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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 20 Apr 13 at 17:12 PM

Blues 1 Leeds 0

A late Hayden Mullins' goal was enough to earn Blues all three points against Leeds and at the same time leapfrog the Yorkshire side and climb to tenth in the table.

Lee Clark was forced to make one change to his starting XI. Mullins replaced Morgaro Gomis in the centre of midfield, after Gomis picked up a groin problem in training.

The game kicked off with Blues shooting towards the Tilton Road end and St. Andrew’s bathed in glorious sunshine.

Following an even opening, Blues fashioned the first chance on goal after nine minutes when Ravel Morrison tried a curling effort from distance, but it flew high and wide. The same player came desperately close to opening his account three minutes later. A sublime piece of skill from Morrison saw him bamboozle his marker and leave him on the floor before curling the ball over Paddy Kenny towards the top corner. Unfortunately the bar came to Leeds’ rescue and the ball bounced away from the danger zone.

The game was really beginning to open up as a contest and Curtis Davies produced a fine block to deny Luke Varney, with the Leeds man looking odds-on to score. Then Shane Ferguson let-rip with a powerful strike from 25 yards that flew into the side-netting of the Leeds goal.

But it was certainly not one-way traffic as Jack Butland needed to pull off an excellent finger-tip save to push Michael Tonge’s fizzing shot over his bar for a corner.

Blues began to up the ante and created a series of half-chances. Morrison and Davies had efforts blocked in the Leeds penalty area, before Mullins blasted the ball over the bar. With 37 minutes on the clock, the lively Morrison hit a powerful left-footed shot from just outside the area, but it flew just the wrong side of the post.

Half-time: Blues 0 Leeds 0

Nikola Zigic tried his luck just a minute after the restart, but he was unable to keep his shot down and it sailed well over the bar.

Leeds were then awarded a contentious free-kick just to the left of the Blues penalty area. Ross McCormack stepped up and whipped the dead ball towards the goal, but luckily it bounced off the top of Butland’s bar rather than underneath it.

Clark made his first change of the match just after the hour-mark when he sent on Chris Burke for Shane Ferguson.

As the game entered its final quarter, it was the visitors who were starting to pin Blues back, with Blues responding occasionally on the counter-attack.

However, it was Blues who sent the home support into raptures when they took the lead on 71 minutes through Mullins.

The goal itself owed a lot to Nathan Redmond. The winger cut in from the left before firing in a powerful right-footed shot which Kenny was only able to parry. Mullins got to the ball before the Leeds defence and slammed it home from close range.

Butland was in fine form at the other end of the pitch after 75 minutes when he dived at full stretch to push away Rudolph Austin’s volley.

The game was certainly not fizzling out as a contest as Leeds continued to press in search of an equaliser and Blues for a second goal.

With five minutes remaining Blues put together a neat piece of passing play from their own area right up to the edge of the Leeds box, before Burke was just off target with his shot. The Blues winger then blasted over from close range. 

Despite Leeds throwing everybody forward in the remaining minutes of the game they were unable to break Blues’ resolve and Clark’s men held on for a deserved three points.

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