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banner Monday, 7 January, 2002, 13:37 GMT
Legg will support Smith appeal
Alan Smith sees red against Cardiff City
Alan Smith sees red against Cardiff City
Cardiff defender Andy Legg has promised to help Leeds striker Alan Smith in his appeal against his latest sending-off.

Smith was shown the red card for the sixth time in his career during yesterday's explosive and controversial FA Cup third-round defeat to Second Division Cardiff at Ninian Park.

With the tie delicately balanced at 1-1, the turning point of the match arrived just before half-time when Smith attempted to fend off the unwanted attentions of Legg as the left-back had a firm hold of his shirt.

Smith, in trying to free himself and run on, caught Legg in the face with his forearm - the defender then holding his mouth as he fell to the ground.

I don't think there was any malice or intent involved
Cardiff City's Andy Legg

Smith's reputation - not for the first time - seemed to precede him as referee Andy D'Urso did not hesitate in issuing the red card, his fifth for Leeds to add to the one received at England Under-21 level.

Manager David O'Leary felt Smith had been "disgracefully done by", before accusing referees in general of having "an agenda" against the 21-year-old.

Legg said: "At the end of the day I've caused the foul because I've held him.

"I was aware of his pace and I didn't want him to turn me and run me. I was tight to him and holding him, and to be fair to him he was just trying to shrug me off.

"I don't think there was any malice or intent involved. It's just he was trying to get rid of me, and unfortunately he's caught me and cut my mouth.

Andy Legg shows his bloodied mouth to the rest of the players
Andy Legg shows his bloodied mouth to the rest of the players

"I was disappointed to see him get sent off, but it seems you can't raise your arms at all these days. You do that and you are in trouble.

"But I'd be willing to help the lad if necessary - of course I would. I would say exactly what I'm saying here because I think I'm an honest player."

Legg, renowned as a long-throw specialist, did not appreciate the `cheat' accusations which flew his way from a number of Leeds players while Smith was in the process of receiving his marching orders.

"Fifteen minutes earlier he had kicked me off the ball, but I never made an issue of it because that's the way I am," added Legg.

"That's the way I've been brought up.

"I'm really disappointed he's gone because at the end of the day people are going to say I went down too easily.

"Some of the Leeds players called me a cheat after he had gone, but when I got up and they saw the blood coming from my mouth they stopped calling me a cheat so much."

Links to more FA Cup stories are at the foot of the page.


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