Leeds moved into the play-off positions with a slender triumph over Swindon at Elland Road yesterday, shaking off the disappointment of their FA Cup draw at Hereford last weekend and a reverse in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy against Bury in midweek. Dennis Wise, up against the team he managed until October last year, saw Leeds gifted the lead after 32 minutes when Hasney Aljofree handled the ball in the penalty area and Jermaine Beckford stepped up to score his ninth goal of the season.
But two minutes after the break Swindon were level as Lee Peacock met Simon Cox's cross to slot home. Leeds bounced back in style as Beckford volleyed in Tresor Kandol's cross to seal the win and move Wise's side into fourth spot. Wise said: "I was pleased we got the result in what was a very tough game. Swindon work hard and I was disappointed with the sloppy goal we conceded. We have a striker in form and he knows how to put the ball in the back of the net.
"Beckford was always our first penalty taker and he stepped up and finished. He was bold enough to go up there. The second goal was well worked and we were going to take Tres off because he was struggling with injury. Thankfully he stayed on and set up the goal."
Wise's opposite number, Paul Sturrock, felt his team were hard done by. "I thought we did well. We were thoughtful about our play and put good crosses into the box. Our fans were fantastic and to take 1,700 to Leeds is magnificent. We had a go and I hope they appreciate that."
Beckford and Aljofree had been having a running battle in the build-up to Leeds' opening goal, when referee Lee Mason ruled the Swindon player to have handled inside the area. Beckford powered his penalty straight down the middle. Leeds were quick out of the blocks after the interval, with Kandol testing Swindon goalkeeper Peter Brezovan, who matched his early save against the striker with another important stop. Swindon seemed to grow in confidence and soon Cox was breaking down the right, powering past Jamie Clapham and crossing for Peacock, who finished well.
Beckford could have put Leeds back in front soon after the equaliser. Sofiene Zaaboub was caught in possession, Kandol raced towards goal and his lobbed shot was dealt with by Brezovan, but not without some difficulty. The keeper could do nothing, however, to prevent Leeds scoring the winner after 56 minutes. Zaaboub was again at fault as he tried to chest the ball down, only for Kandol to take possession. He found Beckford who took one touch to control the pass before finishing strongly with his right foot.
Sturrock's team had the ball in the net with seven minutes remaining but it was ruled out for offside.