Football: Majestic McAllister

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The Independent Online
Leeds United. . 4

Wimbledon. . . .0

LEEDS signalled their re-emergence as championship contenders with their fifth successive Premiership victory, a sequence unmatched in Howard Wilkinson's five years at Elland Road. They moved into third place with a performance that revealed many of their old qualities - midfield dominance under the impressive Gary McAllister, spasmodic attacking flair and the luck to counteract their defensive frailties.

Brian Deane hit a post after only 45 seconds and Gary Speed put Leeds ahead two minutes later, flicking in a cross from the rejuvenated Rod Wallace.

Without their regular full- backs, Warren Barton and Roger Joseph, Wimbledon could not prevent Leeds launching a stream of crosses from both flanks, but it was a penetrating run from midfield by McAllister that brought the second goal. Scott Fitzgerald brought him down on the edge of the area and the Leeds captain took the free-kick himself, curling it over the wall into the top corner.

But then some of the old failings began to reappear. Slack marking gave Dean Holdsworth a free header which dipped over the bar and Mark Beeney's body denied Vinnie Jones on his return to his old stamping ground.

Leeds' sloppiness could have proved terminal four minutes into the second half when Gary Blissett sprang the offside trap and Beeney brought him down, but Jones stuck the penalty wide.

Holdsworth hit a post and Beeney turned another of his efforts over the bar with an out- stretched foot, but with 10 minutes left McAllister dribbled into the box to score his second and Speed started and finished the best move of the game to equal his midfield partner's tally in the dying seconds.

Leeds United (4-4-2): M Beeney; G Kelly, D Wetherall, J Newsome, T Dorigo; G Strachan, C Fairclough, G McAllister, G Speed; B Deane, Rod Wallace (F Strandli, 75 min). Subs not used: D Rocastle, J Lukic (gk). Manager: H Wilkinson.

Wimbledon (4-4-2): H Segers; D Blackwell (G Dobbs, 79 min), S Fitzgerald, J Scales, A Kimble; N Ardley, V Jones, R Earle, L Sanchez; J Fashanu (G Blissett, h/t), D Holdsworth. Sub not used: P Digweed (gk). Manager: J Kinnear.

Referee: J Worrall (Warrington).

Goals: Speed (1-0, 2 min); McAllister (2-0, 18 min); McAllister (3-0, 81 min); Speed (4-0, 90 min).