Leeds United ship three at home to evoke memories of last season’s Ell hell (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Leeds United ship three at home to evoke memories of last season’s Ell hell
10:45pm Tuesday 18th September 2012 in Sport
Leeds United 2 Hull City 3
Hull came away from Leeds with a first win at Elland Road since 1987.
The Tigers started the season slowly under Steve Bruce but have caught fire of late and crushed Millwall 4-1 on Saturday.
They were impressive again tonight, recovering from Luciano Becchio’s early penalty thanks to a well-taken goal from Ahmed Elmohamady, Abdoulaye Faye’s header and Robert Koren’s close-range finish, with the success, secured despite Andy Gray’s consolation, moving them into the top two.
In winning in West Yorkshire, they inflicted a first home defeat of the season on Neil Warnock’s Leeds, who, after a bright start to the campaign, are showing signs of turning into the angst-ridden club who limped over the line last time out with a club record 11 defeats to their name on their own ground.
For the first time since April, protests were staged before and during the game against owner Ken Bates and a perceived lack of investment, with the former Chelsea chief opting not to attend a game he had been expected to be at.
It had not started badly for Leeds, though, with a debatable penalty seeing them in front with six minutes gone.
El-Hadji Diouf comfortably had the beating of Joe Dudgeon on the left of the box but, as he skipped past him he went to ground almost in slow-motion. Initially referee Roger East was not interested but, after his linesman told him otherwise, Becchio stepped up from 12 yards and did the rest.
It could have been 2-0 shortly after when Diouf and Rodolph Austin linked up to good effect, with the latter’s cross creating chances for first Becchio and secondly Luke Varney, who was unable to find a half-open goal after Becchio’s header was blocked.
Hull were up in arms again minutes later and perhaps with greater justification as Leeds’ teenage right back Sam Byram’s touch let him down and in trying to win back possession, he dived in, two-footed, on Faye. Again, though, East was unmoved.
But City need not have worried as they were level in the 23rd minute. Michael Tonge took a clearance off the feet of Jason Pearce but inexplicably rolled a pass to the waiting Elmohamady, who crashed a crisp drive across Paddy Kenny from just inside the box.
Bruce was quick to move for Elmohamady when it became clear he was unwanted at Sunderland.
And six minutes later tonight he was further proving his worth as his vicious cross from the right found the head of the now-recovered Faye who beat Kenny with a header.
Further lackadaisical play from Tonge then meant Pearce had little choice but to hack down Sone Aluko on the edge of the box and only Kenny’s smart low save prevented Robert Koren from curling in a third.
The pace of former Rangers striker Aluko was causing Leeds all sorts of problems and that continued into the second half, with the striker doing well to close down an unassuming Aidy White and stab a shot wide, with the defender unassumingly trying to shepherd the ball out.
Tired of seeing his side labour, Warnock threw on rookie striker Dom Poleon and within minutes he had jinked his way past two man and rapped in a shot which Amos dealt with well.
Any fire the 18-year-old had started was duly put out with 14 minutes to go, though, as Hull launched a fleet-footed counter-attack which went through Corey Evans, Jay Simpson, Elmohamady and ended with Koren tucking in from four yards.
And, even though Gray nodded in a stoppage time header, Leeds were unable to fight back for a point they would not have deserved.