Guiseley 3 Leeds United 4: Edmondson at the double as Whites slay Lions in seven-goal thriller

MAKE MINE A DOUBLE: Ryan Edmondson celebrates putting Leeds United 3-2 up at Guiseley. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.
MAKE MINE A DOUBLE: Ryan Edmondson celebrates putting Leeds United 3-2 up at Guiseley. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.
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A DAY centred around a striker search fittingly featured bags of goals as a Ryan Edmondson brace eventually helped sink non-league hosts Guiseley through a 4-3 victory in Leeds United's fifth pre-season friendly at Nethermoor Park.

Social media platforms were sent into a frenzy on Thursday afternoon as pictures emerged of United's long-term summer transfer target Matej Vydra in Leeds city centre.

United chose not to comment on speculation that a move to United might finally be in the offing after seemingly having hit a stumbling block when the Derby County forward increased his wage demands.

It was easy to forget there was a football match to play as not for the first time this summer, matters on the pitch played second fiddle to developments off it.

Through Thursday night's friendly at Conference North side Guiseley, concerns at the other end of the pitch were highlighted as the Lions roared into a 2-0 lead with United's seemingly experimental centre back axis of Laurens De Bock and Hugo Diaz all at sea.

But in the end, even without a Vydra or United's other rested forwards, Leeds had far too much for their hosts in attack and fought back to record an entertaining 4-3 victory with 17-year-old Edmondson at the double.

United's line up featured a blend of the club's promising under-23s together with more experienced players such as Ronaldo Vieira, Mateusz Klich, De Bock and Jamal Blackman who was handed his first Whites start in goal.

As part of another 4-1-4-1 formation, Bielsa tried another experimental defence with De Bock partnering Diaz at centre back. It didn't work and evidence of that was provided after just three minutes.

With the Nethermoor Park crowd still damp from the almighty pre-match downpour, Lions 'keeper Joe Green hammered a long punt downfield which outfoxed both the United midfield and defence.

Diaz and De Bock both attempted to deal with the bouncing ball but both failed allowing Paul Clayton to ghost in behind the defence before easily slotting the ball past Blackman.

But a Leeds side that were clearly vulnerable at the back were equally intent on bombing forwards and Tom Pearce almost put Leeds level just two minutes later when cutting in from the left flank before seeing his effort deflected just wide.

Pearce at left back and Jamie Shackleton at right back were both clearly given licence to power forwards to support Jack Clarke on the left wing with Tyler Roberts on the opposite flank.

In midfield, Vieira sat in front of the back four behind Klich and Lewis Baker in the middle of the park with Edmondson playing the lone striker role.

The Whites created countless chances and Roberts saw an effort deflected just wide after cutting in from the right.

But United's defensive frailties at the other end were obvious and another long ball caused more mayhem allowing in Rowan Liburd who saw his effort deflected just wide for a corner.

The warning signs were there for all to see and only a great save from Blackman denied the Lions a second in the 18th minute with the Chelsea loanee tipping a piledriver of a free-kick over the bar.

At the other end, fellow Chelsea loanee Baker produced some lovely footwork before curling a shot over the bar but United's problems in defence cost them again in the 29th minute as the hosts doubled their lead.

Again a ball towards the United defence evaded De Bock and Diaz as this time a flick on from Clayton paved the way for Reece Thompson to get in behind and slot the ball past Blackman.

There were hands on hips and the Lions nearly bagged a third soon after when a set piece was worked to Thornton who forced another good diving save from Blackman in the 33rd minute.

But six minutes later United pulled a goal back after fine work from Pearce and Clarke created an opening for Klich to neatly control the ball and produce a classy finish into the bottom corner.

Roberts had been substituted shortly before Klich's strike but news emerged during the half time break that the forward appeared not to be injured.

And United's evening then got better early into the second half with Leeds attacking from the off.

Moments after the very lively Baker saw a good shot tipped just wide, Shackleton rolled a fine pass to Clarke who confidently stroked the ball past Green from close range five minutes after the break.

An unlikely looking comeback was then completed just three minutes later when another fine pass from Klich set up Edmondson to produce an equally cool finish.

United were pouring on the pressure and Baker was then denied the goal his performance so richly deserved when Green tipped his strong shot wide for a corner.

Baker then raced over to take the corner and his delivery found the enormous Edmondson who was able to power home a header to bag his second of the game.

The striker was then taken off to a big applause for Sam Dalby but almost from the restart Guiseley scored the game's seventh goal when Curtis Morrison's cross from the left caused a goalmouth scramble allowing a trialist to poke the ball home.

With 17 minutes still left, it was anyone's guess as to what the full time score could be.

Yet an evening that began with panic stations at the back ended with United firmly in control as Bielsa's side finished the game confidently stroking the ball around en route to victory.

Not straightforward but is it ever and of more importance now is United's activity in the transfer market between now and the August 9 deadline.

Leeds United: Blackman; Shackleton, Diaz (Rey 68), De Bock, Pearce; Klich; Roberts (Stevens 38), Vieira, Baker, Clarke; Edmondson (Dalby 72). Subs not used: Ideguchi, Miazek.

Guiseley: Green, Moyo, Purver, Heaton, Thornton, Kennedy, James, Liburd, Clayton, Thompson, Halls. Subs: Hatfield, Worsnop, Morrison, Smith, Odejayi, Harvey, Flowers, A Trialist, A Trialist, A Trialist, A Trialist.

Attendance: 3,366.