With Lewis starting, Leeds defeats Birmingham under interim manager.
By Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.)
| Eddie Lewis was part of the starting lineup for Leeds United interim manager John Carver against Birmingham City.
-- Leeds United web site photo --
(Tuesday, September 26, 2006) -- Leeds United fired its coach and United States midfielder Eddie Lewis found himself back in the starting lineup for a 3-2 home victory over Birmingham City before 18,898 at Elland Road Saturday.
With Lewis recording two assists, one off a corner kick and another from a cross, in a 90-minute performance, Leeds posted a 3-1 decision Tuesday over Barnet of the fourth-tier League Two in the Carling Cup second round. The next day, Leeds chairman Ken Bates sacked manager Kevin Blackwell, hoping to right The Whites' struggling start in the English League Championship.
Assistant coach John Carver was elevated to replace Blackwell on an interim basis and Lewis started and played well against Birmingham before being replaced by more offensive-minded Ian Westlake in the 69th minute with Leeds leading 2-1.
Striker David Healy scored in the sixth minute and, after the game was tied on an own goal in the 13th minute, converted a penalty kick for a 2-1 advantage two minutes later.
Despite being a man down following a red card two minutes earlier, Nicklas Bendtner pulled Birmingham even with a goal in the 74th minute. United prevailed 3-2, this time benefiting from an own goal when Steve Stone's cross was headed by Birmingham defender Olivier Tebily into his own net.
In Blackwell's last league match, Lewis was benched as Blackwell shuffled his lineup and altered the formation for an eventual 1-0 road loss to Coventry September 16 at Ricoh Arena, Striker Stern John, who once played in Major League Soccer, found net in the 26th minute for the victors.
With the season 20 percent completed, Leeds is tied with Sunderland in 17th place at 3-5-1 with 10 points following last season when The Whites were within one victory of gaining promotion to the Premier League.
American Frank Simek is playing well on the back-line, but Sheffield Wednesday is slumping. The Owls are 0-3-2 in their last five outings after dropping their second straight Saturday, wasting a lead and falling 2-1 to visiting Derby before 23,659 at Hillsborough. Paul Peschisolido scored in the 79th minute and Steve Howard netted the winner in stoppage.
On September 15, Wednesday also squandered an early lead. Deon Burton put away a penalty kick in the fourth minute for the visiting Owls, but their Yorkshire rival Hull won 2-1 on goals from Jon Parkin in the 11th and 17th minutes.
Wednesday is 1-4-4 with seven points, one notch above the basement in 23rd place
American striker Jemal Johnson started for Wolverhampton which got back on the winning track Saturday at home by beating Stoke 2-0 at before 19,489 at Molineux Stadium.
Johnson, who was not involved in the scoring, was removed in favor of a defensive midfielder in the 82nd minute. Wolves (5-3-1) snapped a two-game losing streak and are among four teams tied for third place with 16 points, four behind league-leading Cardiff (6-1-2).
On September 16, Johnson went the distance for Wolves who lost a 1-0 road decision to Barnsley on Marc Richards' tally in the 10th minute.
Johnson contributed several long-range shots on goal.
Robert Wagman is SoccerTimes senior correspondent.
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