dons' box.
Neither side created many chances before then, though Casper Ankergren was fortunate to see the ball drift wide of his left-hand post after he allowed a free-kick from Sam Baldock to slide off his body.
Any thoughts of a fightback were halted, however, when Beckford drilled a low finish beyond goalkeeper Willy Gueret in the 54th minute, putting an end to MK Dons' challenge.
The visitors should have pulled a goal back when Baldock back-heeled a great chance wide on 69 minutes, but they were well beaten by the final whistle.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

New pages uploaded at mightyleeds.co.uk

Season 1969/70 – Treble heartbreak

The most remarkable season in the entire amazing history of Leeds United Football Club – United break the British transfer record and break the club's scoring record in their European Cup debut before hopes of a magnificent treble turn to dust in the face of impossible fixture congestion

Read the full story at
http://www.mightyleeds.co.uk/seasons/196970part1.htm
http://www.mightyleeds.co.uk/seasons/196970part2.htm
http://www.mightyleeds.co.uk/pdf/season196970part3.pdf
Sunday Times 1/3/09
Leeds back in top six
Leeds 3 Scunthorpe 2
Duncan Hamilton
Even after two years, it seems incongruous to find Leeds locked in Division One. It is stranger still to see them straining to break out of it rather than promenading at the very top of the table.
But any notion that Leeds are now resurgent must be accompanied by a squadron of caveats, among them questions about form and temperament. The point was driven in spectacularly yesterday as Jermaine Beckford rescued them with two goals, which took his season’s tally to 25.
Leeds, who played the final 10 minutes with ten men after Howson was sent off for two yellow cards, looked certain to squander a 2-0 lead. Beckford saved them from such ignominy by picking his way like a expert locksmith through Scunthorpe’s defence in the 69th minute for his fine winner, struck from 18 yards.
While it enabled Leeds to claw their way back into the top six - before facing promotion rivals Oldham on Monday night - it was hardly convincing stuff.
As well as Beckford, Leeds were indebted to an outrageous stroke of luck and the fact Scunthorpe have lost a modicum of self-belief after four straight defeats.
Hard though it is to believe, given the intense drama which followed, the match was a scrappy stalemate until the 32nd minute. Howson found a gap inside the area and nudged the ball on to Beckford, who marked his return from suspension with a half turn and a neat clip, pushing his effort past Murphy via the foot of the near post.
The goal briefly acted like an adrenalin shot for Leeds, who moved further into the lead within five minutes, albeit with an effort drenched in good fortune. Snodgrass tapped a free kick to Johnson from the angle of the area, and his left foot shot took a thick deflection off McCann, who tried to charge it clear. With Murphy committed to his right, the ball flew into his bottom left-hand corner.
Instead of blessing what Fate had gifted them, Leeds squandered it. As half time loomed, Ankergren and Marques inexplicably got tangled up in their own indecision on the edge of the area. While this dithering went on, a disbelieving Hooper poked the ball into an empty net. Hooper’s second, six minutes after the re-start, came at the end of swerving run and from a shot finely swept in with the outside of his boot.
The afternoon, however, belonged to Beckford, who might have claimed his hat-trick in the dying moments.
Simon Grayson, the Leeds manager, thinks the second place is still ‘up for grabs’. If so, Leeds will have to improve markedly to come close to claiming it - and pray that Beckford remains fit and prolific.