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Sunday, November 7, 1999 Published at 19:42 GMT


Dons destroy Leeds hopes

Kewell gets away from Cunningham but Wimbledon took the points

Wimbledon 2-0 Leeds

Further evidence of Wimbledon's revival and John Hartson's return to form was given as Leeds' 12-match unbeaten Premiership run ended in south London.

The Yorkshire side could have gone back to the top of the table with a win, but were unable even to take away the point that would have put them level with Manchester United at the summit.

Hartson opened the scoring for the Dons in a first half in which Leeds enjoyed plenty of possession but few chances.

A 65th-minute Marcus Gayle header sealed the home side's best result for months.

And the Dons looked comfortable against a Leeds side which looked tired after its midweek trip to Moscow.

Leeds began without back strain victim Michael Bridges, with Alan Smith up front alongside Darren Huckerby, whose pace was the only real threat to Wimbledon in the first half.

Harry Kewell was prepared to shoot from anywhere, but it was Huckerby who forced Scotland keeper Neil Sullivan to move smartly to the right to stop a long range effort after 11 minutes.

Within seconds the man in contention for the England no 1 jersey was forced into a better save, as Hartson's powerful header was palmed away by Nigel Martyn.

And minutes later the Welshman had a shot deflected to force more good work from the former Crystal Palace keeper on his latest return to Selhurst Park.

But there was no saving Leeds in the 32nd minute, with the visitors' defence alarmingly opening to allow Kenny Cunningham low ball from the right across the front of goal.

Hartson strikes

The cross was deflected just beyond Carl Cort as he charged into the six-yard box, but the intervention was perfect for Hartson to smash home at the far post.

Leeds had an immediate chance to draw level, but Ian Harte's free kick was too weak.

And four minutes before the break Huckerby was able to produced a useful left wing cross to the far post, where Lee Bowyer headed weakly at the Dons keeper.

The second half saw a similar pattern of play, with Leeds enjoying plenty of possession, but unable to unlock the improving home side.

Wimbledon have struggled to hang on to a lead this season, and were desperate to score the second goal.

Dons comfortable

Midway through the half they got the all-important cushion.

Kimble flighted a right wing corner into the near post, and Gayle was there to head powerfully into Martyn's top left-hand corner.

Substitute Erik Bakke came as close as anyone to a goal for Leeds, with a similar header to Gayle's four minutes from time.

But it was cleared off the line by Trond Andersen as the Dons added a rare clean sheet to a comfortable victory.

Wimbledon: Sullivan, Cunningham, Kimble, Thatcher, Cort, Earle, Hartson, Euell, Gayle, Andersen, Hreidarsson. Subs: Blackwell, Leaburn, Badir, Andresen, Davis.

Leeds: Martyn, Kelly, Harte, Radebe, Woodgate, Kewell, Bowyer, Huckerby, McPhail, Smith, Batty. Subs: Hopkin, Robinson, Mills, Bakke, Duberry.

Referee: P Jones (Loughborough)



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