Sunday, 12 July 2009
York City v Leeds Utd friendly July 12th 2009
So the close season waiting was over and today was the first match day of the new season with a short trip down the A19 to Kit Kat Crescent and the home of the minstermen, York City. York, fresh from their trip to Wembley in the FA Trophy and dallying with relegation from the Blue Square Premier, had had an active summer on the recruitment front and hopes were high that the fresh blood would bring not only much needed goals but any left footed player who might fit in on the left flank. This minor attempt at research of the opposition was carried out through my nephew who could be just about forgiven for following his "localish" team but not for choosing Chelski for his 2nd team. He clearly didn't get any guidance in the finer things in life such as choosing your Football team from my brother!
The Happy Chocker had chosen to chase the overtime pound down a big hole in Kellingley rather than watch the pre season fare but I was accompanied by my eldest daughter Claire, who enticed by all the tales of intrigue and excitement in following Leeds wanted to experience some of it for herself. Not sure that York City in a pre season friendly is the right place to start but beggars can't be choosers.
Pre match refreshment was taken at Wetherspoons along with Eddie, Twizzler, Brainbox and Denby where numerous fellow Leeds fans had swamped the bar staff with their thirsty palette's. After a brisk walk across town past the queuing cars and the annual Dragon Boat race on the Ouse we crammed into the away end terracing along with over 2500 fellow Leeds devotees.
Larry had decided to play two teams, one in each half, to have a look at all his current resources. Clearly the speculation over whether messrs Beckford and Delph are bound for pastures new hadn't impacted the selection as Becks lined up in the first half and Delph's silky skills adorned the 2nd period. Some what surprisingly there was no adverse reaction from the visiting fans to Mr Beckford's position on the transfer list.
The Leeds team was sprinkled with youngsters so after quite a bit playing who's who in identifying the new lads, not helped by the mis information from the tannoy, the game kicked off. It's at this point that you remember that this is nothing more than an extended training run for the teams and the pace of the opening quarter reflected that. Nephew and his cronies in the David Longhurst stand tried to drum up some atmosphere with some well thought out taunts of the Leeds hordes ..............."We all hate Leeds scum" and "You're not famous" drifted into the afternoon air ffs.
The Leeds fans were content to watch the game and the vast majority seemed to have left their singing voices at home as the atmosphere in the crowd matched the activity on the pitch.
Huntington was starting a game for the first time in an age and had an assured start and new signing Crowe was showing just why he scores so many goals from full back by rattling in 3 shots in the first 20 minutes. York looked lively when they had the ball and one of their trialists was showing some promise on the left flank. The match was awoken out it's torpour by a cracking goal from York on 25 minutes which our new goalie Higgs never got near. Stung into some sort of life Leeds pushed on only for White and Beckford to combine and miss an open goal from about 6mm out! At least the York fans were laughing. The ever reliable and hard working Becchio brought the whites level on 40 minutes after good work by young Aidey White, who was playing in left midfield. By this time most of the Leeds fans near us were berating an officious steward who had brought a member of the North Yorks constabulary to deal with a couple of errant Leeds fans who were "sat menacingly" on a wall behind the terrace in order to get a better view. It's good to know that the "jobsworth" mentality is still with us this season!
Half time saw the team change. The first half had seen little in creative chances from Leeds but Messrs Huntington, Crowe, White, Lees and Parker would have been pleased with their efforts.
Robbo, Enoch and Fab entered the fray in the 2nd half and soon Big Enoch's rather unconventional style was creating mayhem through his strong running but there was no little laughter as he strode onto a sweet through ball from Robbo only to chip 20 yards wide of the goalie. The extra guile from Robbo, looking trim and nearly fit, and Delph told in this period and Leeds were soon 3.1 up through young Whitwell and Milne both with well taken goals. In between times a steward who was a dead ringer for Meatloaf had unwittingly kept part of the Leeds crowd amused instigating a chorus of "Meatloaf Meatloaf give us a song" It was that sort of afternoon.
Just when I was thinking the 2nd half had lasted about 90 minutes the official announced the added time..................cue York to score a 2nd cracker and then before you could say...........remember Crewe at home last year..........they'd scored again, through the mysterious and illusive Mr X, so the game ended all square at 3:3.
From the 2nd half starters Robbo, Delph and in his own way Enoch were the stand out players. Tom Elliot was disappointing and Lubo was Lubo. Jesus made a sneaky appearance under the disguise of a new haircut. Alan Martin and Casper shared the goalie duties for the period with Casper's only real task was to pick the ball out of the net twice.
All in all a very low key match with a sting in the tail. York will be pleased with their performance and the fact that they now can score goals. Leeds will be glad to get a game under their belts. Claire enjoyed the experience and couldn't get over the fact that everywhere we turned there were Leeds fans..............suspect this is not the last game she will see this season. I don't think we learnt much from the game but with Becks and Delph starting maybe their moves are not as imminent as is commonly thought..........but why was Mr Kilkenny missing?