Another emphatic victory for Mark Jackson's side!
Premier League 2
West Bromwich Albion 0
Leeds United 5 (Gelhardt 19’ pen, 40’, 54’ pen, Summerville 70’, Greenwood 74’)
Leeds: Caprile, Shackleton, Davis, Koch (Drameh 60’), Casey (Cresswell 45’), Berardi, Poveda, Jenkins, Gelhardt, Greenwood, Summerville (McCarron 77’). Subs not used: Van Den Heuvel, Kamwa.
A five star performance from Mark Jackson’s Under-23s side saw them go three points closer to claiming the league title, creating a 13-point gap at the top of the table.
A hat-trick from Joe Gelhardt, a poachers finish from Crysencio Summerville and a stunning free-kick from Sam Greenwood secured a dominant, and fully deserved three points.
The opening to the match was relatively quiet, as both teams looked to get used to the pitch and work one another out. Caprile was forced into the first save of the match, whilst Jack Jenkins saw an effort cleared off the line down the other end.
It took 20 minutes though, for the first real chance to arrive. Summerville used his pace to race into the penalty area and was brought down. Gelhardt seized the opportunity, stepping up and calmly slotting home by sending the ‘keeper the wrong way from the spot.
There were then chances at both ends. Robin Koch had to be alert to deny the Baggies, throwing his body in front of an effort, whilst both Jamie Shackleton and Summerville went close for the Whites.
With five minutes to interval, the lead was doubled. Gelhardt claimed his 10th of the season by smashing home low into the corner, after once again being set-up by Summerville.
Leeds had been in control throughout much of the half and when the whistle went for the break, they had a two goal advantage.
HALF TIME: WBA 0-2 Leeds United
The second half got underway and Jackson’s side went further ahead after just a few minutes. Gelhardt tricked his way through the Baggies’ defence once again and was brought down. He stepped up to take the penalty, firing into the top corner and completing his hat-trick.
It was now a constant wave of pressure and attacks from Leeds on goalkeeper Maksy Boruc’s goal. Gelhardt was always at the heart of the play, but next to go close was Gaetano Berardi, with a shot from the edge of the box.
With 20 minutes remaining, Summerville would get the goal his play had deserved. Ian Poveda was the architect, coming alive around the area to thread a delightful pass through bodies, allowing Summerville to run onto it and dink it into the back of the net to make it four.
With the hosts now down to 10 men after the dismissal of George Harmon, the Whites continued to make them pay. A stunning 25-yard free-kick from Greenwood cannoned off the post and into the top corner, giving the ‘keeper no chance for the fifth goal and his eighth of the campaign.
There were further late chances from Poveda, Greenwood and Shackleton, but no more goals were added in what had been an impressive and ruthless display from the league leaders, sending them 13 points clear at the top of the table.
FULL TIME: WBA 0-5 Leeds United
Venue: Birmingham FA
Booked: Casey, Koch, Cresswell (Leeds), Malcolm, Windsor, Harmon (WBA)
Sent-off: Harmon (WBA)