The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Matthew Dale

KE­MAR Roofe bun­dled home a con­tro­ver­sial late goal as Leeds United forced a draw with Not­ting­ham For­est at El­land Road.

For­est ap­peared to be on course to se­cure an­other away vic­tory af­ter Jack Robin­son headed them into an early lead, but they had to set­tle for a point.

The vis­i­tors were in­censed as Roofe ap­peared to bun­dle the ball home with an arm yet they were for­tu­nate to es­cape with a share of the spoils from a game Leeds dom­i­nated from start to fin­ish.

Buoyed by Wed­nes­day’s wel­come win over Ip­swich, Leeds made a fast start and had an early chance when Ma­teusz Klich lost his foot­ing with the goal gap­ing af­ter Cos­tel Pan­til­imon spilt Adam For­shaw’s cross.

But it was For­est who opened the scor­ing af­ter 12 min­utes, Robin­son beat­ing Bai­ley Pea­cock-Far­rell with a down­ward header from Joe Lol­ley’s cor­ner.

Leeds re­sponded pos­i­tively, with Pablo Her­nan­dez hav­ing a de­flected ef­fort turned be­hind and Roofe vol­ley­ing wide from close range.

United suf­fered a big blow when right-back Luke Ayling went off in­jured and Matty Cash threat­ened to leave them with an im­prob­a­ble task when he took aim in the box, only to lash his shot wide.

Leeds con­tin­ued to press for an equaliser as half-time ap­proached, with Ezg­jan Alioski just fail­ing to get on the end of Her­nan­dez’s scuffed strike and For­shaw nar­rowly miss­ing the tar­get with a 20-yard shot.

For­est were forced into a change early in the sec­ond pe­riod when cap­tain Danny Fox went off in­jured but sub­sti­tute Michael Daw­son and his fel­low de­fend­ers lim­ited Leeds to spec­u­la­tive ef­forts as the home fans grew frus­trated.

Marcelo Bielsa turned to Sa­muel Saiz and Jack Clarke for in­spi­ra­tion and the lat­ter tried to get Leeds go­ing with an au­da­cious strike that flew wide.

The young winger then flashed a cross just be­yond the reach of Her­nan­dez and it ap­peared as if it was not go­ing to be Leeds’ night.

But For­est even­tu­ally buck­led eight min­utes from time when Roofe turned in Klich’s shot on the line af­ter Stu­art Dal­las had fired the ball across goal.

The vis­i­tors claimed Roofe used an arm, but ref­eree Ge­off El­tring­ham gave the goal af­ter a lengthy dis­cus­sion with the lines­man.

How­ever, Roofe did ad­mit af­ter the match that the ball had struck his hand.

“I just saw the ball flash across and the ball hit my hand,” he said.

“Call it ball to hand, it’s a goal, it’s up to the ref to give it and he gave it.”

The vis­i­tors had ear­lier gone in front when de­fender Jack Robin­son held off Stu­art Dal­las from a cor­ner to flick a header into the bot­tom cor­ner of the net.

Her­nan­dez came close to win­ning it for high-fly­ing Leeds in stop­page-time, but his deft flick from Alioski’s cross went just wide, with For­est hang­ing on for a point.

PIC­TURE: PA Im­ages

THAT’S HANDY: Ke­mar Roofe cel­e­brates scor­ing the equaliser as For­est ap­peal for hand­ball and, in­set, For­est en­joy their goal

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