Monday, 1 August 2011

Leeds 3 Newcastle 2

Simon Grayson handed home debuts to Andy Lonergan and Michael Brown for his side's final warm-up game of pre-season. Andy O'Brien made his first start of the summer and Robert Snodgrass returned from injury for the visit of Newcastle. Trialists Alex Mendy and Boldizsar Bodor were also named among the substitutes.Leeds started the game on the front foot and were in front inside five minutes, courtesy of Paddy Kisnorbo. Snodgrass swung in a free-kick with his left foot and Newcastle goalkeeper Fraser Forster failed to make a clean catch, spilling the ball to Kisnorbo, who celebrated his first Elland Road appearance since March 2010 with the simplest of tap-ins.Moments later, Ross McCormack cashed in on another mistake, this time from Steve Taylor, but his cross was just too deep for an advancing Jonny Howson. It was certainly a positive start from Leeds, and Newcastle were being put under some real pressure.
The United goalscorer was soon in the thick of the action at the other. O'Brien made a great challenge to deny Demba Ba, and as the Newcastle striker got to his feet quickly, with only Lonergan to beat, Kisnorbo came crashing in to win the ball for Leeds.
And United were only denied a second goal on 14 minutes when Max Gradel headed home a free-kick but was deemed to be in an offside position.

On 20 minutes, Joey Barton created a good chance for Newcastle when he held off Kisnorbo, but Ba couldn't get the decisive touch on his cross.
But it was Leeds who threatened again the half-hour and Forster had to be alert to tip a Gradel shot over the bar after more good play by United.
Moments later, Newcastle were level, though. Taylor converted a corner kick at the far post leaving the United players appealing for a foul on Michael Brown.
As the game edged towards half-time, there was a short stoppage while Gradel received treatment to his thigh after being caught by a lunge from Yohan Cabaye. Leeds also had what appeared to be a good penalty shout for a handball in the moments leading up to the break, but after hesistating, the referee waved played on.
Despite Newcastle pulling a goal back, the United manager will have been pleased with the first half display from his players, and there was an opening at the start of the second period when Howson made an advancing run before shooting just wide.

Brown also had an early shot at Forster when he tried his luck from distance before Howson again threatened and had a shot deflected for a corner.
The majority were almost celebrating moments later when substitute Leigh Bromby almost converted a good cross from Adam Clayton.
Grayson made a flurry of changes during the second half, and it was one of those, Lloyd Sam, who restored the lead on 67 minutes. The former Charlton winger won the ball on the by-line and scored from the tightest of angles to make it 2-1.
And Sam almost created a third with United's very next attack - but his low pull-back was just too powerful for Ramon Nunez to get a touch on.
At the other end, Lonergan was called upon to make a good save to deny Joey Barton as Newcastle created a rare chance. They did so again 76 on minutes, and Lonergan was beaten by a powerful strike from Haris Vuckic after a pull-back from the by-line.
Parity lasted barely 85 minutes, though. and Elland Road erupted when Billy Paynter was the man who got up at the far post to convert a cross from the right.
It Paynter's first Elland Road goal and his first of pre-season, and it was enough to secure victory in the final pre-season game.

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