Live Commentary: Leeds United 1-2 Derby County - as it happened

Leeds United manager Neil Warnock shows his frustration during his side's game with Blackburn Rovers on February 23, 2013
© Dave Thompson / PA Photos
Sports Mole's live text commentary of this afternoon's Championship fixture between Leeds and Derby that ends in a 2-1 win for the visitors.

Derby County came from behind to beat Leeds United 2-1 at Elland Road this afternoon.

Ross McCormack lit up what had been a dull game with a fine curling strike in the second half to give the hosts a 1-0 lead.

However, Paul Coutts levelled the sides just six minutes later when he responded quickest to Connor Sammon's penalty coming back off the post.

Jake Buxton then got the winner late on, nodding in a Ben Davies corner with just three minutes of normal time left.

You can read how the 90 minutes unfolded with Sports Mole's play-by-play coverage below.


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4.30pmGood afternoon! Thank you for joining Sports Mole for this afternoon's match between Leeds and Derby! Let's get straight down to business.

4.32pmToday's match is very much a mid-table battle between these two, who have both been in pretty poor form lately. They will be looking for a win today to kick-start a potential late push towards a playoff place.

4.34pmLet's start by looking at Leeds. Neil Warnock's side have lost their last two games, including a 3-0 drubbing at the hands of Ipswich on Saturday.

4.36pmTheir winless streak extends further back, having not picked up maximum points in a Championship fixture since their 1-0 win over Millwall just under one month ago.

4.38pmHowever, a return to winning ways this afternoon could see them move as high as eighth in the table, just five points of the playoffs. While they are still underdogs to finish in the all-important top six, Neil Warnock is the type of manager who will not accept defeat until it is mathematically impossible.

4.40pmAs far as Derby are concerned, they went through a woeful spell of form throughout February and the start of March, going eight games without a win. Such a poor run of form hit their playoff hopes hard, and the Rams now face an uphill battle if they still harbour any hopes of a top six finish.

4.42pmThey have started to find a bit of form recently, however. The Rams ended their eight match winless streak against Leicester last Saturday, while a 3-0 win over Bristol City on Good Friday made it two wins in a row for Derby for the first time since mid-December.

4.44pmDespite being one point behind Leeds going into this one, they could also move as high as eighth with a win today. They would move level on points with Bolton and Middlesbrough, while a win would see their goal difference at least match that of Bolton, while it is significantly better than Boro's.

4.46pmTEAM NEWS: The team news is in and there is interesting news from both camps. For Leed, Warnock has chosen to give a first-team debut to young Chris Dawson, while Derby leave out top scorer Jamie Ward in place of Ben Davies. Full team news coming right up...


4.48pmDERBY STARTING XI: Fielding; Freeman, Keogh, Buxton, Forsyth; Coutts, Hendrick, Bryson, Davies; Martin, Sammon

4.50pmDERBY SUBS: Deeney, O’Connor, Gjokaj, Doyle, Bennett, Hoganson, Jacobs

4.52pmLEEDS STARTING XI: Kenny; Byram, Pearce, Peltier, Warnock; Green, Austin, Dawson; Diouf, Morison, Varney

4.54pmLEEDS SUBS: Ashdown, White, Brown, McCormack, Habibou, Tonge, Norris

4.55pmPREDICTION: Derby have started to find a bit of form of late and that could provide them with the confidence to go and really take this game to Leeds, who are floating about rather meaninglessly in the Championship at the moment. The home advantage will count for something for the hosts, especially if their fans actually get behind the team, and I can see this one ending as a draw. I'll say 1-1.

4.57pmThe way this Championship season is going, it is very hard to predict what might happen to a number of teams. These two will take heart from seeing the top sides losing regularly and, if either of them can string a good run of results together, then they could put themselves right in the mix for a playoff place.

4.59pmElsewhere in the Championship today, Barnsley and Wolves both won this afternoon to move out of the bottom three, while Cardiff have moved seven points clear at the top of the table.

5.01pmWhile both sides will be looking up at the top six hoping to make a late push for the playoffs, but they also have to be wary of the bottom three. It seems inexplicable that two sides in the top half of the table towards the end of the season would still be in danger of being dragged into the relegation battle, but such has been the nature of the Championship this season that it is a very real possibility.

