Saturday, 22 November 2008
Leeds Utd v Hartlepool Utd 22nd Nov 2008
A decidedly nippy winter chill greeted us as we waited for the train on Selby station. Definitely a day for hats, coats and scarves, especially if you were watching 22 men kick a ball around a field, so it was with some disbelief that I watched a young fan in only the thinnest of T shirts shivering to death as he waited with the rest of the mighty whites fanatics for 1.09 train.............that'll teach him to dress like an all American boy in deepest November in North Yorkshire me thinks!
The win in the cup at Northampton had breathed fresh impetus into the chattering fans on the way to the game compensating for the dampening effect of the cold weather. Peter Lorimer and Paul Reaney were holding court in the members bar when we got there and as we warmed our insides with the delicious Pie and Peas the two former greats discussed the desperate need to strengthen the centre of the defence if we were to gain automatic promotion. The way Reaney was going on I wouldn't have been surprised if he'd got his boots with him and was planning on popping into the dressing room on the off chance.................but he stayed and regaled us with a story of how after a recent operation on his knee his former colleague and friend sniffer Clarke had travelled the length of Yorkshire to visit him and give him a bed bath! I'd a thought a bunch of grapes would have been fine?
So with the Quiet One demolishing his plate of Pie & Peas and HC and me catching up with the young guns Jason, Denby & Brainbox KO time approached. Prutton had deservedly kept his midfield spot as had Lucas in goal. Snoddy was unlucky to be warming the bench as the double Becs started up front. Macca had rightly gone for an attacking formation to build on the five goals we stuck past the Cobblers.
Once in the ground we met up with the Tree Frog and his son who this time had managed to get to the ground without acting as boxing referee in the club shop.
The match began as is now becoming routine with Leeds quickly into their stride and looking dangerous everytime they attack. The problem is that when a move breaks down that famously fragile defence looks nervous and jittery and with the Pool quick to capitalise on the break the early signs weren't good. Mr Beckford soon put our minds at rest with a well taken header to add to his hat trick earlier in the week.
That sparked the crowd of just over 21,000 into life and things were looking good..............that is until Hartlepool scored an equaliser from , yes you've guessed it, another corner. Strangely a Hartlepool fan jumped up and celebrated the goal just a row behind me in the kop..................not the best call he's ever made I think and it wasn't long before the stewards escorted him to a safer part of the ground. On the subject of the stewards I have kept my powder dry in recent weeks but they were back at their loony best today imploring everyone to sit down every two minutes even when we were attacking.
This culminated in them throwing out three fans who were committing the heinous crime of standing up and singing....................admittedly every time the stewards asked for fans to sit down the ringleader of the gang of three would get to his feet for a chorus of "Stand up and sing for Leeds"..................I just thought he would have been better singing "Stand up if your nose is cold" and then everyone would have been up!
So into HT level but as the 2nd half got underway it was only a matter of time before Leeds superiority told and sure enough Fabulous Fabian scored the 2nd followed by Becchio making the game safe with a well taken centre forward's goal.
Of course Leeds wouldn't be Leeds if they did not give the opposition a chance and we were lucky to get away with what seemed a fair penalty claim after further frantic defending. Beckford finished the match off with his 2nd of the game and 5th of the week to give the home side a well deserved 4:1 triumph. Prutton was my man of the match for his industrious all action efforts in midfield with other eye catching performances from Beckford, Delph and Becchio.
So with another win safely tucked away at Elland Road we made our way back to the station, via a freezing wait for the shuttle buses. Our mood was slightly tempered with the news of the other results keeping us still in 6th spot in the league.
Northampton next on Tuesday night, sounds familiar, and hopefully 3 more points in the bag.