FA Carling Premiership
Leeds United 2 - 2 Wimbledon
(Half-time: 1 - 1)
|« Newcastle United||Rushden & Diamonds »|
|Leeds||Martyn, Halle, Woodgate, Wetherall, Harte, Haaland, Hopkin, Bowyer, Ribeiro (McPhail 81), Hasselbaink, Kewell||Wijnhard, Granville, Smith, Robinson|
|Wimbledon||Sullivan, Kimble (Kennedy 62), Cunningham, Perry, Thatcher, Ardley, Earle, Euell, Hughes, Leaburn (Cort 73), Gayle||Ekoku, Roberts, Bakke|
|Leeds||Ribeiro 26, Hopkin 57|
|Wimbledon||Earle 41, Cort 83|
|Yellow Cards||Red Cards|
|Shirt numbers of goalscorers||10, 12||?|
|The Guardian||Leeds brought up short by Cort|
|The Electronic Telegraph||Lax Leeds allow Wimbledon to hit back twice|
|The Times||Wimbledon ruin another party|
|Express Sport||Cort spoils the party for O'Leary|
|The Independent||Cort holds off the flair of Leeds|
|Yorkshire Evening Post||Dons spoil United's party|
|Soccernet||Soccernet match report|
|Carlingnet||Carlingnet match report|
Well I went up to the Wimbledon match and for 40 mins was very impressed with Leeds. 3-0 at half time would not have flattered Leeds. Lots of good sweeping moves. Lots of near misses including a couple of real chances.
Chief culprits were Hopkin (who shot when he could have tucked it inside to give Hasselbaink an open goal), and Kewell. A real centre forward (Mick Jones or even Chapman) would have risked everything to get their head on the ball at the far post. Kewell seemed to want to avoid a collision with defender and/or post.
The next 50 mins I was more impressed with Wimbledon. They reduced Leeds to playing their own style of ping-pong footy. Except that Wimbledon do it rather well. Their ability to clip the ball towards the corners of the Leeds Penalty area, or 15 yards shorter, and then get players into the area to pick up or challenge for the knock down is very effective. Also once they get you on the back foot, they do make it very hard to break out.
Hughes especially seems to be able to read where it will go and have the ability to do something constuctive with it. Whenever this was on wimbledon's left he caused Halle trouble. But Halle was not given much help by Alfie in front of him.
It was no surprise that Hughes created their equaliser. Leeds could not get going in the 2nd half. Perry (a bloody good player and Thatcher seemed to win everything despite not being very big for centre-backs. And in the aerial ping-pong Euell and Earle will always be able to beat Bowyer and Hopkin. I can't think why DOL did not move Alfie into that area to try and win a few.
Perry and others did clatter through the back of Hasselbaink the few times Leeds tried to put anything together on the ground, and in games like that a big centre forward would at least give you the chance of a knock down or 2.
Martyn 6. Not really at fault on the goals, but would be disappointed at not getting anything on the 1st.
Halle 6. Positionally good, and reliable but had trouble when caught 1 v 1.
Wetherall 6. Quicker on the turn than Molenaar, but not as dominant in the air as I remember him.
Woodgate 6. Came through OK in a testing game.
Harte 7. Good 1st half, not too good 2nd.
Alfie 5. Not enough skill, Didn't help Halle much.
Hopkin 6. Faded in the last half hour.
Bowyer 7. Tracked Earle well and dominated the game for the 1st hour. Lost Earle on the goal and faded later.
Ribeiro 6. Good 1st half. Faded in the 2nd.
Kewell 6. Same.
Hassselbaink 7. Stopped making runs in the 2nd half, took a lot of punishment though and in that sort of game is often the only option for a forward pass.
Copy from Football Unlimited of 30/12/1998.
David O'Leary's assertion that Leeds should not be bracketed among the title contenders would appear to be the sentiment of a wise man after watching his side become the latest victims of football's great party-poopers.
Watched by a crowd of just under 40,000 - their biggest of the season - Leeds were found guilty of failing to turn superiority into goals and were forced to pay a heavy price when the Wimbledon substitute Carl Cort snatched an unlikely point with an 83rd-minute strike against the run of play.
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