Luke Varney scored twice in the second half as Leeds came from behind to beat Sheffield Wednesday in Brian McDermott's first game in charge.

The visitors dominated the first half and deservedly led through Jermaine Johnson's lofted finish.

But Leeds were much improved in the second period and equalised when Varney's header hit the underside of the crossbar and bounced over the line.

Varney then headed in Ross McCormack's cross to complete the turnaround.

After a run of four successive defeats the win all but secures Leeds's Championship status for next season as they move on to 55 points.

Sheffield Wednesday, meanwhile, remain on 53 points, six above the relegation zone.

McDermott's instant impact

  • Prior to Brian McDermott's appointment, Leeds had lost their previous four Championship games; their longest losing league run for three years. They had not suffered a longer sequence of defeats since relegation from the Premier League in February 2004.

Former Reading manager McDermott, who took charge of Leeds on Friday, was given a rousing reception by the home fans when he was introduced to the crowd shortly before kick-off.

But cheers quickly gave way to frustration as Leeds looked decidedly off key against a Wednesday side who had won three of their previous four games.

Steve Morison completely missed his kick just yards from goal in the sixth minute while Rodolph Austin shot wide from 30 yards before sending a free-kick harmlessly over the visitors' goal.

Leeds fans became increasingly restless as the half wore on, fearful that a run of seven games without a win was about to be extended.

Those fears were only heightened when Wednesday took the lead just before the half-hour.

A long ball downfield found Jeremy Helan, who in turn fed a pass to Johnson on the edge of the area and the forward coolly lifted the ball over Leeds goalkeeper Paddy Kenny.

The goal clearly deflated Leeds and Wednesday finished the half strongly as Leroy Lita's glancing header was caught by Kenny, who then kept out a stinging free-kick from Miguel Llera.

But McDermott's half-time team talk appeared to have the desired effect as Leeds took control of the game after the break.

The introduction of El-Hadji Diouf also helped and his deflected shot flew just wide before Varney also saw a decent effort directed behind the Wednesday goal.

But former Wednesday loanee Varney was not to be denied in the 63rd minute, rising unmarked to meet McCormack's cross and his header bounced down off the bar and over the line.

The pair linked up again barely six minutes later to put Leeds ahead. McCormack this time navigated his way through the Wednesday defence before crossing for Varney to glance another header into the net.

Wednesday rallied in the closing stages and pressured the Leeds defence. Substitute Steve Howard hit the post with a volley before Lita dragged a shot wide when well placed.

However, Leeds held on to ensure McDermott made the ideal start to his career at the West Yorkshire club.

Leeds manager Brian McDermott:

"I was really pleased. It was hard in the first half and we knew we shouldn't have gone in a goal down but there was a good response after the interval, which was really important.

"They were two very well-worked goals. The first was just over the line so I am glad the referee and linesman spotted it and the second was a fantastic bit of skill from Ross McCormack and a really good header by Luke Varney.

"Sheffield Wednesday have been on a good run. You have to give them credit for that, so it was a really big win for us."

Sheffield Wednesday manager Dave Jones:

"We should have won. We switched off for 15 minutes and allowed two goals which we should never have allowed. You can't give somebody free headers in your box.

"It's frustrating because they caused us no hassle, apart from a 15-minute period.

"We had a few injuries and had to change things around but we made some basic errors."

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (6)

Leeds United

  • 01 Kenny
  • 03 Drury
  • 05 Pearce
  • 15 Warnock (Tonge - 85' )
  • 07 Green
  • 08 Austin
  • 11 Varney
  • 19 Norris (Diouf - 46' )
  • 25 Byram
  • 09 Morison (White - 61' )
  • 44 McCormack

Substitutes

  • 12 Ashdown
  • 14 White
  • 18 Tonge
  • 30 Hall
  • 21 Diouf
  • 26 Poleon
  • 28 Somma

Sheffield Wednesday

  • 01 Kirkland
  • 02 Buxton
  • 03 R Johnson Booked
  • 04 Gardner
  • 32 Llera
  • 11 J Johnson Booked (Howard - 53' )
  • 15 Helan
  • 22 Holden (Maguire - 73' )
  • 25 Prutton
  • 28 Coke Booked (Lee - 46' )
  • 24 Lita

Substitutes

  • 43 Bywater
  • 05 Taylor
  • 14 Mattock
  • 16 McCabe
  • 20 Lee
  • 10 Maguire
  • 29 Howard
Ref: Swarbrick
Att: 23,936

Match Stats

Shots

12 9

On target

7 5

Corners

6 3

Fouls

10 19

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +4:12 Full time

Full Time The referee blows his whistle to end the game.

