First League 2
LeedsUnited 4 (Joseph 13′, 18′, 83′, Perkins 43′)
leeds: Christy (TG) (C), Drameh, Sutcliffe, Spencer, Moore, Gyabi, Allen (77′ from Snowdon), McCalmont, Joseph, Perkins (65′ from Dean), McGurk (68′ from Miller). subs not used: Bach (GK), Coleman.
stoke: Simkin (TG), Redfern, Curl (Bickerton 64′), Smith, Baker (C), Roney, Reddin, Kershaw, McGuinness, Singh (Trialist 60′), Lusakueno (Holland-Wilkinson 71′). subs not used: Jackson (GK).
Venue: York City Council LNER Community Stadium
referee: Matt Corlett
Booked: Roney, Redfern, Smith (Stoke)
With four goals unanswered, Leeds United Under-21s beat Stoke City Under-21s and continued their unbeaten start to the season on Friday night, with Mateo Joseph scoring a hat-trick in the process.
Michael Skubala’s side returned to Premier League 2 Division 2 on their home turf at the City of York Council’s LNER Community Stadium to build on an impressive start to the campaign and they did just that with a convincing win.
Los Blancos sat at the top of the table early in the game, having won all but one game so far while the other ended in a draw. Fresh off international duty, top scorer Sonny Perkins was called up in the starting XI alongside Joseph, who was just a goal behind his strike partner but would be absent after the game!
Under floodlights and torrential rain in North Yorkshire, a dazzling first half full of chances would begin which would be superb from Leeds United’s perspective to watch.
Charlie Allen looked lively from the start and with good connecting play across the team, the midfielder charged down the right wing and put in two dangerous crosses into the area that were eventually cleared but the early warning sign was there.
From the full-back a few moments later, Cody Drameh scored the opener after just 13 minutes. His cross – also from the right – was jabbed home by Joseph from close range after being fumbled by Tommy Simkin in the Stoke goal.
The forward’s six points for the season after his opener soon became seven. Refusing to give up a chance, Joseph pushed the keeper down to reclaim the ball. After McGurk and then Perkins blocked the effort, the ball came back to Joseph, who smashed into the top corner to make a two!
The floodgates then seemed to be open and the chances kept coming. Perkins was a constant threat, Allen and McGurk saw the effort narrowly miss and Darko Gyabi controlled the central areas of midfield.
Just before the break, Perkins maintained his excellent 100 percent record this season by finding the back of the net himself. McGurk was the creator by disassembling the wing and finding Perkins in the box showing his composure to shoot home.
That was the last action before the break and Los Blancos went into the dressing room with a commanding three-goal advantage.
HALFTIME: Leeds United 3-0 Stoke City
The first two chances of the second half saw play similar to the first, with Simkin being forced into action between the Stoke City posts to thwart McGurk twice early on.
Leeds made their first changes just after the hour mark, with the always impressive duo of Perkins and McGurk being replaced in attack by Max Dean and Amari Miller. Stoke also went to her bench and made a double substitution of her own to get back into the game.
Despite having plenty of possession throughout the second period, Leeds hadn’t created many more clear openings after the early chances after kick-off and it was a similar story for the visitors.
Heading into the final 10 minutes, another brilliantly crafted move would bring a fourth and secure the three points for Leeds.
The combination of Drameh and Joseph came to the fore again as the striker smashed into the top corner following a cross from the full-back for an impressive hat-trick and taking home the match point.
That would mean that in York the three points were confirmed after the final whistle, meaning the Whites remain leaders. Skubala’s side will now be back in action next Tuesday when their Papa John’s Trophy campaign begins at Sky Bet League Two side Tranmere Rovers.
FULL-TIME: Leeds United 4-0 Stoke City
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