Bolton 1 Leeds United 1: YEP Jury give their verdicts

Steve Evans gives orders to Gaetano Berardi.
Steve Evans gives orders to Gaetano Berardi.
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Our YEP Jury have their say on Leeds United’s 1-1 draw at Bolton Wanderers.

GARY NEWBOULD

After a much-improved midweek performance against Fulham, newly appointed United coach Steve Evans took his charges across the Pennines for his second match at the helm against Neil Lennon’s Bolton Wanderers who had won just one match this season and were sitting at the bottom of the Championship table.

Evans enjoyed a rare luxury of any recent custodian of the “revolving door office” at LS11 by naming an unchanged starting 11, with the only change to the squad seeing Soulemeyne Doukara replacing Jordan Botaka who missed out due to illness.

Like Wednesday evening the game started at a furious pace, however unlike the game at Craven Cottage, the Trotters posed much more of a threat.

Goalkeeper Silvestri kicked poorly from goal and the resultant Bolton attack saw the United custodian once again flap at a cross and the corner was despatched clinically by Shola Ameobi.

One has to ask how many more points Silvestri must cost us before Steve Evans (or any United coach for that matter) is allowed to replace the current Whites’ goalkeeper?

Could someone also explain why two weeks after our No2 goalkeeper broke his ankle we have still not ventured into the loan market for such a crucial position? One clean sheet in 14 matches surely tells its own story as to where Evans’ priorities must lie. United pushed for an equaliser before half-time and only a fine Ben Amos save prevented Chris Wood from levelling matters.

The start of the second half saw Alex Mowatt replace Luke Murphy and United pushed for a deserved equaliser. Tom Adeyemi was once again denied opening his United account by the width of a post and it started to looked like it was going to be one of those days, yet again for the Whites. But with just under 20 minutes of the game left, a quick break from United combined with a defensive mix-up from the hosts saw Mirco Antenucci break clear only to be hauled down in the box by Prince-Desire Gouano.

Referee Hooper awarded the penalty and brandished the red card to the Frenchman. Despite the farcical scene of Antenucci and Wood arguing over who was going to take the spot kick, the Italian converted to send almost 4,500 of the loyal hordes into raptures. With the momentum clearly behind them and a man advantage United looked set to register all three points, but it wasn’t to be despite a sustained period of pressure.

Like Fulham, this definitely felt like two points lost. However, new boss Evans has certainly appeared to up the workrate of the team. One only hopes he is allowed to sign a first-choice goalkeeper sooner not later.

Man of the match: Gaetano Berardi.

KEITH INGHAM

Despite the promising performance in midweek against Fulham on Wednesday, Leeds failed to record a victory at the then-bottom of the Championship, Bolton Wanderers.

The 1-1 draw made it five games without a win, finishing and defending again being the Achilles heel of Leeds United.

Tom Adeyemi went close when his effort came back off a post but it was Shola Ameobi who claimed the first goal on 32 minutes firing past Silvestri. Wood was then unlucky when his goal bound shot was blocked by Amos near the goal line.

Alex Mowatt replaced Luke Murphy after the break and Adeyemi was denied by a post for the second time. Dobbie forced Silvestri to save and in the resultant break away Antenucci’s advancing run was curtailed by Gouano’s challenge which earned him a red card and Leeds a penalty.

Antenucci scored from the spot kick, sending the away end into raptures. Will Buckley was brought on for the tiring Dallas as Leeds tried to make their numerical numbers count

Some may think it is early to make this estimation but I neither expect Evans’ tenure at Leeds to be either successful or long. I have been wrong before but it’s a feeling I have about the Scot. Blackburn Rovers at home next up is a game Leeds really need to win.

Man of the match: Lewis Cook.

STEPHEN CLARK

A point away from home against a side in and around us usually shouldn’t be sniffed at. But when that side are bottom of the table and it’s a penalty that has recused that point, then the cause for celebration is diluted a little.

Once again a goalkeeping calamity handed Bolton their goal, gleefully tucked away by Shola Ameobi, who was doing that for Newcastle back in the days when we were actually quite decent. Leeds lacked the attacking intensity that earned them a point at Fulham, and once again had to rely on a gift from the opposition to earn a share of the spoils. Leeds need to start becoming more prolific if we are not to be scrapping around at the bottom for the remainder of the season.

Man of the match: Mirco Antenucci – simply for the goal.

MATTHEW EVANS

It felt like a patchy outing at the Macron Stadium but, in truth, the performance was similar to Wednesday night against Fulham just against a more willing opposition.

A first-half goal conceded with questions asked of the keeper followed by a second-half equaliser from the penalty spot means the Evans era has provided a formula for mediocre.

The fact of the matter is that United have almost always been the better side than the team they are playing against but need to be far more robust in defence and ruthless in attack to prove it. Let’s hope it starts on Thursday.

Man of the match: Gaetano Berardi.

DAVID WATKINS

I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who went to the Macron Stadium totally convinced Leeds would beat Bolton and had we played anywhere near the way we did on Wednesday at Fulham, we would.

Sadly, the same Leeds team didn’t turn up and we were witness to another first half of turgid, mistake-laden rubbish from a Leeds side that we all know can do much better. Okay, we had an effort strike a post from Adeyemi early on but in general Bolton looked far more proficient than we did in that first 45 minutes and once again we gifted the opposition a goal. The second half was much better but against 10 men we just lacked the sheer nous to know what to do. Evans has to get more out of his players than this.

Man of the match: Tom Adeyemi.

JAMES HARRISON

We just can’t seem to finish teams off. The players look scared of winning at times, but the improvement since Evans has come in are clear. I think signing a new keeper in January is the most important thing now.

Man of the match: Gaetano Berardi.

Vurnon Anita.

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