Leeds United dropped into the bottom three of the Championship after losing a poor West Yorkshire derby at home to Huddersfield Town.
Aaron Mooy’s strike from outside of the box proved the only goal of a game in which there were only three efforts on target, leaving Garry Monk still searching for his first home win as Leeds head coach.
In a game devoid of penalty box action, the Whites rarely looked like scoring and paid the price against a Town side high on confidence after their unbeaten start to the league season, but strangely low on quality for a team sitting on top of the table.
It took 27 minutes for the first shot from either side, an Alex Mowatt shot from 30 yards out that sailed high and wide.
Mooy came closer with a 20-yard shot for the visitors two minutes later, but that was the sole effort of note from the visitors in the opening half, although they had more of the possession.
United did fashion a chance from a Kalvin Phillips corner when Chris Wood got free only to send his header wide.
Marcus Antonsson went down in the box after a tangle with Chris Schindler just before the break, but referee Roger East, who had a poor game, did not think there was enough contact for a penalty.
There was little improvement in the game in the second half until out of the blue the ball nicely to Mooy 20 yards out and his shot this time beat Rob Green to find the net for a goal.
From that point it was a frustrating afternoon with too many fouls, blatant time wasting from Town and again little in the way of good football.
Leeds did work a half-opening on 68 minutes when good work by substitute Souleymane Doukara led to Mowatt getting in behind the visitors’ defence only to see his cross-shot from a tough angle blocked by keeper Danny Ward.
Huddersfield sub Kasey Palmer turned well and saw a shot from 20 yards out go just over before finally some action came in the closing stages.
Wood had Leeds’ best opportunity of the game when found unmarked in the box, but his weak header was easily saved by Ward.
Huddersfield then came close to a second as Rajiv Van La Parra latched onto a loose pass from Mowatt 45 yards out and quick as a flash sent a lob goalwards, which needed to be well turned over by home keeper Green.
Eight minutes of added time were signalled and nine minutes played after more delays, but Leeds were unable to grab an equaliser and now have only one point from their first three home games.
United boss Monk was disappointed with the result and unhappy with referee East, particularly when he chose to book and not send off Mooy for a two-footed challenge on Liam Bridcutt at the end of the first half.
He said: “We went out there with the initiative to take the game to them, but the way the teams were set up it became a bit of a nothing game.
“Neither team created anything. It looked like a 0-0 game or one when a mistake or a set piece would win it.
“The one time we didn’t close the player down he scores from outside the box.
“The player that scored the goal should have been off the pitch. He had two feet off the ground and endangered my player. My recollection is that is a sending off. I can’t understand it, but the irony is that player scores the goal.
“It looked like a penalty for us in the first half when Marcus Antonsson goes round the player and he had his arms round his waist. But I didn’t think we were going to get any decisions today.”
Leeds United 0
Huddersfield Town 1
Saturday, September 10, 2016
Attendance: 28, 514
Leeds: Green, Ayling, Bartley, Jansson, Taylor, Sacko (Roofe 76), Phillips, Bridcutt, Mowatt, Antonsson (Doukara 67), Wood.
Huddersfield: Ward, Smith, Hudson, Schindler, Lowe, Bunn (Hefele 90+6), Mooy, Hogg, Payne (Palmer 80), Van La Parra, Kachunga (Wells 78).
Referee: Roger East