NEIL Warnock is still looking for his first home win as manager of Leeds United after seeing his team outfought by Watford.
United’s Elland Road woes continued as they conceded goals after six and 89 minutes and finished with 10 men with Paul Connolly sent-off for a second bookable offence.
Although many of the results went for them again the Whites are now six points off a play-off place and look doomed to stay in the Npower Championship for another year.
They were second best for long periods against a physical Watford side who looked more confident after better recent results than United.
The visitors were ahead early as Paul Robinson lost possession to Troy Deeney and the Watford man slid a simple ball in to put Chris Iwelumo clear to beat keeper Andy Lonergan.
By then Iwelumo had already sent a shot wide. Leeds did threaten a comeback as Alex Bruce sent a header over, but Deeney then had a good chance for Watford only to see his angled shot saved by Lonergan.
A drab first half was only notable for frustration at some of the decisions of referee Paul Tierney, although United did get their fans briefly excited when Robert Snodgrass had a cross-shot tipped over by visiting keeper Tomasz Kuszczak.
Leeds had a great chance to equalise 11 minutes into the second half when Bruce’s header was parried by Kuszczak straight to Snodgrass, but the Whites captain could only hit the rebound tamely straight at the keeper, who was able to scramble the ball clear.
Substitute Ramon Nunez briefly lit up proceedings after coming on and sent an angled shot just wide from the edge of the box. Bruce then sent a diving header over, but Watford had a great chance to seal victory nine minutes from time when Deeney went clean through after a mistake by Tom Lees only to see his first effort kept out by Lonergan and his follow-up also smothered by the keeper.
Leeds could not make the most of their fortune, however, as they failed to create a single opportunity in the closing stages and it was their opponents who scored a second when Deeney’s shot was well saved by Lonergan only for the ball to fall straight to Iwelumo, who made no mistake.
To complete United’s miserable day, Connolly was red carded for a late tackle, having already been booked.
He will now miss next Friday’s game at Reading and so will Adam Clayton after he picked up his tenth booking of the season.
Leeds United 0
(Iwelumo 6, 89)
Saturday, March 31, 2012
Leeds: Lonergan, Connolly (sent-off 90), Bruce, Lees, Robinson, Snodgrass, Clayton (Nunez 68), Brown, White (Webber 45), McCormack, Becchio (Forssell 87).
Watford: Kuszcak, Doyley, Taylor, Nosworthy, Dickinson, Yeates (Forsyth 73), Eustace, Hogg, Murray, Deeney, Iwelumo.
Referee: Paul Tierney.