Injury-time goal sinks Leeds United after Doukara flyer

Alex Mowatt back in action for Leeds United at Ipswich. PIC: Bruce Rollinson
Alex Mowatt back in action for Leeds United at Ipswich. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

Leeds United failed to make the most of a flying start as their eight-match unbeaten run came to an end with a 2-1 defeat at Ipswich Town.

The Whites were given a dream start when with just 12 seconds on the clock they were ahead.

Souleymane Doukara followed up his first goal of the season against Rotherham on Saturday with another straight from the kick-off as he took the ball off former Leeds player Jonathan Douglas on the edge of the home area and calmly shot past stunned Ipswich keeper Dean Gerken.

But the hosts hit back in the second half through their skipper, Luke Chambers, and came up with an injury-time winner as Brett Pitman netted to end United’s eight-match unbeaten run.

Leeds made three changes from the team that beat Rotherham in the FA Cup with Scott Wootton back in for the inexperienced Lewie Coyle at right-back and Lewis Cook and Alex Mowatt restored to midfield in a 4-4-1-1 formation, with Luke Murphy and Mirco Antenucci back on the subs’ bench.

Before they had chance to work out if it was the right formation they were ahead through Doukara, but then braced themselves for an Ipswich reply.

Mick McCarthy’s men were stung into action and Daryl Murphy made space in the box to get in a shot that had to be well saved by United keeper Marco Silvestri.

At the other end, Gerken turned over a deflected cross by Mustapha Carayol, who retained his place in the side with Stuart Dallas once again on the bench.

Ipswich exerted some pressure, but struggled to create clear chances and were kept to long range shots with Silvestri comfortably dealing with strikes by Kevin Bru and Murphy.

The Leeds keeper was stretched, however, when he did well to tip a Ryan Fraser shot over to keep it to 1-0 at half-time.

The second half saw Ipswich looking immediately more threatening as Freddie Sears hit a shot over from the edge of the box in the opening moments.

The unmarked Mowatt shot over after being picked out by Carayol as Leeds responded, but an equaliser came in the 50th minute as captain Chambers was up from the back to head home a Murphy cross.

Ipswich could have been ahead seven minutes later when Cole Skuse was only inches wide with a good effort from 20 yards out and Leeds were forced back again with Giuseppe Bellusci doing well to clear one dangerous home attack.

United boss Steve Evans put on all three of his subs, Kalvin Phillips, Dallas and Antenucci, but the pattern remained the same with the home team making all of the running.

Silvestri comfortably kept out a Murphy header before the keeper got away with a moment he would want to forget when he came dashing out only to miss the ball and be relieved as Pitman could not quite reach it.

It looked like Leeds would hold on for a point, but in the second minute of added time home sub Pitman struck a hammer blow as he headed home from Fraser’s cross.

United did manage one late flurry, but it was all over when Bellusci headed the ball wide.

Match facts

Ipswich Town 2

(Chambers 50, Pitman 90+2)

Leeds United 1

(Doukara 1)

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Sky Bet Championship

Attendance: 19,146

Ipswich: Gerken, Knudsen, Berra, Smith, Bru (Hyam 84), Chambers, Douglas, Skuse, Fraser, Murphy (Pitman 77), Sears.

Leeds: Silvestri, Wootton, Bellusci, Cooper, Taylor, Byram, Bridcutt, Mowatt (Phillips 60), Cook (Antenucci 79), Carayol (Dallas 64), Doukara.

Referee: Fred Graham.