Bitter sweet for Leeds and Becks
Sunday, 15th Mar 2009 09:25
Leeds United 1 Swindon Town 0.
Lets focus on the positives first and foremost.
Leeds won and chalked up their tenth successive home win. Not since the days of O'Leary's "babies" have we seen Elland Road represent such a fortess.
Leeds are firmly in fifth place, three points ahead of sixth place Tranmere and four points ahead of Scunthorpe, who lie in seventh but do have a game in hand over Tranmere and Leeds.
Seven points is the gap between Leeds and the automatic promotion places. Digressing to matters elsewhere, the much vaunted "seven point margin" clearly acted as an incentive for Liverpool in the early kick-off.
No doubt many whites' fans enjoyed the Premiership lunchtime showdown in the many watering holes round ER before it was back to planet real-life and a less than mouthwatering clash with struggling Swindon.
The second bunch of West Country, yokel no-hopers in a week. However they are made of sterner stuff in Swindon than Yeovil, who collapsed like a deck of cards.
Whilst Leeds push on for promotion, as well as the "cup final" teams we are going to run into sides such as Swindon who are prepared to fight for their lives.
Leeds nearly opened the scoring on 50 seconds when Beckford nearly turned in a Robert Snodgrass cross.
As the first half drew to a goalless end, Leeds were left to rue more efforts from Beckford, Snodgrass and Delph-but Town's very own hotshot Simon Cox went close with Swindon's first serious attack of the game - which came in the 45th minute.
After the re-start, Ankegren was called into a rare piece of action to deny the visitors a dream start.
However, it was a false dawn of Swindon's intention to come out and attack. Managed by that dullard Danny Wilson, they were soon back in their shell and it was up to Leeds to provide any glimmer of entertainment.
Beckford and Howson both went close on two occasions each to breaking the deadlock and indeed it looked like being one of those days.
On 80 minutes, Simon Grayson changed things around bringing on new-boy Liam Dickinson for his maiden outing in a white-shirt and Brad Johnson replaced Kilkenny. Four minutes later he swopped Ben Parker for Yankee striker Mike Grella.
However Beckford seemed the most likely to score and moments after he forced Swindon keeper Smith into yet another save, the winner did come. Like his chance in the very first minute, Snodgrass underlined what a fine season he has had with a chip to provide Beckford with goal 29 of the season and a priceless preservation of three home points for United.
Alas, it all turned sour in injury time as it so often does for Leeds. Chasing his and United's second, Beckford responded to being flagged offside by hurling the ball at the ground. Jobsworth referee Keith Stroud had already booked Becks earlier for a challenge on the unfortunately monickered Amankwaah and it was a second yellow for Beckford - who will not be going to revialists Crewe next weeked.
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Photo: Action Images
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