Leeds United 3 Hartlepool United 1

CHRIS Turner accused Tyneside referee Eddie Ilderton and his assistants of ignorance, after his Hartlepool United side were on the wrong end of the result and a number of decisions in defeat at Leeds United.

The Pools boss and his side were infuriated at the role played by the officials in the decisive second goal, while they also had real grumbles in the chain of events leading to the other two.

When Armann Bjornsson fouled Patrick Kisnorbo close to the home corner flag, goalkeeper Capser Ankergren was allowed to move the ball to a better spot.

After he lumped it forward, Pools claimed a handball by Jermaine Beckford went unnoticed before the ball ended up in the net, deflected in off Gary Liddle.

And with concerns over the free-kick awarded which led to Leeds first goal and an incident when Antony Sweeney was hauled over seconds before the home side went 3-1 up, Turner cut a frustrated figure.

“All three goals were questionable,’’ he reflected. “We lost the game, I’m pleased how we played, took the game to them, took the lead and played some very good football.

“We lost to a team which has too many good players for this division and a referee and his linesman who couldn’t handle the big game.’’ He added, referring to the build-up to the goal which put Leeds ahead at 2-1: “I always thought in football that you took a free-kick from where the incident took place – not 15 yards across field into the penalty box so that means the goalkeeper can take it and not the left back.

“Then it goes down field and there’s a handball missed which should have gone for us. It’s always hard coming to Leeds to get a result for any team.’’ Tellingly, Simon Grayson said: “You can take goals back as far as you want to take them back. They complained about where it was taken. I don’t criticise refs, that’s for others to do – we got the breaks and you accept them when they come along.

The Pools boss admitted: “We were undone by three decisions which, if fairness was given, then it wouldn’t have resulted in three goals.

“It’s hard to restrain yourself, the response you get from officials is ignorance. Players on the field are told to stop moaning when they ask about a free-kick being taken 15 yards away from where it should be.

“They were only highlighting an incident and seconds later it was in our net.

“Then you speak to the fourth official about the incident with Sweeney, “yeah, you are right, it will be alright”

but I said it wouldn’t be alright and then within a minute they get a free-kick and score from it. Is that alright?

“You can’t speak to them after a game, pointless, pointless.’’ And Pools have been pointless in each of their visits to Elland Road.

There’s every chance this will be their last in the Football League. Leeds, with Beckford’s guile and ability up front, have too much for the rest.

Not going back to Elland Road won’t be a bad thing.

Bizarrely again classed as a Category A game, plenty refused to travel and pay £27 for the privilege of being accosted by heavy handed stewards and over the top policing.

Performance-wise this was like the club’s first visit in 2007 – Pools played well in parts, caused the odd problem for Leeds, were on the wrong end of some controversial decisions and, in the end, were beaten.

While on that occasion they failed to score, they took the lead this time. Ritchie Humphreys’ corner landed in the six yard area, Peter Hartley headed on and Armann Bjornsson only had to direct his header on target to score.

That came on 26 minutes.

After six minutes Pools could have been two behind.

Robert Snodgrass, a Danny Wilson transfer target for Pools a couple of summers ago, drilled his shot at goal from eight yards and doubtless would have scored if it wasn’t for Neil Austin’s superb block.

Then Gary Liddle got in the way of another one. It looked like a long afternoon for Pools in front of the second biggest Football League crowd – 30,291 – they had ever played in front of.

For the equaliser, Austin was harshly accused of handing a cross. Snodgrass took the free-kick and Killenny was free on the edge of the area to fire in low.

Beckford’s nous saw him nonchalantly backheel the ball into the net.

Pools trudged off at halftime full of woe. Players and management made their feelings known to Ilderton after Leeds scored in injury time.

They had a point, but the ball did travel around 90 yards from one end of the field to the other before being deflected into the net.

After Sweeney was dragged to the floor by the impressive Kisnorbo, the ball was drilled long, Becchio headed back over and gave Beckford half a chance.

As Flinders advanced, a deft dink over the goalkeeper was enough and the ball hardly touched the back of the net.

“You know you are going to be put under pressure early on and Neil Austin’s first minute block showed how determined the players were,’’ said Turner.

“We had chances, should have had a penalty awarded for handball which didn’t go our way. Their second goal was pure bad luck, and we went in at 2-1.

“We performed admirably, worked hard. They are the best in the league, Simon (Grayson) has done an excellent job, got a club on the slide and turned it around.

“OK we lost, but I’m proud of how they performed.’’

Match facts


0-1: Bjornsson (26, free far post header from a right wing corner)

1-1: Beckford (38, flicked the ball home with his back to goal)

2-1: Liddle og (45, wayward Becchio header diverted 90 degrees off the defender)

3-1: Beckford (70, deft lob over

Flinders after latching onto ball)

Bookings: Kilkenny (45, foul); McSweeney (65, foul); Johnson (77, unsporting behaviour); Becchio (77, unsporting behaviour); Collins (77, unsporting behaviour); Bjornsson (90, foul)

Referee: Eddie Ilderton (Newcastle) - started off well, but decisions in the build up to each goal infuriated Pools 5

Attendance: 30,291

Entertainment: ✰✰✰✰

LEEDS UNITED (4-4-2): Ankergren 6; Bromby 6, Kisnorbo 8, Naylor 7 (Gradel 80), Hughes 6; Snodgrass 8, Kilkenny 8, Doyle 6 (Johnson 72), Howson 7; BECKFORD 8, Becchio 6 (Kandol 80).

Subs (not used): Martin (gk), Grella, Vokes, Johnson, Michalik.


6 Flinders: Showed no signs of his recent injury problems, back on form;

7 AUSTIN: Solid and committed return to the side after a hamstring strain

6 Liddle: Some telling interceptions and knew nothing about his own goal before injury-enforced withdrawal

6 Collins: Captain will be missed when he is suspended for Pools’ next outing

5 Hartley: Solid at left-back and stuck to his task defensively;

5 Sweeney: Took his time to get into the game, as he never settled attacking down the right

5 Humphreys: Steady in possession, but didn’t get to grips with a bright home midfield

6 Jones: The pick of Pools’ midfield, as he tried to drive his side on – especially when the game opened up

5 McSweeney: Saw more than his share of first-half ball, although he is far happier on the right than left; 6

Boyd: Went close to making it 2-2 with a superb piece of control and strong shot in the second half

5 Bjornsson: Three goals in five starts for the tall striker is a record no-one can grumble at


Clark (for Liddle 46): Tried to pass the ball from the back line, but caught out for the third goal 5 Larkin (for McSweeney 73) Fredriksen (for Humphreys 73) (not used): Cook (gk), Rowell, Greulich, Cherel.


JERMAINE Beckford – two classy and controlled finishes showed why he is rated so highly.