Deane raises Leeds spirits

 

BRIAN DEANE came off the substitutes bench to chase away Leeds gloom and deepen Southampton's relegation worries. Leeds had little to offer until Deane replaced 17 year old defender Harry Kewell at the start of the second half.

But the former Sheffield United striker sparked a much needed transformation and crowned one of his best displays of the season with a 73rd minute winner.

Gary McAllister's corner was headed towards the far post by David Wetherall and Deane was perfectly positioned to nod in his ninth goal of the season.

It was a massive relief for Leeds manager Howard Wilkinson, who has been under pressure from the Elland Road faithful since the English League Cup final flop against Aston Villa at Wembley.

It was also a massive blow to Southampton's hopes of Premier League survival, especially as they had looked well capable of escaping with a point until Deane's intervention.

They defended solidly and created some clear cut opportunities, only for Matthew Le Tissier to fail three times when he might have ended his goal drought.

Paul Tidsdale also contrived to miss an open goal and substitute Chris Warren should have punished a bad mistake by Leeds goalkeeper John Lukic just before the end.

There was comedy immediately after Deane's goal when a manhole cover near the touch line burst open.