A Game Of Two Halves
01 February 2014; 15:00
Attendance: 31,103 (2,620 Huddersfield)
ROSS McCormack responded to the chants of 'he doesn't want to play' from the Huddersfield fans with a hat-trick, his second of the season.
Truth be told the game should have been dead & buried before McCormack even had chance to run the show for Leeds in the second half.
Leeds who had their off field issue aired publicly, which became more farcical after the game when Leeds clarified that McDermott has not been sacked and remains in charge. That is despite McDermott receiving a call relieving him of his duties just the evening before!
Huddersfield dominated the first half, creating good passages of passing play and after Nahki Wells & Danny Ward spurned early chances it was the latter who cooly smashed a 25th minute opener past Paddy Kenny in the Leeds United goal.
The Terriers continued to create and a Murray Wallace overhead kick was well blocked before Nahki Wells shot wide when clean through, Huddersfield would be made to pay for missing these chances and cruelly so.
As half time approached the Fourth Officials board showed 2 minutes of added time, it appears that the referee however lost his whistle or stopped his watch as he mustered 5 minutes additional time with Ross McCormack grabbing an undeserved equaliser in the 4th minute, of two additional minutes of added time.
Leeds United's half time entertainment was of some fat bloke having four penalties, of which he failed to score any, and a massive cheer as their 'Main Rivals' Manchester United were losing at half-time.
So on to LUFC TV's first half match highlights - A single replay of Ross McCormack's undeserved equaliser - and that was all. Testament to how much Town had dominated that opening 45 minutes.
What was said at the half-time teamtalk to the Huddersfield players, only Mark Robins will know, but they were a shell of the first half side. Huddersfield struggled to string together any coherent moves and the defence looked totally devoid of confidence.
Leeds piled on the pressure as the Town defence crumbled early in the second half and it was Jimmy Kebe who put Leeds ahead in a game they should not have been in following the first half.
Wells & Ward however both had chances at 2-1 to grab an equaliser but wasteful finishing would be the story of Huddersfield's day yet again.
As Huddersfield pressed for an equaliser that their first half display more than deserved Byram shut down a Huddersfield attack and motored up the other end of the field, playing a one-two with Austin before crossing for McCormack to tap in his second of the match.
Huddersfield were being torn apart and continued to press high in search of a goal, however Leeds were now picking off the Town defence who looked scared as Leeds players ran at them and it wasn't long before Cameron Stewart set up Ross McCormack with 17 minutes left to net his hat-trick goal, the cross found the Leeds talisman at the far post completely unmarked as he scored the easiest of his 3 goals.
As the home crowd chanted for 5 - Leeds duly delivered but with a helping hand, or should that be shoulder from Alex Smithies.
The Town keeper came charging out of his box to defend a long through ball, the keeper was out of his box, and shoulder charged through Anthony Gerrard, completely missing the ball and as the net was gaping open Alex Mowatt lobbed in the 5th to wrap up the contest.
Huddersfield had to see out the final minutes with 10 men as Gerrard failed to recover from Smithies challenge, there was still time for Adam Clayton to hit a cracking drive against the Leeds United bar, but it was poor showing from Town second half, and one that must be learned from quickly.
Kenny, Byram, Lees, Pearce, Warnock, Murphy, Austin (Brown 90), Mowatt (Tonge 87), Stewart, Kebe, McCormack
Subs not used
Cairns, Peltier, Wootton, Poleon, Hunt
Smithies, Wallace, Gerrard, Smith, Dixon (Lolley 70), Woods, Gobern (Scannell 61), Clayton, Norwood, Wells (Paterson 75) , Ward
Subs not used
Bennett, Clarke, Southern, Holmes
Clayton threw his shirt into the travelling 2,620 at the end of the game as the rest of the players trudged down the tunnel.
The goal on half time took the wind out of our sails after having played really well.
"We couldn`t get going in the second half and we looked nervous. We were on the back foot for large parts and they kept turning us at ease. Conceding early in the second half compounded the goal at the end of the first."
"There were times when we looked dangerous on the break, but again we passed up good chances, which is becoming a big factor in our last few games. We also had numerous in the first half, which would have made the second half totally different.
"However, we ended up on the back foot, conceded poor goals and our naïve defending cost us.
"We need to learn and move on quickly. Hopefully we will have one or two back because one or two need a rest."
"We got the goal, but I thought we could have had a couple more and probably should have gone it 3 or 4-1 up at half-time.
"The second-half was the worst 45 minutes we`ve played this season; it`s unfortunate it`s come here. When you come to Elland Road you have to keep the first and last five minutes of each half tight, because if you don`t the crowd play a massive part.
"I think we`re a bit naïve sometimes and we make silly mistakes that gift people goals. Whenever we score it comes from a lovely flowing move or a piledriver - we never get gifted things - whereas sometimes we gift-wrap goals to the opposition. We need to stop doing things like that."
"I thought our fans were brilliant today. In the first-half they drowned out 20,000 + home fans. Joe Lolley also looked very good; he got past a few players and earned us a few fouls. Hopefully he can be utilised to get some goals."
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