Leeds United 1 Queens Park Rangers 0: Whites get the job done without joining Yorkshire football's night of drama
After Saturday's defeat at Southampton, the Whites did not need fireworks, just victory, and from early on against Queens Park Rangers, there seemed little doubt they would get it.
They ought to have won more comfortably than 1-0, but to be back to winning ways with a clean sheet to boot was cause for satisfaction, if not a lot more.
There was at least the encouragement in the performance of Patrick Bamford, who stretched the game when he came off the bench for the last half-hour or so, and even forced the late sending off of Asmir Begovic by doing so.
It took just nine minutes for Crysencio Summerville to put them in front. It could have been sooner but when the forward carried the ball deep into QPR territory, his team-mates' reluctance to shoot saw the chance go begging.
But it was quickly put right.
Leeds technically ought not to have had the chance, Osman Kakay's pass to Paul Smyth appearing to go out of play only for the latter to pick out Georginio Rutter putting it back in.
It was a tight call for the linesman and as the debate over the video assistant referee system has pointed out in some of its saner moments, human beings do make mistakes and we have to accept them. The advantage went to the team it should have and QPR will not be calling for a replay.
There was still a lot to do from there and Leeds did it very well, Rutter threading a lovely pass and Summerville keeping his head as Begovic rushed at him to slot home. It did not open the floodgates, the drama reserved for elsewhere as Bradford City's Mark Hughes and Sheffield Wednesday's Xisco Munoz lost their jobs, while Leeds toiled without reward.
Elland Road lacked was unable to compete on drama with precious little jeopardy for the home fans to endure, but not the comfy cushion they would have liked either.
Joe Rodon went close to doubling the lead almost immediately with a diving header at a corner taken by Summerville, who would later hit a Rutter pull-back against a defender.
Sam Byram, entrusted with his first midweek game since returning to the club – a sign that his fitness is improving – provided a gilt-edged opportunity for a 34th-minute goal but as his cross flashed over, no one thought to get on the end of it.
Kenneth Paul did well to keep a pull-back from Jaidon Anthony – on his first Leeds start – away from Luke Ayling.
Although the Rs showed more intent after their half-time chances, it amounted to little more than an Ilias Chair shot Ilan Meslier dealt with, at least until the very late stages.
But until the job was done, there was always that nagging doubt. This is Leeds United after all, and this is the Championship.
Had Meslier not been alert in the 89th minute, Lyndon Dykes could have snatched an equaliser. Having not seen enough oomph in the first 20 minutes of the restart, Daniel Farke introduced Bamford to provide it and the striker duly obliged.
The fit-again striker was into the game almost as soon as he came on. Not for the last time his running in behind caused problems as he latched onto an exquisite Byram pass, but Rutter was unable to cleanly deal with the ball Bamford played just behind him.
Rutter switched to the right wing to accommodate him, and had come inside to a very deep position when he launched the pass which sprang Bamford again in the 76th minute, only for him to shoot at Begovic.
Dan James, who came on with Bamford, also raised the threat level when he cut inside off the left.
His shot after 75 minutes was comfortable for the keeper but a deflection on his next effort a few minutes later provided a vicious dip which had him back-pedalling furiously.
Pascal Struijk ought to have scored from the corner, but blazed over.
It gave Dykes a chance to be the hero, latching onto Jimmy Dunne's flick on as the Rs went agricultural in the 89th minute, but his shot met with Meslier's broad chest.
Little could he have imagined he would soon by going in goal himself.
Bamford had won a booking off Kakay and when Struijk played him over the top, Begovic brought him down in the D.
The veteran was adamant he had not touched the striker and dad rocker Gareth Ainsworth had brought on all his substitutes. Disappointingly, Bamford thumped the free-kick into the wall.
Dykes had to go in goal but Leeds never worked him, just as they did not test Begovic enough. It is an area they must improve, but they will seek to do so from a position of strength, up to sixth.
Farke looks as secure as any Yorkshire manager right now.
Leeds United: Meslier; Ayling, Rodon, Struijk, Byram; Ampadu, Gray; Anthony (James 65), Piroe (Bamford 65), Summerville (Poveda 80); Rutter (Cresswell 90). Unused subs: Cooper, Kamara, Darlow, Gelhardt, Gruev.
Queens Park Rangers: Begovic; Kakay (Dunne 73), S Cook (Larkeche 84), Clarke-Salter; Smyth (Adomah 46), Colback (Dozzell 46), Field, Paal; Armstrong (Kolli 78); Chair, Dykes. Unused substitutes: Archer, Dixon-Bonner, Kelman, Duke-McKenna.
Referee: D Webb (County Durham).