U21s Report: Leeds United 3-0 Derby County

U21s Report: Leeds United 3-0 Derby County

Whites get back to winning ways in the PL2.

Premier League 2

Leeds United U21 3 (Snowdon 22’, 25’; Lopata-White 30’)

Derby County U21 0

Leeds United: van den Heuvel (GK), Cresswell, Godden (Ferguson 46’ (Moore 52’)), Chadwick, Debayo (Monteiro 86’), Lopata-White, Allen, Crew (C), Thomas, Chambers (Coleman 77’), Snowdon. Sub not used: Christy (GK).

Derby: Thompson (GK), Radcliffe, Moloney, Hawkins (Gough 68’), Cox, Robinson, Nto (McAndrew 58’), Stepien-Iwumene, Weston (C), Wheeldon (Oguntolu 74’), Allen. Subs not used: Osayande, Shattell (GK).

Referee: John Mulligan

Booked: Lopata-White, Allen, Moore (Leeds) Robinson, Radcliffe (Derby)

Venue: Thorp Arch Training Ground

Leeds United Under-21s roared back to winning ways in style with a 3-0 victory over Derby County Under-21s in the Premier League 2.

Negotiating blustery conditions at Thorp Arch, a whirlwind eight minutes inside the first half saw the Whites race into a three-goal lead before the break, with Joe Snowdon grabbing a brace and Reuben Lopata-White heading a dangerous delivery home.

After a disappointing result last time out, Scott Gardner was looking for a reaction from his young United team and the players clearly got the memo, dominating proceedings from the off.

A first sight of goal came within minutes, when a marauding run from Sam Chambers eventually saw the midfielder work the ball out to Snowdon on the left.

The winger controlled well and released Charlie Crew on the overlap, with the captain firing over the bar from the edge of the area.

As Derby ventured forward, defender James Debayo was well-placed to make a vital challenge to dispossess Lennon Wheeldon.

The pace from Gardner's side was electric from the first whistle and they immediately broke through Chambers, with the 17-year-old’s low cross looking for Snowdon desperately hacked clear by a blue shirt.

Despite the early pressure, the Rams still offered a threat of their own going forward and almost took the lead after 11 minutes, with the Whites having Dani van den Heuvel to thank as he made a wonderful reaction save to parry Tony Weston's deflected effort away.

Forward Luca Thomas, who has already scored a number of long-range efforts this campaign, then tried to add another wondergoal to his catalogue as he noticed Derby keeper Jack Thompson off his line, but his audacious strike from inside his own half bounced narrowly wide.

The Whites deservedly took the lead shortly afterwards, after good work again from Thomas found Snowdon in space inside the area. Charging onto the ball, the winger confidently struck the ball cleanly and whipped it beyond the despairing dive of Thompson.

Within minutes Snowdon had his and Leeds’ second of the match, being well placed at the back post to tap home and finish off a scintillating attacking move.

Crew read the play superbly, making a fine challenge to wrestle back possession for the hosts deep in Derby territory and worked it to Chambers. With a quick turn the midfielder danced away from his marker, finding Allen out wide who slid a low delivery across goal, leaving Snowdon with the simplest of tasks to finish!

On the half-hour mark it was three, with Lopata-White rising highest to glance Thomas’ in-swinging delivery in off the far post and put Gardner’s side into a commanding position before the break.

The Rams almost responded immediately through captain Weston, with van den Heuvel producing a superb point-blank sprawling save to preserve the Whites’ clean sheet!

HALF TIME: Leeds United U21 3-0 Derby County U21

As the second half got underway, the conditions began to worsen at Thorp Arch and the visitors looked to use that to their advantage, sending the ball long in the swirling winds.

Harry Hawkins went close early on, dragging his left-footed effort from distance wide of the far post, before Weston rattled the woodwork.

Clever movement from the Rams skipper saw him make space inside the area, before unleashing a fierce strike that cannoned off the underside of the bar, bouncing back onto the line and away from danger.

After Derby's bright start to the second period, Gardner's side began to enjoy more of the ball and would have added a fourth, if not for great defending from Riley Moloney to block Allen's close-range strike.

Leeds had broken quickly through Thomas drifting out the left flank, with the forward then floating a cross towards the Northern Irishman at the back post who saw his effort charged down by the Rams’ full-back.

Just after the hour mark, Wheeldon had two opportunities to get the visitors on the scoresheet, twice glancing headers wide after dangerous deliveries were swung in from the left-hand side.

Snowdon, searching for his hat-trick, then forced Thompson into a wonderful fingertip save to tip his rasping drive over the crossbar, with Lopata-White firing narrowly wide from the resulting corner.

Despite a flurry of activity from both dugouts, the Whites managed the final minutes professionally before referee John Mulligan brought proceedings to a close, with Leeds’ first-half dominance proving to be the difference at Thorp Arch!

FULL TIME: Leeds United U21 3-0 Derby County U21