Two late goals saw Leeds United finally beat a Nigel Clough side as they made it seven games unbeaten at home with a 2-0 success against Burton Albion.
Clough had never been on the losing side as a manager against Leeds and the Whites looked to be heading for a stalemate against opponents that were in the Northern Premier League when the Whites were in the Champions League, But substitute Souleymane Doukara changed the game with a couple of telling contributions.
First, he won an 83rd minute penalty that was put away by Chris Wood then he went through again and put the ball in himself despite appearing to be fouled to clinch a win that lifted United to ninth and within a point of the play-off places.
Leeds boss Garry Monk made nine changes from the team that had made it through the EFL Cup in midweek and went back to his trusted formation with Pablo Hernandez returning after injury to play the number 10 role.
They started a bit sluggishly, though as Ben Turner saw a header cleared off the line by Wood.
At the right end, Wood had a volley deflected over from an Hernandez corner and Luke Ayling’s shot through a crowded goalmouth was blocked.
Hernandez raced through only to lose control of the ball in the box to make it easy for Jon McLaughlin to save.
Hadi Sacko was next to get in behind the visitors’ defence, but his dangerous low cross was diverted out for a corner
Burton then had a good spell as Chris O’Grady turned to get a shot in that flew off target and Jamie Ward’s volley went wide from the edge of the box.
Sacko bundled the ball over from a tight angle after getting on the end of a Charlie Taylor cross to the far post, but the action soon switched to the other end as the ball bounced off the top of the United crossbar off the head of Kyle Bartley.
Leeds finally managed their first effort on target on 39 minutes when Kalvin Phillips’ low shot from outside of the box was saved by McLaughlin. But the first half ended goalless.
It was Burton who started the second period stronger as Stuart Beavon smashed a volley over from the edge of the box and Turner headed over from eight yards after a far post cross had been headed on to him.
United shook themselves from their lethargy on the hour when Kemar Roofe, who had been largely anonymous before, suddenly found himself through onto Phillips’ pass, but with only the keeper to beat he scuffed his shot and it bobbled wide.
Turner headed over again for Burton from one of their many free-kicks in dangerous areas, but it was the Whites who were beginning to look the more dangerous side.
Roofe found space in the box again and forced McLaughlin to make a good save from his shot on the turn. Hernandez then fired over from inside the area after his original effort had been blocked.
A goal finally came as sub Doukara raced onto Hernandez’s superb first time pass into space and after trying to cut inside onto his favoured right foot found his legs taken from under him by Turner. A penalty was the result and Wood smashed the ball in for his tenth goal of the season.
Burton responded and in a frantic finish with six minutes of added time played they came close to an equaliser when Tom Naylor’s volley from the edge of the box after a half-cleared corner was saved by Rob Green.
Philips saw a shot saved at the other end before the visitors had a last minute chance with a free-kick right on the edge of the box. Lloyd Dyer’s shot was blocked by the wall ,resulting efforts were also blocked as successive home players threw themselves at the ball and Leeds broke away to seal the game with their second goal.
Wood sent Doukara clean through and although he appeared to be pushed to the ground he was still able to put the ball in the net for his first goal of the season to spark wild celebrations.
Head coach Monk admitted it was not Leeds’ best performance, but he was pleased with the attitude of his players.
He said: “It wasn’t our best performance, but the most important thing was that we go the three points.
“When you look at the week we’ve had, you’ve seen all sides of the way we play so it’s very
“When we got chances were clinical. It was brilliant pass from Pablo Hernandez for the goal.
“We lacked spark today, but Soully (Doukara) brought that when he came on. It’s what you want when you bring on your subs. The whole squad is contributing.
“It was important to keep a clean sheet. We showed great spirit, dug in and defended well when we had to. Our mentality was really strong.
“We showed that after a great result you can get another.”
Leeds United 2
(Wood 83, pen, Doukara 90+6)
Burton Albion 0
Saturday, October 29, 2016
Leeds: Green, Ayling, Bartley, Jansson, Taylor, Phillips, O’Kane, Sacko (Mowatt 90+4), Hernandez (Vieira 89), Roofe (Doukara 73), Wood.
Burton: McLaughlin, Brayford, McFadzean, Turner, Atkins, Williamson (Naylor 72), Palmer, Irvine, Dyer, Ward (Beavon 45), O’Grady.
Referee: Jeremy Simpson