Comfortable win for Leeds
Leeds United kept themselves in pole position for promotion, with a comfortable 4-1 victory over eight man MK Dons at Elland Road.
Simon Grayson rang the changes after last weeks defeat at Gillingham, Sanchez Watt made his first start for the club and there was also recalls for Ben Parker and Bradley Johnson in place of Leigh Bromby, Mike Doyle and Jon Howson.
He did however keep with the front line of Gradel and Becchio so it meant that leading goalscorer Jermaine Beckford once again had to be happy with a place on the bench.
The afternoon got off to a fantastic start pre kick off with a guest appearance from Leeds United legend Lucas Radebe who received a fantastic reception from all in Elland Road.
Leeds enjoyed most of the early possession and took a deserved lead on thirteen minutes when a good tackle and pass by Watt put Becchio through on goal and he poked the ball past Gueret to ease the nerves around the ground.
With Leeds looking at ease it looked a great afternoon to increase the goal difference with a big win but that was dealt a blow on nineteen minutes, once again shoddy marking at a set piece allowed Lewington in at the far post to equalise for the visitors.
Leeds continued to press and once again went in the lead on thirty three minutes. Once again, a good tackle by Watt starting the move, Kilkenny then played Gradel in and his left foot shot found the back of the net.
MK Dons task was made even harder shortly before half time when Doumbe was shown a straight red card for a tackle on Watt. The decision looked a little harsh and you could tell by the noise around Elland Road that it came as a surprise to most in the ground.
Gueret was having an awful afternoon in the MK goal, a mistake by him was pounced on by Gradel who then appeared to be brought down by the keeper but the referee waved away the appeals.
Leeds should have wrapped the game up on the stroke of half time when a good run by Snodgrass found him through on goal but the legs of Gueret blocked his shot.
The home side continued to have most of the possession at the start of the second half, but without seriously threatening the MK goal.
The visitors were enjoying some success down the right hand side on their rare attacks, Lewis Gobern was giving the defence a few worries with his runs into the Leeds area.
Ben Parker who was making his first start since the opening day was enjoying a decent game but his afternoon was cut short on the hour when he suffered a knee injury, which looks like ending his injury-ravished season.
Watt was also enjoying his first start and a good shot from a tight angle was well saved by Gueret as Leeds looked for a two-goal cushion to relieve a few nerves.
Leeds finally put the game to bed shortly after the arrival of Jermaine Beckford from the bench in place of Robert Snodgrass.
A lovely flowing move was finished off by Beckford to grab his 29th goal of the season.
Within five minutes Beckford was to make it thirty for the season. Beckford got in behind the last man and with him bearing down on goal he was hauled down by McCracken dragging him down inside the penalty area. The referee quickly awarded a penalty and had no choice but to produce his second red card of the afternoon as McCracken also went for an early bath.
Beckford steeped up and his spot kick just creeping under the body of Gueret and into the back of the net.
Beckford had only been on the pitch ten minutes and he missed a golden chance to complete his hat trick when he failed to get a good contact with his header when unmarked in front of goal.
Howson had by now come off the bench and he saw a shot well saved as Leeds went looking for a fifth.
MK Dons were reduced to eight men in stoppage time when Leven was shown a straight red for a two-footed lunge on Neil Collins.
Leeds couldn`t add to the four goals they had already got in the final seconds but a good win and now only two games away from a return to the Championship.
With Millwall also winning the gap is still just one point. Both Charlton and Swindon were held to draws so it now looks like a straight race between Leeds and Millwall for second spot.
Next weekend could prove decisive with Leeds and Millwall both facing tricky away games at Charlton and Tranmere respectively.
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