90:00 +2:59

Unfair challenge on Adam Drury by Leroy Lita results in a free kick. Patrick Kenny takes the direct free kick.

90:00 +2:18

Chris Maguire produces a right-footed shot from a long way out which goes wide right of the goal.

90:00 +0:59

Rodolph Austin concedes a free kick for a foul on Reda Johnson. Chris Maguire crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from left wing, clearance by Luke Varney.

90:00 +0:23

Short corner taken by El-Hadji Diouf.

90:00 +0:09

Michael Tonge takes a shot. Blocked by Anthony Gardner.

89:00

Steve Howard gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jason Pearce. Direct free kick taken by Patrick Kenny.

88:22

Chris Maguire crosses the ball.

86:12

Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Miguel Llera.

84:33 Substitution

Substitution Michael Tonge is brought on as a substitute for Stephen Warnock.

84:02

Stephen Warnock fouled by Leroy Lita, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Patrick Kenny.

83:10

Lewis Buxton produces a cross, Steve Howard takes a shot. Save by Patrick Kenny.

82:19

Leroy Lita has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the right of the target.

81:47

Centre by Miguel Llera, Steve Howard takes a shot. Patrick Kenny makes a save.

81:19

Miguel Llera takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance made by Stephen Warnock.

81:14

Centre by Chris Maguire.

80:50

Steve Howard has an effort at goal from deep inside the box striking the post.

79:03

Chris Maguire takes a inswinging corner.

78:51

The ball is delivered by Lewis Buxton.

76:53

Unfair challenge on Leroy Lita by Samuel Byram results in a free kick. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Chris Maguire, save made by Patrick Kenny.

75:40

Luke Varney concedes a free kick for a foul on Miguel Llera. Direct free kick taken by Lewis Buxton.

74:25

A cross is delivered by Reda Johnson.

72:11 Substitution

Substitution Chris Maguire on for Stuart Holden.

68:38

Assist on the goal came from Ross McCormack.

68:38 Goal scored

Goal! - Luke Varney - Leeds 2 - 1 Sheff Wed Luke Varney finds the net with a headed goal from inside the penalty area. Leeds 2-1 Sheff Wed.

68:35

A cross is delivered by Ross McCormack,

65:15

The ball is delivered by Stuart Holden, save by Patrick Kenny.

64:18

Miguel Llera concedes a free kick for a foul on Luke Varney. Ross McCormack crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from right wing.

62:50

Ross McCormack provided the assist for the goal.

62:50 Goal scored

Goal! - Luke Varney - Leeds 1 - 1 Sheff Wed Luke Varney scores a headed goal from inside the penalty area. Leeds 1-1 Sheff Wed.

62:49

Ross McCormack crosses the ball,

61:16

Effort from just outside the box by Jeremy Helan goes over the bar.

60:26

The ball is crossed by Ross McCormack, Chris Kirkland makes a save.

60:01 Substitution

Substitution Steve Morison leaves the field to be replaced by Aidan White.

58:56

Rodolph Austin challenges Jeremy Helan unfairly and gives away a free kick. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Stuart Holden, Patrick Kenny makes a save.

57:55

Free kick crossed right-footed by Ross McCormack.

57:55 Booking

Booking Reda Johnson goes into the book for unsporting behaviour.

57:52

Reda Johnson challenges El-Hadji Diouf unfairly and gives away a free kick.

55:23

Corner taken by Ross McCormack.

55:09

El-Hadji Diouf takes a short corner.

54:52

El-Hadji Diouf takes a shot. Blocked by Stuart Holden.

52:59

Inswinging corner taken right-footed by El-Hadji Diouf, save made by Chris Kirkland.

52:10

Corner taken by El-Hadji Diouf, Miguel Llera manages to make a clearance.

52:10 Substitution

Substitution Jermaine Johnson goes off and Steve Howard comes on.

51:42

Drilled right-footed shot by Ross McCormack. Save made by Chris Kirkland.

47:35

Rodolph Austin challenges Stuart Holden unfairly and gives away a free kick. The free kick is swung in left-footed by Miguel Llera, Foul by Reda Johnson on Jason Pearce, free kick awarded. Patrick Kenny takes the direct free kick.

