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June 25 2024 12.37pm

Leeds 0-1 Palace

March 24 2006

Jobi McAnuff

Jobi McAnuff

If revenge is a dish best served cold, then on a freezing Tuesday night in Yorkshire, Jobi McAnuff ensured that we left with all three points which brings us back on the fringe of the automatic promotion race, writes Simon Pophale.

Dowie made a number of changes after the disappointing home display against Ipswich, with Micheal Hughes replacing Tom Soares and Mikele Leigertwood coming in for Gary Borrowdale. What a difference it made.

From the opening whistle, we took the game to Leeds. We created the first chance in the 4th minute as AJ shot at Neil Sullivan and the former Wimbledon keeper blocked with his legs but Clinton Morrison could not captialise with the ball loose.

Four minutes later, AJ had another chance as another sweeping move found him clear of the defence but he could only shoot wide. Micheal Hughes shot from outside the area as Sullivan found himself the busier keeper of the two in the opening exchanges.

Not that Kiraly was going to be a bystander all game and he had to be called into action on 21 minutes to tip a Gary Kelly piledriver wide.

But with all the quality that is in the Leeds side, Healy and Hulse were left with pot shots, none of which bothered Kiraly at all. This was due to the magnificent Leigertwood at left back, as Leeds could find no way through him, or the other back 3.

Despite having the majority of possession, we were missing chances Fitz Hall missed one of the more gilt-edged chances after the impressive Leigertwood, who was having a stormer at left back, hit a 20 yarder which Sullivan couldn’t keep hold of and Hall headed wide from 2 yards, with the goal at his mercy.

We were on top as the half drew to a close and we managed to get our noses in front when after a fantastic Micheal Hughes tackle broke up a Leeds attack and his ball to AJ was calmly squared to McAnuff, who beat Sullivan from 10 yards so we led 1-0 as the half drew to a close.

The second half started with Leeds piling on the pressure and despite them having the majority of possession in the half they could not carve out any clear cut chances. Hulse had the best one on 68 minutes when Kiraly made a point blank save from a bullet header.

Eddie Lewis was a constant menace but could not conjure up any magic as he did the previous week against Norwich. Meanwhile, we attacked with precision more than frequency but with AJ, Morrison working themselves into the ground, Leeds stood firm.

Dowie opted for pragmatic as he made changes with Soares and Reich coming on for Morrison and McAnuff, but we did not make any further attacks on goal and played out the final four minutes of injury time to register a key victory which makes automatic promotion now a possibility, rather than a faint hope.

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