Leeds had the opportunity to re-address the balance, but reckoned without the guts and guile of Swindon Town.
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By the 55th minute the match was over as a contest when Swindon's Charlie Austin headed home his 17th goal of the season to give the Robins a 3-0 lead they never looked likely to relinquish. They now stand proudly in second place behind and have added another twist to what has been an eventful League One season.
For Leeds, since January their campaign has been one of slow, painful self-destruction. In December, returning triumphantly to the Championship as League One winners looked a sure-fire certainty. The play-offs beckon now and it is by no means certain they will have the wherewithal to face them given the mental hammering they have endured over the last three months.
They started brightly, but as as so often been the case since the turn of the year, they failed to turn their superiority into meaningful chances.
Swindon, on the other hand, while remaining resolute in defence, continued to threaten the home goal and it was no surprise when they grabbed the lead two minutes before half-time.
Jon-Paul McGovern sent over a cross from the right which headed towards Swindon striker Billy Paynter and Leeds full-back Andrew Hughes. Hughes slipped at the crucial moment. An off-balance Billy Paynter stabbed the ball into the net.
It was a crushing blow for what was clearly a fragile Leeds side. And it was to get worse just the other side of the break.
Three minutes after the restart and from what seemed an innocuous situation, the ball managed to reach Billy Paynter who turned and fired home his and Swindon's second.
If the task of salvaging something from the game had just got harder, any hopes of recovery were extinguished seven minutes later when Charlie Austin headed home.