Leeds United boost as youngster returns from injury and midfielder makes mark

INJURY RETURN: For Leeds United's Charlie Allen, above. Photo by George Wood/Getty Images.
INJURY RETURN: For Leeds United's Charlie Allen, above. Photo by George Wood/Getty Images.

United’s under-21s began the new season with impressive away wins at Brighton and Manchester United but suffered a 5-2 hiding at home to West Ham in last weekend’s first home game of the season staged at Elland Road.

One week later, newly-promoted Leeds took in another home game on Friday evening against Stoke City’s youngsters in a contest played at the LNER Community Stadium in York in which two Sean McGurk penalties sealed a 2-1 victory for Michael Skubala’s side.

Northern Ireland youth international midfielder Charlie Allen also returned from injury as Skubala made five changes to his side that lined up in last Friday night’s hosting of the Irons. Harry Christy also returned in goal whilst Scott Godden, James Debayo, Cian Coleman came into the XI.

After a goalless first half, Leeds fell behind in the 63rd minute as Nathan Lowe pounced to convert after Christy had parried Ben Kershaw’s effort from long range. Leeds then thought they had been awarded a penalty but Stoke were saved by the offside flag and the Potters were then only denied a second goal by the woodwork as a D’Margio Wright-Phillips free-kick crashed back off the crossbar.

But Leeds were then awarded a penalty which stood after as Jeremiah Mullen’s cross hit a Stoke hand and McGurk stepped up to convert the spot kick with 18 minutes left. Stoke were then reduced to ten men with 12 minutes left as Tom Sparrow was shown a second yellow card.

Amazingly, Leeds were then awarded yet another penalty seven minutes later after Keenan Carole was fouled and McGurk again stepped up to score from 12 yards out to seal a 2-1 triumph and a third win from the side’s first four games.