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LEEDS UNITED FOOTBALL CLUB

Match v Huddersfield Town (Carling Cup)
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                     LEEDS UNITED........1 HUDDERSFIELD TOWN........0                                             Leeds United badge                         Go to fullsize image
 

United are in the second round of the Carling Cup after coming through a passionate encounter with Huddersfield at Elland Road thanks to a second goal for the club by Danny Pugh.

It was perhaps not the classic cup tie many had hoped for between these two near neighbours, but Huddersfield refused to yield and continued to fight for an equaliser right to the end.

The visitors also had a number of chances that on another night they may have converted, but Kevin Blackwell's men proved they can compete with the physical side of the game and the defence recorded their third clean sheet of the season so far.

It was not pretty, but Pugh's goal proved decisive.

Pre-Match

United boss Kevin Blackwell made just one change to the side that drew with Nottingham Forest on Saturday, bringing in Michael Ricketts for Brian Deane, who was rested.

It also meant Clarke Carlisle kept his place at the back alongside skipper Paul Butler, whilst Michael Duberry, the man whose suspension gave him the chance to come into the team against Forest, was forced to make do with a place on the bench.

The Terriers also made just the one change with former Polish under-21 striker Pawel Abbott replacing Junior Mendes in attack, otherwise it was the same team for the visitors that lost in another Yorkshire derby at the weekend, 1-0 to Sheffield Wednesday.

The Match

With an attendance of 31,115 on the night it was officially recorded as the biggest ever attendance for the first round of the League Cup.

Recalled striker Michael Ricketts won a free-kick inside the first two minutes after being pushed in the back as he went to meet a long clearance from Sullivan. It presented the striker with his first opportunity to go for goal, sadly though he blasted his shot straight into the four man wall.

Richardson brought down Town midfielder Tony Carss at the other end in a similar position to the Ricketts free-kick two minutes earlier, and the visitors proved as wasteful with their early chance with Carss putting the shot well over the cross bar.

Leeds survived a nervous moment on seven minutes when Gary Kelly was forced to knock the ball behind for a corner following a teasing cross from full-back Andy Holdsworth.  Clarke Carlisle though was commanding in the area and comfortably headed Carss cross well away.

On ten minutes Leeds produced their first promising break with a move that began near enough on their own byline.

Julian Joachim hoisted a long ball out of defence up to Ricketts, he in turn chested it down and played it across to Richardson who made 50 yards before crossing the ball back into the danger area where Ricketts had made his way, but the teasing cross was just headed away by the visitors before Ricketts could get there to put Leeds ahead in the game.  

Four minutes later and it Huddersfield were denied a certain goal by Neil Sullivan.

A corner from Carss was headed back across the area by David Mirfin straight to Nathan Clarke whose header was both powerful and accurate. Sully though just managed to save Leeds as he got an outstretched hand to the ball and pushed it over for another corner that was much more comfortably dealt with.

Frazer Richardson was once again the source of most of Leeds attacking play, working well with Ricketts too on occasion and prepared to take the full-back on, single handedly he made the game an exciting spectacle.

Leeds finally broke through Huddersfield's stubborn resistance on 21 minutes, and although the goal itself was scrappy, the build-up was exceptional.

First Michael Ricketts hit the underside of the bar with a header after a great cross from deep by Crainey, the ball came back to Danny Pugh whose instinctive right foot shot was blocked by the keeper, but he couldn't hold onto the ball and Pugh had more success with his favored left foot as this time he found the target from six yards out.

Ricketts had been unlucky not to score with his header, but the encouraging signs were that the big forward was dominating in the air and was starting to look every bit like the striker Kevin Blackwell believes he can be.

Huddersfield were not subdued by the set-back of going a goal behind and they too hit the woodwork just before the half-hour mark with a Pawel Abbott header that crashed off the top of the  bar with Sullivan beaten.

Just before half-time Huddersfield had their best spell of possession and were denied what looked a good claim for a penalty.

First good work from Andy Booth led to Mirfin taking the ball past Sullivan and cutting it back into the centre of the penalty but skipper Paul Butler managed to half clear.

The danger was still not over and the visitors came forward down the left with Rob Edwards chipping a ball into the area that appeared to be handled by Frazer Richardson as the United man went to cut it out.  The referee Eddie Ilderton though was unsighted and Leeds escaped.

No changes for either side at half-time, Town started the second half with some purpose and really threatened to get back into the game.

Brandon's cross from the right hand side found Jon Worthington inside the area and his lay-off to Andy Booth saw the striker try and shoot his way through a sea of legs and United escaped. 

A minute later another penalty shout went up as the ball made contact with Carlisle's arm inside the area, more a case of ball to hand than the other way round.

Booth was again in the thick of it when the visitors went close again. The striker leapt up and missed a cross by Carss by just inches barely two yards out from Sullivan's goal, and was then bundled down after a clumsy challenge by Michael Ricketts. Again the penalty appeal was waved away.

Kevin Blackwell made his first change of the night with 65 minutes played, bringing on Jamie McMaster for Steve Guppy.   The young Aussie-born midfielder nearly made an instant impact on the scoreline as his drive from 20-yards was tipped over the bar by Gray in the Huddersfield goal.

Leeds were certain to concede an equaliser if they couldn't get out of their own half, and fortunately they turned the game around in the last ten minutes after being battered by the visitors.

McMaster was full of running for Leeds and he nearly added a second goal when he lifted the ball over a defender on the edge of the area and struck the ball well, but Gray was able to save and keep the ball out at the expense of a corner.

Leeds United

Starting XI

1Sullivan, Neil

4Carlisle, Clarke

3Crainey, Stephen

2Kelly, Gary

15Richardson, Frazer

12Pugh, Danny

6Butler, Paul

24Guppy, Steve

7Wright, Jermaine

10Ricketts, Michael

11Joachim, Julian

Substitutes

13Carson, Scott

18Walton, Simon

22Duberry, Michael

23Hignett, Craig

28McMaster, Jamie

Huddersfield Town

Starting XI

1Gray, Ian

16Sodje, Efetobore

14Edwards, Rob

6Clarke, Nathan

17Mirfin, David

18Worthington, Jonathan

2Holdsworth, Andy

7Brandon, Chris

8Carss, Anthony

23Booth, Andy

9Abbott, Pawel

Substitutes

22Senior, Phil

27Brown, Nat

11Schofield, Danny

10Mendes, Junior

20McAliskey, John

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