UNITED 2 (Becchio 14, Poleon 26) NOTTS FOREST 1 (Blackstock 59)
Leeds: Kenny, Lees, Peltier (Varney 66), Pearce, Drury, Diouf, Austin, Tonge, Byram, Poleon (White 66), Becchio (Gray 90). Subs: Ashdown, Kisnorbo, Brown, Payne.
Notts Forest: Camp, Harding, Halford, Collins, Ayala, Gillett, Coppinger (Sharp 84), Moussi (McGugan 46), Reid (Lansbury 46), Cox, Blackstock. Subs: Moloney, Majewski, Evitimov.
Referee: A D'Urso
Booked: Pearce (Leeds) Cox (Forest)
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United manager Neil Warnock handed Dominic Poleon his full Elland Road debut for the visit of unbeaten Nottingham Forest and welcomed back Adam Drury from injury.
United had lost 3-2 to Hull in midweek, but it was Rodolph Austin who had the first shot of the game against Forest when he tested Lee Camp with an early strike from distance. Paddy Kenny also made an early save, following a good move by the visitors.
Tom Lees also went close with a header from a corner which was just wide of the mark while Austin had a free-kick blocked after Luciano Becchio was fouled about 25 yards from goal. Forest did have the ball in the net early doors, but the header was disallowed, and when United had the ball in the net there was no doubt.
El-Hadji Diouf sent in a cross from the right, Sam Byram arrived at the far post to stab it back across goal, and Becchio made no mistake in giving United an early advantage.
And Becchio was the architect when United doubled the advantage 12 minutes later. The South American's perseverance, saw the ball break to Poleon outside of the box and the young striker lashed home his first goal in a Leeds United shirt.
Forest did have an opportunity when Jason Pearce conceded a free-kick on the edge of the box, but Andy Reid's set-piece wasn't up to scratch.
United were good value for the lead and continued to push and probe against a side who had emerged 7-3 winners at Elland Road last term. And Leeds fashioned out a great chance right on the stroke of half-time when Byram again got the better of Harding to deliver the ball into the box, but Becchio couldn't keep his shot down.
The second period opened evenly, Forest had made two changes during the break, introducing Henri Lansbury and Lewis McGugan, and there were a couple of early delays while both Lee Peltier and Pearce received treatment.
But Forest did pull a goal back just before the hour when Dexter Blackstock managed to head home inside the six-yard box after a long throw-in.
And United were dealt a further blow midway through tha half when Lee Peltier was forced off with an ankle injury and was replaced by Luke Varney. Aidy White also came on for Poleon, and their first involvement was to defend another long throw that ended with Kenny clawing away a shot.
Leeds had some defending to do, but were looking solid and Forest were creating little of any note. McGugan had a free-kick blocked, Lees headed away a ball into the box, and United were digging in.
But, as the clock ticked into the final minutes, it was United who found space to get on the front foot, winning a couple of corners while trying to close the game out.
Six minutes were added on at the end, but there was no further drama as United secured victory.