U18s Report: Leeds United 4-1 Blackburn Rovers

A big win to start 2024 for the Whites.

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U18 Premier League North

Leeds United 4 (Chadwick 23’, Billett 52’, McDonald 56’, McFadden 90’)

Blackburn Rovers 1 (Fowler 87’)

Leeds: Grainger (GK), Bird (Dudley 60’), Richards, Billett, Creswell, Chadwick, Toulson (C), Render (Vincent 60’), McFadden, McDonald, Pirie. Subs not used: Kenyon (GK), Matykiewicz, Pickles.

Rovers: Honor (GK), Powell, Davies (Ramwell 46’), Litherland (C), Thirkhill, Willis (Fowler 64’), Shorrocks, Boggan (Bell 64’), Stritch, Mullarkey-Matthews, Nsangou. Subs not used: Khan (GK), Edmondson.

Booked: Vincent (Leeds)

Venue: Thorp Arch

Leeds United Under-18s kicked off 2024 with a convincing 4-1 victory against Blackburn Rovers at Thorp Arch, on Saturday afternoon.

The Whites came into the game in good form, unbeaten in their last three games, all away from home. Blackburn were on a contrasting run of form, with just one win in their last six games, sitting 11th in the league.

The opening moments of the encounter were very even with neither side creating any chances. Joseph Boggan went closest for the visitors, he received the ball and cut inside onto his right foot, but his effort went just wide of the post.

After a few half chances for both sides, Rhys Chadwick put the Whites ahead after 23 minutes had been played at Thorp Arch.

Owen Grainger collected a cross and set Leeds on the counter straight away with a magnificent throw, picking out McDonald on the halfway line. The winger then drove at his man and beat him, before cutting the ball back and Chadwick was there to finish from the edge of the box.

Blackburn had a chance to equalise late on in the half. Brandon Powell picked out the unmarked Matthew Litherland with a great cross, but the Rovers captain couldn’t steer his effort towards goal.

HALF TIME: Leeds United 1-0 Blackburn Rovers

As the second half kicked off, it was the visitors who got out the traps the quickest and nearly found themselves level.

After some good play down the wing, the ball dropped at the feet of Boggan and he struck an effort which looked destined for the top corner, but Grainger was there to tip his effort round the post.

Despite Blackburn’s chance early in the half, it was Leeds who got the next goal in the game, to double their advantage on home turf.

A Leeds corner was kept alive and another cross was delivered into the box and after a bit of a scuffle in the goalmouth, Joe Billett managed to convert from close range.

There were plenty of calls for the goal to be disallowed from the Rovers players, but despite the protests, the referee waved away the shouts and the Whites went 2-0 up.

Just four minutes later and it was 3-0 to Leeds! Coban Bird did brilliantly to win the ball for his side and set McDonald away down the left. As he had done all afternoon, he beat his man once again, cut inside and slotted the ball into the bottom corner.

With three minutes left on the clock, Blackburn pulled a goal back. Leeds cleared a cross but only as far as Jacob Fowler, he took one touch and powerfully struck the ball into the back of the net.

With Blackburn pushing players forward this left them open to the counterattack, and the Whites took full advantage of that as they made it 4-1 in the last few moments of the game.

Lewis Pirie set Harvey Vincent away, who then crossed the ball to Max McFadden who was in acres of space. The midfielder took his time and made no mistake as he finished into the bottom corner, to seal all three points.

This result pushes Rob Etherington’s side up to fifth in the league, as they now prepare for their fixture against Nottingham Forest next weekend, at Thorp Arch.

FULL TIME: Leeds United 4-1 Blackburn Rovers

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