Competition: First Division.
Referee: R.A. Banks (
It would have
been easy to lay the blame for Leeds United’s 3-0
The Saints were already a goal to the good when Lukic made a couple of errors, and only twice in the season had United managed to come from behind to win a game. Clarke had kept faith with the team that began against Coventry City in the FA Cup Replay defeat the previous Tuesday, but his side were rarely able to produce the form shown in that match. Poor finishing and alert goalkeeping by Southampton’s Peter Wells kept them scoreless on this occasion when the scoring limitations of the United side, not one goal had been scored in open play for six games, had again been all too painfully apparent.
a goal down after nineteen minutes when Mick Channon
fastened on to a pass from full-back Ivan Golac and
hammered in a rising shot. There always seemed the possibility that Southampton
were capable of scoring again, such was the directness aligned to the skills
of Charlie George, Channon,
Steve Williams and twenty-year-old goal-scoring discovery Steve Moran. Lukic, who allowed a long range shot to go by him in the
Despite the strong running of Arthur Graham, the tireless work of Welsh international Brian Flynn and Jeff Chandler, United were once more let down by their inadequacies up front. Manager Clarke blamed his side’s slump solely on the poor form of the strikers. “We are creating chances in away games as well as at home but our problem is sheer bad finishing,” he said. “Obviously when you are down near the bottom of the First Division you are concerned but I am not unduly worried because we are creating chances. I would be far more concerned if we had not been making these openings. You cannot give players the ability to finish off chances but you can get them trying to be positive and that is what we will continue to do in training,” he said. Although this defeat by the Saints pushed United into eighteenth place in the First Division, Clarke stressed there would be no panic buying. “I have been making efforts to strengthen the team but I cannot get the players I want,” he added.
Alternate Report (Courtesy Mark Ledgard)
George threw a consoling arm round Leeds United’s agonising John Lukic. George was
the first to offer Lukic moral support after two more
mistakes which might be superficially and conveniently be blamed for a new
defeat. On the field George offered Lukic a
reassuring handshake. “I just said. ‘Look son everybody makes mistakes, so
don’t worry yourself about those. It wasn’t because of you that
least put Lukic’s performance into perspective.
Match Action: (Courtesy Mark Ledgard)
Alex Sabella leaves Graham Baker behind.
A crest-fallen John Lukic
leaves the field at the end of the game with United’s
Carl Harris and Eddie Gray and
Saint’s Nick Holmes beats Derek Parlane and Trevor Cherry to a header as the snow falls.
Leeds United 1980-81: Allan Clarke’s Team
Back Row: Gwyn Thomas, Terry Connor, Alan Curtis, Byron Stevenson, Brian Greenhoff,
Middle Row: Geoff Ladley (Physio), Eddie Gray, Paul Hart, John Lukic, Paul Madeley,
Carl Harris, Peter Gunby (Coach).
Front Row: Martin Wilkinson (Assistant Manager), Jeff Chandler, Brian Flynn, Arthur Graham,
Allan Clarke (Manager), Trevor Cherry, Alex Sabella, Gary Hamson, Barry Murphy (Coach).
Mick Channon and Nick
Holmes (2) scored the three
Brian Flynn and Jeff Chandler worked tirelessly and Arthur Graham was a threat on the left-wing Ivan Golac’s pass brought the first
Kevin Keegan, Charlie George, Steve Williams and Steve Moran had too much skill, pace and power for United.
Peter Wells was always alert