Leeds United 2, Accrington 1

13 Aug 2014 08:22 am, by YorkshireSquare

Leeds United 2 (Doukara 20, 37)
Accrington Stanley 1 (Gray 84)

The Leeds team featured debutants Stuart Taylor, Gaetano Berardi and Tommaso Bianchi and also saw a first team debut for youngster Lewis Cook. Charlie Taylor and Matt Smith were also in the starting 11 as Hockaday looked to mix youth with the new signings. They say football is a game of two halves don’t they and that was certainly in evidence at Elland road last night. The first half saw a fairy assured, comfortable Leeds performance, albeit against lower league opposition, and Doukara took his goals very well. The passing game that Hockaday is trying to instil in the team was evident, though perhaps sometimes there is a tendency to pass it about on the edge of our own area too much and a lack of penetration.

There was the yin and yang of substitutes in the second half, Zan Benedicic who played some lovely passes and Noel Hunt who failed to control those passes with a poor first touch. A positive debut from Benedicic but another disappointing performance from Hunt who needs to perform. Leeds seemed to take their foot off the gas in the second half, whether overconfidence given the score going into half time or disruption due to the substitutes they gave Accrington the chance to get back into the game and James Gray pulled a goal back on 84 minutes. By the time Berardi was sent off in the 89th minute Leeds were hanging on a bit but held out for the win. Here are the views of some of our members;

The views of weasel;

The first goal looked a scuffed cross but Doukara brought it down well and hit a tidy finish through the defenders legs and past the keeper. For all the supposed emphasis on possession football we seemed to be relying a lot on crosses to Smith, and the quality of the crossing was poor. The second goal was excellent though Cook providing a great through ball and Doukara showing strength and skill before a composed finish.

Second half and Leeds were extremely comfortable. The only real danger came from overplaying it at the back but there is always going to be that danger but hopefully the long term benefits of the possession football will outweight the occasional gaffe. The ref then started to spoil the game. Tonge and Pearce both booked for nothing, Pearce indeed looked to have won the ball, along with 1 of their players who didn't deserve a booking. Doukara's booking was justified along with their player who got booked for fouling Doukara a few mintues later.

The Accrington goal should have been a Leeds freekick early on in the buildup with Bianchi having his shirt forcibly pulled (from the front) as he and Berardi attempted to win the ball down the Leeds right. The goal was a bit unlucky with the ball rebounding into the goal off Taylor (the GK) after it hit the post - Taylor looked solid in goal all night and should be a number 1 somewhere.

The Berardi sending off was a sending off. A bizarre two footed scissor kick at chest height towards the Accrington player. Although there wasn't much contact it was a reckless tackle and if you take both feet off the ground you are asking the ref to send you off, especially this ref who seemed to book every player who committed a foul. Their player, Windass, who came running over and squaring up, didn't help and he should have been at least booked but escaped any punishment. Up until that point Berardi had looked decent.

All in all a steady performance. We didn't really look like carving them open too much but equally weren't really troubled defensively. We need a bit more invention up front and a bit more pace in the team as a whole. Pearce for me was solid at the back, Charlie Taylor did okay but was skinned too easily on one occasion in the first half. My god though Benedicic is Drago from Rocky, he is huge and I cannot believe he is only 18. Will be interesting to see how he does as he looked a bit lost tonight when he came on. Wiki states he is 6ft 1in but he looked a lot taller than that.

I'd give Pearce man of the match. He was solid and reasonably composed on the ball too. Hope he gets to play alongside 1 of the new centre backs.

The views of drsdadsotherson;

The first half was very positive indeed with some lovely passing moves and positive play. Doukara was very good, with strong passing, ball retention and two very neat finishes. Tonge was impressive and Pearce was superb at the back. Cook REALLY impressed with his pace and some delicate touches.

Things went downhill (and how!) with the introduction of a certain Hunt who I believe only managed once to control a ball that was passed in his direction. I also believe we left the changing rooms at half time overconfident and feeling that no more needed to be done to win the game. As it turned out that was correct, but it's not something I like to see from my team in any case. Pride comes before a fall as they say.

So the positives:
1. We are through to the next round.
2. We won.
3. There were some encouraging individual performances.
4. The first half showed some nice team football.

The views of Dr.Leeds;

Should have won far more comfortably but some encouraging signs. Possession football. One touch then passes that mostly found their target. Most played with their heads up and patiently looked for opportunities. Good to see the new guys involved.

Overall, should have turned our first half possession into more goals. Need to stop messing around with it on the edge of our own box. I can understand Hockaday wanting to give players some game time but subs tonight killed our game.

Hockaday has a lot to do to convince me he is the man for the job. His style of play is an improvement though and his post-match comments show that he has got a clue.

He will need consistent results to stay in the job given Cellino's track record but with more additions due and many players rested tonight it's far from a disaster.

Leeds United Line-up:
S Taylor, Berardi, Wootton, Pearce, C Taylor, Tonge, Cook (Benedicic 65), Bianchi, Ajose (Hunt 64), Smith, Doukara (Poleon 80)
Unused Subs: Silvestri, Byram, Killock, Austin

Accrington Line-up:
Simpson, Buxton, Aldred, Winnard, Mustoe, Mingoia, Hunt (Hatfield 75), Windass, Naismith (Atkinson 46), Gray, Alabi
Unused Subs: Lynch, Liddle, McCartan, Martin, Bowerman

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