Leeds United 2 Brighton 1: Debut delight for Murphy at Elland Road

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Luke Murphy struck three minutes into stoppage time to earn Leeds United a dramatic and deserved opening day victory over Brighton.

United’s £1million signing bundled the last chance of an entertaining clash past Robert Kuszczak to delight Elland Road and Brian McDermott.

Watched by a crowd of more than 33,000, Ross McCormack’s equaliser looked to have earned Leeds a draw after Leonardo Ulloa silenced a packed stadium with a 13th-minute opener.

United carried the momentum into half-time following McCormack’s reply on 19 minutes and they continued to force the pace after the restart, attacking Brighton on both wings.

Albion withstood the pressure and saw Andrew Crofts nod a header wide at the other end of the pitch but most of the positive play came from Leeds and Luke Varney pulled a shot beyond Tomasz Kuszczak’s near post after a long run from Luke Murphy.

Both sides struggled to create chances but Brighton finally clicked in the 66th minute when Will Buckley’s cut-back brought a shot from Crofts which Paddy Kenny saved low to his left. The goalkeeper then recovered brilliantly to force behind Inigo Calderon’s follow-up.

Michael Tonge saw a volley blocked on 71 minutes as the game opened up amid growing tension and substitute Dominic Poleon was desperately unlucky to see a volley on the turn fly wide after Kemy Agustien mis-controlled McCormack’s cross.

Poleon missed a far better opportunity moments later, skewing a free header six yards from goal, and the young striker was denied at the death by a fine diving parry from Kuszczak but Kenny protected United’s point with a superb, injury-time block from Buckley.

And Murphy snatched the points amid late drama as his shot struck Kuszczak’s arm and flew into the roof of the net.

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