Date: 2nd October 2011 at 8:33am
Written by:

On a day when everyone was talking about the record temperatures for the first day of October, something slightly more unrealistic was happening as Leeds kept their first clean sheet of the season in beating Portsmouth 1-0 at Elland Road.

Simon Grayson made just one change from the side that drew 3-3 at Brighton last time out.

Not surprisingly, it came in defence with Paul Connolly earning a recall at right back and Tom Lees moving into the centre of defence.

In a first half that was mainly dominated by Leeds, Robert Snodgrass was a constant thorn down the Leeds right.

Snodgrass made a good run down the right and teed up Ross McCormack and with the goalkeeper out of position, his shot was blocked on the line by a Portsmouth defender.

Danny Pugh, making his second home debut for the club after signing on loan from Stoke City, opened the scoring on fourteen minutes when he lost his marker in the area to plant his header into the net following a Snodgrass corner.

Snodgrass then went close to doubling the lead when Andy Lonergan`s quick throw set Snodgrass away, his right foot shot just going wide of the post.

Pugh then had another effort for Leeds with his shot going just wide of the post.

Portsmouth had offered very little in attack but they went close twice in the space of thirty seconds.

Greg Halford saw his header superbly saved by Lonergan and moments later, his header came back off the crossbar.

Leeds were continuing to cause problems out wide and Portsmouth defenders were forced into last ditch clearances on more than one occasion with Leeds forwards ready to pounce.

After last weeks game of two half`s at Brighton, Leeds fans were probably worried about what sort of second half performance they would see.

There was plenty of anxiety coming from the crowd as Leeds started to sit much deeper, allowing Portsmouth into the game.

David Norris had the best chance for the visitors but he shot wide after finding space inside the penalty area.

Leeds were showing little in attack, with a weak Andy Keogh effort the best they had to show in the opening twenty minutes of the second half.

The Leeds defence was looking much more solid. Paul Connelly was working well down the right and Aidy White continued his excellent form with another fine performance on the left.

Leeds boss Simon Grayson made three substitutions in the final quarter and one of them, Mikael Forssell came close to scoring his first goal for the club when he forced Stephen Henderson into a fine save.

With the game becoming stretched, Leeds were finding more space in attack and Jonny Howson saw his effort saved by Henderson.

Portsmouth almost earned a point deep into stoppage time when a cross from Liam Lawrence almost sneaked in at the far post but Lonergan scrambled back to tip the ball over the bar.

The final whistle followed shortly afterwards, much to the relief of the vast majority inside Elland Road.

Another three points and a rare clean sheet sees Leeds go into the international break in mid table although they do have a game in hand over most clubs.


Lonergan, Connolly, Lees, O`Dea, White, Clayton, Howson, Snodgrass (Vayrynen 77), Keogh (Becchio 68), McCormack (Forssell 78), Pugh

Subs not used
Rachubka, Bromby

Henderson, Ward, Halford, Ben Haim (Williams 85), Pearce, Mullins, Lawrence, Huseklepp, Benjani, Riise (Kanu 46), Norris (Rocha 68)

Subs not used
Ashdown, Mokoena

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3 Replies to “Pugh goal enough for Leeds”

  • The difference was players playing in their natural positions. Two centre backs together. Both Lees and O’Dea looked much more solid. Full backs played really well. White and Clayton have been the finds of the season for us. Pugh gives white protection and he is quick to cover when White goes on a run, I just wish he would have more confidence to shoot when he gets into a good position. Funniest moment yesterday was when O’Dea went on a run. He got into their final third and suddenly he thought, oh my god, what do I do now. You could see it in his body language.

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