Deane and Ormerod fire blanks again for Leeds

Leeds United 0 - Stoke City 0
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The Independent Football

The shortcomings of the Leeds United attackers were once again in evidence last night as they were held to a goalless draw by Stoke City.

The shortcomings of the Leeds United attackers were once again in evidence last night as they were held to a goalless draw by Stoke City.

In 10 Championship games this season the Yorkshire team's forward players have managed a solitary goal between them and Brian Deane and Brett Ormerod rarely looked like doubling that tally in a match of poor quality.

The draw was of much more use to the Potteries side, however, and they have still lost only one League game.

Meanwhile, Kevin Blackwell, the Leeds manager, continues to insist it will be Christmas at the earliest before his new side can accurately be judged. Nevertheless, for a team that could barely call on 11 senior professionals at one stage in the summer, they are already beginning to acquire a settled look.

Yet, despite some pleasing spells of prolonged possession, it was 20 minutes before they managed an attempt at goal, Wright's free-kick sailing harmlessly over the crossbar.

That was followed by a long-range drive from Ormerod, the forward on a month's loan from Southampton, who lacks nothing in the way of endeavour and was obviously keen to atone for his missed penalty on his debut against Sunderland last Friday.

The nearest Stoke came at the other end was a Jermaine Wright back-pass that caused Neil Sullivan to scurry across his goal and clear.

With nothing to show for their early pressure, Leeds' fragile confidence quickly evaporated. Passes went astray as Stoke's muscular approach denied the match any kind of rhythm.

It was Sullivan who was forced into the first meaningful save of the match, when Darel Russell shot powerfully five minutes into the second half.

As the match finally began to open up, Danny Pugh headed weakly over when well placed to convert Frazer Richardson's cross. And Leeds should have gone ahead on the hour, but Wright's shot from close range was deflected away for a corner.

But Leeds' best chance to take the points came from Stephen Crainey, whose 25-yard effort was tipped over by Ed de Goey.

Leeds United (4-4-2): Sullivan; Kelly, Carlisle, Butler, Crainey; Richardson (Joachim, 88), Wright, Gregan, Pugh; Deane, Ormerod. Substitutes not used: Carson (gk), Ricketts, Spring, Duberry.

Stoke City (4-4-2): De Goey; Halls, Thomas, Taggart, Hunt; Russell, Branmer, Clarke, Hall; Akinbiyi (Greenacre, 90), Noel-Williams (Asaba, 85). Substitutes not used: Simonsen (gk), Neal, Henry.

Referee: L Mason (Lancashire).

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