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Jermaine BeckfordTwo goals from Jermaine Beckford helped get Leeds United’s promotion dreams back on track as they cruised to victory against fellow promotion chasing Walsall.

Walsall started the game with five in midfield, and a lone striker, perhaps hoping to dominate the match by controlling the centre, but it was Leeds who started brightly and should have been one up early on when Freedman put Beckford through on goal, only for him to narrowly fire wide.

Beckford soon made up for the miss though after Kilkenny broke free and played the ball forward to Beckford who took the pass neatly in his stride, rounded the Walsall keeper and slotted home from a difficult angle on the 29th minute.

The Leeds team had improved significantly following the recent bad run of form, and looked to be in complete control as they headed in for half time 1-0 up.

However, Walsall came out after the break looking much livelier and earnt a free-kick on the edge of the area. The resulting shot was fired narrowly over, before Mooney missed a complete sitter minutes later. The goal was at his mercy, but the lone Walsall front-man somehow hit his shot over the bar as a relieved Gary McAllister looked on.

Leeds dug deep and survived Walsall’s brief onslaught, before getting back into there stride. Alan Sheehan’s 30-yard free-kick and Bradley Johnson’s header forced two good saves from the Walsall keeper.  

Leeds kept Walsall’s defence busy as they carried on attacking, in search of the second goal which would ultimately seal the crucial three points, and with ten minutes left, Jermaine Beckford and Kilkenny linked once more to send Walsall home with nothing. Beckford’s pace saw him ease past the Walsall defence to score his 19th of the season, before heading off to celebrate with the fans in the North-East corner – myself included.

A much improved Leeds United controlled the majority of the game, attacked throughout and completely deserved the 2-0 victory. Jonathan Douglas also made his return following three months sidelined with injury. The Republic of Ireland international played the final 10 minutes of the game, replacing Johnson, and Tresor Kandol was brought on for Dougie Freedman who received a standing ovation from the Leeds faithful.

Final score: Leeds United (Beckford 29, 80) 2 Walsall 0
Attendance: 19,095

SuperLeeds.com man of the match – Jermaine Beckford

I was tempted to go for Dougie Freedman as this weeks man of the match, but decided to go for Jermaine to make up for my earlier post questioning whether or not the striker deserved a first team place. He’s well and truly silenced the critics and it’s great to have him scoring again.

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