Date: 2nd November 2008 at 11:27am
Written by:

Leeds finally brought to an end a run of three consecutive away defeats with a hard fought win at lowly Cheltenham.

The pre match entertainment got Leeds fans in the mood when about 100 fans congregated in the park opposite the ground to watch a local Saturday afternoon match. With one team in yellow and blue against one in red and black there was no surprise that the Leeds contingent were quick to cheer on the side in yellow and blue.

With the Leeds fans in full voice cheering on the yellow and blues I don`t think the players, referee or local constabulary knew what to make of the Leeds faithful.

With the clock ticking to 2.45pm most Leeds fans were still watching this game and to our delight the yellow and blues took a deserved 1-0 lead just before half time.

I wonder what the final score was.

Back to the main game and Leeds had their usual line up with Michalik still filling in for the injured Marques.

Leeds were quickly into their stride and knocking the ball around well, Richardson was making good attacking runs down the right hand side and he had an early chance but his weak shot was straight at the keeper.

It wasn`t long before Leeds took the lead though, a poor clearance was picked up by Richardson who played a quick one two before a pin point cross was met by a bullet header from Becchio who gave the keeper no chance.

Leeds were continuing to control the game and both Richardson and Parker were allowed to make runs down either wing and supply the Leeds strikers.

Beckford was continuing his goal drought and wasted a number of really good chances in the first half.

The half time whistle went without Ankergren having to make a serious save, at the other end Leeds should have had the game sewn up with a number of chances going begging.

Cheltenham came out for the second half more determined and Richardson was not being allowed to make any forward runs and was being given more work to do in his defensive duties.

The home side should have levelled when Connor was clear through on goal but Ankergren made a fantastic save with his legs to keep the Whites in front.

Robinson came on to beef up (no pun intended!) the Leeds attack and he was soon causing the Cheltenham back line some problems. His precise shot went inches wide of the post with the keeper at full stretch.

Beckford was continuing to have a torrid afternoon in front of goal when his effort inside the last twenty minutes summed his afternoon up. He burst clear of the Cheltenham defence and only had to place the ball past Higgs in the Cheltenham goal but blasted over!

Leeds were nearly made to pay straight away when Ankergren was forced into a superb finger tip save to turn over a dipping shot.

The hard working Becchio nearly clinched the points in the last minute when he danced past two defenders before his shot was excellently saved by Higgs.

If Leeds wants to bring in a good keeper I have seen Higgs four times in the last year and he`s been excellent in every game.

Michalik gave Leeds fans a nervous last few seconds when a clumsy foul gave Cheltenham the chance to load the penalty area but their free kick came to nothing.
The final whistle went and Leeds were relieved to take the three points and now sit just one point off the top of the table.

It was a game Leeds should have won by four or five against a hard working but very poor Cheltenham side and in the end we were glad to come away with the points.

Beckford looks a shadow of the player who was scoring for fun in August and September and I think McAllister needs to bring in another striker on loan to bolster the front line.

Not a great performance but three points is what mattered most.

Player Ratings

Casper Ankergren 8
Great second half performance from the big keeper, made two fantastic saves to deny Cheltenham an equaliser.

Frazer Richardson 7
Got forward well in the first half and produced a wonderful pin point cross for the goal.

Ben Parker 8
Best game I have seen him have in a Leeds shirt ran tirelessly for the whole game and made a few telling tackles in defence.

Paul Telfer 6
His experience helps him out and he`s usually in the right place at the right time. I will be worried though when he comes up against a fast tricky forward.

Lubomir Michalik 0
He must rank in the ten worst players to pull on a Leeds shirt! He is usually out of position, gives away silly free kicks and just looks totally inept. He gave away a stupid free kick in the last minute in a very dangerous position.
One instance of his total lack of skill came in the first half when he tried to play a thirty yard pass to Parker with neither player under pressure. His ball ended up about twenty yards from Parker and straight into touch!

Jonny Howson 6
Made some good attacking runs but isn`t playing with the same confidence that saw him become a fans favourite last season.

Jonathan Douglas 6
His usual hard working industrious self, breaks up the play in midfield and played a couple of fantastic balls to put Leeds strikers through on goal.

Fabian Delph 6
Not one of his better games but still works hard. He needs to cut out his petulance and could have quite easily been in trouble when he swung out at a Cheltenham player late on. Luckily the Cheltenham player made nothing of it and the referee didn`t see it.

Neil Kilkenny 2
Who? Did he play?
This was a perfect game for Andy Robinson to run the Cheltenham defence ragged but instead Kilkenny still somehow manages to get in the starting line up ahead of him.

Jermaine Beckford 3
He`s going through a really bad patch at the moment, could have had four or five! He needs to learn that it`s not all about hitting the ball as hard as you can; sometimes it`s easier to pass the ball into the net.

Lucciano Becchio 9
He`s now beginning to look the real deal, fantastic header for his goal and works from start to finish, chases lost causes and puts defenders under pressure when other strikers wouldn`t bother. Seems to have sorted his diving to the floor with the slightest touch and looks the signing of the season.

Andy Robinson 6
(Replaced Kilkenny)
Made a few good chances and was unlucky with a couple of efforts on goal.

David Prutton 5
(Replaced Howson)
He was brought on just to give that extra bit of bite in front of the Leeds defence.

(Replaced Beckford)
A few nice touches but little time to make an impact after coming on.

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