By Josh Grainger
Derby 3 - 1 Leeds
Sammon 15' Green 45'
Neil Warnock’s Leeds , had their winning streak ended by an impressive Derby County earlier.
Warnock was forced into making one change from the team that beat Huddersfield last week, with loanee Jerome Thomas out with a hamstring problem, Ryan Hall made his second start for the club in
place of the winger.
The game started fairly slowly, neither team committing too much going forward, however the home side looked the more likely to make something happen. So this proved, quarter of an hour in, when the impressive youngster, Will Hughes broke through the midfield and fed through Connor Sammon. Alan Tate attempted to play offside, however completely misjudged it, leaving Sammon through on goal, the former Wigan man easily brushed off Lee Peltier, before sending Paddy Kenny the wrong way. It was a soft goal to concede for the Whites, who’s noisy away support hoped they could repeat what they’d done a week earlier at Huddersfield and come from behind.
Leeds couldn’t get themselves in the game, Derby passing the ball around them, Sammon again found himself through on goal, however this time Tom Lees made a crucial tackle at the last minute. As the half drew to a climax, it looked like Leeds were set to go through the first period without registering an attempt on target. This wasn’t to be the case however, after good work from Ryan Hall, Lee Peltier swung in a hopeful ball, which Luciano Becchio cleverly headed down for Leeds captain Paul Green, the former Derby player smartly knocked the ball into the bottom corner and levelled the game, an equaliser that Leeds didn’t really deserve.
Leeds came out of the traps in the second half, looking a different side to the one we’d seen in the first half. The Whites put heaps of pressure on the Derby defence, however just couldn’t find a goal. Ross McCormack’s ambitious overhead kick nearly put Leeds ahead however trickled wide. Ryan Hall was the next to try his luck, he turned inside the Derby full-back before curling an effort towards the far corner, the shot seemed destined for the back of the net, but a good clearance off the line prevented Hall’s first goal for the club.
Despite Leeds’ second half dominance it was the Rams that next went close, Paddy Kenny beating away a close range effort from Connor Sammon. There wasn’t much Kenny could have done to prevent
Derby’s second however, a corner was swung into the box, captain, Richard Keogh fired a shot towards goal, which was flicked in by Jake Buxton.
Leeds felt hard done by, after all they had been the ones applying the pressure, however Derby had found the breakthrough. Leeds continued to battle, they could hardly have gone much closer when Tom Lees’ header hit the inside of the post, whilst moments later David Norris’ volley from the edge of the box was saved by the Derby keeper. Luke Varney came on for the impressive Hall, however failed to make much of an impact, unlike El-Hadji Diouf who replaced the disappointing McCormack. Diouf
almost immediately after coming on, found his way past a number of Derby players however couldn’t produce a final product. Diouf went close, when his long range shot flew past the post, however it looked like it wasn’t going to be Leeds’ day.
Paul Green was tripped on the edge of the area, or possibly inside, however the referee deemed it to be a good challenge, and despite Leeds’ chances Derby increased their lead right at the death, when Ben Davis brilliantly curled the ball past Paddy Kenny.
Overall a disappointing result for Leeds, too many players weren’t on their game. However 9 points from 12, is still something to be pleased with, and Warnock will hope to make it 12 points from 15, when struggling Ipswich visit Elland Road next week.