Leeds United let lead slip at Burnley

Goal scorer Ross McCormack.

Goal scorer Ross McCormack.

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Leeds United produced an improved performance, but still came home empty handed from their trip to promotion chasing Burnley.

Ross McCormack fired the Whites into a shock first half lead in the first half only for Burnley to hit back with a Jason Pearce own goal and a second half winner by winger Scott Arfield.

Despite the 4-2 midweek defeat to Reading manager Brian McDermott made only one change to his team, including Matt Smith from the start after the big striker scored goals from the bench in the previous two matches.

United started well with Smith getting a shot in early on, to be saved easily by Tom Heaton.

McCormack was then desperately unlucky not to open the scoring as he raced through with only Heaton to beat, but saw his chip hit the inside of the post.

The Scotland striker did get the ball in the net on 27 minutes when he headed home after Smith had flicked the ball on.

The goal seemed to fire up Burnley and after Ashley Barnes headed Kieran Trippier’s cross just over they made it 1-1 as Trippier crossed into the box and Leeds defender Pearce, under pressure from Sam Vokes, turned the ball into his own net.

An open start to the second half saw both sides have half-chances and United came close as Wickham’s angled shot was well saved by Heaton and Smith had a close range shot blocked.

But the crucial moment came in the 67th minute when Arfield saw one effort blocked by Tom Lees after a quick break, but was able to shoot home from the rebound.

Leeds struggled to respond and the home side came closest to more goals in the final quarter through Stanislas and Barnes.

Smith did send a header over and the Whites forced several corners, but it was all to no avail

With just two wins from their last 16 games Leeds have now slipped down to 14th in the table. The end of the season cannot come soon enough it would seem.

Match facts

Burnley 2

(Pearce og 38, Arfield 67)

Leeds United 1

(McCormack 27)

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Sky Bet Championship

Att: 18,109

Burnley: Heaton; Trippier, Mee, Shackell, Duff; Marney, Jones, Wallace (Stanislas 60), Arfield; Barnes (Treacy 90), Vokes.

Leeds: Butland; Byram, Lees, Pearce, Pugh; Murphy, Austin, Mowatt (Poleon 66); Wickham, Smith, McCormack.

Referee: S Hooper.