Saturday, 17 March 2012

Leeds United 1-1 West Ham United-Match Report

Elland Road welcomed its biggest league crowd of the season for the visit of promotion chasing West Ham for a clash which United manager Neil Warnock had been expressing his excitement all week.The atmosphere was electric when the game kicked off - over 3,000 visiting fans played their part - and United started the game brightly winning a couple of early corners.It was Tom Lees who had the first strike on goal when he had a shot deflected while Robert Snodgrass's attempts to weave his way towards goal were ended by a good block by Abdoulaye Faye.Andy Lonergan was first called into action around the 20-minute mark when he had to come off his line to avert the danger as Nicky Maynard looked to latch on to a pass forward.
United started the better of the two sides, but by the half-hour point, it was shaping up to be a fairly even contest between two sides who were both looking to play.United had another opportunity when Matt Taylor was penalised for a handball on the edge of the box and Robert Snodgrass powered a free-kick just wide.
Five minutes before half-time, the Hammers failed to deal with a Snodgrass knock-down and Adam Clayton slid and stabbed a shot just wide of the mark.And right on the stroke of half-time, Snodgrass had a goal disallowed - for a suggested foul by Luciano Becchio - when he showed real quality to turn home a flicked-on throw-in.

Leeds made a strong start to the second half with Aidy White sending an early shot across the face of goal.
It was proving to be an entertaining contest with both sides looking to attack, and as the game ticked past the hour mark, United were holding marginally the upper hand in the contest.The Hammers did enjoy a couple of little spells of pressure, but there was nothing to choose between the twices at the halfway point of the second half.United were defending well when asked and, with Snodgrass looking lively again, attacked with purpose against a strong visiting defensive outfit.Leeds came within a whisker of breaking the deadlock on the hour when Robert Green clawed away a Paul Connolly header, following a Ross McCormack free-kick.
With 14 minutes left the clock, Warnock made a double change, introducing Mikael Forssell and Danny Webber to the fray.But it was Becchio who put United ahead with less than 10 minutes remaining. A cross was clawed away by Green, Connolly headed it against the bar, and Becchio was on hand to head home the rebound.The lead lasted barely a few minutes before Danny Collins headed home a corner kick to level the scores.Four minutes of added time gave United hope that the lead could be regained and Webber fired wide after one Leeds attack, but there was noi to be decisive goal as honours ended even.

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