Birmingham City 1 Leeds United 1: YEP jury verdicts

Souleymane Doukara on the ball.
Souleymane Doukara on the ball.
Have your say

Our YEP Jury have their say on United’s 1-1 draw at Birmingham City.

Name: Jonathan Ford

Age: 24

United fan for: 
20 years

Lives: Beeston

A point gained, a point further forward, a lot of positives, a few negatives, but the main thing is – things are getting better!

We made one change from last week, and although I’m glad we had a genuine right-back in Gaetano Berardi on the pitch, I felt sorry for Scott Wootton, who I felt didn’t do anything wrong when he played.

I thought we started the game well and dominated possession, the only negative being not creating any chances, but it was very good to watch.

How we found ourselves 1-0 down is beyond me having controlled the game, but then we looked nervous.

I thought Billy Sharp was quiet but the way we played isn’t what he is used to. He needs time to adjust like a lot of the new – patience is the key!

I thought Alex Mowatt and Lewis Cook were fantastic again, and deserve huge credit for how mature they look on the pitch.

They say substitutions change games, well I thought Neil Redfearn got his spot on.

It’s the best I’ve seen Rudy Austin play in a long time and Soulymane Doukara gave us something we didn’t have during the game.

He was a powerful outlet upfront, his movement and ball play was great and them two definitely came on and made a difference, and we could have ended up with all three points.

There was no doubting we deserved them in terms of the way we played, but I just feel we are not creating enough to see games off and then we are susceptible to a counter-attack or crosses in the box because we lack height in all areas.

We probably faced one of the teams who will be in a relegation battle and although we were the better team, we only got a point.

The side is still adjusting to the style and system and with so many players adjusting to each other as well, given time I think we will come good – at least we kept 11 men on the pitch again!

You can see the players love Neil Redfearn, and you can see how good he is.

But he is doing such an amazing job with the academy that it is a no brainer that he carries that on.

It’s where his heart is and he genuinely loves the job, why change it?

Look at Lewis Cook, it’s crazy to think how young he is, but how good he is already. He looks like he has played 500 games in the first team. He doesn’t seem to be fazed by anything and he was outstanding again. Watching Leeds is never the easiest thing to do but with all our amazing supporters and my friends with me, it just makes it so much better, and if you are as lucky as me, you meet the person you want to marry, too!

Man of the match: Lewis Cook.

Name: Keith Ingham

Age: 54

United fan for: 
41 years

Lives: Keighley

Leeds United secured their first point away from Elland Road with a hard-earned 1-1 draw at St Andrews.

Neil Redfearn made one change from the team that beat Bolton, Berardi coming in for Wootton. Adyran made the substitutes bench as did fit again Doukara. Of the 22 players who started the game last season only three from both teams were on duty at St Andrews. Times of change at both clubs.

Both teams started brightly, but the nearest thing to a goal was when Giuseppe Bellusci nearly beat his own keeper with a back header.

On 37 minutes after a decent Leeds spell, Birmingham took the lead. Wayne Thomas beat the slow-to-react Leeds defence and easily beat Marco Silvestri. The match was then interrupted while a post at the back of the Leeds goal was replaced and it was 1-0 City at the break.

Clayton Donaldson and Brek Shea had chances early in the second half to increase Birmingham’s lead and it was no surprise when Redfearn made changes, Austin and Doukara for Casper Sloth and Sharp.

Leeds equalised when a half-cleared cross fell to Mowatt who beat Darren Randolph with a lovely finish. In a frantic finish both keepers kept the score level.

A better second half and Austin deserved the plaudits for his display.

Man of the match: Rudy Austin.

Name: Matthew Evans

Age: 29

United fan for: 
22 years

Lives: Pudsey

This young team put in a very similar performance to the one we saw at home to Bolton, looking comfortable on the ball, relatively solid in defence but lacking any sort of cutting edge going forward.

Bellusci was at fault as Birmingham scored the first goal and was lucky not to give away a penalty towards the end. Thankfully, Neil Redfearn’s introduction of Austin and Doukara did the trick and the added power up front gave Alex Mowatt the opportunity to score an equaliser.

A 10-minute wait while one of the goal nets was repaired provided the light relief in the away end, while an away point was a welcome improvement on the pitch.

Man of the match: Lewis Cook.

Name: Gary Newbould

Age: 43

United fan for: 
43 years

Lives: York

Poor marking from Bellusci gifted the home side the lead during a woeful first half. The second period saw the introduction of Austin and Doukara who made a big difference and Mowatt seized on a poor Blues clearance to glean United’s first away point.

Man of the match: Lewis Cook.

Name: James Harrison

Age: 18

United fan for: 
10 years

Lives: Drighlington

I think Saturday will prove to be a good point come end of the season. After going a goal down, I think all the fans would have taken a point in that situation.

We played pretty well without creating a great deal and being much of a threat.

I don’t think Billy Sharp touched the ball in Birmingham’s box; he just wasn’t getting the service he needs to score goals.

The real game-changer was the introduction of Rudy Austin, he gave us that bit of power and drive we needed and caused them lots of problems. Alex Mowatt took his goal really well to secure an important point for Neil Redfearn’s men.

Man of the match: Alex Mowatt.

Name: Stephen Clark

Age: 42

United fan for: 
26 years

Lives: Shipley

There were positives and negatives to take from Leeds United’s 1-1 draw with Birmingham City on Saturday.

The negatives were that at times Leeds looked as plodding and pedestrian as they did under Dave Hockaday. With no width and very little sticking up front, United were reduced to passing the ball around aimlessly in the middle of the park. At the back Bellusci looks a liability, almost conceding a comedy own goal and being culpable for Birmingham’s opener.

The positives though came in the second half. Firstly Neil Redfearn made decisive changes to the team. It looked strange for Sharp and Sloth to come off, with the Dane in particular looking decent in midfield. There is little doubt though that the introduction of Doukara and Austin made a huge difference. Pace and power made up for the defecit in wide areas and the equaliser was richly deserved.

Alex Mowatt deserved his goal and he and Lewis Cook were once again excellent in midfield. Despite a late scare when the hapless Bellusci appeared to have upended the dangerous Demari Gray in the penalty area, Leeds hung on for a deserved point.

Man of the match - Lewis Cook - a future England International.

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