An injury time fumble from Paul Rachubka cost The Whites victory at Elland Road last night as Darren O’Dea’s first goal for the club was cancelled out by Coventry City defender Richard Wood – a childhood Leeds United fan.

It was the old tale of two halves stuff for Leeds, dominating in the first half and in front thanks to an excellent strike from Darren O’Dea. It should have been more, with Ross McCormack heading over early doors and missing a six yard sitter just before half time.

But whilst Leeds remained dominant in terms of possession, the second half was a poor one with few chances created to kill the game off. Simon Grayson brought Luciano Becchio, Mikael Forssell and Mika Varynynen on midway through the period but the changes did nothing to improve a slow and uninspiring second half display.

And as the game slowly neared it’s conclusion, Coventry City sensed an opportunity to snatch an unlikely point from Elland Road and began committing additional players forward. Leeds’ previously high-line of defence was pegged back, and with it went every other player in a white shirt who frantically tried to regain control and see the game out.

It wasn’t pretty, but Leeds did seem to be riding out the late storm until Paul Rachubka spilled in the box with Richard Wood on hand to turn home. A real sickener for the home fans who will have felt they’d done enough to take all three points, despite an under par performance.

Ups and downs 

Andy Lonergan – who was apparently “touch and go” for the Coventry City game – will now be out for six weeks according to the club which is another worrying example of the Thorp Arch medical staff misjudging the extent of a players injury. But that’s beside the point, because Lonergan’s injury means Rachubka will be in goal for a congested run of fixtures so needs to put last night’s blunder behind him quickly and concentrate on the task ahead.

Aside from the injury time error Rachubka was pretty solid so we shouldn’t have too much of a problem. It is however a little worrying that the improved Leeds United defence – of which Andy Lonergan has been an invaluable part – has been split up already, but we need to be able to adapt to the loss of key players if we’re to challenge this season, so this will be an interesting test of our squad depth if nothing else.

Last night was the first time since the new rules came in that I was cursing the change to a five man bench. Shortly before the substitutions took place I was looking at the options we had available and didn’t feel they’d do much to change the game. We needed a little pace, a couple of creative players that would have run at Coventry City and put them under pressure and with a seven man bench I suspect Ramon Nunez and Lloyd Sam would have been sat there ready to deliver.

Perhaps a little complacency crept in after two clean sheets and the lads felt the points were already in the bag, or maybe our Tuesday night curse has returned to haunt us? Whatever the explanation, Leeds United didn’t perform well enough last night, and whilst we were certainly unlucky not to take all three points, we shouldn’t have been in a situation where we were clinging onto a one goal lead in the first place.