NEIL Redfearn made a winning start as Leeds United caretaker manager, but was given a helping hand by opponents Bristol City in Saturday’s Npower Championship game at Ashton Gate.
After the Whites went ahead through Robert Snodgrass five minutes before half-time the hosts had two players sent-off with James Wilson and Bolasie both seeing red.
Second half goals from strikers Ross McCormack and Luciano Becchio then completed an ultimately comfortable victory that saw United back to winning ways following the sacking of manager Simon Grayson.
Interim manager Redfearn made two changes from the side that lost 4-1 to Birmingham on Tuesday with new loan man Adam Smith making his debut at right-back in place of Zac Thompson and Danny Pugh returning for Tottenham loanee Andros Townsend.
United had the first chance when Robert Snodgrass lifted a free-kick over, but they needed three good saves from keeper Andy Lonergan to stay on level terms.
It was somewhat against the run of play as Snodgrass scored his 11th goal of the season to fire Leeds ahead on 40 minutes, finishing off a well worked move involving Becchio, Pugh and McCormack.
Within three minutes City were reduced to 10 men when James Wilson brought down McCormack, who was racing towards goal and referee James Linington produced a straight red card.
United started the second half well and were only denied a second goal by an offside flag as McCormack headed a Snodgrass cross into the net.
They then found themselves up against nine men as Bristol’s Bolasie clattered into full-back Smith twice in a minute and earned two bookings to find himself the second player to be ordered off.
With their extra two men Leeds were able to control the final half-hour and they went close several times through Snodgrass, Smith, Darren O'Dea and Aidan White before finally making the points safe.
McCormack. Fabian Delph and Adam Clayton were all involved in a good build-up and McCormack hammered home his 15th goal of the season.
Becchio put the icing on the cake with a powerful strike in the 90th minute and United were able to travel home with a morale-boosting 3-0 victory that lifted them back to within a point of a play-off place.
Bristol City 0
Leeds United 3
(Snodgrass 40, McCormack 79, Becchio 90)
Saturday, February 4, 2012
Bristol City: James, Foster, Fontaine, Skuse, Cisse (Campbell-Ryce 85), Kilkenny (McGivern 45), Adomah, Bolasie (sent-off 59), Wilson (sent-off 44), Pearson, Wood (Stead 71).
Leeds: Lonergan, Smith, O'Dea, Lees, Pugh, Snodgrass, Clayton, Delph, White, McCormack, Becchio.
Referee: James Linington.