Leeds United Under-23s move step closer to Premier League 2 promotion after Newcastle United victory

The Whites development side earned another victory at the club's training ground on Monday afternoon.

By Joe Urquhart
Monday, 15th March 2021, 3:23 pm
Updated Monday, 15th March 2021, 3:24 pm
Leeds United Under-23s head coach Mark Jackson. Pic: LUFC
Leeds United Under-23s head coach Mark Jackson. Pic: LUFC

Leeds United's Under-23s moved a step closer to promotion with a 2-1 victory over Newcastle United on Monday.

Mark Jackson selected a strong line-up for the Premier League 2 Division Two clash with the Magpies at Thorp Arch.

Senior defender Robin Koch played his first competitive minutes since December while Gaetano Berardi and Ian Poveda started alongside the club's development regulars.

After a fairly even start it was Leeds who broke the deadlock following some good individual play from forward Joe Gelhardt.

The former Wigan youngster broke free of his man and produced a driving run to the byline before being taken out by a clumsy challenge inside the visitors box.

Gelhardt - who has impressed since his summer arrival to West Yorkshire from the Latics - stepped up to send the goalkeeper the wrong way and score his eighth goal in just 14 league appearances.

Newcastle responded with pressure of their own but it was again the Whites who added to the scoreline through Under-23s captain Charlie Cresswell.

The centre-back leapt highest from a Poveda corner to power home an inch-perfect header into the top of the net with a defender stood on the line.

The Magpies, though, had the final say in the opening period as they struck two minutes before the break from close-range through winger Christian Atsu.

Leeds were forced to defend after the interval and Elia Caprile pulled off three impressive saves to keep his side in front - two of which were from Newcastle's breakthrough star Elliot Anderson.

Gelhardt again went close as did Sam Greenwood and Liam McCarron but Jackson's side had to settle for a narrow victory at the club's training ground.

The win means United now require just two victories to earn promotion to the Premier League 2 top division with four games of the season remaining.

Leeds United Under-23s: Caprile, Drameh, Huggins, Koch (Shackleton 45), Cresswell, Berardi (Casey 45), Poveda (McKinstry 45), Jenkins, Gelhardt, Greenwood, McCarron. Subs not used: Christy, Kenneh.