Naylor brace keeps Leeds' promotion dreams alive TSS April 6, 2010 Match reviews 57 Comments A much more pleasent journey home for myself and the rest of the Whites travelling army as captain, Richard Naylor netted his first goals of the season to sink relegation dodging Yeovil to put an end to Leeds United’s losing streak. The game started as planned with Leeds United’s brilliant travelling support turning their backs on the game as the whistle blew for kick-off to show our united disgust at the lack of justice served to the murderers of Chris and Kev. Ten years on and we still haven’t forgotten. Nor will we ever! The result wasn’t as surprising as recent league form would suggest. Despite losing both games, there was real glimpses of the early season Leeds United on show in our previous two matches. We were ultimately unlucky to lose to a late goal away to Norwich and against Swindon just 45 hours before, we dominated almost totally until they got lucky on the break and Leeds fell apart. Today, the luck turned in our favour as Richard Naylor netted his first goal of the season with a header that was almost certainly meant to be a cross, looping up and over the Yeovil Town keeper and landing in the back of the net. It’s that little bit of luck that escaped us at the weekend and despite all our efforts and domination, as soon as Swindon scored there was no way back as the heads dropped and Leeds went into submission. Simon Grayson started with Max Gradel upfront alongside Jermaine Beckford. Max made a clear and noticable difference, tormenting the Yeovil defence throughout with his runs, control and hard work. Perhaps unlucky not to be on the scoresheet himself, Gradel shone throughout for the Whites and was much more affective than Grella and Dickov combined against Swindon. Leeds once again tried to keep the ball down and create chances. After failing to get the results they needed with this style of play against both Swindon and Norwich, it would have been easy for them to give up hope and revert back to the horrendous hoof-ball nonsense we’ve witnessed in other games. The only thing we’d really been missing from the last two games was the shooting, but once Naylor fired Leeds United into the lead the Yeovil keeper had to work hard to keep the scoreline down. The confidence had returned and Leeds United were once again looking like the capable team they are. Just six minutes after his opening goal, Naylor once again netted from a set-play. His strength and movement proved too much for Yeovil and his headed finish was joyous to watch. 2-0, and things seemed simple again. Leeds continued to dominate proceedings and Yeovil looked resigned to defeat. Midway through the second half however, they pulled one back after Leeds’ defence failed to deal with their advances and Bowditch found the bottom corner of Shane Higgs’ goal with a placed finish. Of course it wasn’t going to be simple – this is Leeds after all. 2-1 From there on in, Leeds started to look a little suspect once more. Yeovil applied the pressure and Leeds struggled to clear their advances. With twenty odd minutes left to play, the fans were starting to expect the worst. Our full-backs once again went missing and Yeovil used the wings to their advantage, getting cross after cross in with very little effort made to stop them. Despite his brilliance in netting the two goals and having several other headers saved by the Yeovil keeper, Richard Naylor still didn’t look up to the job in defence. Out of them all, Collins was probably the strongest player but even he had some dodgy moments. Elsewhere, Doyle made several blunders in midfield (one of which cost us the goal) and was largely inaffective all game. Both of the wingers did little to support the full-backs and the only player in the midfield that I’d actually praise when our backs were to the wall is Howson. Not someone who usually shines defensively, nor did he here, but he did do better than the rest. I don’t think we’re totally incapable of defending with our current line-up, although Hughes still isn’t a left-back and Ben Parker’s return can’t come soon enough, but with the confidence still a little fragile, we seem to make too many mistakes and stand-off players for too long. Overall, you have to be happy with the three points. After our dismal run of form lately, I’m delighted with a win no matter how hard we made it for ourselves. We are getting glimpses of the early season Leeds United once again and you can only hope this win does something to re-inspire the confidence before Southend’s visit this weekend. Still making it hard for ourselves, but the automatic goal is still attainable. On and on. TSS man of the match – Max Gradel Would be easy to select Naylor after his two goals. He was brilliant from the corners and set-plays and could have had an hattrick had it not been for the Yeovil keeper’s damage limitation efforts (maybe we can move him to centre forward?). His defending however remains suspect, so with that in mind, it has to be Max Gradel. The youngster ran Yeovil ragged all afternoon. He held the ball up well, moved past players, created chances and had several shots of his own saved. Hopefully more to come from Mad Max.