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A Grella Pose

A Grella Pose

Description: Mike Grella the Leeds striker here poses for a United fans camera outside the Stadium:MK before the Football League First Division clash with the Milton Keynes Dons on the 26th September, 2009. Mike Grella replaced Luciano Becchio in the game against the Dons and played the full ninety minutes. Luciano was away on father duty as his wife was about to give birth.

New Yorker Mike Grella an American International at under 18 and under 20 level joined Leeds United on February 2nd, 2009 after impressing manager Simon Grayson while on trial with the club. Grella who has Italian heritage initially signed up till the end of the 2009-10 season but that was soon extended in the Summer in a new three year deal after good showings in the reserves and the 11 occasions when he was pulled off the bench to show for the first team. Grella scored a hat-trick in his first reserve outing against Barnsley and followed that with two in the next match against Grimsby. Grella went on to impress in United's pre-season matches scoring his first senior goal for the club in the 2-1 friendly win away at Burnley. Just two days before Grella extended his contract on August 12th, 2009 he picked up the Man of the Match award in the Football League Cup game with Darlington.
"I'm absolutely delighted to have signed the deal. The dream when I came here was to sign a pro contract, It is good to know that the club have instilled a bit of belief and confidence in me. I want to be part of the group and play as big a part as I possibly can in getting Leeds promoted so we'll have to wait to see how it plays out. I am sure the goals will come for me..."

Unbeaten in the league United were playing a MK Dons side who were also flying high in the League One table, the Buckinghamshire outfit had only suffered one defeat all season before the game with Grayson's men, the same fixture last season saw the end of Gary McAllister as manager of Leeds as United went down 3-1 which topped a dismal run for the Whites and United were out for revenge. Grayson made two changes for the game with Mike Grella coming in for Luciano Becchio who was away on father watch as his wife was expecting a baby and Leigh Bromby returned in place of Lubo Michalik. Michalik soon returned to the action though replacing Jason Crowe who pulled up in the game after seven minutes with a suspected hamstring injury. It was the home side who looked the most threatening in the early stages with Higgs pulling off a couple of good saves to deny The Dons, United themselves had chances including a free kick by Bradley Johnson. United worked themselves back into the game as the half drew on but there was few chances either way in a close contest. Higgs did pull off a wonderful save as he got down well to save an effort from a MK Dons striker and the excitement continued before the half time whistle blew with Jason Puncheon the MK Dons midfielder seeing red after a diabolical challenge on Michael Doyle. United turned it up at the start of the second half with Mike Grella, Leigh Bromby and Jermaine Beckford all having early efforts on goal while the home side were restricted to just one effort on goal in the first ten minutes. Possession equalled out as the game went on and it looked like the game was ending for a 0-0 draw with both sides making little chances. It was in the four minutes of extra time added when United finally made the breakthrough, Bradley Johnson delivered a pinpoint free-kick onto the head of Robert Snodgrass who powered the ball into the back of the net. Around 4,500 United fans watched the game at the Stadium:MK and it was the travelling faithfull who were celebrating for the final few seconds as United snatched their revenge in the final minute of the game.

Leeds United: Higgs, Crowe, Kisnorbo, Bromby, Doyle, Howson, Johnson, Hughes, Beckford, Grella, Snodgrass.
Subs: Michalik for Crowe, Robinson for Hughes, Ankergren for Higgs.

Thanks to Colin Callow for this great pic.

Submitted: 10/09/09 (Edited 10/09/09)

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Posted 10/23/18 - 03:00:54:
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