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Premier League
Game 22: Saturday 17 January 2004

Southampton 2 - 1 Leeds United
(Half-time: 2 - 0)
Crowd: 31976
Referee: A Wiley (Burntwood)
Leeds United
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Match Facts
Southampton Team Leeds United
Antti Niemi   Paul Robinson
Jason Dodd   Gary Kelly
Danny Higginbotham   Ian Harte
Subbed - 80 minutes Fitz Hall   Matthew Kilgallon Goal - 75 minutes
Michael Svensson   Zoumana Camara Booked - 22 minutes
David Prutton   Seth Johnson
Booked - 90 minutes Anders Svensson   Jody Morris Subbed - 65 minutes
Rory Delap   James Milner
Subbed - 85 minutes Fabrice Fernandes   Jermaine Pennant
Goal - 36 minutes Brett Ormerod   Eirik Bakke
Subbed - 86 minutes Goal - 43 minutes Kevin Phillips   Alan Smith
Alan Blayney   Scott Carson
Sub - 80 minutes Darren Kenton   Frazer Richardson
Sub - 85 minutes Paul Telfer   Roque Junior
Marian Pahars   Nick Barmby
Sub - 86 minutes James Beattie   Michael Bridges Sub - 65 minutes
Match Reports
Matt Gaynor Saints
Richard Naef Saints
BBC Southampton 2 - 1 Leeds
The Guardian Leeds seek a new deadline and £5m to finish the season
The Independent Another deadline but Leeds look dead
The Observer Leeds left adrift as Ormerod and Phillips strike Saints leave Leeds rock bottom
The Sporting Life Southampton 2 - 1 Leeds
The Sunday Times Leeds sink to rock bottom
The Electronic Telegraph Luckless Leeds have that sinking feeling
The Times Desperation setting in
Yorkshire Evening Post United lacking a killer instinct

The Times, Sunday Times and Telegraph now seem to require registration to view articles on their sites, with the Times and Sunday Times charging readers outside the UK. The Times/Sunday Times has also moved some of the older articles into an archive which requires separate registration and requires you to pay to access the content. The Independent now charges for access to articles more than a week old.

Saints - Matt Gaynor

That was better but ultimately all that counts at the moment is points won and we didn't get any.

Faced with the devil's choice in midfield Eddie plumped for the Accused (Morris) instead of the Accursed (Roque) . As expected Camara returned at the back, and I must admit I was happy to see him back, Johnson also returned to anchor a midfield 5.

The start wasn't too great with Saints hitting the bar and forcing a good save from Robbo before we got going. So we amused ourselves by singing "Strachan's coming home" to the Southampton fans. However, we slowly began to get a measure of control in midfield, with Johnson having an impressive game playing deep and Pennant seeing plenty of the ball, although this was often followed up with a poor cross. In sharp contrast to last week we actually had some shots, Morris and Smith shooting wide from the edge of the box, Bakke just failing to beat the keeper to the ball and Pennant missing the best chance of the lot as the keeper came out to smother as he dawdled on the bouncing ball.

However, five minutes of defensive madness proved our undoing. An attack broke down following another poor cross and Prutton drove forward before slipping the ball into Ormerod's run. Camara hesitated to come across and help Kilgallon out, and Kilgallon fell over whilst back-peddling giving the striker plenty of time to beat Robbo. One nil down largely against the run of play but worse was to come, a couple of minutes later Camara lost concentration and let a simple square pass squirm under his foot into Phillips path and he slid it in to score his first goal for months. Total disaster, from playing well the game now looked a lost cause in a matter of minutes. The mood was not improved by the sight of Roque Jr doing the most lethargic warm-up ever at half-time.

Second half started out in a pretty listless manner and it looked like the game might just drift to an inevitable conclusion. Southampton had a couple more chances without ever putting us under serious pressure and until the substitution and the switch to 4-4-2 we didn't really threaten them at all. However, once Bridges came on to replace the irrelevant Morris, we suddenly began to look more threatening, as the new formation allowed us to create some pressure and Saints got nervous.

A (for once) well worked corner and cross from Harte allowed Kilgallon to get in front of the keeper to equalise and within a few more minutes we'd hit the bar (although the offside flag did go up) and then hit the post as a defender diverted Milner's cross past the keeper. Despite this the equaliser we deserved wouldn't come, and in one desperate goal mouth scramble neither Bridges or Smith could get a clear strike on goal. Come the last minute Robinson came up for a corner and Harte hit it straight at the first defender as per usual.

