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Sunday, October 3, 1999 Published at 19:45 GMT


Leeds take over as leaders

Alan Smith (left) gets little change from Watford's Mark Williams

Watford 1-2 Leeds

Leeds clinched a club record-equalling seventh successive league win to move to the top of the Premiership, after Harry Kewell smashed in a second-half winner at Watford.


The BBC's Steve Tongue: "Finished with a precision his teams' strikers couldn't match"
United showed title-winning pedigree by coming back from a goal down to deepen struggling Watford's misery.

The result never looked in doubt after Kewell fired in a snap shot from the edge of the penalty box which was badly misread by Hornets keeper Alex Chamberlain.

Their win equals the club record created by Don Revie's team of 1973/4 who won the first seven games of their season and went on to claim the league title.

Radebe injured

Watford had smothered Leeds' attacking ambitions for most of a first half not distinguished by free-flowing football.

But the game roared into life five minutes before half time.

Watford broke the deadlock while Leeds were temporarily reduced to 10 men.

Leeds' South African skipper Lucas Radebe was stretchered off the pitch and as substitute Danny Mills waited for the referee to allow him on, Watford took a quick free kick just inside the Leeds half.

A floated ball picked out Mark Williams unmarked in the heart of the Leeds penalty area.

He cushioned it with his chest, made a smart turn and volleyed it past a helpless Nigel Martyn to make it 1-0.

Screaming equaliser

But the opening goal only served to sting the visitors into action.

Mills came on, Leeds upped the tempo and scored a stunning equaliser that left Watford reeling.

Michael Bridges powered to the corner of the penalty box and fired a screaming shot across the face of the Watford goal and into the top corner past goalkeeper Chamberlin.

Heavy rain and the Leeds equaliser appeared to have dampened the Vicarage Road crowd's spirits at the start of the second half.

Leeds created a series of early chances finding the space that Watford had denied them in the opening period.

Leeds momentum

But the Hornets still had the bit between their teeth and a work rate to match their more illustrious Premiership rivals who started the match 12 places above them in the league.

Watford's Welsh international Robert Page picked out Ngonge with a lofted long ball into the Leeds area, but the striker miscued an acrobatic volley.

But Kewell's goal gave the visitors added momentum and they had chances to score several more.

Teams:

Watford: Chamberlain, Lyttle, Page, Williams, Robinson, Hyde,Palmer, Kennedy, Ngonge, Foley, Wooter. Subs: Wright, Day, Gibbs, Easton, Miller.

Leeds: Martyn, Kelly, Batty, Woodgate, Harte, Radebe, Bakke, Hopkin, Kewell, Bridges, Smith. Subs: Haaland, Huckerby, Robinson, Mills, Jones.

Referee: A Durso (Billericay)



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