Leeds 1-0 Burnley

By Phil DawkesBBC Sport

Leeds kept their Championship play-off hopes alive with a victory over Burnley, whose own chances of a top-six finish were damaged as a result.

United led at half-time thanks to Ross McCormack's neat finish - his first for the club since joining in the summer.

Brian Jensen produced a string of saves to deny Leeds, who also hit the post through McCormack in the second half.

Jack Cork fired a shot wide and Ross Wallace saw a free-kick saved, but the home side held on for a deserved win.

The win completes the double for Leeds over Burnley, but more importantly keeps them in the hunt for the final play-off spot.

The Yorkshire side are now level on points with sixth-placed Nottingham Forest - who host Scunthorpe later on Saturday - ahead of the final day of the season, which sees United travel to league-leaders QPR.

Burnley remain in the play-off picture, but trail Forest by two points and must now beat high-flying Cardiff in their final game and hope other results go in their favour.

Leeds persisted with Billy Paynter in the absence of leading scorer Luciano Becchio, even though the striker has failed to offer as potent a goalscoring threat as the Argentine in recent weeks, and the big front man was involved early, firing a half-volley narrowly wide of goal as Leeds had the best of the opening exchanges.

Having weathered the early storm, Burnley fashioned a great chance at the other end when Michael Duff ghosted behind the defence to latch on to a Chris Iwelumo flick-on from a free-kick, but home keeper Kasper Schmeichel blocked with his head.

In order to assist Paynter, Leeds boss Simon Grayson gave McCormack his first start since January, and the Scot linked up well with his strike partner midway through the half, crossing for the former Swindon man to draw a scrambling save from Brian Jensen with a header.

This was a rare start for McCormack, but he demonstrated no rustiness in the 33rd minute when he latched onto a superb Bradley Johnson through ball and swept in past Jensen for his first goal since moving to Yorkshire from Cardiff eight months ago.

Having taken 10 points from their previous four games, Burnley were a side in form, and they almost hit back immediately when centre-back Andre Bikey flashed a header wide from Daniel Fox's inswinging corner.

Paynter had two great chances in the space of a minute early in the second half to extend Leeds's lead, but he headed the first, from a McCormack cross, straight at Jensen and put the second wide from a tight angle after taking the ball past the Burnley keeper.

Leeds kept coming and saw two other goalbound efforts denied by Jensen shortly after.

McCormack's free-kick from the right was met with power by Andy O'Brien six yards out, but his downward header was straight at the keeper and he was able to parry it away.

Then, seconds later, McCormack swivelled in the box and shot at goal but his bobbling effort was tipped onto the post and wide by the Dane.

Burnley were not out of the game though and Cork served warning of this when he fired a superb 30-yard effort just wide of the top corner of Schmeichel's goal.

The Leeds keeper had to be alert to tip a free-kick from substitute Wallace over the bar soon after, while at the other end Jensen produced further saves to deny McCormack and Jonny Howson.

Leeds substitute Sanchez Watt could have wrapped up the game on a couple of occasions with late efforts, but as it transpired one goal was enough for the home side.

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