With Saturday's visit of QPR in mind, boss Brian McDermott made five changes to the side that won impressively at Ipswich Town last weekend. Most notable were the inclusions of new signing Scott Wootton and academy product Alex Mowatt in the starting eleven. Also recalled were Michael Tonge, Matt Smith and Dominic Poleon in place of Luke Varney, Paul Green and Noel Hunt, who made the bench alongside El Hadji Diouf and amazingly, Ryan Hall. The winger didn't feature however and it continues to make you wonder whether we'll ever see him again.
Doncaster only had one enforced change to make with the suspended Keegan being replaced by Dean Furman. Their game on Saturday was a little different to Leeds' backs to the wall victory, with it being abandoned at half time due to a waterlogged pitch. An extra forty five minutes rest over their Yorkshire rivals seems pale in significance to the three points they would surely have picked up, having led 3-1 at half time. No such problems tonight; it was an incredibly mild evening in West Yorkshire.
With five changes made you could forgive Leeds for starting a little slowly, and ten of them did. The vital eleventh man that didn't was debut man Scott Wootton who was on hand after little over sixty seconds to make an excellent clearance off the line. The consequent play led to a good chance for Chris Brown who spooned over from twelve yards as the hosts made an extremely bright start.
However, from ten minutes onwards Leeds grew into the game and started to assert pressure. Young Alex Mowatt was starting to see more of the ball and after a good break from midfield, he set up McCormack who's long distance drive went over. Matt Smith was also looking a threat up front and won everything in the air. Two of these headers caused problems for the Doncaster defence with one bouncing down in the box and the other falling into the grateful arms of Ross Turnbull. McCormack then missed the target completely when it looked easier to score after the ball was whipped across the face of goal. Another Matt Smith header was gathered by Turnbull before Doncaster threatened again down the other end with a header of their own, but Coppinger's effort was saved well by Kenny.
In a game where both teams were trying to gain aerial dominance, it was two Leeds United headers that combined for the opening goal. After Mowatt's deep cross, the impressive Matt Smith rose well to head the ball dangerously back across the box. Scott Wootton was the man who attacked it with the most vigour, opening his Leeds United tally on his debut as the ball ricocheted off the bar and in. Not a bad way to announce your arrival, particularly after arriving from Manchester United. It seemed a perfect time to take the lead on 41 minutes, a lead which could have been extended just minutes later, but Dom Poleon screwed his shot wide.
Again Leeds threatened through Smith, who was at the heart of everything all night. This time, he turned and shot well but was again denied by Turnbull. With fifteen minutes remaining the impressive Mowatt was replaced by Luke Murphy and just minutes later, Smith had his first Leeds goal; a goal he deserved after a fine performance. It was Lee Peltier's good cross that was met by the giant front-man who's header was finally too powerful for the home side's goalkeeper.
Three minutes later, the tie was effectively over. Dominic Poleon used his pace and dribbling ability to work his way into the box before being felled by Wabara. I remember when we were linked with him; thank god we didn't sign him, he was shit. McCormack made no mistakes from the spot as the Whites booked their place in the next round of the Capital One Cup.