since 1878

Leeds United (1) 1 - 1 (0) Ipswich Town

Coca-Cola Championship 2006-07

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Referee: MJ Jones

Manager: Dennis Wise

Elland Road 15:00

Attendance: 31,269

Manager: Jim Magilton

Match Number: 3208


 Cresswell (12)
 Alan Lee (88)


LewisElliott (77)
BlakeMoore (82)
GrayKandol (88)


 Thompson (28)
 Foxe (54)
 Blake (71)
 Gary Roberts (55)
 Owen Garvan (75)
 Billy Clarke (90)






Rui Marques















Match Report

Pitch invasion postpones the inevitable as fallen giants fall further

Leeds United scurried from the pitch with the supporters in the stands shouting "You're the scum of Elland Road", but they were not referring to the players as the match drew to a chaotic conclusion with a result that left those same fans making tentative plans for trips to Hartlepool and Walsall next season. Those arrangements will almost certainly have to be firmed up next week as League One beckons.

Leeds have to aim not just for victory at promotion-chasing Derby County a week today, but also for a goal tally heading towards double figures if they are to save themselves at Hull City's expense. Alan Lee's equaliser in the 88th minute prompted a pitch invasion, set the teams running for the safety of the dressing rooms and sparked chaotic scenes as spectators and players alike wondered if the match was over or, if not, whether it would be completed. The harsh chants were directed by supporters who had stayed in the stands at those who invaded the pitch.

The chaos, which kept the players off the pitch before the game was completed, prompted a quick response from the game's authorities. John Nagle, the Football League's head of communications, said: "It is deplorable for supporters to enter the field of play at any time. The events at Elland Road will be a matter for the Football Association to investigate and these actions by a minority of Leeds supporters could have serious consequences for the club."

Dennis Wise, the Leeds manager, refused to comment on the unsavoury scenes, saying: "It's a sad enough day as it is. I don't want to talk about that."

From European Cup semi- final to League One has been a grim journey, marked by a sense of inevitability as Leeds have tried to recover from the catastrophic financial pressure created first by the failure to secure a place in the continent's premier club competition and then exacerbated by relegation from the Premiership. Richard Cresswell's first-half strike looked likely to be enough to bring Dennis Wise's side some relief until Lee's glancing header to a cross by Gary Roberts delivered what looks much more than a glancing blow to the former European Cup finalists.

For all the passion and noise from the terraces, it took Leeds 11 minutes to create an opening, David Healy firing over the crossbar from Cresswell's knockdown. But, 60 seconds later, the home side got the early breakthrough they craved. Alan Thompson laid on a golden chance for Healy with an inch-perfect 40-yard pass after brilliantly turning his man on the halfway line. Healy raced in on goal only to see his fierce angled shot parried by Shane Supple, but the ball bounced to Cresswell and the Leeds striker stooped to head home.

Lee was wayward with his header from Roberts' cross soon after the restart, with Leeds fans reminded that one goal was unlikely to prove enough. News then filtered through that Hull had taken the lead at Cardiff and anxiety swept the terraces.

It began to look as if Leeds might escape with the points but disaster struck when Lee reached Roberts' cross. Barring something spectacular a week today, those trips to Hartlepool and Walsall will be confirmed for the next sad chapter in the Leeds United story.

Mark Walker (The Independent)

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