5.03pmWe're nearing kickoff here at Elland Road, the players are out and the pre-match anthem is blaring out. Three points would be huge for either side this afternoon, but Leeds will have to overturn recent history against Derby - the Rams have won the last eight matches between these two.

0 minWe're underway at Elland Road as Derby kick us off.

1 minSammon makes an early break behind the Leeds defence, but cuts back when he gets inside the box. He goes down under the slightest touch from a Leeds man, and the ref is right to wave the muted penalty claims away.

3 minIt will be interesting to see how Dawson gets on this afternoon. The youngster is tipped for big things at the club, and Warnock has recently compared him to the great Johnny Giles. Such comparisons aren't thrown about willy nilly at this club.

4 minMartin is brought down by a rash sliding challenge by Austin and the visitors have a free kick right on the edge of the box. Very dangerous position...

5 min...It's crossed into a dangerous area but bravely cleared by the Leeds defence. Derby have made the brighter start to this one.


6 minIt's Martin's turn to put in a late tackle now. The ref keeps his cards in his pocket again but it has been quite a physical start to this match.

8 minLeeds are really struggling to hold on to the ball for a prolonged period of time at the moment. They haven't got into this game at all so far and Derby are dictating the tempo of the match.

10 minIt's been a very quiet opening 10 minutes here. We are yet to see our first shot and the atmosphere in the stadium isn't exactly rocking. There's a stale feel about Leeds at the moment.

12 minThat pass pretty much sums up the opening stages to the match. Diouf tries to slip it to his right, but passes it about three yards behind his man and straight out for a throw in. That was a simple pass too.

13 minBrilliant challenge from Keogh. The most threatening attack of the game so far sees Varney burst into the box and run straight at the Derby defender, but he times his challenge to perfection and pokes the ball away. If he got that wrong it would've been a penalty.

15 minThis is better from Leeds. Forsyth is forced to put the ball behind for a corner with Byram looking set to get in behind the full-back. The corner comes to nothing, but the hosts have finally started to look threatening when going forward.

16 minFielding is called into action for the first time today as he punches away a lofted cross into the box. He perhaps should have caught it, but the punch was into a safe area.

18 minDerby string together a good spell of possession but they can't find a way through an organised Leeds back line. Eventually the ball is clipped over the top of the defence towards Sammon, but he can't reach it and it goes out for a goal kick.

20 minThe referee misses a clear handball from Martin and all the players stop, waiting for an inevitable whistle until they realise it is not forthcoming! Austin eventually gets rid of the danger with a trademark crunching challenge. That man rarely stays on his feet when making a tackle!

23 minDerby have regained control of this one in the last few moments but neither side have carved out a good goal scoring opportunity yet. It's been a midfield battle more than anything so far.


25 minChris Martin has a chance to take the ball in his stride and shoot at goal, but his first touch lets Peltier get back and clear it away. Martin takes a slight swing at Peltier in frustration and a free kick is awarded.

27 minI think one of the biggest reasons that this match is so poor at the moment is the sheer number of fouls that are being committed. The ref has been pretty busy already today.

30 minLeeds have not scored before the 52nd minute in any of their last 15 Championship fixtures, which really is a startling statistic. I think it's fair to say that they are slow starters.

32 minSHOT! We have a shot! Diouf flicks the ball on with a clever backheel and suddenly Varney finds himself behind the defence. He rushes his shot, however, and drags it tamely wide of the right post.

34 minDERBY SUB: Derby have been forced into an early change here as Craig Bryson limps off the field to be replaced by Michael Jacobs. That may cause a slight reshuffle in the Derby midfield.

36 minDiouf goes down under a challenge from Buxton right in front of the linesman, who flags for a goal kick. That was a clear foul and I'm not sure how the assistant missed it, but there is still no need for Diouf to moan at the ref for the next minute or so!

39 minOFF THE BAR! By far the best moment of the match sees Leeds come within the width of the crossbar to opening the scoring! Young Dawson does well on the left before the hosts eventually put the ball into the box. It is passed back to Green on the edge of the box, and he absolutely hammers it towards goal. The ball is past the keeper before he can see it, but it smashes against the underside of the bar and bounces out.

41 minSuddenly this match has improved significantly! Sammon is given the ball behind the Leeds defence and he advances into the penalty area. Kenny has come a long way to try to close the angle, and he does well to keep Sammon's low strike out, putting it behind for a corner.

