Four star Leeds United win opener
NEW look Leeds United made a winning start to the new season with two goals in each half in a first round Capital One Cup win over League One Shrewsbury.
With eight of the Whites players making their senior debut and another two coming off the bench for their first games for the club there was an unfamiliar look to the United team, but after a rocky start they took control to beat opponents who brought a good crowd following and gave it a good go.
Shrewsbury should have been in front before Leeds took the lead with goalkeeper Paddy Kenny forced into making smart saves to deny Mark Wright and Jermaine Grandison.
But when visiting keeper Chris Weale could only parry Rodolph Austin's thunderbolt of a shot Luciano Becchio was on hand to knock in the rebound for the opening goal on 20 minutes.
Six minutes later it was 2-0 as two Shrewsbury defenders failed to clear and Ross McCormack nipped in before squaring the ball to give one of the debutants, Varney, an easy task to score.
Leeds now settled to play some better football and Becchio went close to increasing the lead when heading over Varney's cross.
Early in the second half new skipper David Norris was put through by a clever McCormack pass only to see Weale save and teenage full-back Sam Byram sent in a great low cross that only just eluded Becchio in the middle.
Visiting striker Marvin Morgan missed a great chance to pull a goal back when shooting over after Kenny had spilled a Paul Parry free-kick that bounced awkwardly and Shrewsbury were soon made to pay.
Norris marked his promising debut with a goal after running onto Varney's knock down in the box and three minutes later it was 4-0 when Paul Green was denied by a handball from defender Michael Hector. Referee Mark Heywood pointed to the spot and McCormack made no mistake with the penalty.
Striker El Hadji Diouf, signed on a non-contract basis on the day of the game, came off the bench for the last 15 minutes, but did not get much chance to shine as the cup tie petered out.
Shrewsbury could count themselves unlucky not to score again when Morgan was clean through after a mistake by Jason Pierce only to see his shot turned round the post by Kenny. To add insult to injury the officials failed to notice the keeper's touch and gave a goal kick.
It was one of those days for Shrewsbury, who played much better than the final result suggested. But this was a promising first display for Neil Warnock's Leeds team as they gear up for the Championship kick-off against Wolves next Saturday.
Austin was a big presence in midfield, Norris covered plenty of ground and young Byram made an assured debut at full-back. Up front Varney was strong and McCormack enjoyed his role just behind Becchio.
Of the other debutants, Paul Green was tidy on the ball and worked hard in a right side midfield role while Pearce did some organising at the back and Lee Peltier, surprisingly chosen at centre-back instead of his preferred right-back position, showed that he can be a good addition to the squad.
Leeds United 4
(Becchio 20, Varney 26, Norris 66, McCormack 69)
Shrewsbury Town 0
Saturday, August 11, 2012
Leeds: Kenny, Byram, Peltier, Pearce, White, Green (Diouf), Norris, Austin, McCormack (Poleon 76), Varney (Brown 86), Becchio.
Shrewsbury: Weale, Purdie, Grandison, Hector, Jacobsen (Wildig 79), Parry, Summerfield (Hall 79), Richards, Wright, Gornell (Bradshaw 86), Morgan.
Referee: Mark Heywood.
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