Football: Bowyer lifts Leeds

Sunderland 0 Leeds United 1 Bowyer 49 Attendance: 21,890
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The Independent Online
Sunderland supporters are losing patience with their side, especially now they know there is pounds 10 million in the kitty from the club's flotation.

But Peter Reid, the man responsible for making the team tick rather than stutter as they did yesterday, is unmoved by their demands for blood - not his, new players. "The fans are entitled to their opinion but I will do the job the way I see it or I don't do it at all," he said. "We were second best in most areas. All credit to Leeds, but we did not play well."

Neither side did in the first half, but Leeds could be excused a determination to give nothing away after embarrassing defeats by Portsmouth and Liverpool.

When Lee Bowyer scored what proved the only goal, in the 49th minute, it came as something of a relief. After it, Leeds took command, were rarely threatened and their Ghanaian striker Tony Yeboah, fit again, could have added to their lead.

The wind did not help the game, but Sunderland, after a bright start that included a long-range effort by Martin Scott and a closer attempt by David Kelly, could not use it as an excuse for the way they faded.

In fact, without doing much Leeds had the better first-half chances, through Lee Sharpe and Yeboah, who was foiled twice by Lionel Perez. The French goalkeeper also made a stunning save to deny Ian Rush.

Leeds' breakthrough came when Brian Deane flicked on Sharpe's ball to Bowyer. No one picked up the Londoner's run, which meant he had the room to advance a couple of yards before beating Perez with a low shot from 12 yards.

Reid may be forced into spending money whether he likes the idea or not. Full-back Scott, playing his first game after a third groin operation of the season, was taken to hospital for X-rays on his fibula and could be out for the rest of the season.