Leeds united’s fringe players were kept on the sidelines as the club’s development squad lost 2-0 to Crewe Alexandra.
Head coach Steve Evans broke from his recent habit of fielding seniors in Under-21 fixtures and a goal in either half from Callum Saunders saw Crewe snatched the points at Thorp Arch.
United’s youngsters went unrewarded for a lively display and Crewe took the lead on the half-hour as Saunders – son of former Liverpool striker Dean – reacted first to the rebound from his own penalty to slot the ball into the net.
The visitors added a second goal eight minutes into the second half with Saunders finding the bottom corner with a sharp finish.
Leeds’ line-up included goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell, who made his first appearance on the bench for United’s first team at Queens Park Rangers on Saturday, and captain Lewie Coyle returned from suspension.
Academy boss Paul Hart, who watched Luke Parkin, Frank Mulhern, Ronaldo Vieira and Mallik Wilks go close, said: “How we didn’t score I’ll never know.”
United: Peacock-Farrell, Coyle, Vann, Skelton, Denton, Vieira (Lyman 75), Purver, Stokes, McDaid (Wilks 55), Mulhern, Parkin (Walters 55). Sub (not used): Grimes.