October 27, 2012 by Made In Brum
Leeds 0 Blues 1
A Leroy Lita wonder strike earned Blues a vital and deserved three points against Leeds at Elland Road. Lee Clark’s men put in a commendable performance, dictating large parts of the first half and soaking up the home side’s increasing pressure in the second. Blues had chances early on. Steven Caldwell and Nathan Redmond saw efforts saved and Curtis Davies headed a free-kick narrowly wide. The passing from Blues was much better, similar to the second half at Millwall, they were a more expressive and imaginative outfit.
Redmond was looking improved, his mazy run towards goal was stopped by Lee Peltier, just as the youngster prepared to shoot. Jack Butland was called into action when he kept out Rodolph Austin’s swerving effort with his leg.
In the second half, Neil Warnock’s men grew in confidence and stature, they began to put pressure on Blues. David Norris shaped up to pull the trigger, but a superb Hayden Mullins challenge ensured he didn’t get a chance to test Butland.
Chris Burke was introduced into the fray in place of Redmond.
An excellent save from Butland kept the scores level as El-Hadji Diouf headed a Sam Byram cross goalwards. Butland, showing his class, gathered the rebound as it looped up.
Then came the moment of the match. The single moment that won Blues the game. Lita strode forward, ignoring the screaming Burke, before hitting an almighty effort which flew in past Paddy Kenny in the Leeds goal, 14 minutes from time. Great stuff from the loanee.
Despite pressure from the hosts, it was Blues who came agonisingly close to a second. Marlon King thumped a volley against the crossbar. That was King’s last contribution, as he was replaced by Jonathan Spector deep into added time.
A promising, competitive and thoroughly committed performance and the perfect 40th birthday present for the boss, who can now look forward to two consecutive home games. Blues, now unbeaten in three, take on Ipswich Town and Bristol City at St. Andrews next week. Happy birthday Clarky. More of the same please.
Blues ratings- Butland 7. Robinson 6. Davies 7. Caldwell 7. Murphy 6. Redmond 7. Mullins 7. Morrison 6. Elliott 6. King 7. *LITA 7…SUBS USED- Burke 6. Spector 5.
Match report by Rob Wildey.