Date:Sunday January 22 2006
LEEDS: Sullivan, Kelly, Butler, Gregan, Crainey, Miller (Walton 83), Douglas, Derry, Lewis, Cresswell, Blake (Healy 62).
Subs Not Used: Bennett, Pugh, Einarsson.
SHEFF WED: Weaver, Simek, Coughlan, Wood, Gilbert, Brunt, Whelan (Partridge 76), O'Brien, Hills, Burton, Tudgay (Corr 76).
Subs Not Used: Lucas, Bullen, Collins.
It took a long time in coming, but ex-Wednesday striker Richard Cresswell took the Owls by the scruff of the neck and left their fans spitting feathers. He grabbed a brace against his old side and kept the promotion-chasing bandwagon comfortably on course.
The test of a good side is how they bounce back after a poor defeat, and the horror experience at lowly Brighton asked questions of Kevin Blackwell's side. A possible top-two finish had looked good up until Brighton, but his side bounced back in great style against the old foe from Hillsbough.
Skipper Paul Butler finally broke Wednesday's spirited resistance, then Cresswell took centre stage with a predatory double to give the Whites fans the bragging rights.
It was always going to be difficult, as Paul Sturrock's side beat Leeds 1-0 at Hillsborough last September and travelled up the M1 on a run of three successive league wins. They were aiming to win four games on the trot for the first time in nine years and complete a first League double over Leeds since the 1959-60 season.
Leeds began to enjoy the majority of possession but struggled to penetrate Wednesday's 4-5-1 formation, which saw Deon Burton left to plough a lone furrow up front. They were paper-weight up front, and United played on it. Blackwell paired Robbie Blake and Cresswell together to spearhead his attack and in the end he got the result.
But it was Cresswell's delightful footwork which carved open Wednesday. The 28-year-old, who spent 18 months at Hillsborough after joining the Owls for £950,000 from York in March 1999, weaved his magic and the visitors couldn't hold him.
Leeds struggled to impose themselves after the break and Blackwell replaced the ineffective Blake with David Healy shortly after the hour mark.
Butler headed home Douglas' cross before Cresswell nodded home Kelly's corner shortly after to effectively secure Leeds the points.
There was no way back for Wednesday and Cresswell rubbed salt in the wounds of his former employers in the closing stages with a clinical finish from Simon Walton's low left-wing cross.
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|14. Sheff Wed||45||14||17||14||-6||59|
|15. Leeds Utd||45||15||10||20||-11||55|
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