McGoldrick and Garner on target but brave Town go down
Leeds remained at top of the table but Town gave them a real test at Elland Road and could have taken something from an entertaining 90 minutes.
David McGoldrick cancelled out Pierre-Michel Lasogga’s early goal for the home side with a close range header, but Blues were behind at the break with Kalvin Phillips punishing a lack of concentration in the Town box.
Leeds extended their lead midway through the second-half, Hawkeye technology judging Pablo Hernandez’s corner to have gone in via Bart Bialkowski.
Joe Garner immediately reduced the arrears and Town pressed for an equaliser in the closing stages with Freddie Sears denied in added on time.
Town made two changes from the side that beat Bolton last week, with Jonas Knudsen and Tristan Nydam coming in for Myles Kenlock and Callum Connolly.
Jordan Spence picked up an early booking for a foul on Samuel Saiz but the blue wall held firm from Lasogga’s free-kick and the danger was averted.
Dominic Iorfa cleared from Ezgian Alioski’s cross, then Nydam was at full stretch to block Lasogga on the edge of the box as Leeds started brightly.
The Whites were ahead on 11 minutes, Lasogga got on the end of a ball that opened up the Town defence and the striker flashed his shot low past Bart Bialkowski into the bottom corner.
Grant Ward forced a corner after Iorfa fed him down the right, Garner heading over as Town began to get a foothold in the game, McGoldrick then crowded out on the edge of the box.
Former White, Tom Adeyemi, escaped Leeds’ defence but his cross was put behind for a corner, Spence going close to getting on the end of the delivery.
Luke Ayling fired wide for the home side, while at the other end McGoldrick robbed possession from Ayling but his cross ran away from Garner eight yards out.
McGoldrick never missed an opportunity to run at the Leeds defence and from another corner won by the Republic of Ireland international, Garner and then Iorfa had shots beaten out.
It was McGoldrick who levelled the scores for Town on the half-hour mark, the striker heading in from Ward’s delivery.
Blues were only on par for two minutes though, Knudsen got caught out inside the area and Phillips rounded Bialkowski and scored from a tight angle.
Luke Chambers did well to block Saiz’s cross as Leeds countered, home goalkeeper Felix Wiedwald showing a nice touch on the ball 40 yards from goal to stop Ward getting in, then Spence keeping Town in touch with a great block to keep out Saiz’s goalbound effort.
Garner saw a volley put behind for a corner as Town pressed for an equaliser before the break,
Adeyemi unable to get enough on his header from the flag kick, then Chambers’ header was cleared off the line in a frantic finish to the opening 45 minutes.
McGoldrick set alarm bells ringing for Leeds as the second-half got underway, his shot was blocked after showing excellent control on the chest, then a clever pass from the frontman gave
Nydam a sight of goal, Ayling coming to his side’s rescue.
Wiedwald held on to Knudsen’s cross under pressure from Garner as Blues enjoyed a spell of pressure on the home goal, McGoldrick winning a free-kick on the edge of the box after another surging run. Knudsen’s effort was blocked, Iorfa sliding the ball just wide of the far post seconds later.
Town continued to carve out chances and Garner’s superb cross looked destined to be converted by McGoldrick but was deflected over.
Gaetano Berardi replaced Anita in the game’s first change, Chambers then doing superbly to deny the dangerous Saiz after the ball had fallen into his path 10 yards out.
Aloiski found the sidenetting from close range before Leeds stretched their lead in bizarre circumstances, Hernandez’s corner judged to have crossed the line before Bialkowski held the ball.
Blues made a twin change, Bersant Celina and Sears on for Nydam and Ward and Town were back in the game seconds later, Garner forcing the ball in from close range on 69 minutes.
Leeds made a second change with Stuart Dallas on for Hernandez in the closing stages, Martyn Waghorn entering the fray soon after, with McGoldrick making way.
Blues pushed forward in search of that elusive third goal as the anxious whistles from the full house at Elland Road accompanied the five minutes of added on time until a final blast of the whistle brought a roar of relief.
Leeds: Wiedwald, Ayling, Cooper, Anita (Berardi 59), Lasogga (Grot 84), Alioski, O’Kane, Hernandez (Dallas 75), Saiz, Phillips, Shaughnessy. Subs not used: Lonergan, Pennington, Roofe, Klich. Booked: Cooper.
Town: Bialkowski, Iorfa, Chambers, Spencer, Knudsen, Ward (Celina 67), Skuse, Adeyemi, Nydam (Sears 67), McGoldrick (Waghorn 84), Garner. Subs not used: Gerken, Connolly, Woolfenden, Kenlock. Booked: Spence, Knudsen, Skuse.