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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Further Reports of QPR's Draw at Leeds

Dave McIntyre/Kilburn Times - Leeds Utd 0 QPR 0

Lee Camp helped QPR secure a potentially vital point at Elland Road on Tuesday.

The Derby goalkeeper, making his first appearance since returning to Rangers on loan, produced two excellent saves to deny David Healy.

Camp dived to his right to keep out Healy's first-half header from Robbie Blake's free-kick.

And after the break, Camp again thwarted Healy when the Leeds forward was put through by Jonathan Douglas.

Healy also went close with a long-range shot that bounced back off the bar.

A crowd of almost 30,000 provided an additional test for QPR following the confidence-shaking 5-0 defeat at Southend.

Camp's presence made a big difference, while defenders Danny Cullip and Michael Mancienne turned in excellent displays to help keep Leeds at bay and frustrate the home fans, who made their disgust clear - especially when the impressive Blake was substituted.

Blake had caused Rangers problems and shaved the outside of the post with a 25-yard free-kick.

Both teams remain in danger of relegation but the point - Rangers' first away from home this year - keeps John Gregory's side a place above the drop zone with Leeds staying bottom.

Rangers did have chances and Leeds were reliant on their own on-loan keeper, Casper Ankergren.

Dexter Blackstock gave himself a great opportunity when he robbed defender Matt Heath, but Ankergren saved the Rs striker's effort with his feet.

Ankergren also prevented Adam Bolder and then Lee Cook from breaking the deadlock.

Bolder's low drive was well saved and Cook beat two defenders before seeing his shot tipped away.

QPR: CAMP*; Mancienne, Cullip, Stewart; Ainsworth, Lomas, Bolder, Timoska; Rowlands, Blackstock, Cook. Kilburn Times

United boss Dennis Wise remained in defiant mood after Tuesday's 0-0 draw with QPR at Elland Road.

The stalemate was enough to lift United to level on points with Southend at the foot of the Championship, and Dennis says the battle will go right to the wire.

"I was disappointed with the result and I felt we should have won," said the United boss.
"They're more pleased than us, but we'll keep going. There's not much in it and I think it will go right to the wire - we've just got to make sure we're out of it at the end of the season."

Dennis said he felt his players did enough to win the game. David Healy rattled the bar and Robbie Blake hit the post on a night of frustration.

"We had a few chances and hit the post a couple of times," said the boss.

"You always want to create more chances, but I think we had enough shots. Unfortunately not enough on target.

"We also had a couple of deflected shots which could have gone in.

"We did make a couple of mistakes than gave them chances, but overall we dominated and should have won."

Both goalkeepers made important saves with Casper Ankergren making one superb second half save to claw away a deflected effort.

"Casper's a good goalkeeper," added Dennis.

"He made a wonderful save in the second half and he made a crucial one early on when we let it bounce in a dangerous position."

YORKSHIRE POST - United slip further into danger
Leeds United 0 QPR 0

THE threat of relegation to the third tier of English football for the first time is looming large for Leeds United after another frustrating night.
Despite being backed by their biggest home crowd for a league game in 21 months, United could not find a way past a gutsy but limited QPR side and slipped further into the Championship mire.
Barnsley's 3-0 victory over Hull City means Leeds are now three points adrift of safety and games are starting to run out for a club who badly needed to return to winning ways last night.
United's woeful goal difference makes their position even more perilous.
There was certainly no mistaking the frustration in the stands with the final whistle being met by boos. Sporadic chants of 'you're not fit to wear the shirt' could be heard from a minority in the Kop.
A crowd of 29,593 had flocked to Elland Road after adult ticket prices were slashed to £15 and £25,
providing United with their highest gate for a Championship game since 30,900 watched a goalless draw with Rotherham on the final day of the 2004-05 season.
The cut-price deal was so successful Leeds have already decided to repeat it when Luton Town, who compounded United's misery last night by beating Sheffield Wednesday, are the visitors to Elland Road on March 10.
Before then they face a tricky double-header away at Wolves and Birmingham City followed by a derby with the Owls.
Anything less than a six-point haul will leave Wise's side in grave danger of slipping into what in old money is the Third Division. There is little doubt Leeds will have to show more quality in that trio of games than they did against a QPR side that had lost five of their previous six games, a run that culminated in a 5-0 thrashing at Southend United.
With so much at stake it was no surprise play became rather desperate at times.
Play was frantic and far too often lacking in quality, but it was nevertheless an absorbing game as play swung from end to end.
Leeds twice hit the woodwork, through Robbie Blake and David Healy, while only a wonderful one-handed save by Rangers goalkeeper Lee Camp denied the latter a goal just before the break.
Jonathan Douglas and Blake also had deflected efforts well saved and a clearance by the alert Michael Mancienne denied Richard Cresswell at the back post.
At the other end, the agility of on-loan stopper Casper Ankergren kept the London side out with the Dane denying the lively Lee Cook and stopping Dexter Blackstock from grabbing a goal.
His block on Blackstock after just 14 minutes was particularly vital as a goal had seemed certain when a horrendous mistake by Matt Heath allowed the Rangers striker a clear run at goal.
It was not just Heath who showed nerves, however, with far too many of his Leeds team-mates being guilty of just lumping the ball forward aimlessly.
The loss of Alan Thompson on the half-hour with a recurrence of a calf injury did not help, but United still have enough players supposedly comfortable on the ball not to have to resort to panic football.
Unfortunately, that was not evident last night and although a first clean sheet in 10 games ensured at least a point, there was no hiding from the fact that trips to Crewe Alexandra and Swansea City could be on the agenda for United next season.
Leeds United: Ankergren; Sa (Foxe 77), Marques, Heath, Lewis; Douglas, Nicholls, Thompson (Howson 32); Blake (Johnson 73), Healy, Cresswell. Unused substitututes: Stack, Moore.
QPR: Camp; Mancienne, Cullip, Stewart; Ainsworth, Lomas, Bolder, Timoska; Rowlands, Blackstock, Cook. Unused substitutes: Cole, Kanyuka, Furlong, Jones, Smith.
Referee: A Bates (Staffordshire).
Last Updated: 21 February 2007 Yorkshire Post

