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Ex-Owl downs Wednesday

13 April 2013


A quickfire double from ex-Owl Luke Varney saw Leeds come from behind to beat the Owls by the odd goal in three at Elland Road.


The striker, who enjoyed three separate loan spells with Wednesday between 2009 and 2010, notched two second half headers after Jermaine Johnson had given the visitors the lead before the break.


The Owls launched a late flurry in search of an equaliser but just failed to make the breakthrough and their recent purple patch came to an end.

With the sun shining and a cracking atmosphere to boot, all the ingredients were in place for a lively Yorkshire derby.

Wednesday went into the clash buoyed by back to back wins over Blackburn and Millwall while Leeds had suffered four consecutive defeats and were out to buck that trend under new boss Brian McDermott.

After an even start to the contest, the first real chance fell to Leeds striker Steve Morison, who was lurking in the area following a deep free kick, but Chris Kirkland was alert to the danger and saved well from close range.

At the midway point in the first period, and opportunities at a premium for both sides, Leeds were limited to efforts from distance, with Rodolph Austin striking more than once over the crossbar.

But despite having been kept relatively quiet during the early exchanges, Owls dangerman Jermaine Johnson needed just one bite at the cherry to score his fourth goal in four games.


A long punt forward from Kirkland was flicked on by Jeremy Helan into the path of the pace ace, who applied a delicate first time finish over Paddy Kenny to give Wednesday the advantage.

Leeds, though, aimed for an immediate response and almost found a leveller through Ross McCormack.

The former Cardiff man struck a fierce free kick over the wall that seemed destined for the back of the net but Miguel Llera retreated to the line and headed behind for a corner.

Moments before the interval, Jermaine Johnson was causing further problems, as the Jamaican found space in behind the Leeds backline before squaring for Leroy Lita, who directed his shot on target but Kenny was able to gather first time.


The Whites introduced El-Hadji Diouf for the second period but it was strike partner Morison who could and should have equalised four minutes after the restart.


A slip by Anthony Gardner on the turf allowed Morison in on goal but Reda Johnson thwarted the hosts with a perfectly timed challenge inside the area.


Leeds continued to turn the screw and were almost rewarded when McCormack hit a piledriver from distance but Kirkland parried wide at full stretch.


Diouf then saw a snapshot deflected past the post before the pressure paid off on 63 minutes.


McCormack delivered a pacy cross from the right and Varney climbed high to head home off the underside of the crossbar.



Six minutes later, the same duo combined to put Leeds in front.


McCormack showed some neat footwork to find space down the right and feed Varney, whose firm header was planted into the far corner and out of Kirkland’s reach.


Varney’s second prompted a late charge from Wednesday and substitute Steven Howard and Lita both went close but the home side held on to post a much-needed win.


Leeds: Kenny, Drury, Pearce, Green, Austin, Morison (White 60), Varney, Warnock (Tonge 85), Norris (Diouf 46), Byram, McCormack

Unused substitutes: Ashdown, Poleon, Somma, Hall

Owls: Kirkland, Buxton, Gardner, Llera, R Johnson, Holden (Maguire 73), Coke (Lee 46), Prutton, Helan, J Johnson (Howard 53), Lita

Unused substitutes: Bywater, Mattock, Taylor, McCabe

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