Back to winning ways
IT MIGHT not have been pretty but Leeds boss Steve Evans admitted it is all about the end result after scraping a narrow victory over struggling Bristol City.
The hosts were booed off at half-time after a dismal showing, but Souleymane Doukara snatched the winner just shy of the hour mark.
City fought back from 2-0 down to draw the reverse fixture, but there was no such comeback this time and Evans was relieved to take home the points.
“The first half was like a morning at the dentist,” said Evans.“We were a yard off all over, and I can’t repeat the words I said at half-time – there’s a nine o’clock watershed.
“It was pretty fierce, but only for a minute or so, but the instruction was clear – to grind ourselves into the game.
“You need to find that moment of magic and be able to get wins when you are not your best, and we got our reward.
“Good teams don’t lose three in a row, but they do lose back-toback fixtures.
“Bristol City didn’t come here and dominate – a lot of teams will come here that we simply have to beat.”
Buoyed by completing the double over Middlesbrough last weekend, City controlled early proceedings with Nathan Baker heading wide after 12 minutes.
Loanee Ben Gladwin, making his debut for the visitors, then dispossessed Liam Bridcutt on the byline only to fire straight at Marco Silvestri. The Italian goalkeeper was Leeds’ standout player in the first period, punching three dangerous inswinging corners away before saving the best chance of the half from Kodjia.
The Frenchman made an opportunity from nothing, wriggling inside the box past Giuseppe Bellusci only to poke straight at the outstretched Silvestri under pressure.
Spurred on at the break, Leeds began to peg City back and their patience was rewarded just before the hour when Doukara broke the deadlock.
Stuart Dallas’ cross from the right bounced off substitute Chris Wood and fell kindly for his strike partner, who coolly slotted his second goal in three Championship games.
City could have levelled through a sub of their own four minutes later, when Marlon Pack’s corner found Alex Pearce unmarked only for defender to head over. As the game wore on City started to surge forward, wasting another free header that would have put them level against the run of play on 79 minutes.
Luke Freeman placed a whipped cross directly on Aden Flint’s head six yards out, but last season’s 15-goal centre half saw his effort sail wide of the far post.
Flint’s fellow defender Luke Ayling also saw a chance go begging five minutes later, cutting in and shooting tamely at Silvestri after Aaron Wilbraham had slid him in.
City couldn’t find a way through in an end-to-end finish, with Leeds seeing out the remainder for their first Championship win in six.
City’s interim boss John Pemberton was left perplexed by the result, acknowledging that the rub of the green is hard to come by at the bottom of the table.
“We’re disappointed with the scoreline – it’s one we didn’t deserve,” he said.
“But it is what it is – they had one chance and scored and we had a few opportunities but couldn’t take them.
“That’s what happens when you’re scrapping at the bottom. But we pick ourselves up and go again.
“It’s not unlucky because you make your own luck.”