GARRY MONK could not hide his frustration after Leeds were forced to settle for a point at the end of a thrilling Championship encounter at Aston Villa.
Leeds went into the Villa Park clash occupying a play-off spot and they were on course for a ninth victory in 11 games after Pontus Jansson headed home in the early stages of the second half.
But Jonathan Kodjia confidently dispatched a penalty five minutes from time after Liam Cooper handled in the area to earn Villa a 1-1 draw which preserved their unbeaten home record.
Leeds were second best in a scrappy first half but as the tempo increased after Jansson’s opener the visitors piled on the pressure and twice hit the woodwork as they underlined their promotion credentials.
Villa had their opportunities with Rob Green forced into several fine saves but Monk felt Leeds deserved all three points.
“We got the goal and had two or three really good chances that you have to take,” said the United boss. “Had we taken one of them I think we would have won the game quite comfortably.
“But a good team like Aston Villa who are very experienced always stuck in there and had their chances as the game went to and fro towards the end.
“So both teams were creating, but we really should have put the game to bed, especially in the first 30 minutes of the second half when we were fantastic.
“Credit to my players. Their attitude and sheer will to try win was clear. The way they are going about their work right now is pleasing. They’re growing all the time and that’s something to take from this game.
“But it shows how far we’ve come that we’re disappointed not to win here against a team that have a fantastic record at home.
“We feel they should have had their first defeat tonight but it wasn’t to be.
“We take a point and a lot of confidence and positives.”
The result was still enough to lift Leeds up to fourth in the table with Villa moving to within five points of the top six.