United cruise to Keepmoat success...
DONCASTER 0, UNITED 3 (Pugh 20, McCormack 51, Lees 63)
Doncaster: Kirkland, Naylor, Ilunga, O'Connor, Friend, Gillett, Coppinger (Bennett 61), Oster (Mason 61), Stock, Sharp, Parkin Hayter 69). Subs: Sullivan, Chimbonda,
United: Lonergan (Rachubka 77), Connolly, Lees, O'Dea, White, Snodgrass, Howson, Clayton (Vayrynen 85), Pugh, McCormack (Becchio 72), Keogh. Subs: Kisnorbo, Forssell.
Referee: K Friend
Att: 12692 (4209 Leeds)
Booked: Sharp (Doncaster)
United manager Simon Grayson named an unchanged side for the trip to Doncaster Rovers for what was his 150th game at the helm for Leeds.
United had already dumped Doncaster out of the Carling Cup back in August, but the hosts were now under the stewardship of new manager Dean Saunders and had strengthened since that night.
United started the game well with some constructive play, and the first real threat came on nine minutes when Andy Keogh beat the offside trap, but Ross McCormack was unable to find the space to convert his low cross.
In contrast, Doncaster were more direct than in previous meetings and looked to get the ball high into the box at every opportunity using big Jon Parkin as their target man.
But it was Leeds who went in front inside of 20 minutes, courtesy of Danny Pugh. Rob Snodgrass sent over a corner and Pugh arrived to convert the ball for his second goal in successive games.
Leeds were having the better of things as the game headed towards the half-hour mark. There was some good build-up play, some excellent movement from the front men, particularly by Keogh, and United were looking a threat.
Doncaster were also showing signs of frustration. Billy Sharp was booked after a clash with Adam Clayton and Simon Gillett hacked down Snodgrass.
United were breaking quickly from the middle of the park too to put Doncaster under pressure, and one such flowing move ended with a low pull-back from Pugh eluding the advanced strikers.
New Doncaster keeper Chris Kirkland was tested on 37 minutes when McCormack drilled in a low free-kick which the stopper had to be alert to gather.
But the visitors fashioned out their first real chance shortly before half-time when Parkin sent a header wide after another ball came high into the box.
Leeds were dominating in terms of possession, and were winning the ball back quickly when without it, but for all the attacking nous Grayson's men were unable to find a second goal during the lead up to half-time.
Doncaster looked to start the second period on the front foot, but after Andy Lonergan was forced into collecting one ball into the box it was his opposite number Kirkland who had to smother a low shot from Snodgrass.
Moments later it was 2-0 when McCormack showed great skill inside the box to lift the ball over Kirkland with his back to goal. It was McCormack's 10th of the season and was a superb finish.
United were now in firm command, and the in-form Scot's movement continued to cause problems for the Doncaster back-line as Leeds looked to exploit the advantage by grabbing a third goal.
That third goal came on 63 minutes when Snodgrass whipped over another corner and central defender Tom Lees powered home his second goal of the season to effectively seal the game.
The quality of the delivery also underpinned the value of Snodgrass to the side with him being able to lay claim to an eighth assist of the season.
Despite sitting on the prospect of another clean sheet, the goal simply prompted United to rip further into a Doncaster side, who were already looking well beaten.
United were comfortable and when Lonergan appeared to suffer a hand injury, Grayson wasted little time in introducing Paul Rachubka in place of his number one.
Really, it could have been four in the 83rd minute when Keogh was through on goal, but his shot came back off on the underside of the bar.
The final seven minutes or so were merely a formality as United cruised to a first league away win of the season. The victory took United to fifth in the table and made it 13 points from a possible 15 for Grayson's men.