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Last Updated: Saturday, 4 October, 2003, 15:54 GMT 16:54 UK
Inspired Leeds hold off Blackburn
Leeds 2-1 Blackburn

Seth Johnson scored twice for Leeds

Leeds' week of turmoil ended on a high note as Peter Reid's team deservedly beat Blackburn at Elland Road.

Seth Johnson scored twice as the home side, inspired by the recalled David Batty, dominated large chunks of the game, although Dino Baggio's late goal set up a nervous finale.

Leeds boss Reid had come close to losing his job earlier in the week but, after consulting with supporters, chairman Professor John McKenzie give the manager more time to prove his worth.

And the decision was vindicated as Leeds won at home in the Premiership for the first time this season.

Reid rang the changes following the 4-0 thrahsing at Everton last Sunday, handing fans' favourite Batty his first start in 18 months.

And the former England international's tenacious approach alongside Jody Morris in the centre of midfield had an immediate effect on the home team.

Leeds should have scored inside the first minute but Smith, clean through on goal, blazed over the target.

KEY MOMENTS
1 min: Smith blazes over the Rovers bar
11 mins: Johnson puts Leeds ahead
29 mins: Cole hits the post for Blackburn
86 mins: Baggio scores for Blackburn

Moments later, Morris should have punished indecisive Blackburn defending but he too cleared the crossbar from the edge of the area.

Smith wasted another good chance before Johnson eventually opened the scoring after 11 minutes.

The Leeds midfielder converted from close range after Brad Friedel uncharacteristically spilled a shot from Smith.

Rampant Leeds almost doubled their lead but Smith's chip was too heavy and the ball fell to Viduka, whose looping shot was saved by Friedel.

Rovers, shellshocked by the ferocity of Leeds' play, mustered little throughout the opening half.

But Andy Cole almost retrieved a goal with a neat shot on the turn only for the ball to rebound off the bottom of a post.

Smith's wasteful finishing continued soon after the start of the second half, the Leeds striker failing to convert Johnson's cross.

And the home side continued to create chances, with Smith, Jermaine Pennant and Salomon Olembe threatening on the break as Rovers committed players forward.

The visitors improved after the break, with Brett Emerton causing the opposition problems and Cole shooting at every opportunity.

Substitute Dino Baggio, denied moments earlier by Paul Robinson, reduced the deficit with his first goal for the club, heading home from close range with four minutes remaining.

But the Leeds defence survived a nervous final few minutes to collect three points.


Leeds: Robinson, Kelly, Camara, Matteo, Olembe, Pennant (Sakho 87), Morris, Batty, Seth Johnson, Smith, Viduka (Bridges 67).
Subs Not Used: Carson, Radebe, Milner.

Booked: Seth Johnson, Matteo, Robinson.

Blackburn: Friedel, Emerton, Johansson, Martin Taylor, Gresko, Thompson, Flitcroft (Ferguson 45), Tugay (Grabbi 74), Reid (Baggio 65), Cole, Yorke.
Subs Not Used: Kelly, Jansen.

Booked: Gresko.

Attendance: 35,039

Referee: U Rennie (S Yorkshire).





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