Leeds beat Plymouth despite late fightback
Last updated on .From the section Championship
Championship promotion-chasers Leeds United held on to beat Plymouth Argyle despite a late fightback by the visitors.
Less than 10 minutes later Dutch striker Joel Piroe slotted home his sixth league goal of the season as his side capitalised on another defensive error.
Substitute Ben Waine volleyed in to get one back for Plymouth late on as they then pushed for an unlikely equaliser.
However, the home side held on to continue their bid for automatic promotion, with the victory leaving them six points behind the top two Leicester and Ipswich.
In the first league meeting between the two sides since since April 2007, Leeds started the much stronger.
Within 20 minutes the home side had a penalty shout turned down, and top scorer Crysencio Summerville fired just wide of Michael Cooper's net.
James and Piroe gave Leeds a convincing lead, with Plymouth offering very little in reply.
Following injuries to Plymouth's main strikers Ryan Hardie and Mustapha Bundu last week, the away side opted to start without a centre forward.
However, in the second half manager Steven Schumacher made several substitutions, including the introduction of New Zealand forward Waine.
With less than 10 minutes to go, Plymouth midfielder Luke Cundle played a lovely cross into the box for Waine to fire home, setting up a tense finale at Elland Road.
Plymouth pushed for a late equaliser but failed to make the most of multiple corners, and defender Lewis Gibson was booked for a foul on Piroe as Leeds attempted to break away and grab a third.
"When you are so dominant like we were in the first half, 2-0 up, we would've wished to score six or seven goals to win the game confidently. But there is also a good and brave opponent who plays with freedom.
"Our defending in many ways was excellent. We allowed them one chance. They were clinical, effective, and able to score that goal.
"We made our lives more complicated than it should've been after this performance, after creating so many chances.
"It's three points. I can go home, and am happy."
"The only disappointing thing in the first half was the two errors we made right in front of our own box.
"We've paid the ultimate price for that, giving the ball away twice in two poor areas against a top team with quality players. That was the only thing I was disappointed about in the first half.
"We've come here and competed and that's what we want to do, but unfortunately it's gone against us again.
"When Ben Waine came on I thought he did well. He gave us that focal point at the top end, and we scored a great goal."