Southend pay the penalty as Leeds go top TSS September 12, 2009 Match reviews 15 Comments I had doubts about whether we could get a win at Roots Hall days before the game kicked off. In the last few seasons Leeds away to Southend has produced just four goals and the Whites have left Essex with just one point from three visits. Although Southend aren’t the greatest of teams to watch, they know how to keep teams from scoring. They’re well organised, close the opposition down quickly and will be tricky for anyone to take points from this season. What Steve Tilson has done with such a small team and a club that’s seen it’s fair share of financial turmoil really has to be applauded. It’s not that Leeds didn’t have their chances, there was just very few good ones. Beckford probably had the best chance in the second half but tried to pass the ball in when he really should have hammered it. He had other chances besides, but nothing clear cut. Southend made it difficult for us to play football and the ref didn’t help matters either. The majority of attacks for both teams came from throws, corners and free-kicks as the game was stopped and started continually. No passing rythm ever really emerged for either side. Both teams fought for every ball and it spent a lot of time out of play. Long balls were battered from end to end and the match became a dull affair with little to get excited about. Southend got their best chance from a penalty. Leeds’ lack of luck from penalties lately has been well documented by the media, fansites and every forum you can find, so when Shane Higgs pulled off an impressive save it felt like the tides might just have turned. However, Leeds couldn’t capitalise on Southend’s failure to convert and the match ended 0-0. The final score was a fair reflection of a long, hard-fought battle with very few good chances for either team. As always, Leeds brought with them an impressive away following who were extremely vocal throughout the entire fixture. Southend’s fans were pretty quiet, but woke up from time to time, mostly when the Leeds fans taunted them. In fairness, there was little to sing about, but Leeds’ fans have been through the wars enough times and will always find something to keep themselves amused. After Higgs’ penalty save the travelling fans decided Capello was looking in the wrong place for the England goalkeeper and that Higgs is the countries number one. Although the 100% record has ended, I don’t think we can be too disappointed by the result. We knew this would be the toughest test so far and were never going to win every game. To come home with a point from Southend is a good result and I’m pretty happy with it overall. For the time being, we sit top of League One. Charlton travel to Southampton today in what could prove a tricky fixture for them, so maybe we’ll still be top this evening. Nice to see Dougie Freedman get on the pitch for Southend. Although his spell with us was brief, he’ll be remembered fondly by most fans after scoring five times in eleven appearences. Hate to finish negatively, but I was extremely disappointed in Becchio last night. I know he’s a bit of a cult hero to Leeds fans these days, but I remain unconvinced by him. Some days he can impress me and make a difference, whether it be provider or goalscorer, but others he tends to go missing. This was one of his invisible games where I hardly remember him being on the pitch. Maybe I’m being a little harsh on him, but when we’re struggling for ideas, he doesn’t seem to offer any. FInal Score: Southend 0-0 Leeds TSS man of the match Saving a penalty made the difference between coming home empty handed and leaving with a point. Higgs’ performance was very good all night, but for the penalty save alone he deserves man of the match.