REPORT FROM LEEDS SITE
Report: Mansfield 2 Leeds 0
Leeds were left stunned by two great strikes at Field Mill as they lost 2-0 to Mansfield in the first domestic friendly of pre-season.
The 1,500 visiting Leeds fans got their first sighting of Kevin Blackwell's new look United team with five new signings and one trialist in the starting line-up.
A backline of Gary Kelly, Michael Duberry, new skipper Paul Butler and Matthew Kilgallon at left back looked solid enough, whilst in midfield Frazer Richardson lined up on the right wing with Jermaine Wright and Matthew Spring the two men expected to marshall the middle. Trialist Brian Tevreden, from Vollendam in the Dutch first division played on the left.
Upfront, Michael Ricketts and Brian Deane, with the ink having barely dried on the latter's one year contract at Elland Road, were as big a front-line as you will see anywhere.
When the action got going it was the Stags who took the game to United.
Carson prevented United from going a goal behind early on after reacting well to pluck Derek Asamoah's header away from under his bar.
The United keeper showed he was in good form as he again denied Asamoah on ten minutes, this time coming out of his goal quickly to charge down the shot right on the edge of his area after the striker had been put clean through.
It was a lightening quick reaction from the Cumbrian stopper who read the situation superbly and will only have increased Kevin Blackwell's confidence in him.
It was another of Leeds youngsters, Matthew Kilgallon, who was next to show how comfortable he will be at this level with an excellent sliding tackle on Asamoah inside the penalty area to prevent his from firing off a shot.
Just before the half-hour the Whites had their first chance to open the scoring. New signing Brian Deane had a shot blocked on the line from the edge of the area, his strike partner Michael Ricketts followed in but Mansfield cleared as far as Spring. The midfielder composed himself before setting off on a run but could only put his shot into the side netting from a narrow angle.
Danny Pugh replaced the trialist Brian Tevreden on 30 minutes, the Dutchman had done little to impress.
Leeds should have taken the lead five minutes before half-time when Ricketts was presented with a golden chance, but he fluffed it.
The lively Matthew Spring started at the back, then Richardson darted down the right wing and delivered a low cross straight to the former Bolton and Middlesbrough striker's feet inside the area. The big man's composure let him down though as he sliced the shot horribly wide.
Leeds went into the break knowing that Mansfield had created the most chances, but one way or another they had done enough to cause problems of their own.
Kevin Blackwell made no changes at half-time.
Shortly after the restart Jermaine Wright tried to hook in a shot from 25-yards but the shot sailed just wide of the right hand post.
Then on 52 minutes Deane appeared to be tripped as he went to meet Pugh's cross , the referee gave nothing but at least Pugh had shown what he can do from that left wing position. His cross had been delivered with pin point accuracy.
United made a double substitution on 62 minutes, Ricketts and Spring made way for Julian Joachim and trialist Mark Kinsella.
Blackwell's men had slowly gained back control of this game after scrappy starts to both halves, but they were hit by a bolt out of the blue on 72 minutes as they went behind.
The Mansfield winger Wayne Corden picked the ball up some 25 yards from goal and let loose with a speculative shot that gave Carson no chance as it flew into the top right hand corner.
Before United really had a chance to settle back down after the set-back, the home team produced another shock as they went 2-0 up, the goal coming just four minutes after their first.
A host of tackles were missed by Leeds in midfield and former Wolves striker Colin Larkin pulled another rabbit out of the hat for the Stags with an exquisite chip from the edge of the area over Carson.
The scoreline could have been worse had Carson not turned a shot from Larkin to safety via his own post.
Mansfield: Pilkington, McNiven (Buxton 79), Eaton, Artell, John-Baptiste, Neil (Dimech 79), Williamson, Murray (McKenzie 57), Asamoah (Herron 71), Robinson (Larkin 46), Corden.
Leeds: Carson, Kelly, Duberry, Butler, Kilgallon, Richardson (Cadamarteri 73), Spring, Wright (Hignett 81), Tevreden (Pugh 30 (Guppy 76)), Deane, Ricketts. Sub not used: Carlisle.
Latest | July 2004