Yeboah up to his old tricks

Wimbledon 2 Holdsworth 43, Reeves 58 Leeds United 4 Palmer 32, Yeboah 42, 45, 73 Attendance: 13,307
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The Independent Online
THERE were more chances for Leeds United at Selhurst Park yesterday than most Yorkshiremen have had hot baths. They flowed in unstoppable torrents, and while Wimbledon were hardly short of attacking aspirations, their supply was a trickle by comparison.

It was a coruscating match, and at its heart was the man who, since his arrival last February, has transformed Leeds. Tony Yeboah scored his third hat-trick for the club, and his second of the season. His first goal was a tap-in when he outstripped his marker to reach across, his third was an impeccably driven shot from the area's edge after the ball was cleared. The strike in between involved taking the ball on his chest, nudging it forward by swapping it between his knees, and allowing it to touch the floor as he drifted further inside and then from some 25 yards struck a shot that thundered against the bar and continued into the roof of the net, almost splitting both asunder.

The Leeds performance was well rounded. They monopolised midfield and the contributions of Gary McAllister and Carlton Palmer were hugely impressive. They were allowed the invaluable commodities of space and time to supply their front line, in which Yeboah was doubtless grateful to be accompanied by Phil Masinga, playing a vigorous first game of the season.

Considering Wimbledon's reputation is based largely on their refusal to permit the opposition to play their natural way, this was lackadaisical stuff. Vinny Jones, for one, was rarely anything other than a hapless bystander.

Leeds might have scored three times before they took the lead in the 32nd minute, were it not for the sprghtliness of the goalkeeper Paul Heald. At that point, Palmer moved left, almost looking half-asleep before coming back inside and hitting a right-foot shot beyond the goalkeeper. Yeboah increased the lead before Dean Holdsworth bundled Wimbledon back into the game from a corner.

Only seconds had elapsed before Yeboah struck awe into allwith his ninth goal of the season, a minute before half-time. After four goals in 14 minutes, what had been eyecatching had become unmissable. Wimbledon raised their game once more and an Alan Reeves header from a free-kick was deserved. But Leeds were merely taking a breather before Yeboah claimed his hat- trick goal and the points.

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