LEEDS kept pace with the Sky Bet Championship play-off pack with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Bristol City at Elland Road.

Daniel Farke’s side opened the scoring in the 37th minute when Dan James was in the right place to fire into the bottom corner after the visitors had failed to clear a flowing move by the home side.

Kal Naismith sent the sides in level at the break as he headed in a corner but Leeds regained the lead early in the second half through Joel Piroe’s neat finish from the edge of the area, which proved enough to earn all three points.

Leeds started on the front foot but from their first attack Ethan Ampadu sliced a volley off target.

City responded with a cross from the left by Nahki Wells but the ball flashed across goal just in front of the diving Rob Dickie.

Leeds should have taken the lead after 10 minutes when Crysencio Summerville found Georginio Rutter unmarked at the far post but he fired over from two yards.

Ampadu then forced Max O’Leary to punch his fierce shot away as Leeds again pressed for the opening goal, before Summerville had a shot deflected for a corner after he latched onto Rutter’s flicked pass before bearing down on goal.

James finally opened the scoring when the ball broke to him six yards out and he found the bottom corner with a left foot shot, after Rutter had squared a recycled ball when goalkeeper O’Leary beat away a shot by Piroe.

But City levelled in the fourth minute of first half stoppage-time as Naismith rose to head in a corner and earn the Robins a barely deserved equaliser.

Leeds were ahead again seven minutes into the second half when Piroe shot in low from 20 yards after the home side had worked the ball across the Bristol City area.

The home side just failed to grab a third as Rutter’s pass set up Summerville but his rising shot from a tight angle was pushed onto the corner of post and bar by O’Leary.

Rutter then led a breakaway from the edge of his own area and after his pass to James had been blocked the Brazilian crossed from the right side of the area but Summerville failed to apply the final touch.

Leeds thought they had made it 3-1 but Rutter had been offside from Sam Byram’s original shot, before poking home the rebound following O’Leary’s save.

Byram then headed off the line and did well to block an Andreas Weimann shot in the final 10 minutes as the home side held on for the win.