Ross hands boss birth­day treat

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By John Bai­ley

BIRTH­DAY boy Dave Jones was handed the per­fect present as fel­low Sh­effield Wed­nes­day stal­wart Lewis Bux­ton re­turned to in­spire a hard-fought draw at Leeds United.

Sum­mer sign­ing Kamil Zay­atte pow­ered the Owls in front in the first-half only for the cen­tre-back to let in Ross McCor­mack for the sec­ond-half equaliser.

But it was the pres­ence of steely defender Bux­ton, who had been strug­gling with shin splints, which most im­pressed 57-yearold Jones af­ter his side scooped their first point of the sea­son.

“We’re just try­ing to get ev­ery­one fit and I thought Lewis was fan­tas­tic con­sid­er­ing he’s been out since the end of last sea­son,” said Jones. “He’s had no pre­sea­son, so they all showed char­ac­ter which is what you’re look­ing for when it’s all hands to the pump.

“We’ve had to draft in the kids and at this mo­ment of time the kids might not be ready, es­pe­cially in a bat­tle like this.

“It’s a dif­fi­cult place to come – if you’d asked us if we’d have taken a point be­fore the game I’d have took it but I still think we had a few chances to win.

“We started the sec­ond-half a bit sloppy and it was a poor goal to give away fid­dling about on the half-way line.

“Kamil made it a bit too easy for Ross, he came charg­ing out and he’s bet­ter than that.”

Clear cut chances were at a pre­mium early on but Dominic Poleon started to pull the Owls’ de­fence apart – and could have earned a penalty af­ter an ap­par­ent tug from Bux­ton mid­way through the first-half.

McCor­mack, who is sub­ject to trans­fer in­ter­est from Mid­dles­brough, then weaved some magic to set the game alight on the half-hour mark, ex­e­cut­ing a fine lob, thwarted by Chris Kirk­land’s fin­ger­tips.

But El­land Road was stunned into si­lence five min­utes later when for­mer Hull City man Zay­atte – latch­ing on to Michail An­to­nio’s flick – looped a header be­yond the out­stretched Paddy Kenny.

Zay­atte, how­ever, was left flat­footed af­ter the restart as McCor­mack pushed the ball past him on 58 min­utes and fin­ished for his sec­ond goal of the sea­son.

The game was en­trenched in a mid­field bat­tle but An­to­nio forced Kenny into a smart save while des­per­ate de­fend­ing at the other end de­nied McCor­mack his dou­ble and a Leeds win.

But af­ter trail­ing at half-time United boss Brian McDer­mott con­ceded he needed to in­ject a few words of con­fi­dence as McCor­mack came to the fore.

He said: “We were sloppy early on and at half-time I told them that we didn’t want to wait for any­body to make a dif­fer- ence, and some of them grabbed it sec­ond-half.

“Ross McCor­mack is a per­fect ex­am­ple, a ter­rific fin­ish with real pace and real qual­ity. He was do­ing a few in­ter­views at the end of the match and when he came in the dress­ing room ev­ery­one clapped him as he walked through the door. He de­served that.

“At this stage of the sea­son the most im­por­tant thing is to keep col­lect­ing points and we’re try­ing to find a way to get the re­sults we need with the per­son­nel we’ve got.

“That point might be re­ally im­por­tant to us, you never know – I never take a point for granted.” To comment on this match go to http://boards.footy­

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

MO­MENT OF MAGIC: Leeds United striker Ross McCor­mack scores his side’s cru­cial lev­eller

scores HAVE THAT: Kamil Zay­atte

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