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Saturday, April 3, 1999 Published at 17:14 GMT 18:14 UK


Leeds in seven heaven

Hasselbaink scoreds his 17th goal of the season

Leeds Utd v Nottingham Forest

Leed United's hopes of equalling a club record seventh successive top flight win in the course of one season were confirmed by a splendid goal from their Dutch sensation Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink.

After a frustrated crowd had accepted that a lethargic first-half would end in stalemate, Hasselbaink scored arguably his best goal of the season - his 17th - to give United the half-time edge.

David O'Leary's men looked bedraggled following their two-week Premiership break and made some unusual errors in the opening 15 minutes.

After Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink had seen an eighth minute effort narrowly deflected wide, bottom-of-the-table Forest went on to create the best chance during the early exchanges.

Stale Stensaas, on-loan from Rangers, played a swift one-two with Andy Johnson on the edge of the area, with his angled drive flashing across Nigel Martyn and a yard wide of the left-hand post.

Collision

There was a scare for both sides in the 32nd minute when former Leeds hero and Forest midfielder Carlton Palmer and United's inspirational captain Lucas Radebe collided in mid-air as they both went for a high ball.

Hasselbaink then took it upon himself to inject life into a listless afternoon, shrugging off the challenges of Andy Johnson and Steve Chettle before scoring with an 18-yard right-foot rocket past Mark Crossley for his 17th of the season.

Forest could have been back on level terms in first-half injury-time when youngster Marlon Harewood was given a clear shooting chance, but he drilled the opportunity straight at Martyn.

Leeds should have done better with a beautifully worked free-kick between Ian Harte, Kewell and Lee Bowyer in the 50th minute, resulting in England Under-21 international Bowyer firing straight into Crossley's arms.

Within three minutes the visitors were on level terms when a delightful backheel from Freedman teed up Alan Rogers for a 15-yard half-volley which he rifled past Martyn for his third goal of the season.

Former Scotland international Richard Gough then fouled Hasselbaink 25 yards out, the Dutchman this time leaving the dead-ball shot for Ian Harte to fire home a breathtaking curler with his left-foot.

Leeds wrapped up the points in the 83rd minute when a Harte far-post corner was knocked back by Jonathon Woodgate for Smith to fire home from close range.

Leeds: Martyn, Woodgate, Radebe, Wetherall, Harte, Bowyer, Hopkin, Ribeiro, Smith, Hasselbaink, Kewell. Subs: Wijnhard, Granville, Halle, Jones, Robinson.

Nottm Forest: Crossley, Gough, Chettle, Edwards, Stensaas, Johnson, Palmer, Bonalair, Rogers, Harewood, Freedman. Subs: Shipperley, Woan, Allou, Porfirio, Beasant.

Referee: P Alcock (Halstead)



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