After losing to Brighton in their last Coca-Cola Championship game and bowing out of the FA Cup on a set of dismal penalties from his strike force, Kevin Blackwell will be delighted to have rightfully taken all three points in this hard-fought Yorkshire derby. Having beaten Leeds at Hillsborough earlier in the season, Paul Sturrock was confident that his unchanged Wednesday side could pick up all three points. Perhaps his players were a little too confident?
Blackwell fielded a slightly changed side this afternoon - with Killa carrying a knee injury, Sean Gregan resumed the successful early season central defensive partnership with Paul Butler. With Hulse suspended it was Cresswell who got the nod with Healy on the bench again . So expect the rumours about David's future to start again. Crowd-favourite, young Simon Walton had to return to the bench with the return to fitness of the influential Shaun Derry.
Elland Road had the biggest crowd of the season thanks to the travelling away support, keen to see the Owls humble Leeds twice in a season. But it was not to be, Sean Gregan had volley cleared off the line early on. All the early pressure was from Leeds. Douglas then had a close range header saved from a Kelly cross. It was another Kelly cross that gave Man of the Match, Eddie Lewis a chance on his weaker right foot. And Gregan had another chance with a volley from the penalty spot from a Kelly free-kick.
The second half was very different with Wednesday at times controlling much of the midfield and starting to even up the chances count to the delight of their noisy fans. Their captain's header called upon Sullivan to make a great save with the omnipresent Kelly finishing off the job. However, it was the Leeds captain Paul Butler who actually scored a headed goal in the 70th minute, from a Douglas cross, to set Leeds Utd on the road to victory.
Blake was subbed by Healy in the 62nd minute. As Leeds began to take control of the game Liam Miller went close but it was, former Owl, Richard Cresswell's, 82nd minute, full-length flying header from around the penalty spot that crashed the ball into the top left-hand corner past Nicky Weaver and confirmed the points would remain at Elland Road this afternoon. But even then Leeds and Cresswell were not finished when Richard added a third in stoppage time to affirm the correctness of Blackwell's decision to make him a starting striker over David Healy. Crainey knocked the ball forward to sub Simon Walton, on for Liam Miller since the 83rd minute, who then sent in a perfect cross for Cresswell to put away and give Leeds fans revenge for the earlier defeat at Hillsborough. It was also a great way to mark Ken Bates' anniversary of taking over the Elland Road club!
For different reasons neither side will be happy with Sheffield United's result this afternoon. Wednesday's bitter local rivals won 3-0, beating Brighton, the lowly relegation-haunted side that beat Leeds Utd last week. Neil Warnock showing that the way to automatic promotion is to kill off the minnows - a lesson Kevin Blackwell needs to take on board after losses against Rotherham last season and Brighton and Wednesday this season.
Leeds Utd: Sullivan, Kelly, Crainey, Butler, Lewis, Miller, Gregan, Derry, Douglas, Blake, Cresswell. Substitutes: Bennett, Walton, Pugh, Einarsson, Healy
Read what others have to say on this story!
Return to previous page