Bodmin Town 0, Leeds United 4
Bodmin gave a good account of themselves at Priory Park on Wednesday evening against Neil Warnock’s touring Championship side.
In front of a crowd estimated at 3,000, the two sides served up an entertaining 90 minutes although there was only ever going to be one winner on the field.
Goals by new signing Luke Varney (17 minutes), Andy Gray (41) and a Ross McCormack penalty (45) gave Leeds a healthy half-time advantage.
And when Aiden White fired in a fourth for the Yorkshire visitors four minutes into the second half, the crowd probably expected Leeds to go on to win by at least the six goals they put past Tavistock at Langsford Park on Monday.
But although Warnock’s men dominated possession and created plenty of half chances, Bodmin stood up well to the pressure and some heroic defending, and excellent goalkeeping from Kevin Miller, meant there were no more goals.
That is something of an achievement for Darren Gilbert’s side because in the last half hour of these sort of matches, the professional team’s extra fitness usually shows.
This time, although the Bodmin players did show signs of tiredness towards the end, the team spirit which has carried them to so much domestic success in recent seasons served them well.
Gilbert said: "We were a bit naive with our defending at times and I thought we gave them three goals, but the boys did battle tremendously hard and you’ve got to remember they had all been at work during the day."
Leeds boss Warnock said: "It was a good work-out against a useful Bodmin side and we came through unscatched. We were also able to give a few of the lads some match time."
The game had started fairly evenly, with no clear-cut opportunities in the opening 15 minutes, until Bodmin’s man of the match Shane Krac got a shot on target which warmed the hands of goalkeeper Jamie Ashdown.
This seemed to stun Leeds into life because two minutes later they swept ahead with Varney, having met up with the squad on Tuesday after his move from Portsmouth, heading in a debut goal from Adam Drury’s excellent cross from the left. Bodmin responded with two chances of their own. First Adam Carter saw a close range shot blocked by Jason Pearce after good work by Sam Matthews in the 23rd minute, and three minutes later a Krac thunderbolt from 25 yards had to be tipped over by Ashdown.
But Leeds finished the half strongly and after Gray hooked in a close range effort from a disputed 41st minute corner to make it 2-0, a harsh penalty decision on the stroke of half-time allowed McCormack to extend the lead from the spot.
Leeds started the second half as they had finished the first, pouring forward in search of more goals, and their fourth duly arrived in the 49th minute with a sweet left foot finish by White after Miller had come under pressure from Gray.
The introduction of substitute Danny Pugh injected more pace into the Leeds attack along the left wing but some of his crossing let him down.
Neil Slateford had a fierce shot turned away for a corner and then a shot from Olly Brokenshire forced a good save from Ashdown, as the home side continued to look for a goal.
But it was Leeds who came close to adding to their lead in the last ten minutes and it took two excellent saves by Miller to prevent Pugh and Byram adding their names to the scoresheet.
Leeds complete their South West tour with a game against Torquay at Plainmoor on Friday evening.
Bodmin: Miller, Reed (Chambers 46), Rundle, Morgan, Simmonds, Matthews (Brokenshire 46), Colwell, Krac, Carter, Luxton (O’Hagan 43), Slateford (Swiggs 56; Gilbert for Swiggs 68).
Leeds Utd: Ashdown, Lees (Byram 77), Crainie, Pearce (L Turner 80), Drury (N Turner 75), White (Rogers 65), Brown (Nunez 65), Green (Thompson 65), Varney (Poleon 46), Gray, McCormack (Pugh 46).
Scorers: Varney 17, Gray 41, McCormack 45 pen, White 48.
Referee: Brett Huxtable.
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