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LEEDS UNITED FOOTBALL CLUB

Match v Ipswich
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                                  IPSWICH TOWN..........1 LEEDS UNITED........0
                                               Ipswich Town badge                  Leeds United badge
 

Team News

United boss Kevin Blackwell was able to name an unchanged side from the side that won so convincingly the week before at Preston.

Blackwell also stuck with the 4-3-3 formation that made the difference in that game at Deepdale.  It meant David Healy continued to operate down the left flank, Deane in the middle and John Oster coming in from the right.

Behind the front three Wright and Walton worked down the wings with Gregan playing the pivotal role in the centre.

Ipswich were also unchanged following their win over Burnley and had two of the divisions most prolific strikers in Shefki Kuqi and Darren Bent upfront.

The Match

David Healy got the ball in the net after 50 seconds, but Brian Deane, the man who flicked it onto him, had been in an offside position and the goal did not count.

Deane was caught offside twice more before the first five minutes had been played and it was perhaps a minor irritation for Blackwell as each time it brought a swift end to promising beginnings.

There was evidence that Leeds could get something out of this difficult trip to Portman Road, particularly if they could continue to go forward as well as the opening few minutes had shown.

John Oster sold Ian Westlake the dummy and picked out Simon Walton with a precise pass and the ball was quickly sent forward for Healy to get on the end of, but again the flag went up with the striker in a great position.

On the quarter hour mark a mistake by Ipswich's Canadian international Jason De Vos let in Healy and the Ulsterman threaded a pass through to find Oster making the run. The winger let fly with a fierce right foot shot that drew and equally impressive save from Ipswich keeper Kelvin Davis.

United continued to press and had their first corner when Oster's shot from inside the box was charged down.  From the corner Sean Gregan came within inches of giving United the lead with a header that was just plucked away at the last second by Davis, under pressure from Deane.

Welsh international Oster arrived at Elland Road on loan from Sunderland after not being told he was not in Mick McCarthy's plans and harranged by the Black Cats' supporters - their loss is United's gain.  The winger was everywhere and again came close to a goal. Just before the half-hour Simon Walton's pass found him inside the area and Oster nearly managed to take it around the defender for the shot, only for De Vos to get a vital interception to deflect it for a corner which came to nothing.

Neil Sullivan had gone over half an hour without having to make a save and he did not disappoint when called into action for the first time.  Horlock's free-kick was met with a downwards header by Darren Bent but the Whites' keeper made the save look comfortable.

Clarke Carlisle was the first man to be booked, pulled up for a challenge on Tommy Miller that ended the midfielder's run just short of the penalty area as Ipswich attempted to catch United out just before half-time.

There were no changes at half-time but Ipswich made one just two minutes into the second half, bringing on youngster Dean Bowditch for Tommy Miller.

The dangerous Kuqi caused early problems for United when he got through on goal after some good short passing by Ipswich, but Leeds were there to cover in numbers and the scoring chance was turned into a corner.

Leeds good start came undone through a mistake on 50 minutes as Kelly and Carlisle went for the same ball and got tangled together, the ball ran loose for Kuqi to drive a shot at goal that Sullivan managed to push out but Bent was there for the rebound. Even then Sullivan appeared to have recovered to make the save on the deck but Bent appeared to force the ball out of Sullivan's hands when he was on the deck.

Jermaine Wright was certainly not seen as a returning hero by the Portman Road faithful, and they jeered him loudly when he was booked for  a tackle on Fabian Wilnis from behind.

Leeds best opportunity to reply to the goal came on 65 minutes when Danny Pugh delivered a cross into the area from the left corner flag that was met on the volley by Healy and flew just wide.

Gary Kelly came to United's rescue three minutes later when he managed to put a low cross into the six yard box over his own cross-bar before Kuqi could tap it home. It was a risky manouvre by the right back but well executed.

Kuqi missed the chance to punish Leeds further though when he sent a header wide from five yards out. 

Jermaine Wright's return to Ipswich was not to be a happy one after he was substituted after 73 minutes to allow Julian Joachim to come on.

Another chance for Leeds came via the long throw by Kelly into the penalty area and skipper Paul Butler was in there to head it down and Oster nearly connected with the ball before it found its way through to Davis on his line.

The best chance though - four minutes before the end - should have seen United grab a deserved equaliser.  Pugh delivered a low corner into the box where Joachim stabbed it on to Deane six yards out and the striker turned well for the shot but put it straight at Davis.  A glorious chances had been missed and Walton was booked second later for dissent.

Leeds final chance to rescue a point out of the game was from a corner, but it was wasted and United are once again ridden with frusration after failing to make the most of their chances.  Ipswich were there for the taking but no-one wanted to finish them off.

Ipswich Town

Starting XI

1Davis, Kelvin

5Diallo, Drissa

4de Vos, Jason

6Naylor, Richard

2Wilnis, Fabian

8Miller, Tommy

7Magilton, Jim

11Horlock, Kevin

33Westlake, Ian

18Bent, Darren

32Kuqi, Shefki

Substitutes

34Price, Lewis

3Richards, Matthew

9Counago, Pablo

17Bowditch, Dean

20Collins, Aidan

Leeds United

Starting XI

1Sullivan, Neil

2Kelly, Gary

4Carlisle, Clarke

6Butler, Paul

12Pugh, Danny

7Wright, Jermaine

8Gregan, Sean

18Walton, Simon

9Healy, David

14Oster, John

30Deane, Brian

Substitutes

13Carson, Scott

11Joachim, Julian

15Richardson, Frazer

25Lennon, Aaron

26Kilgallon, Matthew

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