TOWN clinched consecutive wins over Crystal Palace and Coventry City to sweep away any lingering fears of relegation from the top flight.
Boss Ian Greaves was understandably delighted as his side, with no major additions to that which had won the Second Division title the season before, built on their battling goalless draw at Chelsea in their Wednesday evening engagement at Selhurst Park.
Palace were seen off 3-0 as Jimmy Lawson, Trevor Cherry and Brian Mahoney netted in front of a 16,646 crowd.
Lawson scored from close range after seven minutes to break up a hurricane start by Bert Head’s team.
Cherry fired home the second six minutes into the second half when the South Londoners failed to clear Geoff Hutt’s lob into the goalmouth.
And burly Mahoney made sure of victory on 74 minutes, heading home after frontman Frank Worthington had romped forward from his own half and squared the ball for Steve Smith to put in an inch-perfect cross.
“I don’t think we got the credit we deserved at Chelsea,” said Greaves after his side avenged a 2-0 home defeat by Palace.
“Tonight we have confirmed we can play when the pressure is on.”
Roy Ellam was the hero at home to Coventry as Town won 1-0 to climb to 15th in the table, nine points clear (two for a win) of a drop zone occupied by Burnley and Blackpool.
West Brom, Ipswich, Palace, Nottingham Forest and West Ham were also below Town, who had seven games remaining.
It was Coventry’s first visit to Leeds Road since their promotion campaign of 1966-67, and the Sky Blues became the yellows after a kit muddle forced the to borrow Town’s change strip.
Ellam’s strike, in front of 15,141, was a rare goal for the former Bradford City centre-back, and Greaves was more than happy to see him hit the headlines.
“I don’t usually single players out, but I have to make an exception,” said the boss.
“Big Roy has been magnificent for me all the time I have been manager.”