Wood to the rescue for Leeds United

Chris Wood scores Leeds United's equaliser with an overhead kick.
Chris Wood scores Leeds United's equaliser with an overhead kick.
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An injury-time goal by Chris Wood gave head coach Garry Monk his first point at Leeds United as they drew 1-1 with Fulham at Elland Road.

The Whites looked to be heading for a third straight Championship defeat as they trailed to a spectacular strike from former Leeds junior Tom Cairney.

But striker Wood made good contact with an overhead kick in the area and his effort was too hot to handle for Fulham keeper David Button as it found the net for the latest of equalisers.

Both sides struggled to create chances in the early stages before former Leeds striker Matt Smith sent a header straight to home keeper Robert Green.

At the other end, United’s first sight of goal saw Luke Ayling’s cross-cum-shot easily saved

Fulham were playing the better football and went close when Floyd Ayite headed Ryan Sessegnon’s delightful cross just wide.

But United came even closer when Marcus Antonsson made a chance for himself with a clever flick and turn to race clear only to drag his shot wide with only keeper Button to beat.

It was Fulham’s turn to go close to a goal just past the half-hour as Sone Aluko raced onto Ayite’s pass into the box, but his shot bounced back off the post.

Aluko then sent a shot wide from the edge of the box before Leeds came up with a decent attack that ended with Antonsson’s near post flick going wide from a Stuart Dallas cross.

Leeds ended the half well and Wood headed wide from a good Kemar Roofe cross.

Dallas sent a volley from distance over straight after the second half start, but Fulham continued to look dangerous and Green had to save well from Ayite.

From the resulting corner Smith’s towering header smacked back off the post with Green well beaten and Leeds had ridden their luck again.

The game had opened up, though, and Button had to save from Roofe and Dallas. At the other end, Ayite fired just over from the edge of the area.

United boss Garry Monk changed tactics when he took off wide man Dallas and put on midfielder Ronaldo Vieira. That freed up Pablo Hernandez to play in a more advanced role and he set up Wood with a fine through ball only for the forward to fire over.

Another good move from Fulham finished with Ayite shooting wide before Hernandez saw a goalbound shot for Leeds deflected wide. Antonsson then volleyed over from a corner.

A goal finally arrived after 77 minutes when Cairney beat Green with a well struck curling shot from the edge of the area.

Leeds kept going, though and after Wood headed a good chance over following a perfect cross by Antonsson he finally found the net with his acrobatic bicycle kick after Charlie Taylor’s cross had been headed on by Bartley.

Match facts

Leeds United 1

(Wood 90+3)

Fulham 1

(Cairney 77)

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

EFL Championship

Attendance: 21,204

Leeds: Green, Ayling, Cooper, Bartley, Taylor, Phillips, Hernandez (Mowatt 71), Dallas (Vieira 58), Roofe (Sacko 79), Antonsson, Wood..

Fulham: Button, Odoi, Madl, Kalas, Sessegnon, Cairney, McDonald, Parker (Tunnicliffe 83), Ayite (Ruiz 88), Aluko, Smith (Woodrow 65).

Referee: Chris Kavanagh.