Leeds United 2 Nottingham Forest 0: Souleymane Doukara stunner lights up Whites win

Close call: United's Chris Wood lifts the ball over Forest's Stephen Henderson but his goal is ruled offside.  Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe
Close call: United's Chris Wood lifts the ball over Forest's Stephen Henderson but his goal is ruled offside. Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe
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A GOAL of the season job from substitute Souleymane Doukara and Chris Wood’s 20th goal of the season sent Leeds United third with a 2-0 win at home to Nottingham Forest.

After a disappointing first half, United took a 55th-minute lead when a Pablo Hernandez corner was knocked down by Pontus Jansson to Wood who smashed the ball home from close range.

And victory was then assured when another Hernandez corner was cleared out to Doukara who unleashed an unstoppable volley into the top left corner from 20 yards out.

The win elevated Leeds back up to third in the Championship and eight points clear of seventh-placed Derby County.

Leeds created a chance after 12 seconds but Stuart Dallas fired wide from a tight angle after Kemar Roofe’s cross.

But Forest then went mightily close to taking an eighth-minute lead when Britt Assombalonga’s fierce drive was brilliantly tipped over the bar by Rob Green for a corner which was cleared.

United then had the ball in the net in the 13th minute but Chris Wood’s effort from a Pablo Hernandez free-kick was offside, shortly before Dallas blazed an effort over the bar.

But Forest and Assombalonga in particular continued to look a threat and the striker should have done better when volleying wide and over shortly before the half hour.

A poor first touch then denied Ben Osborn a clear chance moments later.

The Elland Road crowd were getting edgy but Kemar Roofe raised hope when curling a good attempt just over five minutes before the break.

THREE CHANGES: For Leeds United.

THREE CHANGES: For Leeds United.

Yet Forest continued to look dangerous and only a crucial header by Liam Bridcutt denied Eric Lichaj a golden opportunity from Jamie Ward’s cross on the stroke of half-time.

Leeds began the second half on the front foot with Dallas looking bright and Roofe glancing a header well wide.

And within ten minutes of the restart United’s second half dominance produced a goal when a Pablo Hernandez corner was knocked down by Pontus Jansson to Wood who blasted the ball from close range.

Forest’s response was limited and Assombalonga could only find row Z with his effort from 30 yards out.

But after coming on for Dallas in the 71st minute, Doukara found the top left hand corner with ths sweetest of volleys from 20 yards from a Hernandez corner to double United’s lead.

Wood then should have made it 3-0 when capitalising on Michael Manciene’s mistake to race through one on one but the striker lobbed his effort over the bar.

Roofe then blazed a powerful effort just wide with Forest huffing and puffing and never looking likely to recover after Doukara’s stunner.

Leeds United: Green, Ayling, Jansson, Bartley, Berardi, O’Kane (Vieira 75), Bridcutt, Roofe, Hernandez (Mowatt 81), Dallas (Doukara 71), Wood. Subs not used: Silvestri, Coyle, Phillips,Antonsson.

Nottingham Forest: Henderson; Lichaj, Hobbs (Lam 57), Fox, Pinillos; Mancienne, Vaughan; Cash, Osborn, Ward (Bendtner 67); Assombalonga (Brereton 77). Subs not used: Stojkovic, Pereira, Carayol, Worrall.

Referee: Tony Harrington.

Attedance: 24,838.

Leeds United's Gaetano Berardi.

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