Tuesday, 27 January 2009
Leeds United v Southend United Jan 27th 2009
It doesn't seem 2 minutes since we were leaving Elland Road after our fine win over the Posh but I find myself in the car with Chris, the Happy Chocker, Welly and his mate going back to the theatre of frustration for tonight's game against the Shrimpers from Southend. Judging by the banter in the car the confidence the team displayed on Saturday has spilled over into our little group of fans as we discussed all things Leeds and car parking! The news that the opposition didn't even have enough fit players to fill their bench gave us even more of a lift.For me night matches have their own unique atmosphere that you can feel as soon as you leave the car and walk down Elland Road. The cold night air on your face and the mixture of smells of first burger & onions and then fish & chips give me a strange recognition of familiarity on the walk to Billys Bar for a swift pre match pint courtesy of Welly.We take our seats in the kop just in time as the teams emerge from the tunnel on a drizzly unwelcoming West Yorkshire evening. Beckford starts up front with Trundle, a mouth watering combination if ever I saw one, and the buzz of anticipation soon spreads round a decent crowd of over 20,000.Our friends the steward gestapo are soon in full cry as Leeds start like a house on fire and before we know it we are 2 goals up with headed goals from Naylor and Rui within ten minutes of the start. Optimistically yours truly rather prematurely starts singing "we're gonna win 6:0" as I was carried away on the euphoria of watching the whites carry on where they left off on Saturday. Robbo was popping up all over the field, Dougie was as busy as ever in midfield and Becks up front was darting here there and everywhere. I think its safe to say that poor Southend didn't know what had hit them.
So we settled back and waited for the avalanche of goals.....................bit it never came.
The first half became more scrappy as the game went on with both teams guilty of giving away possession far too easily but Leeds were well in control of the game as the half came to an end. Strange half really..................it was if the early goals had killed off Southend and although Leeds didn't really sit back neither did they completely close out the game.
Kop Kat tried to entertain us during the interval with first his impressive crossbar challenge routine and then with his mimicking of the Southend reserve goalie during his warm up.......don't think the Alan Minter lookalike goalie was amused though.
The 2nd half became a frustrating affair with Leeds having a number of chances to add to their early goals but never finding the back of the net through a combination of a couple of good saves from the tall goalie and some wasteful final balls. Robbo disappeared grumpily to a standing ovation to be replaced by Snoddy and after that the game petered out more of a damp squib than a rousing finale.
In the end it was a workmanlike performance from Leeds ensuring a comfortable win that will certainly add to their recent deposits in the confidence bank. I get the feeling that although there are still one or two areas to tighten up on we are well set for the "squeaky bum" time of the season and like a good stayer in the National we are just beginning to make an assault on the league at the right time.
The general opinion in the car on the way home was that we killed them off far too early for it to be an entertaining game but the result was a good one especially with teams above us slipping up. I'm sure the likes of MK Dons & Peterboro to name a few are nervously looking over their shoulders as this sleeping giant shows all the signs of reawakening under the guidance of Larry, the loan arranger.
On Saturday we will be back on the train to Walsall and dare I say it a strong possibility of another 3 points..........................if I'm not careful I will start thinking we can extend our unbeaten run into April and overhaul Leicester at the top.............now where's those sanity pills.