Charlton 0 Leeds United 0: YEP jury verdicts

Leeds United's Lewis Cook challenged by Charlton's Ademola Lookman. PIC: Tony Johnson.

Leeds United's Lewis Cook challenged by Charlton's Ademola Lookman. PIC: Tony Johnson.

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Our YEP Jury have their say on Leeds United’s goalless draw at Charlton Athletic.

GARY NEWBOULD

United returned from the capital with one more point than two weeks ago, but it was still a frustrating afternoon from a goalless draw against Charlton.

Given that over their combined last 20 fixtures this season only three draws had occurred for both clubs, this was a result that certainly turned the formbook on its head.

Captain Sol Bamba was still not considered fit enough for the encounter at The Valley, but with Gaetano Berardi returning from a two-game ban it was somewhat surprising that Scott Wootton didn’t make way for the Swiss full-back. That decision looked even more questionable when Wootton almost immeditely went into the referee’s notebook for a clumsy challenge that left him walking a tight-rope.

The hosts seemed to settle the better of the two teams in the early exchanges.

The remainder of the first half was utterly forgettable and I have to confess that in approaching 40 years of watching the Whites I can scarcely remember a half of such little quality and ineptitude from both sides in equal instalments.

Indeed, I can also scarcely remember a bar serving liquid refreshment doing such a roaring trade during the half. A significant section of the loyal hordes that numbered 3,129 arrived almost 45 minutes late due to traffic issues at the Blackwall Tunnel. They could be considered the fortunate ones as the referee put 15,867 spectators out of their misery to draw a conclusion to simply painful first half.

The second half started in a totally different way and no I hadn’t over-indulged at the bar during the first half! The home side settled better once more before United finally entered the fray more forcibly with Stuart Dallas his usual industrious self. However, the hosts were only kept at bay through a fine save by Marco Silvestri.

Berardi and Botaka replaced Wootton and Mowatt respectively and, during the final 20 minutes, United had three gilt-edged chances to claim the three points, firstly through Lewis Cook before Tom Adeyemi missed two sitters within the space of five minutes. The returning Berardi was stretchered from the field after a nasty challenge, one of many that went unpunished.

The Whites’ dominance was summed up by the hosts’ time-wasting during their own substitutions in the final few minutes. Whilst a draw away from home should never be disregarded, this was certainly two points that have gone begging against a very poor side.

Man of the match: Stuart Dallas.

KEITH INGHAM

Leeds continued their unbeaten but might rue missing the chance to beat a very poor Charlton team.

Steve Evans kept faith with the 11 on duty last weekend versus Hull City, with the addition of Gaetano Berardi free from suspension and on the bench.

Leeds were lacklustre in the first period where Charlton came closest to opening the scoring. In the second half Leeds created some great chances, the best was Lewis Cook setting up Tom Adeyemi but the midfielder hit a post when it seemed easier to score. Berardi – a second-half substitute for Wootton – was carried off on a stretcher late on; Byram replaced the right-back in the seven minutes of injury time played. Silvestri again saved Leeds on several occasions, so deserves a mention.

A little disappointed with only a draw, but another good performance, especially Cook and Bridcutt – a partnership that looks to be developing. I’m hoping that the Sunderland loanee will stay at Leeds and not be sold to another Championship team when his initial loan ends.

Next up for Leeds, Wolverhampton Wanderers on Thursday night. Let’s hope for a better performance than the last time we played on this day live on Sky TV.

Man of the match: Lewis Cook.

STEPHEN CLARK

A point away from home should never be sniffed at but it certainly felt like two points had been dropped in the goalless draw at The Valley on Saturday.

The performance summed up our season so far.

For long periods Leeds were inept, but the last half-hour saw them almost overpower Charlton with incessant attacking play although with no end product.

Tom Adeyemi could have easily had a hat-trick and Lewis Cook should have capped another brilliant performance with a goal.

But once again Leeds United failed to deliver the killer blow that was required.

They need to find a cutting edge.

Man of the match: Lewis Cook.

JAMES HARRISON

It was just one of those days. We could have played all day and not put the ball in the net, but the second half performance was really encouraging. It was a poor first half but in the second we were really on top and deserved to take all three points home.

Man of the match: Stuart Dallas.

DAVID WATKINS

Finally, a result from Leeds where we don’t raise our eyebrows! I predicted a draw, but I thought these sides would at least share a few goals.

Leeds are not sharp enough in front of goal. The rest of our play though was much better than we often see.

Goalkeeper and defence looked solid, and midfield, driven on again by the combative Liam Bridcutt, bossed much of the game. Okay, the first half was a forgettable experience but as the second half wore on there was only ever going to be one winner but only if we could take a half-chance. I still think we are missing a trick not starting Botaka against these lower-placed teams – he causes panic whenever he comes on.

Man of the match: Liam Bridcutt.

MATTHEW EVANS

The opening 75 minutes of the game were what the term ‘bore draw’ was invented for. Never failing to lower themselves to the standard of the opposition, United strolled lethargically around the park and looked happy to take a point.

It was bizarre, then, when the players suddenly awoke from their daze and started to find massive holes in Charlton’s defence, knocking the ball about in the opposition penalty area like it was the centre circle.

Steve Evans is right that we should have scored during that final spell and, while the Leeds fans went home unhappy thanks to some inept finishing, it was thanks to Marco Silvestri that we took anything away at all.

Man of the match: Marco Silvestri.

Rob Green.

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