Date:Monday January 2 2006
LEEDS: Sullivan, Kelly, Butler, Kilgallon, Crainey (Pugh 80), Miller, Douglas, Derry, Lewis, Cresswell (Hulse 78), Blake (Healy 78).
Subs Not Used: Bennett, Richardson.
HULL: Myhill, Lynch (Wiseman 68), Cort, Collins, Dawson, Price (Barmby 82), Andrews, Delaney, Elliott, Paynter, Fagan (Green 68).
Subs Not Used: Woodhouse, Duke.
Jonathan Douglas grabbed a brace as Leeds ended 2005 on a high. Midfielder Douglas netted either side of the break to ensure the year ended in a similar vein as it started.
It was almost 16 years since the last encounter between the sides and the eagerly-awaited clash attracted 26,387 - Leeds' biggest crowd of the season. And Hull, backed vociferously by a 1,800-strong cluster of fans, showed no signs of stage fright during the opening period as they attacked with confidence and vigour.
The blossoming partnership of Craig Fagan and Billy Paynter, which meant former Leeds striker Nick Barmby was reduced to a place on the bench, again proved effective.
Paynter saw a powerful shot from the edge of the box deflected over after four minutes while giant centre-back Leon Cort nodded the resulting corner wide.
Paynter collected possession again soon after and hit another powerful effort, which this time forced Leeds goalkeeper Neil Sullivan to turn over for a corner.
Douglas should have at least tested Hull goalkeeper Boaz Myhill midway through the opening period, but his weak shot from 12 yards failed to hit the target.
Myhill then enhanced his reputation as one of the finest goalkeepers outside the Barclays Premiership after 29 minutes with an outstanding save.
Hull defender Mark Lynch was caught in possession by Richard Cresswell on the halfway line, and he swiftly played strike partner Robbie Blake clean through on goal.
The former Burnley striker raced clear on goal but despite being afforded what seemed an eternity to simply slot the ball home, his low 12-yard shot was repelled by Myhill's superb save low to his right.
Seven minutes before the break, Fagan cut inside from the left flank and cracked a left-foot shot against the crossbar as Leeds survived.
Blake then fired narrowly wide at the far post before Fagan was denied by Sullivan's point-blank save shortly before the interval.
And Leeds duly took advantage on the stroke of half-time as Blake controlled a long ball from Matthew Kilgallon and found Douglas, who stroked home a low, diagonal finish from the right-hand side of the box.
Leeds were more purposeful after the break and Cresswell was desperately unlucky not to find the net after 53 minutes when his delightful shot from outside the box cannoned back off the far post.
Hull struggled badly to reproduce their first-half display and after 55 minutes it was 2-0 to Leeds.
A right-wing corner from Eddie Lewis saw Cresswell twice denied from close range by Myhill, but Douglas was on hand to nod home his fourth goal of the season from barely six yards out.
Hull continued to battle but, after Cresswell had a goal disallowed for a push, they struggled to create a single noteworthy chance as Leeds ground out an ultimately comfortable win.
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|Leeds Utd||1||-||1||Sheff Wed|
|11. Sheff Wed||12||4||5||3||0||17|
|14. Leeds Utd||12||4||3||5||-3||15|
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