Own goal secures United vital point...
UNITED 2 (Becchio 72, Deeney og 88), WATFORD 2 (Hodson 77, Weimann 86)
United: Schmeichel, Lichaj, O'Brien, Bromby, McCartney, Kilkenny (Becchio 56, McCormack 85), Johnson, Snodgrass, Howson, Gradel, Somma (Bannan 68). Subs: Higgs, Connolly, Naylor, Livermore.
Watford: Loach, Doyley , Taylor, Mariappa, Hodson, Eustace , Cowie, Jenkins (Drinkwater 32), Graham (Mingoia 89), Deeney, Sordell (Wiemann 68). Subs: Buckley, Bennett, Bond, Whichelow.
Referee: K Woolmer
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United manager Simon Grayson made four changes to his starting line-up following the midweekd defeat at Derby. Robert Snodgrass and George McCartney both returned from injury while Davide Somma and Bradley Johnson were recalled to the side. Barry Bannan, Jake Livermore, Paul Connolly, and Luciano Becchio were all on the bench.
Grayson's men started the game in sixth place, holding a one point advantage over Notts Forest and three over Millwall, and they opened up on the front foot, looking to put early pressure on a Watford side who harboured outside hopes of a Play-Off push themselves.
There was one early scare when Kasper Schmeichel had to snuff out the Watford threat after a defensive slip and the goalkeeper also had to react quickly to hack clear an over-hit backpass.
Chances were few and far between during the opening 20 minutes or so. Max Gradel had one shot blocked, while both Somma and Snodgrass were off target with strikes at goal.
Eric Lichaj whipped on a cross on 26 minutes, but Troy Deeney did enough to prevent Jonny Howson from getting in a strike on goal. As Watford cleared their lines from the resultant corner, Neil Kilkenny shot wide.
On the half-hour, Watford midfielder John Eustace headed over at the Kop end, following a set-piece from the visitors.
But it was United who almost went in front on 40 minutes. Snodgrass did well to play in Gradel, but the Ivorian saw his shot come back off the bar. Somma looked to seize on the rebound, but Watford defender Martin Taylor reacted quickly to deny the South African international.
And in the final minute of the half, Gradel got up well to meet a Lichaj cross, but his header was wide of the mark.
United had to step things up in the second period and within the opening minutes, Snodgrass found his route to goal blocked after an advancing run forward.
Within 10 minutes of the re-start Grayson made his intentions clear by replacing Kilkenny with Luciano Becchio to play the striker alongside Somma.
And Becchio's first involvement was a flick-on from which Bradley Johnson sent a header looping just wide. On the hour, Gradel tried his luck with a low shot after a quick break by Leeds.
But the post came to United's rescue on 62 minutes when Don Cowie met Danny Graham's cross and the ball came back off the woodwork into the arms of a grateful Schmeichel.
It was Loach who was next to be called into action when Snodgrass and Johnson combined and the Watford keeper pounced to prevent Somma from get a shot in.
A goal did come, though, courtesy of the head of Becchio. Bannan sent in a free-kick and Becchio got up well to head beyond Loach to make it 1-0 to Leeds.
United followed the goal by roaring forward in a move than ended with Bannan sending a shot just wide of the mark. And moments later Becchio smashed a shot over the bar after Johnson touched it into his path.
But Watford were swiftly level. A ball was played in from deep and unmarked full-back Lee Hodson was well-placed to head home to make it 1-1.
United had to respond immediately and Gradel was denied by some desperate defending on the line after a Bannan free-kick caused all manner of problems.
Worryingly, Becchio's involvement was curtailed due to injury and with five minutes remaining he was replaced by Ross McCormack.
But there was worse to come for Leeds when Graham did well cutting into the box before squaring for Andy Weimann who had an easy tap-in to make it 2-1.
It took less than two minutes for Leeds to draw level, though. A corner came in from the right and Troy Denney sliced the ball past Loach. It was a blistering own goal and piece of good fortune for Leeds with two minutes left on the clock.
Five minutes of stoppage time provoked a big roar from the Kop as United looked to find the all-important third goal.
In the second of those minutes, there were huge appeals for a handball after a Snodgrass cross was blocked in the area, but there were no other chances of any note as United were forced into taking a point from the game.