NEIL Warnock’s first official game in charge ended in a goalless stalemate as Leeds United could not add to Portsmouth’s misery following their move into administration and sudden slide down the Npower Championship.
The Whites had the better chances, but had an off day in front of goal and had to settle for a point, which saw them lose more ground on the play-off contenders.
Ross McCormack came closest to breaking the deadlock with a second half shot that unluckily hit the crossbar and almost bounced down over the line. Although Robert Snodgrass headed home the rebound, his celebration was cut short by an offside flag.
Warnock only made one change to the starting line-up from the previous week with Danny Pugh picked on the left and Michael Brown back in central midfield following the departure of Andros Townsend, but there was a change in captaincy with Snodgrass handed the armband.
An early substitution was forced, however, when defender Alex Bruce was injured to be replaced by Leigh Bromby in the 11th minute.
Chances were few and far between in a poor first half, although Adam Clayton and Snodgrass both went close for Leeds with the latter denied by a fine save from home keeper Stephen Henderson.
United were closer to the first goal early in the second half with McCormack’s great strike hitting the woodwork and Henderson was forced to make another good save to deny Luciano Becchio in a one-on-one.
Bromby was next to force a save out of the keeper, but Andy Lonergan also had to do well to keep out George Thorne’s 20-yard shot.
But in a frustrating finish the deadlock could not be broken with Aidan White seeing a cross-shot tipped over, Darren O’Dea sending a header straight at Henderson and Brown hitting a shot over the bar in injury-time.
Leeds United 0
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Portsmouth: Henderson, Mokoena, Rocha, Pearce, Ben-Haim, Ward, Mullins, Thorne, Halford, Allan (Norris 76), Futacs (Mwaruwari 76)
Leeds: Lonergan, Bruce (Bromby 11), Lees, O’Dea, White, Snodgrass, Brown, Clayton, Pugh, McCormack, Becchio.
Referee: Phil Gibbs.