Ross’ hat-trick calms storm

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Steven Chicken To com­ment on this match go to http://boards.footy­mad.net/

AROSS McCor­mack-in­spired derby drub­bing put a big smile back on Leeds fans’ faces amid the un­cer­tainty sur­round­ing the po­si­tion of man­ager Brian McDer­mott.

Cagliari owner Mas­simo Cellino’s of­fer to buy 75 per cent of the club from own­ers GFH Cap­i­tal sparked a crazy 24 hours for United – start­ing with the sup­posed re­moval of McDer­mott hours be­fore Fri­day’s trans­fer dead­line, only for the club to an­nounce a ap­par­ent u-turn mid­way through the sec­ond half.

Con­se­quently the game it­self served as some­thing of a sideshow at­trac­tion to events off the field – a pity for United cap­tain McCor­mack, who led Leeds’ im­pres­sive re­vival with three goals to give them their first win in nine games.

And Leeds as­sis­tant man­ager Nigel Gibbs – who ap­peared on the teamsheet as care­taker man­ager – hailed the hat-trick hero.

He said: “His per­for­mance was ter­rific. That was a cap­tain’s per­for­mance and he led by ex­am­ple.

“He’s a goalscorer, that’s what he does, and you can see that it was a per­for­mance for the man­ager. He’s got a fan­tas­tic re­la­tion­ship with Brian, who made him cap­tain.

“That’s Brian’s team, his per­for­mance and his vic­tory, with­out a doubt, and you can see that.

“I think first half we ac­tu­ally started quite well and went a goal down against the run of play.

“The con­di­tions were diff­fi­cult in the wind and it wasn’t easy to get out of our own half but the key goal was the one be­fore half -ime, then ob­vi­ously in the sec­ond half you’ve seen our ter­rific per­for­mance.”

Danny Ward put Hud­der­s­field ahead from Calum Woods’ ex­cel­lent through ball mid­way through a poor firsthalf per­for­mance from the hosts.

McCor­mack gave a brief pep talk to his team­mates be­fore the match restarted, and it was he who scored a scarcely-de­served equaliser on the stroke of half-time af­ter Jimmy Kebe did well to keep Sam Byram’s long ball alive.

Leeds were much bet­ter in the sec­ond half, and within five min­utes, Kebe fired them in front from McCor­mack’s smart back heel.

The Scot then made it three with a tap-in just af­ter the hour af­ter good work from Rodolph Austin al­lowed Byram to cross from the right.

McCor­mack then com­pleted his hat-trick via the post af­ter Kebe’s fail­ure to con­nect with Cameron Stewart’s cross.

Alex Mowatt added Leeds’ fifth with his first ever goal eight min­utes from time, calmly curl­ing into the open net af­ter Town keeper Alex Smithies col­lided with An­thony Ger­rard.

Hud­der­s­field boss Mark Robins said: “It was the clas­sic game of two halves, dis­ap­point­ingly for us.

“We’d done well in the first half and if we’d got the sec­ond goal we’d have won the game com­fort­ably.

“It might even have been a re­verse score­line, you just don’t know, but we didn’t take the chance.

“We gave them a life­line right on the stroke of half-time and it re­ally just sent us reel­ing a lit­tle bit in terms of the be­lief.

“We man­aged to cre­ate enough chances to win the game and have it out of sight be­fore they scored.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

OPENER: Ross McCor­mack scores Leeds’ first goal

HAT-TRICK: Ross McCor­mack

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