United ease to a 2-0 victory away to Wycombe...
WYCOMBE 0, UNITED 2 (Erwin 30, Byram 51)
Wycombe team: Wycombe: Ingram, Harriman, Wood, Stewart, Pierre, McGinn, O’Nien (Bloomfield 45), Sellers (Rowe 73), Kretzschmar (Thompson 84), Amadi-Holloway, Ugwu (McCarthy 73). Subs: Ingram, Jombati, Jacobson.
United team: Silvestri (Peacock-Farrell 86), Wootton, Bamba, Bellusci, Berardi (Byram 45), Botaka, Bianchi (Sloth 45), Adeyemi (Phillips 60), Buckley, Doukara, Erwin. Subs: Murphy, Mowatt, Antenucci.
Referee: A Woolmer
Attendance: 2,216 (767 United)
The mid-season friendly away to Wycombe Wanderers saw Steve Evans hand rare starts to Tommaso Bianchi, Lee Erwin and Souleymane Doukara, while the likes of Will Buckley, Jordan Botaka and Tom Adeyemi were also recalled to the team as they looked to catch the eye of the United head coach.
The hosts made a lively start and did have the ball in the back of the net just three minutes into the game, only for Max Kretzschmar’s close-range effort to be ruled out for offside after Marco Silvestri had parried a strike into his path.
Leeds soon started to get into their stride, though, playing with the air of confidence you would expect from a team who have claimed back-to-back wins in the league.
Botaka was the first to threaten, forcing a fine, fingertip save from Wycombe goalkeeper Alex Lynch after meeting Gaetano Berardi’s cross from deep with a goal-bound volley.
Lynch was again called upon 10 minutes later and did brilliantly to fly across his line and push Giuseppe Bellusci’s free-kick over the bar, an effort reminiscent of the defender’s unforgettable strike at Bournemouth just over a year ago.
Erwin was looking lively in attack - his first appearance in Leeds colours since returning from a loan spell at Bury - and the summer signing twisted and turned his way into space on the edge of the area before stinging Lynch’s palms with an effort from the corner of the box.
Lynch was the difference in the early stages and he thwarted Botaka again moments later, tipping the winger’s header onto the bar following Doukara’s inch-perfect cross from the left.
The Wycombe ‘keeper was eventually beaten on the half-hour mark, though, as Erwin calmly tucked the ball home from inside the area to give Evans’ side a deserved lead.
United took their advantage into the half-time interval and Evans made two changes for the second half, replacing Berardi and Bianchi with Sam Byram and Casper Sloth.
Silvestri needed to be alert just four minutes after the restart, pushing away a low strike to deny the hosts an equaliser, but United soon doubled their lead through that man Byram, hammering Doukara’s cutback beyond the helpless Lynch with an emphatic finish in front of the travelling fans.
And Botaka could have made it three just two minutes later, seeing his rasping half-volley clawed over the bar by Lynch as his fine display between the sticks continued.
The Wycombe stopper remained routed to the spot the next time Botaka came close, watching the winger's drilled attempt fizz agonisingly wide of the far post after Buckley's cutback from the right.
The closing stages saw a first senior outing for young goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell, who signed professional terms over the summer, and he looked assured in his brief cameo as United eased to victory.