43 minWarnock, Stephen that is, is a lucky boy as he is out-strengthened in the corner, allowing Derby in on goal. Warnock is saved by the assistant, however, who flags for a foul. Perhaps a bit of a soft decision but I can see why he's given it.

45 minWe will have two minutes of added time at Elland Road. Can either side find an opener in the closing stages of this half?


45+2 minHALF TIME: Leeds 0-0 Derby

5.55pmThe referee brings an end to an incredibly dull 45 minutes on the whole. It remains goalless, and the only thing that has come anywhere near to breaking the deadlock was Paul Green's strike which hit the bar. That is by far the stand out moment so far, and hopefully the second half will be a lot more entertaining!

5.57pmThese two clubs are stuck in mid-table at the moment, and the standard of play has been very mediocre. However, they may not be able to play at that standard for the rest of season as there doesn't seem to be any mid-table mediocrity in the Championship this season. Both Leeds and Derby still have hopes of a late playoff push, but with the league's bottom sides continually picking up points they may not even be safe from relegation at this rate.

5.59pmThat first have saw just one shot on target throughout, and the keepers haven't really been tested at all. Again, that Green effort was the closest either side have come but, other than that, there has been very little going forward at either end.

6.01pmIt is hard to see either manager being particularly happy with that first half. A draw may not be a terrible result for either side in the grand scheme of things, but what will be concerning them most would be the performance.

6.03pmAs for young Chris Dawson, he has played relatively well so far. It is always hard to shine in a game like this as it has been a very scrappy affair and Dawson doesn't seem like the sort of player who would thrive in such matches. However, he has done the basics well and was instrumental in creating the chance from which Green hit the bar. All in all a very solid debut for the midfielder so far.

6.05pmI would be interesting to see what Warnock is like in the dressing room at the moment. He is the type of manager that could be trying to inspire his side to show more quality in the second half or he could be the type who is happy with a scrappy game and hopeful that Leeds can nick a goal and a 1-0 win.

6.07pmRight, the players are back out and we are almost ready to get this second half on the road. More quality please!

45 minHere we go again! Leeds kick us off in the second half.

47 minGreen lines up another piledriver from the edge of the box, and he makes perfect contact with it again, but this time his powerful strike is blocked by a diving defender.


49 minFielding is forced to scramble the ball away with two Leeds players bearing down on him. This has been a much better start to the half for the hosts.

51 minMorison has space for pretty much the first time this afternoon but he is out wide left so can't go for goal. He seems unsure of what to do, eventually trying to thread a low cross into the box that skids all the way through.

53 minSAVE! Derby have their best moment of the match so far and are only denied from taking the lead by a flying Paddy Kenny save. It was Hendrick who had the effort from about 25 yards out, and it was flying towards the top corner before Kenny got a good hand to it.

55 minSHOT! There is a much greater sense of urgency about these two sides now, especially Leeds. They spend a good minute or two camped just outside the Derby box, seeing a couple of shots blocked before the ball fell out to Austin, whose low strike whistle a couple of yards past the left post.

57 minLEEDS SUB: That is the end of the match for debutant Dawson, who has made a very solid start to his first-team career. He is replaced by Ross McCormack.

58 minYELLOW CARD! The yellow card is out for the first time today and it is a deserved one. Green slid in and caught Davies, who was looking to break away. Derby have a free kick about 30-35 yards from goal.

59 minDavies's strike hits the wall before deflecting off Hendrick and out for a goal kick.

61 minCoutts clips a ball out to the left to find Martin, who in turn feeds it back to Jacobs. His crossed is aimed towards Sammon, by Byram clears it out for a throw in.

62 minDISALLOWED GOAL! Derby think that they have taken the lead, but the linesman's flag is up against Sammon. Hendrick does well on the edge of the box to beat his man and drive into the area. He sends an inviting low pass into the middle which is turned into his own net by a Leeds defender, I think it is Byram. However, Sammon was interfering with play from an offside position, so it is a good decision by the official.

64 minLEEDS SUB: El Hadj Diouf will have no further part to play in this one as he is replaced by Aidy White.


