Date: 6th March 2006 at 1:02pm
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CRYSTAL PALACE: Kiraly, Ward, Fitz Hall, Boyce, Borrowdale,McAnuff, Watson (Riihilahti 56), Hughes,Soares (Leigertwood 58), Johnson, Morrison.

Subs Not Used: Popovic, Andrews, Speroni.

LEEDS UTD: Sullivan, Kelly, Crainey, Butler, Gregan,Lewis (Pugh 87), Miller, Douglas, Derry, Hulse,Blake (Healy 87).

Subs Not Used: Bennett, Bakke, Moore.

After another dramatic weekend, and a return of 14 points from their last six games for Kevin Blackwell’s side and only half dozen collected by their rivals Sheffield United … the race for that automatic promotion spot is moving in Leeds favour.

3,145 travelling Leeds United fans made their feelings known at Selhurst Park that the Easter Tuesday meeting between the two Uniteds may still be a little over six weeks away, but the Whites cannot wait for it.

Goals from Robbie Blake and Rob Hulse gave Leeds a crucial victory over their promotion rivals Crystal Palace, but the performance echoed the result.

Blackwell’s boys controlled the game totally until the final 25 minutes, when Palace finally exerted a degree of pressure – but they had only Jobi McAnuff’s injury time strike to show for it.

Leeds have a game in hand on second-placed Sheffield United and now move within six points of an automatic promotion spot.

After a purposeful break from the impressive Liam Miller, Hulse got the better of Darren Ward on the right to send in a low cross that Fitz Hall – deceived by a deflection off Ward – failed to clear, allowing the grateful Blake to tap in from a yard.

Eddie Lewis should have doubled Leeds’ lead in the 43rd minute, but he headed wide at the far post after Kiraly had flapped hopelessly at Miller’s left-wing cross.

But that error did not affect an assured Leeds side, who deservedly made it 2-0 in the 53rd minute.

Kelly slid the ball to Miller on the right, and the unmarked Hulse stuck out his right foot to divert the on-loan Manchester United midfielder’s cross in off the bar at the near post.

McAnuff did finally score with a curling 20-yard effort in stoppage time, but that only increased the home side’s frustration.



 

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