Chris Wood’s first-half goal saw Leeds move up to fourth in the Sky Bet Championship following a hard-fought 1-0 win over Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Wednesday.
Rob Green made a stunning second-half save to deny Jordan Rhodes from the penalty spot as Leeds clung on to claim a valuable three points in the race for promotion.
However it was the prolific Wood who made the decisive contribution to the match, keeping his head to poke home his 22nd goal of the season in the 21st minute.
The win moves Garry Monk’s side above Reading into fourth place – though the Royals travel to Brighton this weekend – and three points clear of their opponents who remain sixth.
Leeds started the game on the front foot, throwing themselves into tackles while Hadi Sacko proved a threat down the right.
The on-loan winger raced clear twice in the opening exchanges, but yet again his decision-making let him down in the final third as he failed to find Wood inside the area.
Despite a lively opening, neither side looked like troubling the goalkeepers. Adam Reach, a lively presence down the Owls’ left flank, fired a low ball across the Leeds six-yard area in the 17th minute but could only find the clearing Pontus Jansson at the far post.
A Ross Wallace free-kick was flicked past the far post, but the game was in the balance until Wood capitalised on a poor piece of defending to put the home side ahead in front of a 35,093 crowd.
Souleymane Doukara played in Gaetano Berardi down the left wing, and the left-back cut back onto his favoured right foot before firing in a cross for Wood that eluded Vincent Sasso, leaving Wood to take a touch before poking in from six yards.
The visitors picked up the pace before the break, with Fernando Forestieri curling over from inside the area before Green blocked another dangerous ball from Reach.
Wood shot wide at the start of the second half, before Eunan O’Kane could have been awarded a penalty after going down in the corner of the box following a wild tackle by Sam Hutchinson.
The referee pointed to the spot at the other end shortly after however, as Doukara pulled Hutchinson down on the penalty spot following a corner.
Rhodes, who has struggled to hit top form since his move from Middlesbrough, hit the penalty towards the bottom corner but Green was equal to it, tipping it on to the post and out before Leeds scrambled it clear for a corner.
Forestieri headed over from the resultant set piece as Wednesday continued to pile on the pressure against a nervy Leeds defence.
Berardi was on hand to prevent substitute Steven Fletcher from a simple tap-in, before Kemar Roofe and Pablo Hernandez combined neatly down the Leeds right only to see Roofe’s weak effort deflected behind ad provide some welcome relief for the home crowd.
The Owls threw everything they had at Leeds in the dying moments, but Leeds remained resolute to claim an important win in the context of their season.