Leeds United 2 Hull City 0

Last updated : 15 January 2006 By Footymad Previewer
The on-loan midfielder popped up in first-half injury-time to ram home a pass from Robbie Blake, then struck again in the 53rd minute after Richard Cresswell had twice hit the bar following a corner.

The result took Leeds' Christmas tally to nine points out of nine, but Hull showed enough spirit and determination to suggest they will be able to hang on to their Championship status this season.

Both managers made surprise changes to their team. Kevin Blackwell dropped David Healy to the bench to make room for Liam Miller in midfield with Eddie Lewis pushing forward alongside Richard Cresswell and Robbie Blake.

He started with the line-up that finished the 1-0 win at Stoke, except that Stephen Crainey came in for his first league start since the end of September in place of the injured Dan Harding.

Peter Taylor left ex-Leeds midfielder Nick Barmby on the bench even though the former England international had produced one of his best displays since joining Hull in the midweek 2-0 win over Ipswich.

Hull made all the early pace, outnumbering Leeds in midfield and pushing forward, with Billy Paynter twice going close, the second only kept out by a finger-tip save by Neil Sullivan.

Leeds' first effort came after 20 minutes when Blake dragged his shot wide of the post.

The Leeds striker had a golden opportunity to open the scoring after half an hour when Cresswell's tackle on Mark Lynch left Blake through one on one with the keeper but Boaz Myhill stood up and managed to deflect Blake's shot wide of the post.

Craig Fagan and Paynter were giving the Leeds defence plenty of problems and Fagan clipped the bar with a 20-yard shot five minutes from half-time and then brought another superb save out of Sullivan.

Blake again went close, his first time effort from Gary Kelly's cross flashing just the wrong side of the post, but as the half went into added time, the Leeds striker pulled down a long Matthew Kilgallon pass and rolled it into the path of Douglas, who drove it past Myhill.

Leeds dominated the second half and Douglas popped up again in the 53rd minute to force the ball over the line after Cresswell had hit the bar twice following a corner.

Cresswell twice cut in from the left with a shot, the first crashing against the far post, the second looping into the net, but disallowed because of a push.

Barmby got on with eight minutes to go, but by then the game was lost and he only had time to receive abuse from the Leeds fans.