Blues defeated at Elland Road as Leeds strike in each half to take all three points
Town fell to a 2-0 defeat to Leeds United at Elland Road, despite a spirited performance.
A goal in each half from Leeds duo Jerome Thomas and Paul Green proved to be the deciding factors as Blues suffered a first defeat in four games.
Town did have chances to take something from the game but ultimately didn’t convert any and left Yorkshire with nothing to show for their troubles.
Mick McCarthy named an unchanged side, following Town’s 3-0 home win over Millwall last time out.
There was a change in personnel on the Blues bench though, with Nigel Reo-Coker and Bilel Mohsni replacing Josh Carson and the now departed Tyrone Barnett.
The game started a bright pace with both sides attacking at will. However the first chance of the match fell to the hosts, with El-Hadji Diouf being foiled by a smart save from Stephen Henderson after seven minutes.
Four minutes later and a neat passing move from Town almost saw Carlos Edwards create an opening for a shot, but after he was closed down the ball fell to Aaron Cresswell but the left-back saw his right-footed effort fly over the crossbar.
The deadlock was broken after 19 minutes though as Neil Warnock’s side found a breakthrough. A corner wasn’t dealt with by the Town defence and Thomas was on hand to flick the ball past Henderson and into the corner following Tom Lees’ original header at goal.
Cresswell had to be alert three minutes later, with the Town left-back clearing a header from former Blue David Norris off the line.
Just after the half-hour mark and the lively Lee Martin went close for Town, with the midfielder skipping past a couple of Leeds challenges before seeing his effort at goal deflected behind for a corner.
Shortly after Lees almost headed into his own net following a cross from Edwards, as Town’s pressure began to show.
However the hosts should have extended their lead five minutes before the break, as Paul Green picked out the unmarked Luciano Becchio in the area but the Argentine striker headed over the bar from six yards.
There was still time for Carlos Edwards to jink his way into the box and fire in a shot towards the far corner but the skipper’s effort was tipped behind by Paddy Kenny before the referee called time on the first-half.
The second 45 started at a bright pace also, with Becchio being denied by a fine reflex save from Henderson two minutes after the restart.
Town were piling on the pressure in search of an equaliser but unfortunately it was the hosts who were to strike next.
A classic counter-attack saw Thomas lay the ball off for the arriving Green to side-foot into the roof off the net after 68 minutes to double Leeds’ advantage.
Blues were still looking for a way into the game and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas played in Martin through on goal but the midfielder was nudged off the ball by the recovering Sam Byram.
Shortly after the midfielder was denied again, this time by a smart save from Paddy Kenny, after linking up well with Michael Chopra.
The two then combined yet again with nine minutes remaining, with Martin beating Lee Peltier before squaring the ball to the unmarked Chopra but the striker’s effort was blocked by the legs of Kenny.
That proved to be the final piece of meaningful action in front of goal, as Town’s efforts failed to bring about a way back into the game and Blues departed Elland Road without a share of the spoils.
Leeds: Kenny, Peltier, Lees, Tate, Byram, Thomas (Brown 83), Green, Norris, Tonge, Diouf (McCormack 80), Becchio (Varney 90). Subs not used: Ashdown, Pearce, White, Hall.
Town: Henderson, Orr (Hewitt 85), Chambers, Smith, Cresswell, Edwards, N'Daw, Drury, Martin, Campbell (Chopra 65), Murphy (Emmanuel-Thomas 73). Subs not used: Loach, Higginbotham, Reo-Coker, Mohsni.