Summer signing Souleymane Doukara struck twice on his competitive home debut as Leeds United avoided a banana skin by beating Accrington Stanley to advance to round two of the Capital One Cup.
Head coach David Hockaday was able to celebrate his first victory since taking charge, but after Doukara’s fine strikes gave the Whites a two-goal half-time lead there were a few nervy moments late on when the battling visitors pulled a goal back and Leeds went down to 10 men with another home debutant, Gaetano Berardi, sent-off.
James Gray’s strike, which went in off Charlie Taylor after he tried to clear it off the line, made a real fight of it and after looking comfortable Leeds were hanging on at the end and relieved to hear the final whistle.
It all went well to start with for United as they settled into their new patient passing game and went ahead in the 20th minute when Doukara took Berardi’s pass and turned smartly on the edge of the box to hit a low shot past visiting keeper Luke Simpson.
Joss Windass briefly threatened to level when he wriggled free in the box only to send a weak shot wide.
But Leeds remained largely in control with teenager Lewis Cook and Michael Tonge running the show in midfield although they did not create many chances before Doukara made it 2-0 in the 38th minute with another fine strike after taking Cook’s through ball to round the last defender and fire past Simpson.
United started the second half well with Matt Smith volleying over a cross by young left-back Charlie Taylor.
But Accrington changed their system to play more of a pressure game and came close to a goal as Rob Atkinson headed just over from a free-kick.
Smith headed over a decent chance soon after at the other end after more good work down the left by Charlie Taylor.
The big striker should then have put the tie to bed when sent clear by Nicky Ajose, but he was slow to get his shot away and he saw his effort deflected wide.
Leeds’ loan signing from AC Milan Zan Benedicic showed some nice touches in midfield after coming on as substitute and hit one shot from long range wide. Doukara then hit a powerful shot not far over, but a third goal would not come.
It was Accrington who suddenly looked threatening in the closing stages and they were rewarded when Gray’s shot somehow ended up in the net.
Within a minute Gray had another chance, but poked his shot wide. More pressure followed in five minutes of added time with the Whites down to 10 men following the red card for Berardi for a wild looking challenge, but Leeds held on to seal their second round place.
Leeds United 2
(Doukara 20, 38)
Accrington Stanley 1
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Capital One Cup, round one
Leeds: S Taylor, Berardi (sent-off 89) , Wootton, Pearce, C Taylor, Tonge, Cook (Benedicic 65), Bianchi, Ajose (Hunt 63), Smith, Doukara (Poleon 79).
Accrington: Simpson, Buxton, Aldred, Winnard, Mustoe, Mingoia, Hunt (Hatfield 75), Windass, Naismith (Atkinson 45), Gray, Alabi.
Referee: Richard Clark.