Leeds United vs Derby County, match report: Leeds reach for the Sky but Tom Ince leveller rescues Derby

Leeds United 2 Derby County 2

Jon Culley
Elland Road
Tuesday 29 December 2015 23:30
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Chris Wood scores Leeds United’s second goal in front of the Sky TV cameras at Elland Road as the home side shared a thrilling contest with promotion-chasing Derby County
Chris Wood scores Leeds United’s second goal in front of the Sky TV cameras at Elland Road as the home side shared a thrilling contest with promotion-chasing Derby County

Having relented on their threat to ban Sky TV cameras from the ground, Leeds somewhat justified the satellite broadcaster’s decision to choose last night’s match for live coverage by sharing a compelling contest with promotion favourites Derby County that confirms their resurgence under Steve Evans.

Controversial Leeds owner Massimo Cellino wanted to block Sky’s coverage as a protest, claiming the nine Leeds matches shown live this season have had a detrimental effect on revenue not compensated by the £100,000-per-match fee. He backed down only hours before the game when the Football League threatened punitive action.

Leeds stretched their unbeaten run to six matches and briefly looked like handing second-placed Derby only a third defeat of the season when Chris Wood gave them the lead 19 minutes from time only for substitute Tom Ince to equalise as Derby finished the night one point behind leaders Middlesbrough.

Derby had taken a 13th-minute lead as the home defence failed to check a run into the box by Derby’s Jeff Hendrick. The Irish midfielder easily sidestepped challenges from Liam Bridcutt and Sol Bamba before clipping the ball past goalkeeper Marco Silvestri.

It made for an inauspicious return to the starting line-up for Leeds captain Bamba, who had been recalled in place of Giuseppe Bellusci following the error by the Italian that resulted in a goal at Nottingham Forest on Sunday.

Leeds drew level three minutes before half-time, with Bamba able to make up for his mistake. Derby goalkeeper Lee Grant failed to deal with a free-kick and was then caught well off his line in a crowded penalty area as a Byram effort was blocked. He palmed away Stuart Dallas’s attempt to chip the ball over his head only for it to drop at the feet of Bamba, six yards out, who took great delight in scoring his first goal since March.

The second half saw a change of referee as Richard Clark replaced Mark Heywood, who suffered an injury and a fine second Leeds goal as Wood headed home unmarked from a Byram cross.

But Derby drew level as Ince, on the field for barely two minutes as Clement’s final change after Martin replaced an ineffective Darren Bent, latched on to a Johnny Russell flick to fire home.

Leeds United (4-1-4-1): Silvestri; Wootton, Bamba, Cooper, Taylor; Bridcutt; Byram (Phillips, 89), Adeyemi (Cook, 63), Murphy, Dallas; Wood (Doukara, 75). Substitutes not used: Bellusci, Antenucci, Coyle, Peacock-Farrell.

Derby County (4-3-3): Grant; Christie, Keogh, Shackell (Shotton, 36), Warnock; Hendrick, Johnson, Butterfield; Russell, Bent (Martin, 62), Weimann (Ince, 76). Substitutes not used: Baird, Hanson, Thorne, Mitchell.

Referee M Heywood (West Yorkshire)

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