Action Replay: Aizlewood goal 'salute' was no Mark of respect

Mark Aizlewood bought himself a ticket out of Leeds United with an amazing reaction to the winning goal against Walsall, 12 days before the end of the 1988-89 Division Two season.

United's captain was the victim of criticism from a restless crowd after missing a simple chance earlier, but he settled a clash against relegated opposition when he rose to head home another opportunity six minutes from time.

As Elland Road celebrated, Aizlewood ran towards the Kop and angrily flashed a double V-sign at the crowd, inciting a furious response.

The situation grew increasingly surreal as Aizlewood blew kisses towards the West Stand and then parted company with his armband as an irate Howard Wilkinson substituted his skipper.

The defender had no way of smoothing over the incident and by the start of the following season, he had joined Bradford for around 125,000. His header at the end of a mundane clash with Walsall was to be the denouement of his two-and-a-half year career with Leeds.

Walsall enjoyed the better of the first half and should have taken the lead with one of two chances which fell to striker Stuart Rimmer before the break.

Mervyn Day denied him on both occasions while Day's opposite number, Fred Barber, kept out United's best effort at the other end, a volley from Gordon Strachan which was palmed away.

Howard Pritchard then cleared a John Sheridan shot off the goalline and Aizlewood had little excuse for drilling a header from six yards over the crossbar after Sheridan's cross set him up perfectly. He redeemed himself soon after – but only for a matter of seconds.

United: Day, A Williams, Whitlow, Aizlewood (Batty 84), Blake, Fairclough, Strachan, Sheridan, Baird, Davison (Haddock 51), Hilaire.

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