Two in two for Becchio

The omens before the game weren’t good for Lincoln, having exited the League Cup in the first round at the last four times of asking and right from the off, it didn’t appear as though things were going to change.

I emerged from the stairs in the Kop just in time to see Lloyd Sam’s cross find Jonny Howson who headed home to give Leeds United an early lead.

It quickly became apparent that the Whites were in a different class as they passed the ball around with absolute ease and made their way through the young Lincoln defence without interference.

It took Leeds only five minutes more to double their advantage with Sanchez Watt the provider as Luciano Becchio hit home from close range. 2-0, and for Chris Sutton and the boys things were only going to get worse.

By now, Leeds United were in cruise control, passing their way around the pitch like it was a training session and working openings almost at will. Sanchez Watt forced a couple of good blocks from the Lincoln keeper and Jonny Howson also went close to getting another.

With Naylor missing from defence, it would have been nice to see what Alex Bruce is made of, but with Lincoln hardly getting a touch of the ball, the only thing I recall him doing was getting a block in to deny Lincoln from a rare attacking move.

Another cross provided Leeds’ third goal, this time from Paul Connolly as the Whites displayed the kind of width we’ve sorely lacked in previous seasons. Lloyd Sam was the one on the end of it this time as he marked an impressive display with his first goal for the club.

Half-time came and went and Leeds United took their foot off the gas. With the game already tied up, there was little point risking injury or pushing on to humiliate Lincoln further. Mike Grella and Aidy White came on, but neither had much to do other than see the game out.

The final nail in the already secured Lincoln League Cup coffin came with twenty minutes remaining as Lloyd Sam continued to make a nuisance of himself by levelling his for and against penalty tally after last weeks unfortunate incident against Derby. Neil Kilkenny was the man to step up and round things off for Leeds with a calmly taken kick making it 4-0.

Despite cries of “we want five!” from the Elland Road faithful, the players casually saw the match out as the Kop resorted to keeping themselves amused. For Leeds United, this wasn’t the competitive challenge we’d perhaps hoped for, and our first team squad would probably have benefited more from an extra training session. Still, a 4-0 win however it comes can only help lift the confidence.

For Lincoln, I suspect the bookies may be right in tipping them for relegation. The young, inexperienced defence are going to struggle against strong forwards like Luciano Becchio and the ease with which Leeds passed the ball around has to be a worry. Whilst Leeds may be two divisions higher, I’d have expected a lot more fight from Chris Sutton’s side, if only for the travelling fans sake.

For Leeds’ part, the team had it a little too easy so it’s hard to say how well we performed. Neil Kilkenny had a good game, but when you have 30 seconds to pick a pass before anyone bothers to come near you, it’s not going to be difficult. Jonny Howson also had a good game, but wasn’t closed down much either unless he approached the box. Johnson meanwhile continues to annoy with 35 yard pot-shots when there’s better options in front of him!

It was down the flanks where Leeds really impressed with Lloyd Sam and Sanchez Watt both having good games. Bessone and Connolly did their part too, getting forward and overlapping with the wide-midfielders.

In attack, Becchio should prove a handful with so many deliveries coming from the wings and it’s good to see him on the scoresheet again. Mike Grella meanwhile will be disappointed that the game was over before he entered the field (although he did get more time than on Saturday). He has a tendency to try a little bit too much when on the ball, which is probably out of frustration – still needs a loan move in my opinion.

Overall, it was an absolute stroll in the park for Leeds, but you can only beat what’s put in front of you and the lads did exactly that. They controlled the game throughout, created chances and scored four goals. You can’t really ask much more than that.

TSS man of the match

Chatting to other fans on the way out, the general consensus seemed to be Killa, but I totally disagree as no one ever challenged him. Fair enough, he can only play against whoever is put in front of him, but he had it far too easy for my liking. For me, the obvious choice is Lloyd Sam. Not only did he get his first goal for the club, but he also assisted in Jonny Howson’s opener and won the penalty.

Our condolences go out to the friends and family of Exeter City
striker, Adam Stansfield who died tonight aged just 31. RIP Adam