Graham's relief

Leeds United 2 Wallace 46, 90 Nottingham Forest 0 Attendance: 29,225
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The Independent Online
Rod Wallace, a one-time Saint, bestowed the gifts that made George Graham a winning Premiership manager yesterday for the first time since his dark days as a Highbury sinner. But, as well as two goals from his diminutive striker, the Elland Road boss had to thank a Nottingham Forest side who were as profligate as a Norwegian agent.

Forest have not won in the Premiership since the opening day of the season. They created enough chances to have had the points by half-time yesterday. Instead, they could only groan as Ian Woan, in particular, failed to apply the finishing touches. Graham duly collected his first win as a Premiership manager since 21 January 1995, the day he watched his old Arsenal team win 1-0 at Coventry.

"It's nice to get a victory under our belts," Graham said. "But we're not kidding ourselves. There's still a lot of hard work to be done."

Prompted by Woan and the equally ubiquitous Scot Gemmill, Forest held sway from the kick-off. Woan, however, fired two volleys wide, Gemmill miscued a shot and Jason Lee, shorn of his pineapple top, had a header saved at point-blank range by Nigel Martyn. Mark Crossley was spectator number 29,226 in the first-half but, like his stunned colleagues, the Forest goalkeeper was caught cold in the first minute of the second half.

Mark Hateley headed down Gary Kelly's upfield punt and Wallace applied a clinical finish, a powerfully driven low shot from 15 yards out. It was Leeds' first Premiership goal since the first minute of Graham's opening game, ending a barren spell that had stretched to 304 minutes.

When Woan missed with the goal at his mercy Forest's cause looked ill- fated. It was not until the 89th minute, though, that Wallace made the points safe. Tony Dorigo, on the field as a substitute for his first appearance since Leeds' Coca-Cola Cup semi-final win against Birmingham in February, crossed from the left, Hateley had a shot blocked, and Wallace rammed the loose ball past Crossley. Wallace, an impressive foil to the twin- towering strike force of Hateley and Ian Rush, has now scored five times for Graham.

Frank Clark could only lament what should have been. "That's the best we've played for a long while," he said. "But you don't get what you deserve if you don't put the ball in the net." His Forest grumps, on this occasion, were only natural.

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