Saturday, 24 January 2009
Leeds United v Peterborough United Jan 24th 2009
For today's crucial 6 pointer with The Posh I had the pleasure of the company of the Happy Chocker and Chris together with Welly as we made our way by car to ER. I don't think we'd got more than 2 miles down the road before the perennial debate about where to park raised it's head and this took precedent over Larry's possible selections for the game or who we were likely to buy before the end of the transfer window.....................so this week Welly got his way and we diverted off the M62 to the M621 to go the "quick" way and find a "parking spot that we will be able to get straight away after the match"...........anyhow after a nice tour of a very full industrial estate just off the M621 we finally parked in our normal spot in the LUFC car park.
We doused our pre match nerves with some drinks in Billys Bar hopeful of meeting some of the 606ers at the match but to no avail.
We did however swap notes with the Wakey Warriors about their thoughts on last weeks win at Brighton. I was in the most optimistic pre match mood for quite some time buoyed by the arrival of Naylor to stiffen up the defence and the different mouth watering options we have up front with Beckford fit again. Once the team had been announced with Robbo and Trundle in the starting line up and Jermaine keeping the bench warm for the start there was an excited air of expectation wafting around the famous stadium.
The match started as it was to progress for the full 90 minutes in a surprisingly open and end to end format with both teams not afraid to get the ball down and play at a brisk tempo..............gone are the days of the methodical precise build up a la Gary Mac.........we now have a much more pragmatic approach based on winning the ball positively at the back and then attacking at speed.
Chances came and went at each end and the dangerous George Boyd tested the newly confident Casper with two searching shots from long range, whilst at the other end Becchio was working as tirelessly as ever and Trundle, whilst being less active, looked a threat whenever he found himself with the ball. Things were looking good and this battle hardened Leeds fan was begining to think he was seeing the "green shoots of recovery" for the whites promotion challenge but as ever when watching Leeds just when you think things are going well............................this time it wasn't on the pitch where the problem was it was in the stands, more to the point it was all the hi-vis wearing Jobsworth stewards who seemed intent on spoiling the day. Right from the start they enthusiastically enforced the "don't stand " and "don't enjoy" policy and not surprisingly this riled one or two fans who were doing nothing more than trying to enjoy the game...............so when they called the police to eject a fan who had stood up for too long????? ffs the crowd left them in no doubt what they thought with some well crafted advice on choosing a worthwhile profession and how remarkably similar they were to the Waffen SS in the WW2. Unfortunately for the Happy Chocker he was heard above the din advising one of the Ubersturmfurhers to "take his Hook off" or I think that's what he said and before you could say "Have a nice day" he was whisked off to the back for a severe bollocking! Thankfully he soon returned much to the merriment of Chris and I.
Back to the match and as the first half finished Leeds were on a high playing with confidence and just edging the first 45 minutes of an entertaining game. They deservedly disappeared down the tunnel with loud cheers and applause ringing in their ears in contrast to vitriol aimed at Fergie's son..........I'm sure when he watches the video of the match this week it will be with the sound on mute as the Kop reminded him of his penchant for wife beating and his appalling parentage.
The Posh started the 2nd half the better and wrestled control of the game back from Leeds in what was turning out to be on of the most absorbing games seen at ER this season as the Gypsy like Boyd give a masterclass performance in the attacking midfiled role..............but these days there is much more steel in the Leeds defence and we manned the barricades admirably, ably led by the new Capt Phsyco Naylor.
Probably I shouldn't have laughed at The Happy Chocker for his brush with the Gestapo as I was about to fall foul of them for taking photos! What? Apparently I needed a licence to take my amateur snaps and was warned of dire circumstances if I didn't stop......Vee know where you live.....Vee vill invade your house..........Vee vill confiscate your photos.........Vee vill start the 4th Reich for the glory of the mighty Stewardland!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This distracted me from the game slightly not before I had snapped Mr Beckford coming onto replace the tired Becchio. Almost straight away the undoubted extra pace he possesses created havoc in the resolute Posh back four and when Lewis in the Posh goal spilled a fierce free kick from Johnson Beckford swooped like a Panther to nip the ball home and break the deadlock. Elland Road erupted and shared with the joy that Beckford greeted his goal. Leeds were now in the ascendency and with a betting slip with a Leeds 2:0 win in my back pocket I shouted myself hoarse urging the whites forward. I didn't have to wait long before Becks doubled his tally for the afternoon after Trundle wrongfooted the defence with a peach of a ball invitingly into the path of the eager Leeds frontman. More eruptions...More joy...more standing up...more stewards telling us to sit down. Can you believe it?
Leeds were now dominating the game but whether through design or a tactical switch from the wife beater suddenly we were back pedalling as the Posh pushed on to try and save the game. My worst fears were realised as not only did they pull one back ensuring a nervy final 10 minutes but ruined my possible £20 in winnings. Leeds were not to be denied though as Howson secured the win with a goal that any one of three players could have scored.
So after the dark days of winter on the run up to Xmas Leeds have certainly started to look like promotion material..............still a long way to go but with performances like this we could sneak into the automatic promotion spots..............Ahhhh that sounds better.
Sarfend on Tuesday night. Can't wait!