Leeds United 1 Yeovil Town 0: De Vries makes mark in another Leeds late show

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The Independent Football

The League One table in the Leeds programme shows how it would look had the fallen giants of Elland Road not been docked 15 points, under which reckoning Dennis Wise's team would have 28 points and lead by nine after stretching their unbeaten start to 10 games here yesterday.

In reality, they looked anything but runaway leaders against a Yeovil side who will believe they should have won. Yet out of their troubles Leeds have acquired the enviable knack of playing moderately yet stealing victory at the death and the habit was maintained when substitute Mark de Vries headed home Jonathan Douglas' cross after 89 minutes.

The on-loan Leicester striker's first goal for Leeds was the eighth Wise's team have scored inside the last five minutes so far this season, transforming draws into wins in five games.

The Leeds team had been as expected with Jermaine Beckford and Tresor Kandol asked to resume their 11-goal partnership. Both were forced to sit out the midweek trip to Oldham following red cards at Gillingham last weekend and while their replacements, de Vries and fellow loan star Wayne Andrews, earned compliments from manager Wise for their contribution to a 1-0 win at Boundary Park, neither kept his place.

The pattern of the football, however, was not quite as the home crowd probably envisaged as their team sought to extend their unbeaten start to the League One season. Yeovil deployed only Lloyd Owusu in a purely attacking function and Leeds were hard-pressed to find working space in midfield.

Moreover, they faced opponents with the pace on the flanks in Kevin Betsy and Paul Warne to break at speed and, in 21-year-old Anthony Barry, a player capable of hitting accurate passes from central midfield.

Indeed, though Leeds, after a quiet opening period, began to impose themselves more by half-time it was only through two reactive saves from goalkeeper Casper Ankergren that they kept the scores level. The Dane pulled off a brilliant stop after Warne's low cross from the left had picked out Barry and later stretched himself to his left to deny Warne with a fingertip save. Marcus Stewart also missed a simple chance.

By contrast, Yeovil's Romain Larrieu was well protected as captain Terrell Forbes organised a tight rearguard, the best chance created by Leeds ending with Seb Carole sidefooting tamely over the top after Douglas had combined to good effect with centre back Rui Marques.

The response by Wise was to send on two more strikers in De Vries and Tore Andre Flo and hope that Leeds' predilection for last-gasp winning goals continued. And again he got lucky.