Colchester upset Leeds

A WONDER free-kick from Mark Yeates earned Colchester United a terrific victory at Leeds United this afternoon.Yeates curled home a 66th minute free-kick from the left edge of the penalty area.

Carl Marston

A WONDER free-kick from Mark Yeates earned Colchester United a terrific victory at Leeds United this afternoon.

Yeates curled home a 66th minute free-kick from the left edge of the penalty area. It was a precision finish from the Dubliner, so silencing the Elland Road faithful, who had seen their side take the lead.

Robert Snodgrass fired Leeds ahead with a real solo effort in the 35th minute, as the U's defence failed to cope with a big punt upfield from keeper David Lucas.

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But the U's were level just before the break. Dean Hammond stooped to head home Mark Yeates' pinpoint corner, with Leeds temporarily down to 10 men while centre-half Rui Marques was changing his shirt on the sidelines.

And the hosts were down to 10 men for good on 65 minutes. David Prutton was sent off for a second bookable offence, after bringing down David Perkins just outside the penalty area.

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It was a double blow for Leeds, because Yeates crashed home the ensuing free-kick to put the U's 2-1 up. It was his eighth goal of the season, and it was to prove the match winner.

The U's had started brightly and were encamped in the Leeds half of the pitch for the majority of the first 10 minutes, without seriously threatening home keeper Lucas.

Debutant Alan Maybury, who had signed for the U's on Thursday, was quick to try and score against his old club. The Dubliner tried his luck from 25 yards with a shot that flew over the bar.

Maybury was playing in his familiar role of right-back. He had replaced Pat Baldwin, who was sidelined with a neck injury picked up in training.

The U's were quicker to the loose ball in the early exchanges, although Leeds did earn the first two corners of the game. David Prutton fired over from the second of these on 18 minutes.

The visitors suffered a blow when Jermaine Easter injured his knee while ironically fouling an opponent. The Plymouth loanee hobbled off with a damaged left knee, to be replaced by substitute Scott Vernon in the 26th minute.

The first shot on target did not arrive until the 29th minute. David Perkins lashed in a 12-yard drive that was deflected into the arms of keeper Lucas.

The U's first corner of the afternoon soon followed. Dean Hammond met Mark Yeates' delivery with a header that soared over the bar from the near post.

However, Leeds took the lead through SNODGRASS in the 35th minute to put the U's on the back foot.

A long kick upfield from keeper Lucas caught the visitors napping. Snodgrass was able to glide past both Paul Reid and Chris Coyne before beating Jimmy Walker with a calm finish from 12 yards out.

The hosts went in search of a second goal before the break, and Walker dived to his left to cling onto Snodgrass' downward header on 40 minutes.

In fact, Snodgrass could have scored a hat-trick in the last 10 minutes of the first half. He connected sweetly with a shot from Luciano Becchio's lay-off, only for Walker to again make a smart save.

And Colchester equalised on the stroke of half-time, thanks to HAMMOND'S second goal for the club.

Leeds were furious that centre-half Rui Marques was asked to leave the pitch by referee Nigel Miller, to change a shirt splattered with blood.

Down to 10 men, Leeds failed to clear Yeates' corner as his cross was nodded home by Hammond, who stooped low at the near post. Hammond certainly made the most of some slack marking. It was the perfect time to score.

Half-time: Leeds 1 Colchester 1

Buoyed by their equaliser just before half-time, the U's continued to look menacing and Perkins nearly squeezed home a shot at the near post from Clive Platt's pass on 55 minutes. The ball was deflected behind off a defender's boot.

Leeds made an attacking change just after the hour mark. Striker Malcolm Christie came on for midfielder Neil Kilkenny.

But it all went wrong for the hosts soon afterwards. Midfielder Prutton, who had been booked in the first half for dissent, was flashed a second yellow and ensuing red card for hauling down Perkins on the left edge of the penalty area in the 65th minute.

The 10 men were immediately made to pay, thanks to YEATES' marvellous finish from the free-kick.

The angle was tight, but Yeates beat Lucas with a curling shot that flew into the far corner of the net.

Marc Tierney conceded a free-kick in a very dangerous position on 70 minutes, just outside the box. However, Alan Sheehan's goalbound effort was brilliantly tipped over the bar by the acrobatic Walker.

Leeds threw caution to the wind by operating with four strikers during the last 15 minutes, and Hammond did well to head off the line when Walker misjudged a cross.

But the U's held out to record a notable win.


LEEDS UNITED: Lucas 6, Hughes 6 (sub Showunmi, 76), Marques 5, Telfer 7, Sheehan 7, Kilkenny 6 (sub Christie, 61), Douglas 7, Prutton 5, DELPH 8, Snodgrass 8, Becchio 6. Unused subs: Michalik, Howson, Ankergren.

COLCHESTER UNITED: Walker 7, Maybury 7, Coyne 7, Reid 7, Tierney 8, Izzet 7 (sub Jackson, 76), HAMMOND 8, Perkins 8, Yeates 8 (sub White, 86), Platt 6, Easter 6 (sub Vernon, 26, 6). Unused subs: Wordsworth, Gerken.

Referee: Mr Nigel Miller (County Durham)

Attendance: 19,625

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