Date: 21st February 2010 at 10:03am
Written by:

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.

Player Ratings

Casper Ankergren 5
Had very little to do other than try and save the penalty.

Andy Hughes 5
OK going forward but was beaten with ease on a number of occasions in the second half by the Brighton winger.

Richard Naylor 6
Looked a lot more comfortable at the heart of the Leeds defence now he`s been reacquainted with Kisnorbo.

Patrick Kisnorbo 7 Star Man
Great to have the big man back and he brought an assurance back to the Leeds defence that`s been missing during his absence.

Shane Lowry 4
Gets worse with each game of his loan spell, poor defending, gets in the wrong position and his distribution is very poor.

John Howson 6
Was unlucky to be the first midfielder to be replaced as he looked the one most likely to help create any chances.

Neil Kilkenny 4
Second very poor performance in a week, powder puff tackling and poor distribution. For a player who always seems to have so much to say on the pitch he needs to step up to the plate and battle for the side.

Mike Doyle 6
Usual hard working self, did his bit in breaking up the play in the middle to allow the other midfielders to play, unfortunately it broke down time and time again.

Gary McSheffrey 3
For a Premiership player, who I actually was impressed with during his time at Coventry and Birmingham he really hasn`t fitted in at Leeds. Went AWOL for most of the game, another who had a shocker.
Time to either bench him or send him back to Birmingham.

Jermaine Beckford 4
Never got any service all afternoon, but didn`t do anything to help out, no movement, didn`t come looking for the ball and spends far to much time waiting for the ball to reach him rather than attacking the ball.

Bradley Johnson 4
Not been the same player since he returned from injury, was happy to see he got his chance in the centre of midfield recently against Orient but drifted in and out of the game, couldn`t work out whether he was playing wide or in the middle?

Max Gradel 5
What was coming off for him during his loan spell no longer is, needs to start getting his head up and getting the ball into the box earlier rather than trying to beat the whole of the defence. He is a great crosser of the ball when he gets it in and had an assist for the equaliser. Seems to be spending more time recently winding up the opposition players, rather than playing football.

Luciano Becchio 6
Added something to the Leeds attack, got stuck in and did the graft trying to work an opening for the Leeds attack.
Quickly got involved down the right hand side and starting getting more balls into the middle. Should have been introduced a little earlier and scored the all important equaliser.

Manager Rating
Simon Grayson 5

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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2 Replies to “Leeds salvage late point in another poor show”

  • Pretty much as I saw it although I didnt think Kisnorbo had as good a game as you although by far our best defender.
    We saw again that Hughes strugles at RB and is a much better LB for some strange reason.
    McS and Beckford are just posing at the moment and neither looks like contributing anything never mind scoring. I would bench them both for Tuesday.

  • I haven’t held back, said how I think most fans are feeling, I really hope some of the players read it and take note. Also Tiny’s fans view when I put that up. I have travelled over 800 miles in four days, spent well over £100 and spent 16 hours up and down motorways watching two totally shocking performances from the side. Tome for then to quickly wake up or we will be staring at the play offs again and we all know what that means, more bloody heartache

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