FULL TIME: Leeds United 2 Bolton Wanderers 1: Ekuban and Hernandez steer Whites to second win of the year

WINNING GOAL: Pablo Hernandez races away to celebrate his decisive strike in the second half.
WINNING GOAL: Pablo Hernandez races away to celebrate his decisive strike in the second half.
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GOALS from Caleb Ekuban and Pablo Hernandez provided head coach Paul Heckingbottom with his second win in nine games as Leeds United recorded a 2-1 victory against Good Friday's visitors Bolton Wanders at Elland Road.

Ekuban finished clinically in the fourth minute to give United an early lead which was doubled when Hernandez slid the ball home five minutes after the break.

Bolton hit back through a fine Adam Le Fondre header just three minutes later but United finished on the front foot and the Whites had done enough to finally record a second win of 2018.

United made a flying start and the Whites almost took the lead in the second minute when Gjanni Alioski curled a good chance over the bar after Ekuban had intercepted a poor Andrew Taylor back pass.

But Leeds then went 1-0 up just two minutes later when a corner was cleared but picked back up by Pierre-Michel Lasogga whose delivery was played by Hernandez into Ekuban who produced a clinical finish from inside the box.

Leeds were dominating but Bolton then squandered a fine chance from their first corner in the tenth minute when Jan Kirchoff nodded a free header just wide.

Bolton were beginning to threaten but United then countered through the lively Gjanni Alioski whose cross picked out Lasogga whose volley ultimately sailed well wide.

Ekuban was then only kept out by a strong sliding tackle in the 24th minute but dithering defending then almost let in Eunan O'Kane who was narrowly beaten to a loose ball by 'keeper Ben Alnwick.

United were playing some decent football and a superb reverse pass from Hernandez in the 36th minute then gave Alioski the chance to skin Taylor on the counter attack but the Macedonian winger's fierce low attempt at goal fizzed just wide.

Lasogga then nodded a header wide from a corner before Bolton wasted a free-kick on the edge of the box following Gaetano Berardi's foul on Jon Flanagan.

And Leeds twice went close to doubling their lead in the dying minutes of the half with Mark Beevers narrowly heading O'Kane's cross behind his goal for a corner from which Pontus Jansson powered a header at the crossbar before Bolton cleared.

United were straight back on the attack after the interval and only a strong save kept out a Hernandez shot from an Alioski cross.

Lasogga then blasted a volley over the bar following some head tennis at a corner.

Leeds then appeared to be cruising to victory when Hernandez doubled the United lead in the 50th minute after picking up a loose ball and finishing from close range after Alnwick had punched away Alioski's shot.

Bolton, though, had other ideas and the Trotters pulled a goal back just three minutes later when Le Fondre produced a clinical headed finish to a Sammy Ameobi free-kick.

United were then let off twice in two minutes as first Ameobi curled a fine effort just wide before Will Buckley's diving header was sent inches wide of the post.

Heckingbottom then called on the back from injury Samu Saiz who replaced Lasogga two minutes after the hour and the introduction of Saiz put United back on the front foot.

A fine pass from Stuart Dallas played in Ekuban one on one at an angle but Alwnick saved desperately with his feet.

But Bolton remained a threat and O'Kane was in the right place at the right time to clear a goalbound shot from Ameobi off the line in the 77th minute.

Yet Leeds should have added a third goal in the closing stages with a free-kick from Hernandez providing a free header for Matthew Pennington who sent his effort over the bar.

A fine pass from Saiz then released Ekuban who squandered a one on one when shooting straight at Alnwick.

Bolton then had five minutes added time to salvage an equaliser but never came close as United saw out time to record their win of 2018.

Leeds United: Peacock-Farrell, Berardi, Jansson, Pennington, Dallas, Vieira, O'Kane, Hernandez, Alioski, Ekuban (Grot 82), Lasogga (Saiz 62). Subs not used: Lonergan, Anita, Pearce, Phillips, Cibicki.

Bolton Wanderers: Alnwick, A Taylor (Clough 89), Beevers, Burke, Flanagan, Osede, Kirchhoff (Wilbraham 73), Vela, Buckley (Morais 61), Ameobi, Le Fondre. Subs not used: Howard, Little, Karacan, Wheater.

Referee: Geoff Eltringham.

Attendance: 35,377.

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