Beckford back on the mark
Jermaine Beckford breathed life into Leeds United's League One play-off push with a double against Walsall.
Last Updated: 22/03/08 7:15pm
Jermaine Beckford breathed fresh life into Leeds United's League One play-off push with a livewire performance as they beat promotion-chasing Walsall 2-0.
Beckford gave Leeds the lead after 29 minutes in a half dominated by the home side.
And the former Scunthorpe man made the points safe for The Whites ten minutes from time after the home side had endured some nervous moments.
Leeds began well and looked likely to overwhelm their opponents.
After missing a couple of golden chances, it was no surprise when Beckford gave the home side the lead, racing onto a superb pass from Neil Kilkenny to round Clayton Ince and score from a tight angle.
The goal gave the Whites a well-deserved advantage as they dominated the first period.
It was more of the same after the break as on-loan Dougie Freedman burst into the danger area but his shot was well held by Ince.
The visitors came more into the game as Leeds began to look nervous and veteran Tommy Mooney had a great chance to equalise but blazed his close-range shot over the bar.
New-boy Alan Sheehan tested Ince with a long-range free-kick which the Walsall keeper tipped over the bar and from the resulting corner, Beckford scooped an effort over the top.
Kilkenny also tried his luck from distance as the hosts sought to make the points safe but the visiting keeper held on.
Bradley Johnson thought he had added a second but his header was scrambled off the line by some desperate defending.
But the clincher came soon after. Beckford raced onto another great pass from Kilkenny to chip the ball over Ince and make the points safe.
Freedman set Beckford up with a hat-trick chance as time ticked away but the 19-goal striker failed to capitalise.
The win sees Leeds move within two points of the play-off places with Walsall tucked in a further point behind.