James Vaughan’s goal four minutes from time condemned Leeds United to defeat in the big West Yorkshire derby against Huddersfield Town at Elland Road.
Leeds trailed to a Neil Danns goal 10 minutes into the second half, but equalised within five minutes through Aidan White with his first touch after coming on as substitute and came within inches of a winner before the Terriers snatched all three points to help them in their relegation scrap.
Huddersfield knew it was their lucky day when Rodolph Austin’s 76th minute 20-yard volley smacked against the underside of the crossbar, bounced out and hit Town keeper Alex Smithies yet the ball somehow stayed out.
United had also hit the woodwork in the third minute when Luke Varney’s header was pushed onto the crossbar and they came flying out of the traps.
They could have been three up in the opening 10 minutes with El Hadji Diouf seeing a shot well saved by Smithies and Varney shooting over when well placed in the area.
But Town came into contest and also hit the woodwork through Vaughan’s header while Danny Ward saw a shot deflected wide and a header well saved by home keeper Paddy Kenny.
In the second half Huddersfield broke the deadlock as Danns volleyed home after the United defence had failed to clear a cross.
Whites boss Neil Warnock responded by making two substitutions, throwing on White and Ryan Hall to play on the wings and switching to a 4-4-2 formation with Habib Habibou taken off after an ineffective 58 minutes up front and midfielder Paul Green more unfortunate to be benched.
The impact was instant as the visitors’ defence froze, allowing White to nip in to head home only his second goal for Leeds.
Leeds pushed forward in search of a winner, but although Sam Byram sent a header wide from a Diouf corner they left gaps at the back and Town came close with Ward’s shot saved by Kenny.
Austin’s spectacular volley almost won it for United and Hall’s shot was saved, but it was Huddersfield who got all three points when Jack Hunt sent Vaughan clear in the box and he produced a calm finish.
Leeds could have got a point in injury-time when Hall’s corner fell for Byram in the box, but he blazed wildly over.
Leeds United 1
Huddersfield Town 2
(Danns 55, Vaughan 86)
Saturday, March 16, 2013
Leeds: Kenny, Byram, Lees, Peltier, Warnock, Green (Hall 58), Austin, Tonge, Diouf, Habibou (White 58), Varney.
Huddersfield: Smithies, Hunt, Clarke, Gerrard, Dixon, Clayton, Norwood (Scannell 76), Gobern (Woods 90), Danns, Ward (Beckford 76), Vaughan.
Referee: Andre Marriner.