Telegraph says

Survival blow for Leeds
By Rob Stewart
Last Updated: 1:21am GMT 21/02/2007

Match details

Your View: Football fans' forum

Leeds United (0) 0 Queens Park Rangers (0) 0

Ken Bates, the Leeds chairman, used his programme notes to poke fun at Queens Park Rangers over their recent travails but the west London side had the last laugh in this stalemate between two relegation-threatened sides.

Bates said he hoped no 'kung fu fighting' would break out at Elland Road following the notorious fracas between Rangers players and members of China's Olympic squad but Leeds' fight for survival suffered a major blow thanks to debutant goalkeeper Lee Camp's heroics that left the Yorkshire club still rooted to the foot of the Championship.

Within minutes Robbie Blake's free-kick was turned away by Camp, in front of a crowd - including members of the Kaiser Chiefs - swelled to a season-high 29,593 by discounted ticket prices.

Camp then excelled by tipping away David Healy's glancing header after a free-kick from Blake, who was then inches away when his 25-yard set-piece whistled just wide.

Shortly after half-time, Camp, on loan from Derby, thwarted Healy with his legs when the Ulsterman was sent through by Jonathan Douglas.

Healy rattled the woodwork with a long-distance effort in the 64th minute before Casper Ankergren pulled off a fine save to keep out Lee Cook's deflected shot for the superior team, who saw Dennis Wise's strugglers booed off at the end.

Match details

Leeds United (4-4-2): Ankergren; Sa (Foxe 76), Marques, Heath, Lewis; Blake (Johnson 73), Douglas, Nicholls, Thompson (Howson 32); Healy, Cresswell.
Subs: Stack (g), Moore.
Booked: Douglas.
Queens Park Rangers (4-4-2): Camp; Mancienne, Cullip, Stewart, Timoska; Ainsworth, Lomas, Bolder, Rowlands; Cook, Blackstock.
Subs: Cole, Kanyuka, Furlong, Jones, Smith.
Booked: Timoska, Camp, Blackstock, Cullip.
Referee: A Bates (Staffs). Telegraph

LEEDS squandered the chance to haul themselves off the bottom of the table as they fired blanks in a basement battle at a packed Elland Road.

Robbie Blake and David Healy hit the woodwork and even though the fans turned out in force, the dreaded drop looms ever closer.

Chairman Ken Bates slashed ticket prices to prevent this relegation battle being fought in an empty stadium, and he was rewarded with their biggest crowd of the season, over 29,000.

Elland Road was a wall of sound after months of silence as fans were turned off by high prices and low-quality football.

Dennis Wise's players responded to the impressive atmosphere and dominated the opening 10 minutes with a series of dangerous set-pieces.

But the first real chance fell to QPR striker Dexter Blackstock, who was left one-on-one with Leeds keeper Casper Ankergren after a blunder by Matt Heath.

The Dane spared Heath's blushes with a point-blank save, and the relief inside the ground was tangible.

That relief turned to despair as Eddie Lewis's cross was met on the volley by Healy, but the ball crashed wide.

Leeds lost Alan Thompson, who limped off after 32 minutes with a recurrence of a calf injury that had kept him out of the last two games.

They were reduced to testing Rangers keeper Lee Camp from distance, the former England Under-21 keeper dealing easily with efforts from Blake and Jonathan Douglas.

He was finally given a real test in the 39th minute, when Healy's header looked bound for the bottom corner but Camp pulled off a sensational save to keep the scoresheet blank. It stayed that way until half time, despite Blake grazing the outside of the post with a curling free-kick just before the break.

Leeds continued to enjoy the best of a poor game that reflected the low confidence of both teams, with Camp saving again from Healy at his near post.

Healy rattled in a leftfooted drive from 25 yards that crashed against the crossbar.

Adam Bolder had tried his luck from distance, but his low effort was stopped at full stretch by Ankergren.

The Dane then kept Leeds in the game when Lee Cook's shot took a wicked deflection off Kevin Nicholls. The ball looked bound for the top corner, but Ankergren made a flying save to his left to frustrate Rangers. Mirror

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