Austin fires Leeds United closer to safety

Rodolph Austin celebrates his winning goal for Leeds United against Burnley. Picture: IAN HARBER
Rodolph Austin celebrates his winning goal for Leeds United against Burnley. Picture: IAN HARBER

Leeds United failed once again to score in the first half, but effectively ensured safety from relegation as they made it two wins out of two since Brian McDermott took over as manager with a 1-0 win over Burnley at Elland Road.

Rodolph Austin’s well taken 63rd minute goal proved the only goal of a contest played out in front of Elland Road’s lowest league crowd of the season

The stayaways did not miss an exciting match, but they would have seen United attempt to play a more controlled passing style that won them plenty of praise from the terraces and led to probably the chant of the season when “we’re Leeds United, we’re passing the ball” was heard from the kop end.

It was hard work in the first half again, though, as the Whites failed to score in the opening 45 for the 19th league game in succession.

They enjoyed plenty of possession, forced plenty of corners and got round the back of the Burnley defence on numerous occasions without being able to play a killer ball.

Ross McCormack hit a volley from the edge of the box that flashed just wide, Austin hit a long range strike off target and Luke Varney sent a header wide. But they only really came close to a goal once on the half-hour when Jason Pearce’s header from a Stephen Warnock cross was cleared off the line and Varney headed the follow-up against the crossbar.

Burnley came into the game towards the end of the half, but failed to trouble home keeper Paddy Kenny with Ross Wallace sending a shot from the edge of the box inches wide and Martin Paterson firing into the side netting from a tight angle.

Varney missed a sitter within seconds of the start of the second half after sliding in to shoot wide from El Hadji Diouf’s low cross with the goal gaping. The Leeds number 11 made a better attempt with a header soon after with keeper Lee Grant doing well to tip the ball over and Leeds were turning up the heat.

Only good defending denied Paul Green and Varney, but Burnley could not prevent United taking the lead with a superb goal on 63 minutes. After several passes McCormack found Diouf with a fine long ball and he controlled it instantly then carried it forward before producing a perfect cross for Austin to beat Grant with a clever finish on the volley.

Confidence flooded into the Whites’ play, but they were unable to add to their lead and were left hanging on a bit at the end as Burnley pushed forward in the closing stages.

Kenny was still not called on to make a serious save, however, with Danny Ings and Sam Vokes sending shots wide.

Victory kept Leeds in 11th place, although they are now seven points clear of the relegation zone.

Match facts

Leeds United 1

(Austin 63)

Burnley 0

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Npower Championship

Att: 16,788

Leeds: Kenny, Byram, Lees, Pearce, Warnock, Austin, Green, Tonge, Diouf, McCormack (Somma 85), Varney.

Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Shackell, Long, Mee (Lafferty 45), Wallace (Ings 66), McCann, Marney, Kacaniklic, Paterson (Stanislas 53), Vokes.

Referee: Fred Graham.