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LEEDS UNITED FOOTBALL CLUB

Match v Coventry
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                               LEEDS UNITED.........3 COVENTRY CITY........0
 
                                                           
 
Leeds spoilt former boss Peter Reid's return to Elland Road as Clarke Carlisle and Julian Joachim both scored their first goals for the Whites and top scorer Danny Pugh added a third late on to complete a convincing win.
 

Pre-match

United boss Kevin Blackwell made two changes to the starting line-up from the side that lost at Sheffield United a fortnight ago. 

Stephen Crainey made a quicker than expected recovery from a hamstring injury to keep his place at left-back, the Scot underwent a late fitness test and was selected ahead of Matthew Kilgallon despite having barely trained in the past fortnight.

At the back Blackwell made a change by dropping Michael Duberry in favour of Clarke Carlisle alongside skipper Paul Butler, whilst Simon Walton came into midfield again with Michael Ricketts missing out upfront as the Leeds boss went with Joachim and Deane. 

Coventry City made just one change to their side that beat West Ham 2-1 away with their new loan signing Dean Leacock replacing the recently departed Calum Davenport.

The Match

Peter Reid received a fantastic reception from the Leeds fans as he made his return to Elland Road some ten months after losing the job his former No 2, Kevin Blackwell, now holds.

It was the visitors who started best and Stephen Crainey was forced to turn the ball away for a corner inside the first minute of the game. Neil Wood's cross into the area was at danger of being turned in by Coventry at the back post before Crainey's interception.

Frazer Richardson was overlooked during Peter Reid's reign at Elland Road and the winger looked to be inspired by the chance to prove Reid he was wrong to not consider him. 

Twice Richardson weaved his way in and out of Coventry's defence on the edge of the area in a style that has seen him compared to Harry Kewell at his prime.   He would have rounded one of the moves off with a goal if Shaw had not reacted in time to block the shot.

Another man with something to show was Julian Joachim.  The striker spent three years at Highfield Road before his move to Leeds and he came close to punishing his former employers with a header inside the first eight minutes that was deflected over the bar by Shaw for a corner.

From it Frazer Richardson received the ball 25-yards out from goal and hit a fierce drive that flew close enough to the target to cause Shearer some concern.

Danny Pugh was booked after 13 minutes for an off the ball incident with Sky Blues midfielder Micky Doyle in which he appeared to catch him on the face.

Leeds were gradually taking control of the game but again the key element of goals was all that was lacking.

Another chance came and went on 18 minutes as Richardson laid ball into Joachim's feet who had taken up position ten yards out, he then played Deane in on the right of the area but the striker's return ball was easily cut out by visiting keeper Scott Shearer.

Most of Leeds threat was coming down the right hand flank and when Richardson's pace took him well clear of the Coventry defence on 20 minutes the crowd braced themselves for the opening goal, but with defender Dean Leacock having lost his footing inside the penalty are, Richardson opted for the cross instead of the shot and it proved to be the wrong option.

Coventry then came back at Leeds and could count themselves unlucky not to take the lead during a good five minute spell in which they forced Sullivan into a double save and then hit the woodwork.

Sullivan was forced to charge down the ball to deny Wood and then produced a good save to turn away a shot from a narrow angle by Andy Morrell. Micky Doyle then hit the bar from 30-yards with a left foot shot that caught everyone off-guard.

Leeds turned it around though and finally got their reward six minutes before half time when Clarke Carlisle scored his first goal for the club.

A free-kick from Jermaine Wright was delivered towards the far edge of the box where Carlisle rose superbly to power his header back across the face of goal and into the corner of the net.

The popular defender loved the moment and from Leeds point of view he had scored at a time when the visitors were starting to get back on top.

It should have been 2-0 barely a minute later when Pugh put the ball back across the face of goal and somehow Joachim missed it with a virtually empty net infront of him.

Coventry made one change at half-time bringing on former Sheffield United striker Patrick Suffo for Eddie Johnson. Kevin Blackwell kept his side as it was.

Neil Sullivan was the first keeper to be called into action in the second half as he got down well to save a shot from Luis Carey that threatened to sneak in, but otherwise it was a quiet start to the second half.

Nine minutes after the restart Paul Butler could have made it 2-0 when he met Jermaine Wright's cross from a corner, but the skipper sent his downwards header just wide of the right hand post.

Coventry should have equalised when Wood got away from Crainey and delivered a cross straight to the head of substitute Patrick Suffo who headed over from six yards out, and his protests for a penalty were quickly waved away.

On 67 minutes Joachim was presented with another chance to score but he headed Richardson's cross wide from about ten yards out.

He didn't have long to wait though as a minute later the forward finally broke his goalscoring duck - and against his old team to boot.

A cross from the left was met by Jermaine Wright's powerful downwards header that wasn't held by the keeper and Joachim pounced to stab the ball in from close range.  It didn't matter how it went in, what was important was that a Leeds striker had finally scored a league goal for the club.

It also effectively made the points safe for Leeds and they could play more relaxed with that cushion behind them.

Coventry's problems mounted when a minute after the goal Luis Carey was sent off for his second bookable offence.

Carey had been booked in the first half for a tackle on Pugh and when he hacked the same player down on 72 minutes there was little doubt he would be leaving the field for an early bath.

There was still time for Danny Pugh to jump into the lead as the club's leading scorer with a third goal of the season and United's third on the day right at the end of extra time.

Jermaine Wright's 20-yard volley wasn't held by the Coventry keeper and Pugh was presented with a simple chance all alone at the back post and found the net via the post.

It made Peter Reid's misery complete as Kevin Blackwell got one over his old boss.

Leeds United

Starting XI

1Sullivan, Neil

4Carlisle, Clarke

2Kelly, Gary

3Crainey, Stephen

15Richardson, Frazer

12Pugh, Danny

6Butler, Paul

18Walton, Simon

7Wright, Jermaine

11Joachim, Julian

30Deane, Brian

Substitutes

13Carson, Scott

22Duberry, Michael

17Spring, Matthew

28McMaster, Jamie

10Ricketts, Michael

Coventry City

Starting XI

1Shearer, Scott

21Leacock, Dean

20Shaw, Richard

3Staunton, Steve

19Carey, Louis

6Hughes, Stephen

14Sherwood, Tim

17Doyle, Michael

18Wood, Neil

16Johnson, Eddie

12Morrell, Andy

Substitutes

33Steele, Luke

2Whing, Andrew

4Gudjonsson, Bjarni

11Barrett, Graham

8Suffo, Patrick

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