Match-winner Jonny Howson admitted he had expected to be dropped for the second leg of Leeds United's thrilling Coca-Cola League One play-off semi-final triumph over Carlisle.

Leeds had been comprehensively outplayed in the first leg at Elland Road and 19-year-old Howson was one of several of Gary McAllister's players who had not performed in front of a sell-out crowd.

But the Yorkshiremen turned round their 2-1 first-leg deficit in impressive fashion at Brunton Park, with local boy Howson firing Leeds to Wembley on May 25 with virtually the last kick of the game.

The Morley-born midfielder, who had levelled the tie in the tenth minute of the return leg, was in dreamland after repaying his manager.

Howson said: "If Gary McAllister had put me on the bench, I'd have had no complaints.

"The other night I was way below my standard, but I can put it down to being one of those games.

"As soon as I found out I was starting, I thought I've got to repay him' because he kept faith with me.

"The thought that he would drop me had crossed my mind a few times because I'd been nowhere near the performance I was capable of, but he had a word with me, said I wasn't good enough on Monday and that I needed to up it."

Added Howson: "It hasn't sunk in yet but obviously I'm delighted.

"With the second goal, I didn't think I connected with it as well as I would have liked, and when it hit the net I didn't know how to react. It was just a massive buzz.

"It's been a hard season but we have to go to Wembley now. The job's not fully done."