Rout of Terriers turns into afternoon of support for Leeds United boss Brian McDermott

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Danny Ward fires Huddersfield Town into the lead Danny Ward fires Huddersfield Town into the lead

Leeds United 5, Huddersfield Town 1

A hat-trick from the man Brian McDermott called his “talisman”, Ross McCormack, ensured Leeds’ players made a mockery of their club’s off-the-field meltdown by beating Huddersfield 5-1 at Elland Road.

United looked ripe for the taking after the farcical off-the-field issues in the previous 24 hours.

Confusion around McDermott’s position at the club was clarified at the end of yesterday’s game when the club said he had not been sacked and remained in charge.

That was despite McDermott receiving a phone call on Friday night informing him that he had been dismissed.

And it did not take long for it to get even worse for the beleaguered Leeds fans when Danny Ward gave Huddersfield a deserved lead.

But Ross McCormack - the captain who called Sky Sports News to defend McDermott on Friday - and Jimmy Kebe swung the game in Leeds’ favour.

McCormack, who committed his future to Leeds and McDermott 24 hours ago amid a bid from Cardiff, then added a second and a third before Alex Mowatt made it five.

All of Leeds’ goals were celebrated with songs of support for McDermott, who opted not to attend as his future remained a major talking point.

After all the pre-match drama, it was the most unexpected of outcomes and one that Huddersfield could surely not have seen coming after a first half during which they impressed.

Blocks from Sam Byram kept out former bantam Nakhi Wells and Ward before, in the 25th minute, Ward got space on the left and kept his cool to plant a crisp finish beyond Paddy Kenny.

One should have been two as Murray Wallace’s overhead kick was blocked and Wells hit wide when clean through, before McCormack earned Leeds an undeserved equaliser.

The Scotland striker was on hand to ram in after Byram's free-kick in first-half injury time was not cleared, with McCormack pointedly celebrating his 20th of the season.

Leeds could not claim the goal was merited but within six minutes of the restart they were ahead as Kebe took on a McCormack flick and beat Alex Smithies from six yards.

Wells and Ward both shot wide as Huddersfield looked for a route back but they were shut down as Byram launched a counter attack and got the ball back from Rodolph Austin before crossing for McCormack, who tapped in his 50th Leeds goal.

A 51st followed with 17 minutes left as Cameron Stewart’s cross found him unmarked at the far post, and then Mowatt wrapped things up.

A long ball caused Smithies and Alex Gerrard to collide and leave the goal open, with Mowatt chipping in a first senior goal from 20 yards, before Adam Clayton cracked a drive against the bar for Huddersfield late on.

 

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