Leeds United 1 Middlesbrough 1: Grayson delighted at signing O'Brien

LUCIANO BECCHIO preserved Leeds United's unbeaten run with a dramatic stoppage time equaliser.

The Argentian showed tremendous cool to finish from eight yards after Middlesbrough goalkeeper Jason Steele had only half-cleared a flick by Neill Collins.

Being pegged back was harsh on Boro, who had wasted a golden chance to finish the game just seconds earlier when Justin Hoyte fluffed his shot with the goal at his mercy.

It could, though, have been a lot worse for the visitors with Ross McCormack then wasting a golden chance four minutes into stoppage time by heading wide from five yards out.

Boro's goal came on 20 minutes when David Wheater met a Julio Arca with a deft header that evaded two Leeds defenders on the line.

It was deserved reward for what had been a much improved display by the Teesiders compared to the last meeting between the two clubs in October that United won 2-1.

Andy O'Brien gave Leeds United a lift ahead of the Yorkshire derby with Middlesbrough by agreeing terms on a two-and-a-half year deal.

The Bolton Wanderers defender has been on loan at Elland Road since October but his stay was due to run out after Tuesday's trip to Cardiff City.

Now, however, O'Brien will join Leeds permanently on a free transfer.

Simon Grayson made two changes with Luciano Becchio coming in for Billy Paynter and Andrew Hughes replacing George McCartney, whose loan stay from Sunderland ended late last week.

The visitors could have gone ahead inside five minutes when slack Leeds defending allowed Kevin Thomson's free-kick to find Wheater only for the centre-half to fluff his kick.

Arca also went close just before the break with a low drilled shot from the edge of the penalty area after Scott McDonald's cross had only been half-cleared.

For Leeds, chances were at a premium with Andy O'Brien stabbing the ball wide from a Robert Snodgrass corner being the closest the home team went to scoring.

Grayson said of O'Brien: "His overall experience is vital to us because we've got a young team with experienced defenders like Paddy Kisnorbo and Richard Naylor out.

"So to have him around and sign him after major competition for his signature is obviously very pleasing.

"We've spoken already about what we're trying to achieve here and players have got to see the bigger picture and see what's in the group and what we're capable of doing.

"He wouldn't have been happy dropping out of the Premier League to come to a club that was happy with mid-table mediocrity."

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