Saturday, 14 February 2009
Huddersfield Town V Leeds United feb 14th 2009
An early start for the noon kick off with our West Yorkshire rivals was needed as The Happy Chocker picked me up for the short journey to Selby station. Something was not quite right inside the car? For a start the Quiet One was perched in the back seat and not his favorite front seat. The inside also smelled as if HC had had a glue sniffing competition on the way. The explanation of a weeks worth of leaking parrafin on the back seat coupled with the news that brother Chris had discovered the extent of the leak when he sat on the dampest patch did make me chuckle. Chris's dry cleaning bill is on it's way me thinks.The train journey was not long, just time for two cans and a Dawsons Pasty, and when we pulled into the station there was the expected welcome from the massed ranks of West Yorkshires finest boys in blue.
The walk to the ground along with other eager fans from both sides added to the anticipation of the fare to follow. I for one was quietly confident after Monday's mauling of Millwall despite the absence of Beckford. We met up with Darlo Liam and Jonty in the ground and continued the pre match debate. Suddenly in the middle of a deep and meaningful assessment of Snoddy' value to the team I noticed Darlo Liam was wearing some of the most ridiculous shoes ever seen at a football match.................and I thought winkle pickers had gone out with the end of the swinging sixties!
The match started with lots of hustle and bustle but it was the Puppy dogs who were getting the better of the opening quarter, especially raiding down Leeds' left. Possession was given away too easily by Leeds time and again and as I looked at the less than Happy Chocker there was a look of "we've seen it all before" written across his face. As the half progressed the lack of action by the Leeds team quietened the 4000 away fans as the Puppy dogs took control.
So it was no surprise when they took the lead from a corner (where've we heard that before) to send their largest crowd of the season into Ecstasy. The only good thing was that I snapped the goal moment (right) as Nathan Clark rose unchallenged to head home. Once again the pre match expectation and optimism was well and truly shot and I began to have that sinking feeling that accompanies frustrating Leeds performances of late. We struggled to half time with only a brief assault on the home goal when Robbo had a twinkling run that ended with a deflected shot over the bar.
During the HT break there wasn't much cheer amongst the packed Leeds stands as they reflected on a poor 1st half showing. On the pitch a well proportioned Udders fan thought it would be the ultimate Valentines Day gesture if he proposed to his equally well proportioned girlfriend on the pitch............somebody should have had a quite word in his ear as the Leeds fans had a loud one singing "You don't know what your doing" much to the amusement of the rest of the crowd. With the highlight of the afternoon over the 2nd half kicked off with Leeds showing an improved urgency and resolve as they attacked their massed ranks of fans behind the goal. Snoddy was having another good game and Delph began to free himself from his markers and started to influence with his telling cross field balls. Unfortunately he chose the wrong option though when he danced through the home midfield and chose to go himself instead of freeing Trundle who had a sight of goal. This sort of summed up the afternoon for me.............something was not quite right with the Leeds play all the game.
As the game entered the last ten minutes Leeds piled forward and went close on a couple of occasions, Naylors header hitting the post being the closest. But with young Smithies in fine form between the Udders sticks it was not to be and when the ref put us out of our misery with his final whistle there weren't many Leeds fans who were arguing with the result.
The frustrated whites fans found it difficult not to react to their gloating neighbours as the crowds left the stadium and a number of "heated debates" broke out under the watchful eye of the boys in blue and for that matter the dogs in blue.
So a very disappointing game. We certainly lack any sort of pace up front without JB and this enabled the strong Udders back four to push up and compress, safe in the knowledge that neither Becchio or Trundle had the pace to trouble them. In midfield Dougie had a poor game for the most part looking very laboured in every thing he did resulting in Delph having to battle alone for the majority of the game against a feisty Udders midfield.
As I've said previously a weeks a long time in Football and so this game proved as all the good work on Monday night in gaining 3 points against promotion rivals was undone in our own West Yorkshire backyard. Being a Leeds fan is can be very demanding and today was certainly one of the more demanding days. I'm afraid words like Play offs and promotion can't be considered with performances like this.
Hereford away on Tuesday.............lets hope we can put things right and come away with 3 points. I'm already nervous.