Leeds United Under-23s maintain Premier League 2 winning run as Joe Gelhardt bags brace

The Whites defeated Middlesbrough on Sunday afternoon at development level.

By Joe Urquhart
Sunday, 7th February 2021, 3:47 pm
Leeds United Under-23s forward Joe Gelhardt. Pic: Getty
Leeds United Under-23s forward Joe Gelhardt. Pic: Getty

Leeds United's Under-23s made it seven wins on the bounce in Premier League 2 action with a 4-2 victory over Middlesbrough on Sunday.

The Whites travelled to Rockliffe Park with a young squad and there was a starting spot for 16-year-old forward Max Dean.

It was United's Under-18s top scorer who broke the deadlock in just the third minute for Mark Jackson's outfit as he converted a low Crysencio Summerville cross.

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Leeds then raced into a four-goal lead at the half-time interval during a stunning first half of clinical attacking football.

Nohan Kenneh prodded home from a corner to double the advantage before Joe Gelhardt fired low into the net from the edge of the box after another good pass from Summerville opened up the defence.

The ex-Wigan youngster grabbed his second of the afternoon before the half hour mark in what was the pick of the goals on Teesside.

Gelhardt took one touch out of his feet before firing a dipping shot into the far corner of the net with goalkeeper Jordan Archer unmoved.

Middlesbrough battled back after the break as they attempted to make life uncomfortable for Leeds and Cain Sykes gave the hosts a lifeline just four minutes into the second period scoring a looping header.

The Whites, though, held firm with Olly Casey impressing in defence up against senior forward Ashley Fletcher.

Sam Greenwood spurned a chance to add to the scoreline from the penalty spot as his effort from 12-yards crashed the upright after Stuart McKinstry was taken out inside the area.

It was Sykes again who struck six minutes from time in the North East but Leeds held on to maintain their winning run in impressive fashion.

The Whites now sit top of the Premier League 2 second division having opened up a 12 point advantage over second-place Reading - who have two games in hand.

Leeds Under-23s XI: Caprile, Drameh, McCarron (Gibbon 86), Jenkins (Moore 45), Casey, Kenneh, Summerville, Greenwood, Gelhardt (Allen 45), McKinstry, Dean. Subs not used: Van den Heuvel, Haugland.

Middlesbrough Under-23s XI: Archer, Sykes, Kokolo, Hackney, Hall, Robinson, Spence, Gibson, A Fletcher, I Fletcher, Coulson. Subs: Green, O’Neill, Kiernan, Dijksteel, James.