Leeds helped to diminish the sense of crisis engulfing Elland Road with a solid 2-1 win over First Division Gillingham in Tuesday night’s FA Cup fourth round replay.
The match, which was expected to produce a huge protest from Leeds fans over the financial crisis at the club, went off without a hitch. United progress into a fifth round meeting with either Liverpool or Crystal Palace who replay their fourth round match at Anfeild on Wednesday.
Mark Viduka, partnered up-front by Eirik Bakke due to injuries to Alan Smith and Harry Kewell, scored the first goal on 11 minutes with a follow up volley from an Ian Harte shot.
The goal was sweet revenge for Viduka who was sent off for elbowing Andy Hessenthaler in the original tie.
The second goal once again involved Harte, this time his floated free kick found the head of make shift striker Eirik Bakke on the 58th minute.
Gillingham’s attacks were few and far between with their only first half chance falling to Mamady Sidibe, the scorer for Gillingham in the 1-1 first leg, Sidibe forced a magnificent save from Leed’s goalkeeper Paul Robinson.
The first division side left it until the dying moments to score, when, on 86 minutes, substitute Guy Ipoua’s well-placed lob found its way into the net.
The goal seemed to inject some life into Gillingham’sattack, and player manager, Andy Hessenthaler missed a sitter in the dying moments.
Leeds manager Terry Venables told Sky Sports: “We had a bit of a scare right at the back end of the game but apart from that the team played well.
“We made a mistake and put some pressure on ourselves. It was comfortable at 2-0 but we lose a goal which really we should have dealt with and then with six or seven minutes left it was the usual story.” he added.