Tuesday, 10 March 2009
Leeds United v Yeovil Town 10th March 2009
The Happy Chocker and Brother Chris picked Welly and I up for the trip down the M62 for tonight's game with the Glovers of Yeovil. Once we had heard of Welly's golfing exploits over the weekend in Toon country we settled into the evening's heated debate over the laziness or otherwise of a certain misunderstood Mr Beckford. After Saturday's mis-firing performance and lack of celebration after Snoddy's wonder goal the one thing we all agreed on was we wanted better from him tonight. Having agreed to disagree on JB we managed one more dispute before we parked up for the game when I commented that Millwall had taken the largest number of supporters to a Wembley game when they found 70,000 fans to go to some nondescript final, JPT/LDV or the like, a few years ago. I'm sure even now Brother Chris and Welly will be scouring Googles inner vaults to find the answer! We only just had time for a quick drink before we were in our seats and ready for the evening's fare. As expected the team was the same from Saturday with Robbo, Hughes and Fraser still sidelined by injury. Trundle didn't make the team and will now presumably return to Bristol City. The match kicked off with just over 18,000 die hards in the stadium including a bus full from Yeovil. It took Leeds a good 10 minutes to settle in which time Yeovil had the better of a breezy opening. Surely we weren't going to capitulate against a team struggling to find confidence and victories of late. The Happy Chocker gloomily suggested that it could be one of THOSE nights.......................but it couldn't be because today is my birthday and having spent my birthday wish on a comfortable three points for the whites things were surely going to get better? Sure enough my wish began to look all the more likely as the midfield duo of Kilkenny and Howson started to exert their considerable influence on the game and Leeds took control. Beckford was having a good game............even making some tackles and holding the ball up better than we dare expect and I started to get that warm comfortable feeling of confidence that is generated by an assured performance by the men in white. It wasn't long before we were one up...................who else but Mr Beckford popping up to guide the ball past the Yeovil goalie and into the net. Fantastic. Just as when you wait a long time for a bus and two come at once the same applies to Mr B and within 5 minutes he thought he'd netted his 2nd only for a flagging linesman to chalk it off for offside. Leeds were well on top and purring like a well oiled machine with all the usual suspects pulling the strings, Howson, Killa, Snoddy & Delph were having a field day in midfield whilst at the back Rui was continuing his run of excellent form. Casper had a flap at one cross just to keep us on our toes and up front Becchio and Becks were proving a real handful for the inept Yeovil back four. Murmurings of "We need another before half time" drifted from the kop, well at least from block N5, and Killa must have heard because he then delivered the goods in spectacular fashion as he picked the ball up 25 yards out and smashed an unstoppable shot past the despairing Goalie. I could almost hear Stevie Wonder singing "Happy Birthday to you" We finished the half on a high and could even have gone in 3 up.
The smiles on the faces of the Koppites were in stark contrast to the glum looks at Full time on Saturday. The HT crossbar challenge was won by a lad from Wakey who gleefully grabbed the winning prizes of a signed ball and a DAB radio.
Leeds started the 2nd half as they finsihed the 1st half in the ascendency and we sat back and waited for the goal feast as we knocked the ball around with supreme confidence and in doing so frequently tearing the Glovers defence to shreds. Beckford's inevitable 2nd goal came courtesy of an exquisite defence splitting pass from Man of the Match Kilkenny and moments later he nearly had his hat trick as he was denied twice by the legs of the Yeovil goalie and the desperate Yeovil centre half. But their defence was playing with all the conviction of King Canute and they could not stem the goal tide as Howson assisted Mr B to his hat trick, imagine how many he'd score if wasn't so lazy!
Leeds were looking as if they were going to score every time they attacked now and when Snoddy again turned his full back inside out and crossed for Becchio a certain goal was prevented by a foul on the big Argentinian. What followed was one of the most bizare things I've witnessed on a football pitch. First Becchio picked up the ball to take the penalty only to be confronted by Super Snoddy anxious to get on the score sheet himself. After a bout of tussling over the ball like two terriers fighting over a bone Naylor stepped into mediate and nominated Becchio to take the penalty. Interestingly it was Beckford who consoled Snoddy before Luciano reprised his miss at Brighton by blazing the penalty over the bar.
Snoddy's face was a picture.
Grella came on for the last 10 minutes and this time impressed with his intelligent running and touch on the ball against a completely demoralised Yeovil team. The game finsihed with just the four goals but it could easily have been more.
The buzz of the crowd leaving the famous old stadium was laced with confidence born out of a sixth straight home win and a fifth game unbeaten for the mighty whites. Realistically Yeovil are a poor team but the way Leeds destroyed them is certainly encouraging and bodes well for the next couple of games against Swindon & Crewe before we take on high flying MK franchise.
It's nice when your birthday wish comes true.