It was a mixed bag of results for West Yorkshire clubs this weekend, as Huddersfield and Bradford both kept up their playoff charges with victories, while Leeds slumped to 17th in the Championship after being mauled 6-1 by Gianfranco Zola’s Watford.
It took the Hornets 28 minutes to take the lead when Czechch youngster Matej Vydra, on loan from Udinese, had already fired in from the edge of the area, before he drew a reckless foul from Leeds’s Jason Pearce, resulting in the Leeds centre-half’s red card.
From then on, it was all Watford, and the red card prompted manager Neil Warnock to make two changes at the break, Michael Brown replacing left wing-back Aidy White and Ryan Hall coming on for El Hadji Diouf.
To make matters worse, Leeds lost star man Rudolph Austin to a double leg-fracture after they had made all their substitutions, leaving the Whites with nine men.
Despite Leeds pulling a goal back, there was to be no great escape, however, as Vydra again swopped passes, this time with Anya, before chipping the ball over Kenny for the fourth in the 83rd minute. Then in the 10 minutes of stoppage time, Sean Murray and Troy Deeney drilled home shots from outside the area as Kenny fell below his normal excellent standards.
It was a better weekend for Huddersfield Town, after former Leeds striker Jermaine Beckford hit the winner against Barnsley.
Town’s 36th-minute goal was, indeed, a thing of beauty and worthy of winning any game. Sean Scannell started a move that was done at such a pace that Barnsley had no answer with a strong run into the home side’s half of the field.
A perfectly weighted pass for Simon Church to chase down the left flank then opened up the Reds defence and the new loan arrival from Reading did the rest with a wonderfully flighted cross that was just begging to be headed in by Beckford.
Debutant Church was impressive and created a number of chances for Town, as they completely outplayed the hosts, and the victory propells the terriers into sixth place.
Bradford City’s Bermudian star Nahki Wells took his season’s tally to 12 for the season after grabbing a brace at Aldershot to fire the Bantams towards fourth spot in League Two.
In a match which saw a woeful home performance from the Shots, city were professional and business-like in their approach, hardly needing to get out of second gear.
Midweek food poisoning-victim James Hanson returned to bully the home defence, which left plenty of space for Wells to exploit, and “The Nahk” didn’t disappoint, cashing in on a gift from Sonny Bradley and seizing on his woefully underhit backpass before slotting home past Young on 28 minutes.
Wells doubled City’s lead on 39 minutes, after the ball found its way to an unmarked Hanson and while Young did well to block his effort, Wells made no mistake with the follow-up to seal three away-day points for the visitors, in FA Cup first-round replay action at home to Northampton Town tomorrow evening.