Whites claim another impressive three points.
Premier League 2
Leeds United 4 (Joseph 13’, 18’, 83’, Perkins 43’)
Stoke City 0
Leeds: Christy (GK) (C), Drameh, Sutcliffe, Spencer, Moore, Gyabi, Allen (Snowdon 77’), McCalmont, Joseph, Perkins (Dean 65’), McGurk (Miller 68’). Subs not used: Brook (GK), Coleman.
Stoke: Simkin (GK), Redfern, Curl (Bickerton 64’), Smith, Baker (C), Roney, Reddin, Kershaw, McGuinness, Singh (Trialist 60’), Lusakueno (Holland-Wilkinson 71’). Subs not used: Jackson (GK).
Venue: City of York Council’s LNER Community Stadium
Referee: Matt Corlett
Booked: Roney, Redfern, Smith (Stoke)
Four unanswered goals saw Leeds United Under-21s win against Stoke City Under-21s and keep up their unbeaten start to the season going on Friday night, with Mateo Joseph scoring a hat-trick in the process.
Michael Skubala’s side returned to Premier League 2 Division 2 action on home turf at the City of York Council’s LNER Community Stadium looking to build upon an impressive start to the campaign, and they did just that with a convincing victory.
The Whites sat top of the table going into the match, having won all but one of their games so far, with the other being a draw. Fresh from international duty, top-scorer Sonny Perkins was named in the starting line-up alongside Joseph, who was just one goal behind his strike partner, but wouldn’t be after the game!
Under the floodlights and pouring rain in North Yorkshire, a scintillating first half full of chances would get underway, which would be excellent to watch from a Leeds United point of view.
Charlie Allen was looking lively early on and with good link-up play throughout the team, the midfielder burst down the right wing and put two dangerous crosses into the box which were eventually cleared, but the early warning sign was there.
Up from full-back moments later, Cody Drameh would create the opening goal after just 13 minutes. His whipped cross - also from the right - was poked home at close range by Joseph after being fumbled by Tommy Simkin in the Stoke goal.
The striker’s tally of six for the season after his opener, soon became seven. Joseph refused to give up on a chance and harried down the ‘keeper to win the ball back. After McGurk and then Perkins had efforts blocked, the ball came back to Joseph who smashed into the top corner to make it two!
The floodgates then appeared to be open and the chances kept coming. Perkins was a constant threat, Allen and McGurk saw efforts flashed just wide, and Darko Gyabi was controlling the central midfield areas.
Just before the break, Perkins kept up his superb 100 per cent record this season, by finding the back of the net himself. McGurk was the creator by breaking down the wing and finding Perkins in the box, who showed his composure to fire home.
That was the final action before the interval and the Whites went into the dressing room with a commanding three-goal advantage.
HALF TIME: Leeds United 3-0 Stoke City
The first two chances of the second half saw the game following a similar patter to the first, with Simkin forced into action between the Stoke City posts to deny McGurk twice, early on.
Leeds made their first changes just after the hour mark, with the ever-impressive duo of Perkins and McGurk, replaced by Max Dean and Amari Miller in attack. Stoke also went to their bench and made a double change of their own, looking to get back into the match.
Despite having plenty of the ball throughout the second period, Leeds hadn’t created many further clear cut openings after the early chances after kick-off, and it was a similar story for the visitors.
Heading into the final 10 minutes though, another brilliantly worked move would bring a fourth and secure the three points for Leeds.
The combination of Drameh and Joseph came to the forefront again, with the striker smashing into the top corner from the fullback’s cross, to secure an impressive hat-trick and take home the match-ball.
That would be that in York and the three points were confirmed upon the final whistle, meaning the Whites stayed top of the table. Skubala’s side will now be back in action next Tuesday, as their Papa John’s Trophy campaign begins away at Sky Bet League Two side Tranmere Rovers.
FULL TIME: Leeds United 4-0 Stoke City