45:33

Foul by Luke Varney on Lewis Buxton, free kick awarded. Chris Kirkland takes the free kick.

45:01

The referee starts the second half.

45:01 Substitution

Substitution David Norris goes off and El-Hadji Diouf comes on.

45:01 Substitution

Substitution Kieran Lee on for Giles Coke.

45:00 +3:13 Half time

Half Time The ref blows to signal half-time.

45:00 +1:57

Foul by Giles Coke on Paul Green, free kick awarded. Stephen Warnock crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed from left channel, save made by Chris Kirkland.

45:00 +0:23

Centre by Luke Varney, clearance made by Anthony Gardner.

42:27

Stephen Warnock concedes a free kick for a foul on Leroy Lita. Miguel Llera produces a strike on goal direct from the free kick, save made by Patrick Kenny.

42:09

Free kick awarded for a foul by Rodolph Austin on Giles Coke. David Prutton takes the direct free kick.

40:22

Jermaine Johnson sends in a cross, Leroy Lita takes a shot. Patrick Kenny makes a save.

39:02

Ross McCormack crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from right channel.

39:02 Booking

Booking Giles Coke goes into the referee's book.

38:53

Free kick awarded for a foul by Giles Coke on Ross McCormack.

38:35

The assistant referee signals for offside against Jermaine Johnson. Jason Pearce takes the free kick.

37:15

Unfair challenge on David Norris by David Prutton results in a free kick. Luke Varney crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed from left channel, save by Chris Kirkland.

33:19

Lewis Buxton concedes a free kick for a foul on Luke Varney. Stephen Warnock sends in a cross, Headed effort from inside the area by Jason Pearce misses to the right of the target.

30:16

Lewis Buxton challenges Adam Drury unfairly and gives away a free kick. Ross McCormack produces a shot on goal direct from the free kick, clearance by Miguel Llera.

28:35

Inswinging corner taken by Stephen Warnock from the right by-line, save by Chris Kirkland.

26:53

The assist for the goal came from Jeremy Helan.

26:53 Goal scored

Goal! - Jermaine Johnson - Leeds 0 - 1 Sheff Wed A goal is scored by Jermaine Johnson from the edge of the penalty box high into the middle of the goal. Leeds 0-1 Sheff Wed.

26:31

Rodolph Austin takes a shot from inside the box clearing the bar.

26:17

Adam Drury produces a cross, clearance by Anthony Gardner.

25:26

Patrick Kenny takes the free kick.

25:26 Booking

Booking Jermaine Johnson receives a caution.

25:18

Free kick awarded for a foul by Jermaine Johnson on Stephen Warnock.

25:00

The ball is crossed by Jeremy Helan, save made by Patrick Kenny.

23:30

Ross McCormack fouled by Jermaine Johnson, the ref awards a free kick. Shot on goal comes in from Rodolph Austin from the free kick.

21:29

Centre by Reda Johnson, save by Patrick Kenny.

21:08

The ball is delivered by Steve Morison, save by Chris Kirkland.

19:44

Jason Pearce gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Leroy Lita. Chris Kirkland takes the direct free kick.

17:00

Jeremy Helan fouled by Ross McCormack, the ref awards a free kick. Chris Kirkland takes the direct free kick.

16:23

Rodolph Austin takes a shot from long range which goes wide of the left-hand upright.

16:14

A cross is delivered by Adam Drury, David Prutton manages to make a clearance.

15:08

Unfair challenge on Steve Morison by Miguel Llera results in a free kick. Rodolph Austin produces a shot on goal direct from the free kick.

14:14

Luke Varney handles the ball and concedes a free kick. Free kick taken by Chris Kirkland.

13:41

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jason Pearce by Jermaine Johnson. Free kick taken by Patrick Kenny.

12:07

Jermaine Johnson is penalised for a handball. Stephen Warnock takes the free kick.

10:46

Jeremy Helan concedes a free kick for a foul on David Norris. Free kick taken by Samuel Byram.

8:42

Foul by Reda Johnson on Samuel Byram, free kick awarded. Luke Varney crosses the ball in from the free kick.

5:48

Giles Coke gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on David Norris. Direct free kick taken by Patrick Kenny.

4:37

Luke Varney produces a right-footed shot from long range which goes wide right of the goal.

2:48

Paul Green fouled by Jermaine Johnson, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Patrick Kenny.

0:00

The referee gets the game underway.

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