A much improved performance and we were unlucky but we just can't afford stupid mistakes like Camara's in the position we are in - time is running out in more ways than one.

Robinson 6 - Couple of decent saves, had little protection for the goals.
Kelly 7 - A solid influence and a couple of good last-ditch clearances, despite the promise of Richardson I think we need his experience at the back at present.
Harte 6 - A couple of embarrasing free-kicks, though not under too much defensive pressure.
Camara 5 - I think he's miles better than Duberry, but his long spell of inaction showed today in a stupid mistake that cost us the game.
Kilgallon 6.5 - Showed promise and inexperience in the same game - too easily turned for the first goal but cleared one of the line and scored a good goal himself.
Johnson 8 - MotM - Probably his best performance in a central role for Leeds. Looked comfortable playing as the deepest of the midfielders and used the ball well. If he can stay fit he can stay in that position and allow Matteo to go back where he belongs.
Morris 4 - Waste of space. Tries some nice passes but loses the ball too often and is a defensive non-entity.
Bakke 6.5 - One of his better games, covered some ground and tried to get forward to support Smith.
Milner 7 - As we know a clever player with a good football brain but lacking the pace to really hurt teams out wide.
Pennant 6 - Saw a lot of the ball first half and linked up well with Smith but faded in the second though was on receiving end of a few poor tackles.
Smith 7 - As you would expect worked his socks off and kept his head - needs to stay upfront.

Saints - Richard Naef

Well 3 good things to take from the match, we scored, Kila got his first goal and Smith didn't get booked. The downside is that our defence is always going to leak goals.

Seemed to be playing 4-5-1, with Smithy up front and as always full of running, the few chances he had were off target or straight at the keeper. Milner and Pennant were pretty threatening and Pennant was repeatedly fouled, he had a good chance to score but the ball just wouldn't sit down for him. On another occasion Morris should have passed to him when he was unmarked in the box. Milner had some nice touches and I hope he stays.

At least we had some shots on target but the lack of Viduka as a target or holding the ball meant we were passing the ball around the box, but with no real threat.

The Midfield played OK in patches, Morris was poor, Johnson showed alot of commitment and a few nice touches, while Bakke is starting to gain fitness and made a few runs from midfield, but didin't have the pace or touch to really threaten. We need BAtty back for Morris.

Hopefully Matteo will be put in instead of Camara. Kelly had another poor game and I would really like to see Richardson given a chance. Kilgalon scored and seemed pretty solid, although he slipped to let Ormorod score their first, hopefully when he can build a partnership with someone else he might turn out to be a good player. Harte is now bereft of confidence and although he got an assist for the goal, but is the weakest link in a weak chain.

In the end we battled fairly well in the second half and although they hit the woodwork, so did we and in the last 10 minutes could have rescued a point, which we probably deserved. Soton are pretty average, but then so is the majority of the Premiership. Logically we are going down, but footie is a funny old game.

During the match Leeds fans excellent singing and supporting the team. The players seemed to acknowledge this at the final whistle, particularily Pennant, Smith and Robbo, which if you are pessimistic might indicate they were saying goodbye - eek!

Leeds seek a new deadline and £5m to finish the season - Matt Scott

Copy from Football Unlimited of 19/01/2004.

Leeds' board will this morning apply to creditors for a seven-day extension to today's administration deadline after failing to secure a bid for the club.

The hiatus is intended to provide the board with time to raise £5m of interim funding that will help take Leeds to the end of the season, when the team's fate for next term will be clear. The funds are anticipated to come from investors. However, part of the sum may be raised through player sales.

"We are fairly confident we can put that package together next week, and a number of options are being considered to raise that," the Leeds chief executive Trevor Birch told Sky Sports News.

Read the rest...

Leeds left adrift as Ormerod and Phillips strike -

Copy from Football Unlimited of 18/01/2004.

Leeds look doomed. Even if they get through the financial crisis that could see the club put into administration in the next fortnight, their days as a Premiership club look numbered.

As if it were not bad enough discovering before kick-off that they were bottom of the Premiership, thanks to Wolves' lunchtime victory over Manchester United, Leeds were pretty well buried by half-time - and the wounds were largely selfinflicted. Southampton's opening goal owed a large debt to Matthew Kilgallon's inexperience.

The young defender was dumped on his backside by Brett Ormerod's twists and turns before the former Blackpool striker fired a low shot past Paul Robinson in the 36th minute.

Read the rest...

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