Struijk secures Leeds three points.
Professional Development League
Crewe Alexandra 1 (Jones 74)
Leeds United 2 (Shackleton 39, Struijk 84)
Leeds: Miazek, Hosannah, Kenneh, Struijk, Cresswell, Davis (Casey 45), Stevens (McCarron 45), McCalmont, Shackleton (Bogusz 45), Huggins, Edmondson. Subs not used: Male, Jenkins.
Venue: Alexandra Park
Pascal Struijk’s late goal secured Leeds United’s Under-23s a 2-1 away victory at Crewe Alexandra, extending the sides long unbeaten run.
Taking place in terrible conditions, with the wind and rain battering Alexandra Park, it took 17 minutes for either side to create a chance of significance. Jordan Stevens did well to find Ryan Edmondson in the box who saw a shot blocked, before the ball felt to Alfie McCalmont who struck just wide from the edge of the box.
A minute later Leeds could have had a penalty, Nohan Kenneh was brought down and despite protests, the Whites were awarded a free kick on the very edge of the box. From the resulting set piece, Jamie Shackleton saw a strike denied by Crewe goalkeeper David Richards.
The home side had their first shot when Christian Mbulu fired over from distance, before Oliver Finney threatened with a low strike from 25 yards which went just wide of Kami Miazek’s goal.
Stevens then got to the byline and teed up Edmondson who saw a strike blocked, before Stevens saw a header denied well by Richards, following a good cross.
Leeds took the lead with six minutes of the first half remaining. Edmondson stole possession and drove forwards, before teeing up Jamie Shackleton who found the top corner with a lovely strike.
Leeds almost doubled the lead soon after, Niall Huggins found Shackleton at a corner and the midfielder fired a volley just inches over the bar.
On the stroke of half time Kenneh saw a shot blocked and the ball fell into the path of Stevens and only a superb save from Richards denied Leeds from going two ahead.
Half time: Crewe Alexandra 0-1 Leeds United
Head coach Carlos Corberan introduced Mateusz Bogusz, Oliver Casey and Jordan Stevens at the break and it was the Whites who had the first opportunity of the second half, with Struijk heading a cross just over.
Miazek was forced into action when Owen Dale fed Aaron Lomas, with the Whites stopper making a good save to deny him.
Leeds again had Miazek to thank in the 61st minute when Tyreece Onyeka breaks down the right and Regan Griffiths fired towards goal. Finney then fired from close range strikes from close range and only an unbelievable stop prevented Crewe from levelling.
Finney then fired just over the bar on the turn, before McCalmont did well to work room for a shot, forcing Richards into a decent save.
In the 70th minute Finney was played through one-on-one with Miazek, but again the forward couldn’t get the better of the Leeds stopper who was in fine form.
However, there was nothing Miazek could do four minutes later. Following a Crewe free kick, Mbulu’s cushioned header was met by James Jones, who hit a first time effort into the back of the net.
Leeds almost hit back in the 78th minute when Liam McCarron hit a fine strike from 25 yards, seeing his effort clip the post.
Bryce Hosannah teed up McCalmont on the edge of the box, but he couldn’t get the better of Richards, whilst at the other end Miazek did well to deny a Dale volley.
With six minutes remaining Leeds regained the lead. Huggins took a short corner to McCalmont and his cross was prodded home at the back post by Struijk.
Leeds almost added a third late on, Bogusz saw a 25 yard curling strike saved by Richards and the Crewe goalkeeper somehow kept out Hosannah’s rebounded effort from point blank range.
Full time: Crewe Alexandra 1-2 Leeds United