Leeds beat Ince's Blackpool

David Norris and Steve Morison scored as Leeds beat Paul Ince's Blackpool 2-0 at Elland Road to climb to ninth in the Championship.

Last Updated: 20/02/13 at 22:38 Post Comment

David Norris: On target as Leeds beat Blackpool

David Norris: On target as Leeds beat Blackpool

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Ince made Blackpool the sixth club of his managerial career on Monday when, after a long search, he accepted chairman Karl Oyston's offer to replace Michael Appleton.

A trip to an out-of-form Leeds looked the perfect loosener for the 45-year-old. The Whites had not won in February and were on the verge of looking down rather than up - all while manager Neil Warnock was responding to fans' calls to quit by saying he would leave now if asked rather than abiding by his planned departure date at the end of the season.

But the 64-year-old proved there was life left in him as he galvanised his men to produce their best performance in months, with Norris and Morison scoring second-half goals that were due reward for a dominant performance.

A top-six finish in the Championship still looks ambitious, with Leeds six points off the play-offs with a game in hand. But their odds are better than Blackpool, who are five points above the bottom three with two wins in 11.

Leeds managed to stifle a Blackpool team who relied heavily on Ince's son, Thomas, and Matt Phillips for creativity and were rarely in the contest as United started as they continued, albeit with some errant finishing.

Former Blackpool striker Luke Varney was twice the guilty party, mis-hitting wide after a Morison cross and then heading straight at Matt Gilks from six yards when he had the majority of the goal to aim at after Ross McCormack's cross.

McCormack himself was not blameless as he could not get his feet sorted after Morison got to the byline and beat Gilks to tee up a free shot from close range, while Norris - making his 400th league appearance - was shut down by a brilliant Stephen Crainey block.

Blackpool tried to rally through two Phillips efforts that Paddy Kenny dealt with, while at the other end Leeds continued to squander chances, with McCormack again culpable.

When Gilks failed to push away a Varney cross, Morison unselfishly rolled the ball into the striker's path but, even with a half-empty goal to aim at, he found the sprawling body of his fellow Scotland international.

When Leeds' goal finally arrived in the 57th minute, even the most ardent Blackpool fan could not deny it was deserved, as Norris comprehensively cracked in a right-footed shot from the edge of the box after Varney's cross fell to him via the back of Tom Lees' head.

Blackpool scarcely had time to react and three minutes later they handed Leeds another, with Morison the grateful recipient of a first strike since leaving Norwich last month.

Sam Byram's cross should have been cleared by Crainey, but he inexplicably passed it to the standing Morison who beat Gilks with a smart eight-yard finish.

Having done little more than threaten from range before that, Blackpool now had a problem but their answer to it was in the negative, with Kenny not worked as Leeds saw the game out with ease.

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2 Norwich 7 10 16
3 Watford 7 7 15
4 Wolves 7 4 14
5 Charlton 7 3 13
6 Reading 7 1 13
7 Derby 7 5 12
8 Sheff Wed 7 3 12
9 M'boro 7 2 12
10 Ipswich 7 3 11
11 Brentford 7 0 11
12 Millwall 7 0 10
13 Blackburn 7 -1 10
14 Leeds 7 -3 10
15 Bournemth 7 1 8
16 Wigan 7 1 8
17 Cardiff 7 -1 8
18 Brighton 7 -2 7
19 Rotherham 7 -4 7
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22 Huddersfld 7 -8 5
23 Blackpool 7 -7 1
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