By Cameron Deacon: Leeds United Under-18s lost ground on top spot in the Professional Development League North after sharing the spoils with Birmingham City Under-18s following a 1-1 draw at Thorp Arch.
The visitors took a first-half lead through Adan George, but were pegged back through Niklas Haugland’s equaliser, with neither side managing to claim a winner despite both striking the woodwork.
The game began at a frantic pace, with both teams showing attacking intent. It was the Blues that found the early breakthrough from a corner, which was floated towards the head of Oumar Traore before falling into the path of George, who smashed home from close range.
George could have doubled his tally inside 10 minutes after a terrific solo run down the left wing led to a curling effort from the edge of the area that ricocheted off the post and away to safety.
Next it was Leeds’ turn to hit the woodwork as lively winger Theo Hudson wandered in from the right flank and unleashed a powerful drive that struck the crossbar.
After the break, the hosts came close to restoring parity again through the same source as Hudson shot at goal from a similar position to his earlier effort, only for the ball to rebound off the bar for a second time.
However, they did manage to draw level shortly after through substitute Haugland, who made an instant impact by diverting a cross from the left into the bottom corner of the net.
While Leeds did threaten to complete the turnaround with a header that whistled past the post, it was Birmingham who looked most likely to snatch the points in the closing stages.
Ramello Mitchell provided fresh legs off the bench and had a glorious chance to restore their lead after being played through on goal, but his chip was excellently thwarted by stopper Harry Christie.
And Christie was again called into action to save the day for Leeds when full-back Lucas Powell ran through with just the keeper to beat, but was unable to provide the required finish.
Leeds Under-18s coach Mark Jackson told LFE: “The game was too open from my point of view, but I think a point’s a fair result.”