Austin bossed the midfield from start to finish...all be it against a League Two team! (Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images)
A man of the match display from Leeds defensive midfielder Rodolph Austin helped Leeds on their way to a comfortable victory over League Two side Oxford United.
The Jamaican international was in fine form as he grabbed his first Leeds goal, hit the bar and produced a number of his famous 'bone-crunching' tackles, as Leeds marched into the third round of the cup.
With United having a small squad, manager Neil Warnock made six changes to his side ahead of the difficult Championship fixture against Blackburn Rovers this Saturday. Jamie Ashdown, Paddy Kisnorbo, Andy Gray, Michael Brown, Sam Byram and Aidy White all came into the side as several first team players were given a rest.
The game started extremely slowly with both sides taking their time to settle into the game. Oxford started the better of the two sides as they passed the ball well and had a couple of testing shots from distance. One of these efforts took a deflection off Jason Pearce and the Whites were lucky it fell straight into the hands of Ashdown.
Leeds' make-shift side were still a little nervous as Pearce failed to clear in the box and Oxford were unlucky to not get the bounce of the ball.
The errors soon faded though as the home side began to settle into the game and play the ball around the park. Austin was causing problems with his ability on the ball; spraying it from left to right at ease. It was the new Leeds favourite that gave the Whites the lead after 27 minutes. Winger Aidy White cut inside from the left before laying it off to Diouf who dummied the ball to Austin who fired the ball into the bottom corner. His joy of scoring his first goal for Leeds was clear to see as 'Rudy' went on a mad run which ended with a flying fist-pump.
Despite Austin's powerful finish, it was young Sam Byram who took the award for goal of the night. The defender/winger showed skill and composure beyond his years to score one of the best goals at Elland Road for some time. Byram received the ball on the edge of the box, skipped round two defenders before lobbing the helpless Clarke.
Diouf then went close as he managed to drift away from his marker in the box and blast a shot across goal but the Oxford stopper was able to palm the ball to safety. The half-time whistle blew with the 13,000+ in attendance relatively pleased.
Leeds started the second half meaning business and had a shout for a penalty when after a goal-mouth scramble Jason Pearce was snapped from behind with the referee giving nothing. It was the return of Austin though who got the crowd roaring again as he took aim from 25 yards before smashing the ball against the crossbar. Byram could then have scored his second after some good work from Diouf, but the right-back lent back on impact and fired the ball into the Kop.
The Whites continued to battle for every ball and were blossoming as the game unfolded into the latter stages. Austin was throwing himself around and bossing the park and Aidy White looked good going forward after showing his pace and actually running at defenders. Diouf was showing his skills on the ball and they were on full display when his perfect cross found Tom Lees who managed to find the bottom corner to make it 3-0.
Warnock threw on Poleon and Thompson who picked up some well earned game-time but the Whites were more than happy to play keep ball and take the 3-0 victory and march onto the next round of the Cup.