FORMER York City loanee Bailey Peacock-Farrell is staking his claim to be Leeds United’s regular goalkeeper.

The 21-year-old preserved a point for the Whites at Elland Road with a brilliant last-gasp save to leave Sunderland dangling over the Championship relegation trapdoor.

With the scores locked at 1-1, Ashley Fletcher, who was heavily linked with a move to Leeds last season, saw his close-range header kept out by a stunning reflex save by young keeper.

“What a save,” said Black Cats boss Chris Coleman. “There was nothing wrong with the header. It was an incredible save.”

Peacock-Farrell’s career seemed to have stalled earlier this season. In his four appearances in National North with the Minstermen he conceded nine goals.

But poor displays by Felix Wiedwald and Andy Lonergan persuaded Leeds coach Paul Heckingbottom to give the rookie 6ft 4in stopper a chance six games ago.

Many felt that he would just be a stop-gap option, but despite yet having to keep a clean sheet this season, he has performed well to give the Leeds hierarchy food for thought when it comes to planning for next season.

Despite a constant chopping and changing defence in front of him, Peacock-Farrell has stood up to the test so far. Paudie O’Connor became the latest of Pontus Jansson’s centre-back partners and the 20-year-old acquitted himself well on his debut in front of a 30,000-plus crowd.

The lively atmosphere was matched by the action on the pitch with Leeds threatening to blow the visitors away in the early stages, going close when Ronaldo Vieira smacked a shot against a post.

However, the Black Cats worked their way into the game with a Fletcher header hitting the top of the bar and three minutes after the interval Paddy McNair ghosted into the box to fire Sunderland ahead.

The second half saw both teams break on each other with Peacock-Farrell distinguishing himself with some fine saves as Sunderland sought a killer second goal. Leeds were also threatening and despite getting behind the defence several times the final delivery was poorly executed.

It needed a touch of class to bring Leeds level, Pablo Hernandez curling a fine effort beyond Lee Camp after 72 minutes to set up a frantic finale. Sunderland, desperate for three priceless points, pushed hard to restore their lead but it was Leeds who almost went ahead when Samuel Saiz’s brilliant free-kick hit the woodwork.

A poor challenge by Gaetano Beradi on substitute Callum McManaman on 90 minutes saw the Swiss defender receive his third red card of the season.

Sunderland went for the jugular in additional time but were denied by Peacock-Farrell’s dazzling late save to leave the Black Cats seven points from safety.

The young goalkeeper will line up behind yet another changed defence at Preston tomorrow night with Beradi suspended until the end of the season.

Leeds United: Peacock-Farrell, Dallas, Jansson, O’Connor, Beradi, Phillips (Roofe 65), Vieira, Alioski, Hernansez, Saiz (Anita 90), Lasogga (Ekuban 79). Subs (not used): Lonergan, Grot, Nicell, Pearce. Sent off: Beradi. Cautions: O’Connor, Alioski, Jansson

Sunderland: Camp, Love, Kone, O'Shea, Wilson, Cattermole (LuaLua 90), McNair, Honeyman (Ejaria 84), Gooch, Fletcher, McGeady (McManaman 89). Subs (not used): Steele, Matthews, Asoro, Clarke-Salter. Cautions: Honeyman, Kone, McManaman

Referee: Jeremy Simpson (Lancashire) Att: 30,461