LEEDS United manager Simon Grayson (pictured) was grateful to bring a point home from Watford after seeing his side get out of jail with the last kick of Saturday’s Npower Championship game.
Robert Snodgrass earned the Whites a point with a last-gasp penalty, won by Mika Vayrynen when he was caught by the high boot of Nyron Nosworthy.
The successful spot kick came just four minutes after Watford’s Marvin Sordell was unable to put away a penalty for the hosts when he saw his shot touched onto the post by United keeper Alex McCarthy and it all made for an amazing finish to what had been an ordinary game.
Leeds had been trailing from the 28th minute when Watford’s on-loan winger Michael Kightley was left unchallenged on a run to the edge of the box and beat McCarthy with a well placed shot.
They rarely looked likely to hit back, but without playing well did create several half-chances with Luciano Becchio missing out twice and Snodgrass also missing the target when well placed.
However, the hosts had several better chances to kill the game off, the biggest coming in the 90th minute when Patrick Kisnorbo’s clumsy challenge on Sordell led to the penalty that to United’s relief stayed out of the net.
Leeds boss Grayson admitted his side had not been at their best.
He said: “We probably didn’t deserve the point if you look at our performance. But we’ve shown determination to grind out a point.
“The big turning point was the penalty save and it gave us a chance to get something out of the game. It is great that the players had the determination to go until the end.”
Grayson praised the contribution of on-loan goalkeeper McCarthy, who made several saves as well as the penalty.
He added: “Alex’s loan finished today and I spoke to (Reading manager) Brian McDermott on Friday about his performances and we said we would talk after the weekend.
“I am not saying we will re-sign him. That is down to Reading and also what we decide to do as well. What I will say is that he has been outstanding for us and we are thankful to Reading for letting him come and he has shown all the potential and promise that he will be a top goalkeeper in the future.”
Leeds United 1
(Snodgrass 90, pen)
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Watford: Loach, Hodson, Mariappa, Nosworthy, Dickinson, Yeates, Kightly (Eustace 76), Buaben, Hogg, Deeney, Sordell.
Leeds: McCarthy, Connolly, Kisnorbo, Lees, White, Sam (McCormack 63), Clayton, Pugh, Snodgrass, Becchio, Keogh (Vayrynen 63).
Referee: Eddie Ilderton.