A run that saw Leeds win just once in eight league games was ended last night as two second half goals from Luciano Becchio sank struggling Oldham Athletic. Leeds fans will now be hoping that the win will change the fortunes of a side that have struggled on all fronts since knocking Manchester United out of the FA Cup at the start of the year.

With a return to a more recognisable formation, Leeds looked more comfortable on the ball. Aidy White was brought in on the left-side of midfield and brought with him some pace and new ideas that Leeds have sorely needed of late. Upfront, Luciano Becchio was reinstated alongside Jermaine Beckford and the pairing proved much more of a threat together than they did playing alone. Despite a much better looking team and several first half opportunites, Leeds failed to capitalise and the scores were level at the break.

You could still sense the nerves around Elland Road despite Leeds United’s domination as the second half got underway. The weekends visit of Brighton had seen Leeds control the game almost totally, only to be punished by a controversial penalty late on after failing to make any of their chances pay. This time however, Leeds got the lead they so desperately needed and completely deserved when Oldham’s keeper failed to keep hold of Jermaine Beckford’s shot and Luciano Becchio was on hand to make him pay.

It didn’t take long for Leeds to double their advantage and put the game beyond the reach of Oldham. Just ten minutes after the first goal a good cross from Robert Snodgrass was met by the head of Luciano Becchio who grabbed his second of the night and gave Leeds United a much needed win. Also couldn’t help thinking that he was trying to prove me wrong by scoring with his head after I criticised the arial threat him and Jermaine Beckford collectively create.

Oldham knew they were beat and there was little effort made to try and get back in the game. Leeds had a couple more chances but saw out the game comfortably for a result that was never in doubt after the opening goal.

Corner turned?

I wouldn’t get too carried away just yet. Although Leeds United were much better than in recent weeks, Oldham represent the worst team I’ve seen us play all season. I think they’ve been resigned to relegation since the opening day of the season and are probably doing a little bit better than they ever imagined.

When we visited their three sided, sub-zero home earlier this season we walked them off the pitch with our reserve side and in all honesty, they haven’t improved since. I don’t want to undermine a much needed victory and a definite confidence boost for the players, but the big test will come this weekend in the local derby at the Galpharm.

Ups and downs…

Hard to really list any downs as the game was totally one-sided and Oldham probably made us look good. On the plus side however, it was nice to Aidy White get an hour on the pitch and he proved a useful addition on the left of midfield leaving the field in the second half to a standing ovation from the Leeds faithful.

The formation was massively improved too and it was nice to see Simon Grayson ditch his wild Christmas tree like formations and return to the 4-4-2 that’s done well for us so far this season (Mike Bassett anyone?). It was no surprise to see the two forwards look much more of a threat when played together than they did alone and it paid off as Luci did well to net a brace.