Football: Wallace makes Saints suffer

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Southampton . . .1 Maddison 44 Leeds United. . .3 Maddison og 54, Wallace 83, 89 Attendance: 15,202 NO weekends at the Ritz on offer here, but there were plenty of incentives for both teams to answer questions. But Leeds won the game, with a gutsy second-half fight back after conceding a soft goal just before the interval, which testified to their determination to get back among the big boys.

Indeed, knowing that the top four in the Premiership were certain to take points off each other seemed to drive Leeds into scoring decisive goals in the last six minutes.

The Saints' declared interest in the match was to stop the rot after three successive defeats. But all their good approach play is being squandered by poor finishing and by Iain Dowie's failure to hold up the ball for his colleagues in midfield. In fairness, Dowie is bereft of support up front, so it was ironic that the former Southampton forward, Rod Wallace, should score both late goals for Leeds.

Apart from a brief spell early on, when first Jim Magilton and then Neil Maddison might have scored for the home side, Leeds dominated the first half with their quick passing and movement. Both full-backs - Gary Kelly on the right, Tony Dorigo on the left - joined attacks at will, giving a fair indication of Leeds' positive mood. Gary McAllister and Brian Deane had already forced good saves from Bruce Grobbelaar - who was sporting a halloween style mask to protect his fractured cheekbone - before Dorigo thumped the Saints' bar with a raking left-footer.

With Nigel Worthington shadowing Matthew Le Tissier effectively, Southampton could rarely get into the game, and the home crowd's unrest grew as their left back Simon Charlton was frequently exposed for pace and position.

But after McAllister had hit the woodwork again for Leeds, driving into the near post, Southampton took an undeserved lead into the interval. Wallace's unnecessary foul on Paul Allen set up Le Tissier for a free-kick, but when no shot came, Leeds found they had left Maddison unmarked for the cross at the far post, giving him an easy volley.

Leeds stormed back in the second half, although their equaliser after 50 minutes owed as much to Maddison's deflection as to Deane's header.

Thereafter, the momentum was all with Leeds. Wallace got himself booked retaliating to Monkou's lunge, and moments later he won a corner. When Dowie's clearing header fell short, Wallace pounced to volley low past Grobbelaar. Wallace underlined Leeds' hunger with a solo goal in injury time, beating Jeff Kenna before driving left footed into Grobbelaar's bottom corner. Who cares wins.

(Photograph omitted)