Our YEP Jurors have their say on Leeds United’s dramatic victory at Huddersfield Town
There’s just something about referee Chris Foy officiating Leeds United matches in January...
Those of a Whites persuasion won’t need reminding that it was the Merseyside-based man in the middle who took charge just over five years ago in January when United caused that famous cup upset at Manchester’s ‘second club’. He was at it again on Saturday afternoon when the Whites recorded only their second away win of the season at near neighbours Huddersfield Town.
After gleaning four points from their previous two games Leeds had to make one enforced change with suspended Giuseppe Bellusci replaced by the Ivorian Sol Bamba who made his debut.
United made a positive start and looked to settle the better of the two sides. Luke Murphy soon tested the home keeper from 25 yards. And on seven minutes Murphy picked out Sam Byram – playing in an advanced role once again – and the youngster produced a sublime finish to open the scoring and his account for the season.
The next 15 minutes saw the Whites produce some fine flowing football and they should have increased their advantage, while keeper Marco Silvestri was pretty much a spectator to proceedings.
However the Terriers were on level terms just before the half-hour mark when the smallest player on the pitch, Harry Bunn headed home from a corner with both the United defence and custodian looking equally culpable.
The goal woke up the home side and is was United who looked the most satisfied with the arrival of half-time and the scores still level.
The second half saw a marked deterioration in the quality of football and the home side enjoyed the better share of possession without creating many clear-cut opportunities.
The last 10 minutes, however, saw United get up a head of steam. And the final word went to substitute Billy Sharp, so often a thorn in the Terriers side as he headed home Mirco Antenucci’s cross. Unbelievably this was United’s first “double” over their Huddersfield neighbours since 1939, but seven points from nine have provided some much-required confidence as we head towards the final third of the season.
Man of the match: Sam Byram.
Leeds celebrated back-to-back ‘doubles’ as a late, late Billy Sharp winner gave Leeds the bragging rights in a close West Yorkshire derby game at the John Smith’s stadium.
It was Leeds’ first ‘double’ over their local rivals since 1939. Leeds claimed the first goal when Murphy’s pass found Byram whose effort seem to come off a Town defender and into the net.
Town were forced to take the game to Leeds and Smith and Edgar had efforts and on 26 minutes they were level. Silvestri completely missed a corner and Bunn – a substitute for Wells – had the simplest of opportunities to score. Huddersfield were on top but could not convert their advantage into another goal.
Antenucci replaced Mowatt as Redfearn made the attacking substitution. He nearly made a instant impact but his effort went over the bar. Morison was inches wide of giving Leeds the lead.
Billy Sharp replaced Cook and within a couple of minutes he was celebrating with the Leeds fans after his header flew past Murphy.
A pulsating derby that could have gone either way.
A determined effort from the team in gold and blue with Sharp again the match winner. Surely he deserves a starting place whatever formation Neil Redfearn picks. Just a thought.
Man of the match: Billy Sharp.
In footballing terms, Huddersfield Town are an insignificant dot in the mindset of Leeds United fans, but since Leeds find themselves going through the worst period in our club’s storied history, this game has taken on the reputation of being a bit of a grudge match.
There is therefore nothing sweeter than seeing a last-minute goal earn a win in a terrible game of football, to send the Town fans home with their tails firmly between their legs.
For 15 minutes Leeds looked decent and fully deserved the lead earned through Sam Byram’s superb lobbed finish, but after conceding another poor set piece equaliser, the game descended into a niggly affair, littered with petty fouls and misplaced passes.
However with both sides seemingly settling for a point, Neil Redfearn finally introduced Billy Sharp and Leeds came alive, creating more chances in the last five minutes than in the entire game, with Sharp taking the last of them to seal a precious three points.
Man of the match: Rudy Austin for workrate and his ability to wind the Town fans up all afternoon.
For all the miles and minutes spent on the road with Leeds United this season, a last-ditch winner away at Huddersfield was deserved reward for the fans who exploded with joy when Billy Sharp stuck in his head to make it 2-1.
It wasn’t the greatest performance of the season but it’s all about results now. Neil Redfearn seems to have us equipped to be more ruthless in 2015 with much better pressing and a more positive demeanour about the whole team.
Sam Byram and Charlie Taylor were crucial to this victory, Byram offensively down the right and Taylor defensively on the left, Sol Bamba’s debut was assured and both he and Cooper looked solid at the heart of defence. The sight of Billy Sharp jumping into the away end after 90 minutes of scrapping and grafting was a joy to behold.
Man of the match: Sam Byram
What a fantastic result. I think it is the first time this year I have had a correct prediction and it has come at the best possible time.
We got off to a great start with Sam Byram scoring fantastically after a great Luke Murphy ball. Their goal really killed us.
They got on the front foot for the rest of the first half and most of the second half and really put us under increasing pressure.
A 90th-minute goal is always brilliant, but when it is a winner in a local derby, it doesn’t get much sweeter.
The scenes in the away end were truly memorable and I’m sure Billy Sharp will remember that for the rest of his life.
Man of the match: Sol Bamba.
Well, what a final three minutes that was. Can’t say we fully deserved it because that would be a lie, but who cares! Pure relief to win our first away game since Bournemouth away, and nice to see the lads celebrate with the fans.
Man of the match: Billy Sharp.