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LEEDS UNITED FOOTBALL CLUB

Match v Brighton
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                                         BRIGHTON..........1 LEEDS UNITED..........0
                                                 Brighton &amp; Hove Albion badge            Leeds United badge
 

Pre-match

United boss Kevin Blackwell fielded yet another unchanged line-up for the game at the rain-soaked Withdean Stadium.   

Any thoughts he might have had about changing the attacking line-up were dashed when Julian Joachim pulled out to be with his wife who has gone into labour.

Martin Woods was recalled from his loan spell at Hartlepool and featured on the bench.

Brighton made two changes with Richard Carpenter in for the injured Alexis Nicolas and Adam El-Abd for Paul Reid, who was out with a foot injury.

The Match

Leeds kicked off as torrential rain lashed down on the Withdean pitch, with a small band of 500 travelling supporters packed into one of the open stands. They were quite literally singing in the rain.

Richardson had the game's first shot on target when he tried to curl one home from outside the area on six minutes but was unable to get any power behind the shot.

The wet conditions were caused Sullivan some problems in the first ten minutes and were certain to be a factor as the game went on.   Sullivan slipped as he took a goalkick which forced Paul Butler into a bit of trouble

On minutes the first confrontation between Clarke Carlisle and Leon Knight arose, the pair having clashed prebiouvly when Carlisle was a QPR player.
Knight went down under a challenge from the defender but it was Gary Kelly who was booked for arguing with the free-kick decision.

The second booking of the was not long in coming as Richard Carpenter found himself booked for a pull on Ormerod's shirt.

The rain thankfully abated after 15 minutes and that allowed both sides to play a little bit more but it was certain to remain a scrappy affair.

Chances for either side were few and far between though, Leeds had one on 25 minutes that saw Ricketts pull the ball back for Ormerod, he then chipped in forward but couldn't get the shot in and it eventually fell for Sean Gregan to blast the ball over the top.

Leeds came closest to opening the scoring on 32 minutes when a foul on Ormerod gave them a free-kick 30-yards out.   Michael Ricketts stepped up to take it and hit a fierce drive that was just inches wide and ruffled the side netting.

Ormerod then shot straight at Brighton keeper Michel Kuipers which the keeper took two attempts to control.

Leon Knight nearly caught Sullivan out with a low drive that skipped off the wet surface that he did well to control but Brighton should have taken the lead with three minutes to play to half-time.

Gary Kelly's mistake as he tried to control a ball on the edge of his area presented Darren Currie with a great chance to score, but his shot across the face of goal was pushed the other side of the post by Sullivan. Strangely the referee gave a goal kick yet booked the United keeper for dissent.

Richardson nearly sent Danny Pugh clear on the stroke of half-time but the forward ball was just too far infront for the left winger to control.

Kevin Blackwell made one change at half-time, bringing on Brian Deane for Michael Ricketts.  Ricketts had come closest to a goal for United.

Leeds started the second brightly, both Pugh and Kilgallon were making progress down the left hand side and when Pugh fired in a cross into the area it was hacked away just before Ormerod could get there.

Five minutes after the restart and United missed another chance to score.  Richardson's cross was right into the centre where it found Brian Deane in space, but the striker misdirected his header and sent the ball well wide.

All United's good work went to waste just before half-time when Paul Butler conceded a free-kick 30-yards out on 58 minutes.

Currie's free-kick was low into the penalty area where Adam Virgo and Clarke Carlisle went for the ball together, the ball probably just coming off the United defender as it snuck inside the post.

Shortly afterwards Simon Walton got himself booked for a crunching challenge on Oatway and suddenly things had turned full circle for United.

Leeds tried hard to hit back as soon as they could, but kept missing what few chances came their way. Ormerod crossed from the right, Deane header was right into the path of Walton on the edge of the area but the teenager's control let him down as he blasted the shot over the bar.

United made a double change on 70 minutes, bringing Aaron Lennon and Matthew Spring on for Frazer Richardson and Simon Walton.

The two substitutes combined five minutes later to create another chance.  Lennon played the ball into Spring's feet and the midfielder missed the target with his low drive.

Two minutes later a free-kick from Spring was headed wide by Deane. The opportunities were there but simply were not being taken.

Matthew Kilgallon picked up an injury ten minutes before time but with United having already made all three substitutions he opted to stay on the field, a decision that was to cost him.
 
Five minutes before the end Kilgallon dived into the tackle with Gary Hart and was given his second yellow card of the afternoon, his first having come just after half time, and the red card quickly followed.
 
Paul Butler picked up another booking for Leeds just before the end when he let the referee know what he thought of his performance, but it didn't end there when Butler continued to argue with the referee and less than a minute later became the second man to be sent off for Leeds in this game.

The end could not have come soon enough for Leeds.

Brighton & Hove Albion

Starting XI

1Kuipers, Michel

28El-Abd, Adam

24Hinshelwood, Adam

14Butters, Guy

26Harding, Daniel

22Hammond, Dean

10Oatway, Charlie

12Carpenter, Richard

11Currie, Darren

19Virgo, Adam

7Knight, Leon

Substitutes

3Mayo, Kerry

9Hart, Gary

15Jones, Nathan

18Jarrett, Albert

33May, Chris

Leeds United

Starting XI

1Sullivan, Neil

2Kelly, Gary

4Carlisle, Clarke

6Butler, Paul

26Kilgallon, Matthew

8Gregan, Sean

12Pugh, Danny

15Richardson, Frazer

18Walton, Simon

9Ormerod, Brett

10Ricketts, Michael

Substitutes

13Carson, Scott

17Spring, Matthew

25Lennon, Aaron

27Woods, Martin

30Deane, Brian

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