QPR................1 LEEDS UNITED.....................1
Kick Off delayed until 3.15pm
United boss Kevin Blackwell was forced into making one change to the side that won away at
Watford last week, and made a further change in defence as he carried through with his promise to experiment.
David Healy suffered ankle ligament damage at Vicarage Road and could have played his last
game this season, with Blackwell unwilling to risk him.
On loan striker Marlon King was the man who came in for the Northern Ireland striker, whilst
Ian Moore was also missing as his wife was expected to go into labour during the weekend.
The surprise was that Matthew Kilgallon was dropped from centre-half and Sean Gregan played
at centre-half in his place. Gregan's midfield position was taken by Gylfi Einarsson.
Just about every week of the season a Leeds player has come up against one of his former teams,
this time it was Clarke Carlisle's turn.
The defender was keen to do well on his old stomping ground but his first real involvement
in the game saw him concede a free-kick right on the left hand edge of the penalty area after a tussle with veteran forward
Paul Furlong. Leeds turned the free-kick away for the first corner of the game and eventually the home side lost possession.
There was a real let off for United on 13 minutes when the home side had what on face value
appeared to be a good claim for a penalty.
Rangers talented midfielder Marc Bircham strode into the penalty box where his run was halted
by a sliding tackle from Kelly that appeared to catch more of the man than ball. Referee Roger Olivier was quick though to
wave the claims away.
Leeds though weathered the storm and stunned Loftus Road silence when after 23 minutes they
took the lead.
Gary Kelly delivered a corner from the left deep into the box where it was headed away by Rangers
but only as far as Seth Johnson on the edge of the area. The midfielder volleyed it back in and it bounced twice before
finding its way into the corner of the net.
It was Johnson's first goal for United since October 2003 when he grabbed a double against
Blackburn Rovers at Elland Road.
Rangers' Stafan Bailey was the first player booked for a late challenge on Gylfi Einarsson
after half an hour. The home side suffered a blow when injury forced Paul Furlong off and Jamie Cureton came on.
The Whites lead had not been threatened too much by the home side but there were nervous moments
when Cureton headed a cross back across the face of goal and Carlisle just managed to head it behind from almost under his
own cross bar. Carlisle couldn't let the ball fall to any goalmouth poachers whilst he also had to be wary of scoring
an unwanted own goal on his Loftus Road return.
There were no changes at half-time for either side and it was QPR who threatened first through
captain Kevin Gallen as he flashed a ball across the face of goal that went too close for comfort but in the end sailed harmlessly
out of play.
United's first opportunity came from a Johnson free-kick that Einarsson flicked over the crossbar
with his header, the ball not quite at the right height for the Icelandic international to meet properly.
Carlisle did little to increase his popularity at Loftus Road when he was on the receiving
end of a kick from Adam Miller that saw the Rangers man get booked. There was only one sinner in the eyes of the crowd.
Just before the hour mark came a moment when Carlisle escaped another potential own goal. The defender did well
to cut out a ball into a crowded penalty area but in doing so unleashed a fierce drive that cleared the crossbar by a matter
of inches. It would have been a moment the defender would never live down.
The home side weren't creating too many clear cut chances as they attempted to get back into
the game but Miller will have hoped to have done better after he got a flick of the head onto Lee Cook's cross, the ball just
sailing out of play at the far post.
Just as all appeared to be going well for Leeds, a contentious sending off decision was headed
Shaun Derry and R's skipper Kevin Gallen had been having words throughout the game and when
the latter made his annoyances known once more to Derry, the Leeds midfielder gave him a cheeky, but gentle push in the face
but nothing intended to cause any harm.
It didn't spare Derry though as he was shown the red card for one of the silliest dismissals
all season. A three match ban for 'violent conduct' now looms for Derry and that means his season is over.
Leeds were left to fight out the remaining 20 minutes with ten men and Rangers came close when
Danny Shittu headed over from a Miller corner 12 yards out.
QPR were piling on the corners but Leeds looked comfortable each time, Carlisle and Gregan
in particular able to deal with most of the high balls into the area.
United's resistance was broken with five minutes left of normal time. It was made and
scored by Kevin Gallen after his direct run on goal. His first shot was brilliantly saved by Sullivan but there was nothing
he could do when the ball went back to the striker and was rifled into the far corner.
It was harsh on Leeds who had looked set to record back to back wins on the road.
goal gave the home side a massive lift and they finished the strongest, Gallen saw his free-kick well held by Sullivan and
then the United No.1 pushed a close range shot onto the post and United just managed to get it clear.
Both teams were reduced to ten men in injury time when Adam Miller was sent off for a second
bookable offence after clipping Rob Hulse's heels as he attempted to get clear of the defence.
Queens Park Rangers