Date: 1st March 2008 at 6:24pm
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Vital Leeds member Dazza71 gives us his match report!

Leeds went to Swindon looking for a first League win under new manager Gary Mcallister. Leeds were dealt a blow when before kick off new loan signing O’Halloran limped out of the warm up.

With him named in the starting eleven Leeds had to have a reshuffle and Richardson was brought into team to start the match.

Leeds lined up in a 4-4-2 formation with from L-R,
Richardson Michalik, Marques and Kenton
Johnson, Prutton, Howson, Kilkenny
Beckford, Kandol

On a sunny but very windy day Leeds defended the end with the bank of Leeds fans behind them. Swindon had the strong wind in there favour for the first half.
Swindon started the better and squandered a great chance in the first few minutes when Peacock ballooned over from a tight angle with no Leeds player near him.

Leeds first chance fell to Beckford who on the half volley skied over into the Swindon crowd. Swindon looked the more dangerous team and continuously found space with Kenton going missing regularly. Poor finishing was letting Leeds off the hook and last ditch defending usually by Marques kept it at 0-0.

Leeds eventually took the lead after a corner was only half cleared to Prutton who drilled a superb ball across the box and Kandol in space cooly picked his spot with a perfect header. Swindon continued to press without really causing Leeds any problems. Leeds looked to hit Swindon on the break and a few times quick clearances by Ankergren found Leeds players in space to attack the Swindon goal, unfortunately without there ever being an end product.

Swindon had the miss of the season when with five minutes to go before half time Cox somehow put the ball over the bar from two yards. Cox was totally unmarked in the centre of goal maybe that was telling us it was going to be Leeds day.
Premiership referee Chris Foy was continuously upsetting the Swindon fans by giving Leeds most of the free kicks whilst giving Swindon little. The half time whistle went with Leeds leading in a scrappy poor first half.

With Leeds having a strong wind behind them in the second half I was hoping the vast majority of the game would be in the Swindon half. The game continued very much like the first period with Swindon doing much of the pressing without an end product. Foy was called into action twice in the second half when both teams had good penalty shouts turned down by the Referee. Even though Swindon had much of the play Ankergren had very little to do.

When he was called into action he made a fantastic save to deny Roberts an equaliser. Leeds best efforts of the half came when Michalik tried to catch the keeper of his line with a free kick from just inside the Swindon half. The ball just sailed over the bar with the keeper scrambling back. Prutton also tried direct from a corner, with a strong wind behind him he swung in a dangerous corner with the Swindon keeper just getting back across his line to keep it out. Howson dominated the centre of midfield and he almost played Beckford through with a great threw ball which Beckford just failed to get on the end of. Howson also tried his luck from twenty yards with his effort just going over the bar.

Leeds saw out the time fairly comfortably with Swindon never looking like scoring.

Player Ratings (out of ten)

Ankergren 7 – Had very little to do even though Swindon had most of the play. Was called into action once and made a great save.

Kenton 2 – One word, Awful! Totally out of position all the time, when he had the ball he kept giving it away. Thank god Swindon’s crossing was poor.

Marques 7 – In tricky conditions he had his usual steady game and never looked in trouble.

Michalik 5 – Another one who seemed to struggle with the conditions and also was continuously badly placed in the middle.

Richardson 7 -Called into the starting line up at the last minute. Played in the usual position of left back, steady game I just hope he’s back at right back next week in place of Kenton.

Kilkenny 6- Drifted in and out of the game. A couple of good runs in the second half without any end product.

Prutton 7 – Seems to be the leader on the pitch at the moment. He was getting the players going before the game and continued to bark out the instructions throughout.

Howson 8 (man of the match) – Leeds best player by a distance. Controlled the midfield and won most of the tackles. Also drove Leeds forward and unlucky with a good threw ball for Beckford.

Johnson 4 – Did very little and chased shadows for most of the game. When on the ball he was usually guilty of giving it away far too easy.

Beckford 6 – Rarely got into the game and was well marked at the back by Swindon. You could see he was getting frustrated and was booked for a petulant tackle in the first half.

Kandol 7 – Actually played well! Won almost all the headers at the back for Leeds when defendind corners. Was unlucky not to get a penalty in the second half when it looked like he’d been bundled over. Very good goal with his head took his time and cooly picked his spot when the ball was driven at him.

Thompson (for Kilkenny) 4 – Brought on with just over ten minutes left probably to keep the ball and have a cool head on the pitch, Rarely got involved.

I still think it was a very lacklustre performance by Leeds. The players just don’t look fit too me at the moment. Kenton was awful and Michalik wasn’t much better. Thankfully we had Marques at the back and also a Swindon attack who couldn’t hit a barn door from three yards!!

Hopefully this will be the catalyst to get Leeds off and running again. Against a better team though I think we would have come away with little from this game.
Back to the early season performances. Didn’t play well but managed to grind out the three points. Was a very poor game but some of that could have been down to a very poor pitch and also blustery conditions.

Cheers Dazza!


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