66 minGOAL! Leeds 1-0 Derby (Ross McCormack)

66 minA game of poor quality has just been lit up by a goal of the highest quality! Warnock's corner is punched out by Fielding, but only as far as Green, who is waiting on the edge of the box. He tees up McCormack with a square pass and the sub curls a delicious first-time strike into the top corner. Fielding had no chance, that was a beautiful finish.

68 minThat goal was Leeds' first effort on target today, and it probably didn't belong in a game this bad! Derby now need to take the initiative and start attacking with more purpose if they want to get anything out of this game.

70 minSHOT! McCormack is in the mood to prove himself today! He produces a string of step-overs before working the ball onto his right and trying to curl a similar effort into the top corner from a little further out than his goal. He doesn't catch it too well, however, and it goes some way wide.

71 minPENALTY TO DERBY!

71 minGOAL! Leeds 1-1 Derby (Paul Coutts)

72 minLeeds' lead didn't last long! Martin gets the wrong side of Pearce inside the box before cleverly cutting across the defender, who bundles into him from behind. Martin goes down fairly easily at the first sign of contact, but the ref is right to award a penalty. Pearce should have done anything to avoid making contact there. Sammon steps up to take the spot kick but scuffs it against the foot of the post, only for Coutts to bundle in the rebound.

74 minOFF THE BAR! This match has suddenly turned into a classic! Leeds almost respond immediately and hit the bar for the second time this afternoon. A cross into the back post is met by Byram, whose powerful header beats Fielding all ends up, but deflects off the top of the crossbar.

76 minLeeds have responded well to the equaliser. Other than Byram's header they have started to string a number of passes together and look dangerous when going forward.

78 minSHOT! McCormack is trying shots from further and further out every time! This time he goes for goal from at least 30 yards out, but he is leaning back and it goes a long way over the bar.


79 minWarnock gives the ball away carelessly in his own half, and Coutts immediately looks to take advantage. He swings a dangerous ball into a good area, but it is over the head of Sammon, who is the only Derby player in the Leeds box.

81 minAustin brings Jacobs down about 25 yards from goal and Derby have a free kick in a promising position. If you could place the ball anywhere on the pitch for a free kick, it wouldn't be too far away from where Derby have it here.

82 minHaving said that, Derby move it further back and opt to cross it into the back post! It is cleared by Leeds, but Derby win another free kick down the left shortly afterwards and can cross it in again.

83 minThis time the ball is put behind for a corner, from which the ball drops into a very dangerous area, pretty much on the penalty spot, but there is not a Derby shirt in sight to take advantage!

85 minThat is a very strange decision by the referee. Jacobs goes down theatrically inside the box and at first it doesn't look like a penalty. The referee agrees, but he gives a free kick to Derby instead! That was clearly inside the box so, if the ref thought it was a foul, it should've been another penalty! Nigel Clough is baffled.

86 minSAVE! Ben Davies whips the free kick goalwards but Kenny gets a good hand on it to tip it behind for a corner. Good save.

87 minGOAL! Leeds 1-2 Derby (Jake Buxton)

88 minDerby have done it! Davies, having come close with the free kick moments before, whips a good ball in from the corner that Buxton meets with his head, putting it past Kenny at the front post. It wasn't the cleanest of connections, but Buxton won't care one bit. Derby are on the verge of a ninth consecutive win over Leeds!

90 minThere will a minimum of four minutes of added time. Can Leeds find an equaliser?

90+1 minDERBY SUB: Ben Davies has been influential in this Derby comeback, but he goes off in favour of another defender, who arrives in the shape of Valentin Gjokaj.


90+3 minMorison rises highest inside the box to nod the ball down into what would have been a dangerous area had it not bounced off the shoulder of Aidy White and out for a goal kick.

90+4 minFULL TIME: Leeds 1-2 Derby

6.58pmThere we have it! Leeds let a lead slip and the final whistle is greeted by a chorus of boos by the home fans. It is yet another loss for them and, with it, surely the end of their playoff hopes. Derby, meanwhile, keep their playoff hopes alive with a good win. The first half was dull but the second half was much better.

7pmRight, that's it from me this afternoon! Thank you for joining Sports Mole for what was the cliched game of two halves. Jake Buxton grabbed the late goal to secure Derby's ninth consecutive win over Leeds, keeping their playoff hopes alive in the process. I will leave you with Jake Buxton's match report and be sure to stick around for analysis, which should be on site within half an hour. Goodbye!

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