SAFC U21 0-1 Leeds United U21
Graeme Murty was denied the points in his first match as U21 Lead Coach on Monday night at the Stadium of Light, as Leeds United edged the contest 1-0 at the Stadium of Light.
Wilfried Gnonto fired in the deciding strike early in the second half, as Michael Skubala’s side took home the win.
A strong line-up was fielded as Murty took charge of his first match at the helm, with Bailey Wright captaining the side.
Edouard Michut, Amad and Jewison Bennette were also among those to feature, as well as Dennis Cirkin as he returns from a hamstring injury.
An even start beckoned in the first half, without too many chances. The best efforts saw Michut make an integral block on the line to deny Leeds skipper Mateo Joseph and Jacob Carney take in Darko Gyabi’s strike from 20 yards, as well as Amad’s curling free-kick from the right which forced Kristoffer Klaesson into a smart save.
Zak Johnson also came close, seeing a shot blocked inside the area following a corner from the left.
The Lads created the first opportunities of the second period, as Leon Dajaku took on two efforts – the first side-footed just wide, and the second a wayward strike with Amad in space to his right.
But it was Leeds who were to find the cutting edge, as Gnonto picked up the ball 10 yards from goal and sent a strike towards goal which Carney was just unable to get more than a hand to.
The away side continued to push, Carney diving well to his right to parry away a free-kick effort from former Sunderland man Sam Greenwood, before Joseph fired over the top from the edge of the area.
Chances were few and far between as the Lads tried to work through the lines, though Johnson’s header wide and Bennette and Abdoullah Ba strikes saved by Klaesson were the closest an equaliser came to arriving.
Leeds held out, and took a 1-0 victory back to West Yorkshire.
The U21s next return to Eppleton on Friday night, as Reading visit in the Premier League Cup.
SAFC U21: Carney; Hume, Wright ©, Johnson, Cirkin; Michut, Ba, Matete; Bennette, Dajaku, Amad.
Subs not used: Richardson, Thompson, Kachosa, Newall, Burke.