Accrington Stanley FC 1 Leeds United FC 3 – A good tonic for Leeds. This FA Cup Fourth Round match is an important opportunity for Leeds to find their winning ways after a drought in the League.
Both teams come in to this match with one eye on their own relegation problems. There are 49 places between them so Leeds start the favourites, but, with Leeds’ reputation for banana skin results against lower league clubs in cups, a win can’t be certain.
It is a first start for Rutter and the first time leeds have played with two strikers since before Bielsa arrived.
Accrington start the better team testing Meslier with six shots in the first quarter of an hour. Wober is kept busy in defence.
It’s a sluggish start by Leeds with Accrinrgton winning tackles. But they wake up after 20 minutes with a touch of class from Harrison. A long range pin point shot into the corner of the net. Rutter then steps up a gear.and creates opportunities for the team but as usual with Leeds they do not connect.
Game livens up with some deadly set pieces by Accrington. Leeds respond with Sinisterra hitting the bar. A foul on Sinisterra earns Coyle a yellow card and sparks a few words between Marsch and Accrington’s coach.
Meslier ends the first half the busier of the goalkeepers with Leeds not making enough of the opportunities created by Rutter and Harrison. Accrington doing a hard working job breaking up Leeds’ play. Leeds’ sloppy passing is not helping.
Second half – stepping up a gear
Accrington start as they were with Rodgers left unmarked at the back of waiting free kick but makes a mess of it –a missed opportunity. Referee continues to make mistakes as Rutter is pulled down and trodden on without a even a free kick. And then Bamford is pulled down in the penalty box – again missed by the referee.
Superb opportunity on the hour for Rutter but Sinisterra shoots over the bar instead of passing. But the same movement happens again as Bamford assists to Firpo who could have passed to Rutter in space, but this time Firpo scores. 2-0.
Sinisterra, after many attempts finally gets his goal. Harrison this time assisting with a cross into the penalty box- three players launching in with Rutter again in space. Leeds now have control of the match. Bamford assisting as sub Rodrigo then Rutter both have a goal at goal.
Leeds make three more changes and lose their shape at the back with Accrington pulling a goal back 1-3. As with the last game against Cardiff Leeds switch off at the back late on.
The win is a good tonic for Leeds – with Rutter and Bamford getting a run out but unlucky not to score. It took a goal for Leeds to get running. Bamford in the interview afterwards is a natural in front of the camera, showing Leeds are confident about their future.
Man of the match: Harrison