LEEDS United lost ground on several teams above them, but stayed in the play-off places in the Npower Championship when they came from two down to earn a draw in the Yorkshire derby at Hull’s KC Stadium.
Goals from Robert Snodgrass (pictured) and Davide Somma kept the Whites in sixth place, although they failed to end their Tuesday night hoodoo and have now won only one of their last nine matches in all competitions.
Leeds have failed to win any of their seven league games they have played on Tuesdays this season and they looked look like coming home empty handed again from their trip along the M62 after a poor first half display saw them distinctly second best against a Hull side that had only lost once since the teams last met in early November.
Once again their inability to defend with authority showed as United took their goals conceded close to the 50 mark in 29 league games and added to the surprise that manager Simon Grayson failed to strengthen in the transfer window now shut.
Grayson’s vote of confidence in the current first team squad was not rewarded as Leeds conceded two goals in eight minutes in the first half to Matty Fryatt’s clinical shot and James Chester’s header from one of many dangerous corners and free-kicks put into the Leeds box.
Only several saves from Kasper Schmeichel and a glaring miss by Aaron McLean in the first 30 seconds kept the visitors in it in the opening half as Grayson’s reversal back to a 4-4-2 formation did not do the business and left the leaky defence too often exposed.
Leeds did carve out some chances for themselves, however, with Bradley Johnson going close twice and Luciano Becchio claiming the ball had gone over the line when his header was saved by home keeper Brad Guzan with his feet behind the goal-line.
Robert Snodgrass gave United hope just before half-time with a fine strike, celebrating his call-up to the Scotland squad earlier in the day by beating Guzan with a free-kick from the edge of the box.
Boosted by the goal, Leeds improved after the break and levelled 11 minutes in when striker Somma fired home his tenth of the season.
Substitute Lloyd Sam cleared a Fryatt effort off the line as Hull looked to hit back, but Leeds saw out the rest of the game, defending better than they had earlier.
The hosts finished the game with ten men when defender Liam Rosenior was stretchered off after all three of their subs had been brought on, but United could not take advantage before the final whistle ended almost 11 minutes of stoppage time.
Hull City 2
(Fryatt 33, Chester 41)
Leeds United 2
(Snodgrass 44, Somma 56)
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Hull: Guzan, Rosenior, Dawson, Chester, Gerrard, Harper (Barmby 63), Evans, Stewart (Devitt 70), Koren, McLean (Belaid 77), Fryatt.
Leeds: Schmeichel, Connolly, O’Brien, Bruce, McCartney, Snodgrass, Howson, Johnson, Gradel (McCormack 90), Somma (Sam 69), Becchio (Paynter 86).
Referee: Graham Salisbury.