Date: Saturday 17th April 1982.
Venue: Elland Road, Leeds.
United 1 Southampton 3
United: Worthington. Southampton:
Armstrong, Keegan (2).
Leeds United: Lukic;
Hird, E. Gray (Harris); Hamson,
Hart, Burns; Parlane, Graham, Worthington,
S. Baker, Holmes; G. Baker (Wallace), Nicholl,
Whitlock; Keegan, Channon, Channon,
Wright, Armstrong, Ball.
Referee: J. Lovatt (Crewe).
United were sinking fast towards the old Second Division and there was little
to encourage home fans after Southampton visited Elland
Road in April 1982, and returned home having won 3-1. Even though United had
the boost of a goal after just eighty seconds of the match, the Saints marched
back with a three goal blast before half-time, Kevin Keegan getting two of
them. United recalled the transfer listed Gary Hamson
in place of the injured Gwyn Thomas and Southampton,
who had not won away in their last seven games, brought in eighteen-year-old
Mark Wright and Graham Baker.
up to United’s early breakthrough began from the
kick-off and when Paul Hart pumped the ball forward Terry Connor fastened on to
it and won a corner off Mark Wright. Peter Barnes curled the ball in from the
right corner and when Arthur Graham returned it across goal, Frank Worthington
was there to gleefully hammer it home from five yards. It was Worthington’s fourth goal in ten games for
United and took his tally for the season against the Saints to four goals, the
other three coming while he was at Birmingham City.
lead lasted less than ten minutes before a free-kick out on the left paved the
way for the equaliser, the ball being played into the
middle to Graham Baker, who rolled it to the unmarked David Armstrong to fire a
rasping twenty-five yarder into the top right hand
corner of the United net. Four minutes later, John Lukic
was picking the ball out of the net again when Kevin Keegan scored the first of
his two goals. The England skipper, who had twenty-five goals
to his name, was handed the scoring chance on a plate when Kevin Hird lost possession and John Lukic
raced out in a vain attempt to get the ball which was knocked on by Graham Baker
to Keegan, who had an empty net to aim at.
second was a run of the mill effort, Southampton’s third goal, in the
thirty-eighth minute was a Keegan gem, the livewire attacker turning sharply to
hammer a shot past John Lukic from near the edge of
the penalty area. Although Peter Barnes sparkled on occasions and Frank
Worthington introduced his touches of skill to attacking moves, Unite lacked
power in midfield and were far too jittery in defence.
Reports (Courtesy Mark Ledgard):
Southampton’s Manager Lawrie
McMenemy believed his side’s emphatic victory over Leeds might have been the result that
would ensure European football for his team in the following season. It might
also have been the result that sentenced Leeds United to new surroundings for
the following season. It certainly made the remaining eight games the most
important since they were fighting for points at the other end of the First
Division table eight years previous. Two of the three clubs
who were below them at that point, Stoke City and Birmingham City, had still to visit Elland Road. So Leeds still had the power to direct their own destiny. Yet beatings of the nature that they took
in this game together with the fact that they had not now won at home since 18th
January were points of great concern. But the overwhelming worrying factor
about the remaining fixtures was that five of the eight were away, and United
had lost 75% of their away games that season. Their next two games were at West
Ham and Aston Villa where, if they repeated their form of this game, they would
get nothing. Southampton completed what must rank as the
most decisive double of the season. At the Dell in November, Southampton had dominated proceedings, running
out 4-0 winners and though they were behind after only eighty seconds in this
game it was much the same story at Elland Road.
had changed his system and relied on experienced players. Kevin Keegan produced
a masterly display in the spearhead. Alan Ball’s generalship of midfield had a
touch of class Leeds
could not match and Chris Nicholl expertly marshaled
the defence. Southampton had hit a wobbly period
prior to this demolition of Leeds but they had played their way out of it by
using experience, a situation which must have left most of the crowd of 21,353
wondering what Trevor Cherry, Brian Greenhoff and
Brian Flynn were doing playing in the reserves. Yet for eighty seconds it
seemed as though Alan Clarke, the Leeds Manager, had chosen exactly the right
combination for the job. Leeds
swept forward, won a corner and before Southampton could draw breath, Frank
Worthington banged in his fastest-ever goal from close range. That should have
inspired Leeds but instead it pricked Southampton into a charge, which saw them grab
three goals in twenty-eight minutes to finish the game as a contest. Leeds were casual and careless, Southampton were full of purpose as the goals
Armstrong hit ferociously home from twenty-five yards, then a mistake by Kevin Hird let in Kevin Keegan for one of the simplest goals and
finally the England captain fired home from near the
left-wing angle of the penalty area for his twenty-seventh goal of the season.
When it was clear that they could afford to use an extra man going forward
because Southampton used only Keegan and Channon to spearhead their efforts, Leeds had more of the game. But apart
from the work of Peter Barnes, Southampton rode it all in comfort. So did Leeds have the ability to stay up? “I
just think they are a First Division club,” said McMenemy
with meaning. “But this is a time when three points for a win will come into
Erland Couston Reported:
at Elland Road was all over in forty minutes. For
a brief spell, having scored early, Leeds looked something like a team. Then they were
killed stone dead by two wonderful shots, from Dave Armstrong and Kevin Keegan,
and an unfortunate blunder by Kevin Hird, who mishit a clearance into Graham Baker and subsequently into
Kevin Keegan’s path, with the rest of his side cantering back towards the
middle. After that it was difficult to escape the sensation of small boys
crowded round an ant whose legs were being pulled off. Leeds writhed rather than attacked. Five
minutes from the end Kenny Burns stood on Kevin Keegan’s shin, but got away
with it by slapping the England skipper’s bottom in a playful way.
would make life hard for Leeds.
They were only one point above the relegation places and, though they had a
game in hand, five of their remaining eight games were away from home.
Moreover, they were not scoring. Frank Worthington’s spectacular second-minute
volley from Arthur Graham’s pass, was only the sixth
goal Leeds had scored in sixteen matches. Southampton in contrast, had stopped a rot that
had threatened their hopes of playing on the Continent in the following season.
They would have been especially pleased to have done that with three raw hands
in their defence, Steve Baker at right-back, Mark
Whitlock in the middle and the eighteen year-old Mark Wright making his first
League appearance in a strange tactical role just in front of the back four.
Wright looked a little lost at times but Alan Ball and Chris Nicholl seemed creditably prepared to jolly him along. Alan
Ball, in fact, had an outstanding game for someone who would be thirty-seven in
the following June. He still dabbed the ball about in that delicate, deliberate
butter-knife fashion. Beside him, Leeds with their five front-runner
(six when Carl Harris came on for Frank Gray) were just flap and lather. It
Kenny Burns battles with Kevin Keegan
Frank Worthington finds the net
Frank Gray tackles Graham Baker
(Three photos of Match Action Courtesy Mark Ledgard)
Frank Worthington celebrates his goal
David Armstrong and Kevin Keegan (2) scored for
Southampton. Frank Worthington scored for Leeds
Paul Hart, Terry Connor and then Peter Barnes
and Arthur Graham were all involved in the Leeds goal.
Graham Baker and 18 year-old Mark Wright came
in for Southampton Gary Hamson
took came in for injured Gwyn Thomas