Tommy Spurr goal enough to secure victory for Blackburn...

BLACKBURN 1 (Spurr 45+2), UNITED 0.

Blackburn: Kean, Kane, Dann, Hanley, Spurr, Taylor, Lowe, Cairney, King, Dunn (Marshall 62), Rhodes (Campbell 84). Subs. Easwood, Kilgallon, Marrow, Rochina, Henley.

United: Kenny, Lees, Zaliukas, Pearce, Peltier (Byram 58) Pugh, Austin, Mowatt, Murphy (Poleon 81), Varney (Smith 58), McCormack. Subs. Cairns, Warnock, Brown, Tonge.

Referee: C Pawson

Booked: Varney, Mowatt, Zaliukas (Leeds).

Att: 20,267

United manager Brian McDermott made one change to his starting 11 with Luke Varney coming in for the injured Dexter Blackstock. Saturday's match at Ewood Park is the striker's first involvement since the away defeat to Millwall in late September. The bench also saw one change with the fit again Stephen Warnock returning to the matchday squad.

There were also two milestones in the United line-up with Ross McCormack making his 100th start for the club and skipper Rudy Austin making his 50th from the first whistle.

Paddy Kenny was tested early on when David Dunn struck from just outside the box, but the keeper was ready for his 5th minute effort and pushed it round his post for a Blackburn corner.

The following 10 minutes brought a good spell of possession for United with plenty of passing in midfield without really troubling Jake Kean in the home goal.

The momentum of the game swtiched midway through the half and the home side began having the better of the play. Like United earlier in the game, the home side struggled to break down the defence and mount a real goalscoring opportunity.

Following the 30-minute mark United had a golden chance to take the lead in a game of very little goalmouth action. A long ball forward by Tom Lees was knocked down into the path of Ross McCormack, who played in Danny Pugh. But Blackburn keeper Kean did well to deny the United man with his legs.

With the opening half drawing to a close Kenny was forced into making a great save from Chris Taylor. Todd Kane broke down the right hand side and crossed for Taylor who controlled and shot in one movement and the United keeper made a fantastic save to keep the game goalless.

Kenny's save wasn't to be the last action of the first half though. United conceded a corner deep into injury time, which was met by Tommy Spurr who finished well to give the home side the advantage going into the interval.

The home side started the second period as the better side by continuing the pressure that saw them take the lead late on in the opening 45 minutes.

Alex Mowatt made a vital interception 10 minutes into the half to prevent Dunn who had broken forward from midfield and was baring down on United's goal. Moments later Brian McDermott made a double substitution by introducing Sam Byram and Matt Smith.

Just after the hour past United once again had Kenny to thank after he made another great save. This time it was Josh King who struck from the edge of the box but Kenny turned the ball over his crossbar with a superb save.

United began to pile on the pressure with 20 minutes remaining. Smith looked to be pulled to the ground as he was stretching to meet a Pugh cross but Craig Pawson pointed for a goal kick. Rudy Austin also saw a powerful shot go just wide.

Dominic Poleon was added to United's attacking line in place of Luke Murphy as the away side went in search of an equaliser.

Chances kept coming United's way, and McCormack saw a shot from distance go wide with just minutes remaining.

As the game went into four added minutes the home side continued to withstand United's pressure and Spurr's first half injury time goal proved to be enough.