Senior Section General Information
U14 Friendly Salford 4 Leeds 6
On a morning in which the weather forecast might have put the game in doubt, Leeds made the journey across the Pennines to face Salford in a friendly in between league matches. Leeds started the game the stronger side, with the effervescent Max Pearson making himself busy in midfield, searching out the Leeds attack with probing balls. Leeds’ early good play paid off in the 12th minute when Brad Wood latched onto a superb headed through ball from Jamie Preece and, despite being at a difficult angle, finished well to give the visitors the lead. Two minutes later, Wood was denied twice by a superb double save from the home goalkeeper to keep his side in the game. With five minutes of the first half remaining, Leeds captain Joe Bedford was adjudged to have fouled a Salford forward in the box. The resulting penalty was cooly dispatched to make the scores even. This didn’t last long though, as almost immediately Wood gave Leeds the lead for the second time in the game, rounding the goalkeeper and expertly finishing, despite several Salford defenders attempting to block the net. Half time Leeds 2-1 Salford.
The second half started as the first had finished, with a Brad Wood goal, this time a superb strike from the left of the penalty area which rocketed into the far corner of the net. Salford found a response not long after with a goal from a corner, but once again, Brad Wood restored Leeds’ two goal cushion with a fine finish for his fourth of the morning. As the heavens opened and heavy rain started to fall, Salford found a second wind and turned the game on its head with two quick fire goals. In tricky conditions, the game was either side’s for the taking and with 5 minutes left of play, Salford hit the post and from the resulting counter attack, a clever throw in from Preece found that man Wood again who slotted past the home goalkeeper- his 15th goal of an incredible start to the season. There was still time for Leeds to score a sixth when Joe Bedford’s stoppage time free kick from the halfway line was caught by the wind and flew into the Salford net. Final Score Leeds 6-4 Salford. Not a game in which either defence will be entirely happy with, but for Leeds that’s a fourth straight win, continuing their unbeaten start to the season and keeping their early momentum going.
U14 Yorkshire League - Calderdale v Leeds
Having opened their Yorkshire League campaign with a 5-0 blitzing of Barnsley the week before, Leeds made the short journey to Calderdale, hoping to pick up where they left off last Saturday.
The first ten minutes saw Leeds have slightly better of the play, without really creating any clear-cut chances. Bradley Wood broke the deadlock when sent clear by the industrious Jamie Preece and finished well. One became two in double quick time with a Leeds’ corner finding the unmarked Harley Dean at the back post who slotted home a rare goal. Leeds’ purple patch continued when five minutes later, Wood pulled the ball back across the box for the late arriving Harry Sutcliffe to fire home his first of the season. 3-0. A fourth wasn’t far off when Wood curled a delightful shot against the bar. This seemed to spark Calderdale into action and only a fine save from Leo Hurrell prevented the home side from getting back into the game. However, minutes later a defensive mix up from Leeds allowed Calderdale to reduce the deficit to leave the half time score 3-1.
The second half lacked the pace of the first as both sides tired in the surprisingly warm September morning. Leeds’ front pairing of Wood and Preece continued to work tirelessly for the away side and the fourth Leeds goal arrived when Wood assisted Preece to make the game safe. Wood missed a chance to make it five when his penalty was saved, but with time running out, he added two late goals which brought his personal tally for the season to ten and six points out of six in the league. Final score Calderdale 1-6 Leeds. Next Saturday sees Leeds travel to Derby in a friendly, before welcoming the same side to Leeds the following week in the league.
U14 Friendly - Leeds v East Riding
A rainy morning gave way to some bright sunshine at Wetherby as Leeds took on East Riding in a precursor to the upcoming league campaign. Despite only having a bare eleven and being forced to play goalkeeper Leo Hurrell in midfield, Leeds started the game well, with lots of early pressure on the visitors. Chances came and went, with Brad Wood forcing a smart save from the East Riding goalkeeper, Jamie Preece firing just over and a snapshot from Leo Hurrell that flew wide.
Against the run of play, East Riding took the lead with a unmarked header from a corner. Would Leeds come to regret not making their early pressure count? East Riding hit the bar as Leeds were caught out on the break in their quest to find the leveller. The first half ended as it had started, with Leeds almost equalising, first through Preece and then Ryhez Johnston. 1-0 to East Riding at the break.
The second half would see Leeds goalie Jude Hows barely touch the ball as the home side put the visitors under constant pressure. Such pressure finally paid off when from a Leeds corner, Brad Wood swept home to level the scores. From then on there was only one side in it, with wave after wave of Leeds attack. With eight minutes left on the clock, Wood took his time with a stray ball and after steadying himself fired home to give the hosts a deserved lead. Leeds could have and perhaps should have scored more than the two they did, but on a day when seven squad members were missing, the boys can be more than proud of their efforts.
U14 Barnsley Tournament
Every new season brings fresh hopes and dreams and the same can be true of the Leeds Schools’ U14 side. A very wet start to the year saw the squad travel to Barnsley to participate in a 6 team tournament. Although missing a few squad players for different reasons, Mr Sweetman was quietly optimistic. The opening game (of 30 minutes) saw Leeds play Sheffield, who traditionally produce strong teams. Leeds dominated the first 15 minutes, but without really carving out a clear cut chance.
With new faces in the squad and having lost a few to pro clubs over the summer, it would take some time to gel as a new squad, but there were plenty of encouraging signs. Leeds took the lead with 4 minutes left to play when Jamie Preece met a knockdown with a sumptuous volley. However, with seconds remaining, a fortuitous free kick from the Sheffield goalkeeper caught the wind and after hitting the Leeds bar, ricocheted in the net off the back of the unfortunate Jude Hows. 1-1 in a game that Leeds could have won.
After a ten minute break, it was back to it with a game against Stockport. A switch in formation due to injury meant a front three including new face Ryhaz Johnson. In comparison to the first game, Leeds were slow to get started and Stockport took the lead after their forward bundled through the box and managed to get a shot away which trickled into the net. From then on though it was all Leeds, with the Stockport keeper making a number of smart saves. Leeds’ dominance eventually paid off when Brad Wood met a superb cross field ball from Ryhaz Johnson and finished well. Leeds pushed hard for a winner but again were left to rue missed chances as the game ended in a second 1-1 scoreline.
With two draws and four teams progressing to the semi finals, Leeds were to face Sheffield again. However, this match was no classic. Leeds were missing both Harley Dean and the creative Brad Wood, both having picked up injuries in the previous game. Neither side imposed themselves on what was a scrappy encounter, but Sheffield missed a chance to win it with a stoppage time penalty which was sent wide. So it was left to a shootout to decide who would make it through to the final, and despite Leeds captain Joe Bedford taking his penalty with aplomb, it was Sheffield who came out victorious.
All in all, a good run out for all the squad in preparation for the league campaign ahead. Definitely lots of pleasing signs for Mr Sweetman, who is sure that this squad can enjoy a successful season ahead.