Leeds United fought back from a brittle start against Guiseley to overcome a 3-0 deficit and claim a 4-3 win at Nethermoor tonight.
Guiseley took advantage of a makeshift defence to score three times in the opening 23 minutes but a reply from Eoghan Stokes just before the break was the start of a concerted fightback from United.
Garry Monk’s side - contesting the first of two friendlies in the space of 24 hours, the second away at Peterborough United tomorrow - struggled badly early on but Stokes’ effort reduced the arrears to 3-1 and Jordan Botaka, Kalvin Phillips and Souleymane Doukara picked off tiring Guiseley in a much better second half.
Leeds were almost in front on 43 seconds when Chris Wood - the most prominent player picked by Monk - brought a one-handed save from goalkeeper Dan Atkinson after breaking in behind Guiseley’s defence.
But United’s backline, with midfielder Toumani Diagouraga covering again in the centre alongside youngster Paul McKay, did not take long to show signs of weakness and Marco Silvestri had already denied Jordan Preston with a diving save when Guiseley opened the scoring.
A deep cross found Leeds out of shape and Ash Palmer made no mistake with a free header from close range. Silvestri, who is out of favour at Elland Road and was making his first appearance of the summer, got a hand to the ball but could not keep it out.
Palmer’s strike was the first blow in a dismal first half which ought to have provoked stern words from Monk at the interval. United’s line-up was young and makeshift in parts - undoubtedly the weaker of the line-up picked for tonight’s friendly and tomorrow’s match at Peterborough United - but the opening 45 minutes were almost without redeeming features.
Jake Lawlor claimed a second goal on 13 minutes when a simple set-piece ended in a tap-in and Palmer struck again from point-blank range on 23 minutes, again as the result of poor defending.
Souleymane Doukara passed up two chances before Eoghan Stokes pulled a goal back on the stroke of half-time with a fierce volley from 18 yards.
Monk’s words at half-time had some effect and Leeds struck the woodwork immediately after the restart when Doukara’s header clipped the outside of a post.
United went on to dominate the second period and Botaka reduced the deficit further on 63 minutes when he took advantage of a loss of possession. Phillips then produce a brilliant, top-corner strike to level the match with 19 minutes left and Guiseley crumbled moments later as Doukara tapped in from close range.
Guiseley: Atkinson, East (Boshell 71), Spires, Palmer, Lockwood (Rankine 71) Lawlor, Falkingham, Hatfield, Syers, Johnson (Boyes 46), Preston.
Leeds United: Silvestri, Coyle, P McKay, Diagouraga, Denton, Phillips, Vieira, Botaka, Stokes, Doukara, Wood. Subs: M Taylor, Shackleton, J McKay.