Gradel the difference again as Leeds triumph over Southend TSS April 11, 2010 Match reviews 51 Comments Leeds United recorded their first back-to-back wins of the year with a 2-0 home win over struggling Southend. In a game the Whites dominated, Leeds also recorded their first clean sheet since the 2-0 victory over Oldham back in February. The game is unlikely to be remembered for another match-winning performance from Gradel and an improved Leeds United side unfortunately, as the headlines will undoubtedly focus on the fans continued criticism of Beckford. After failing to challenge the keeper for the ball, Beckford was booed by the fans and subjected to a chorus of ‘You’re not fit to wear the shirt’ before the Leeds fans sang for Luciano Becchio. There’s no denying Beckford’s loss of form lately, but the fans reaction was completely out of order. There’s plenty of other players in the squad who have given inadequate performances and escaped being singled out because the fans know this squad is heavily reliant on our top goalscorer. It’s an unfortunate position to be in for Jermaine as any loss of personal form usually leads to a loss of form for the entire team (or vice versa I guess). For me, the fans anger once again reflects the clubs failings in January and the lack of goals provided from elsewhere. Not getting another striker in then was a major failure in my mind and is a big part of why we’re currently occupying third place. After 58 minutes of frustration, Jermaine Beckford was replaced by the returning Luciano Becchio. It was unquestionably the right move from Simon Grayson as Beckford simply doesn’t look like scoring at the minute. After his antics earlier in the season, it was good to see Beckford had learnt his lesson and left the field in a sporting manner seemingly accepting his performance was below-par. Just two minutes after that substitution, Leeds United finally took the lead when Max Gradel’s deflected shot beat the Southend keeper to give the youngster a much deserved goal and settle the nerves inside Elland Road. His excellent performance was capped with seven minutes to go when he provided the cross for Luciano Becchio to double the lead and secure the three points for Leeds United. A game of ups and downs considering the frustrations prior to the goal, but Southend were kept back all day. The stats show Leeds had ten shots on target as opposed to Southend’s one, so this really was pretty straight forward stuff. What has to be noted is that Leeds United aren’t doing anything different from what they were when Swindon visited, it just seems things are starting to run for us again. Against Swindon, we dominated almost entirely until they scored (rather fortuetously) and then the heads dropped and we were destroyed. Yesterday, we kept pressing and got our just desserts. Confidence is clearly key and hopefully the back-to-back wins signal a corner well and truly turned. What was also nice to see today was a left footed player on the left-hand side (Johnson). What wasn’t nice to see was the same player getting booked which means he now has to serve a suspension. Collins also gave a solid performance at the back and looks like he may have been a clever signing by Larry. Let’s hope he can deliver the goods in the tougher games. TSS man of the match Back to back man of the matches for Max Gradel and no less than he deserves. The lad was tireless in his efforts today and once again proved the difference for Leeds United. Hopefully he’ll be the second consistent goal-scorer we’ve been looking for all season.