Former Phoenix gun scores first Championship goal in Plymouth’s defeat to Leeds

Ben Waine scored his first Championship goal in Plymouth Argyle's 2-1 loss to Leeds United.

Leeds kept up the pressure on the Championship’s top two with a 2-1 win over Plymouth at Elland Road.

Dan James gave Leeds an early lead as he curled in and Joel Piroe doubled the advantage in another dominant first-half home display against opponents who had clearly come to play on the break.

Steven Schumacher’s side grew into the contest after half time and claimed a late consolation through substitute and former Wellington Phoenix striker Ben Waine.

Leeds had the better of the early exchanges but failed to make the most of a free-kick from the right by Crysencio Summerville.

Georginio Rutter had home fans appealing for a penalty after 11 minutes when he went down in the area, but referee John Smith was not interested.

Julio Pleguezuelo denied Summerville the chance to meet a James cross at the expense of a corner, from which Joe Rodon headed just off target.

Finn Azaz controlled and shot straight at Illan Meslier from the edge of the area as Plymouth responded.

Leeds were not to be denied as James fired curled home from the edge of the area after Kaine Kesler-Hayden gave the ball away with 20 minutes gone.

Summerville played in Piroe behind the Plymouth back line, and he slid the ball between goalkeeper Michael Cooper’s legs just before the half-hour to make it 2-0.

Rodon blocked a shot from Luke Cundle as Plymouth threatened on the break with 10 minutes of the half remaining.

Rutter’s fine run from halfway saw him surge into the area but Cooper was equal to his low shot before Piroe’s effort was straight at the keeper as Leeds pressed for goal number three.

Morgan Whittaker forced Meslier into a low save early in the second half before Kesler-Hayden blocked a Piroe shot with his back.

Kesler-Hayden fired wide across goal in a rare Plymouth attack as Leeds were temporarily reduced to 10 men with injury to Sam Byram which saw the defender replaced.

Rutter was off target with two efforts from range before his chipped pass saw Piroe head over as Leeds pressed for the next goal with an hour gone.

Plymouth were far from out of the game and when Summerville tripped Whittaker the forward curled in a free-kick which Leeds were able to clear.

Substitute Jaidon Anthony’s shot was saved low to his left by Cooper with seven minutes to go.

Plymouth had come intent on counter-attacking and netted with five minutes to go when Waine turned in Cundle’s low cross, but they were unable to level.