Capital One Cup: Leeds young guns shine in 3-1 defeat of Doncaster
As with all midweek games, it required a mad dash from work to ensure we didn’t miss the next instalment of Leeds United’s 2013/14 campaign. The late afternoon stress wasn’t necessary though, as the Happy Chocker, Brother Chris and the Quiet One all arrived in good time for a pre-match drink at the Park Inn, which is a short skip and a jump from the stadium. Brian McDermott had indicated he would be making 5 changes, with Scott Wootton making his debut.
Nearly 4,000 fans had made the short trip to Doncaster for this Capital One Cup 2nd round game and they were in good voice as the game kicked off. Alex Mowatt, Dominic Poleon, Matt Smith and Adam Drury joined Wootton as changes from Saturday’s starting eleven, with Ryan Hall, Michael Brown, Noel Hunt, El-Hadji Diouf, Luke Murphy, Aidan White and Jamie Ashdown on the bench.
Donncaster started the better, with our old adversary Richie Wellens pulling the home side’s strings from midfield. Once again Leeds seemed slow to start and could have been one down in the first ten minutes, but for some wayward finishing and a superb goal line clearance from debutant Wootton. Were Leeds sticking to their usual game plan this season, let them score first and then knock two goals in? Leeds did gradually get a foothold in the game, as young Mowatt drew purrs of delight from the travelling hordes as he stroked the ball about with ease. Clearly he has a lot of talent – something that Brian McD has clearly recognised by drafting him into the first team set-up. I wonder if Mr Warnock would have done the same? I think we all know the answer to that!
Leeds’ patient approach play started to pay dividends as chances were crafted through intelligent play rather than brawn. Mowatt broke and released Ross McCormack, who hit a screamer over the bar. Peltier and Tonge combined well down the right but Smith could only direct a soft header into Ross Turnbull‘s arms in the home goal, before Ross Mac missed a golden opportunity to break the deadlock when he blazed over from 15 yards.
Chances continued to flow though and Ross Mac’s next chance saw his shot fizz past the post. Mowatt added a touch on naive class to the Leeds midfield as he and Drury stuck up an instant understanding on the left flank. At the other end, Kenny had to be alert to keep out a couple of half chances, but in front of him Pearce and Wootton were getting to grips with the threat from Robinson and Brown.
As befitting of a Yorkshire derby, there were some meaty challenges dished out from both sides. Pearce picked up a yellow for a crunching tackle where he seemed to take the ball, while Wellens seemed to have licence to hold players off with his elbow. Both sides were playing open football and surely it was only a matter of time before the deadlock would be broken. Smith was battling well with the giant Jones in the home defence whilst Poleon was testing one-time Leeds target, Wabara, with his pacey runs.
Just as half time approached, the Leeds pressure paid off. Once again Drury and Mowatt linked well down the flank before the young debutant swung in a vicious cross deep to the Donny back post…..Smith rose magnificently to head back into the box, where Wootton sent the travelling fans into raptures by scoring on his debut. 1-0 Leeds. No more than they deserved. Confidence was now oozing from every Leeds move and right through the team. Poleon once again left Wabara for dead but couldn’t finish. HT 1-0 Leeds and 4,000 very happy Leeds fans applauded their team off.
On the evidence of the first 45 minutes, we were well on the way to stretching our unbeaten start to the season to 6 games. As the Happy Chocker commented, “you wouldn’t have thought that after the Walsall pre-season friendly”.