Saturday, 22 August 2009
Leeds United v Tranmere Rovers Aug 22nd 2009
The sign on platform 2 of Selby station was creaking in the wind as it's been doing for the last two years. I think I'll bring my own WD40 next week and fix it! Welly had joined our usual crew for the short train ride into God's city and was already moaning like an orgasmic woman about how long we had to wait for the train. So the day had a familiarity to it that I'd seen many times before and with one eye on England's progress in the ashes test off we set. Confidence was all around...........even the usually cautious Happy Chocker was predicting a 3:0 win against my 4:0, all brought on by 4 straight wins so far this season. Everything seems to be in place for a massive promotion push without need for those awful play off games based on the way we have started the league campaign and another win today against a struggling Rovers side would send a strong message to the rest of the division. After a quick chat with facebook Bob, selling his programmes outside the printing shop, I was in my seat ready for the kick off in the bright sunshine. Same team as last week but a much more assured start from the whites. Within seconds we could have gone ahead as Becchio released Beckford who brought a magical save from Daniels in the Rovers goal.......his Dad would have liked that a lot!
That set the tone for the game as Leeds tore a poor Tranmere side to pieces with some sublime football that had fans and commentators alike purring with delight. Within 5 minutes Beckford beat the despairing Daniels again only to be denied by the post, the first of 4 attempts that were to rattle the woodwork of the hapless Tranmere team. Leeds were playing with confidence and at a higher tempo than last week and it was no surprise to anyone in the ground when we took the lead just after 10 minutes. Good work by Howson released Crowe who flew down the wing and crossed for the hard working Becchio to meet it with his head gooooooooooooal.......no another great save but Johnson's on hand to slot the ball into the Tranmere net. 1:0. John Barnes, the Tranmere manager, looked liked a man in the condemned cell waiting for his execution. Leeds were so much in control it was almost embarrassing and but for the athletic Daniels in the Tranmere goal Leeds would have been out of sight before the half hour mark as it was we had to wait until the 35th minute for the next goal courtesy of Mr Beckford as he devoured a mistake in the Tranmere defence to roll the ball past the goalie into the net. 2:0.
At the other end Higgs was awaken from his slumbers by a deflected chip by Moore but other than that he was giving a good impression of a spectator..........I bet he thinks he's dropped on his feet signing for Leeds!
Johnson was having a superb game following on from where he left off on Tuesday and he nearly added to the Leeds total as the whites battered the demoralised Tranmere side. Judging by the small number of away fans that had made the trip most of their fans must have known they were in for a hammering today and decided to stay at home and steal some hubcaps!
The only surprise when the HT whistle went was that Leeds were only 2:0 up but the game was already over as a contest as the whites trotted off to a standing ovation. Beckford was in peerless form and with Johnson, Doyle, Howson and Snoddy pulling the strings in the middle Leeds were operating like a well oiled swiss clock. A glance at the test score and we were piling on an unsummountable total for the Aussies to chase aswell. Once again life was damn good watching Leeds.
Things were that bad for Tranmere they brought Michael Ricketts on for the start of the 2nd half looking decidedly heavy in the pie storing department. Leeds continued to dominate the match and with the whites attacking the kop any neutrals in the ground would be fearing for Tranmere. Beckford was absolutely unstoppable as he made runs across and behind the wafer thin Tranmere defence and if it wasn't for Daniels, the magician in the Tranmere goal Leeds could have won 7 or 8 nil. As it was I can remember Beckford jinking through to chip the goalie only for the ball to rebound from the bar, then hit an absolute rocket from 25 yards that nearly broke the bar............even Kisnorbo had a shot tipped over along with Johnson. It seemed that every time we got the ball it ended up with either the goalie or the woodwork preventing the third goal. At the other end of the pitch Higgs was now sat in a deck chair eating an ice cream and listening to his iPod!
With 10 minutes left Snoddy & Doyle gave way fro Robbo and Kilkenny to be followed by man of the match Beckford making way for Grella. Needless to say Jermaine got a thoroughly deserved standing ovation. Hope it's not his last at ER?
Leeds still piled forward and the 3rd goal came after Johnson had smacked the bar with a free kick and Becchio headed home in the scramble for the rebound.......just reward for an excellent shift from Lucciano. Robbo tried to mount Becchio during the celebrations? Must be something they practice on the training ground!. There was still time left for Grella to show some nice touches again but once more the final product wasn't a goal.
3:0 to Leeds and a 5th straight win of the season and a 13th straight league win at ER. Those stats are mightily impressive as were Leeds today. All the missing bits from the earlier games came together today and in doing so Leeds put on an awesome display that will have the bookmakers scuttling for cover over their book for the League 1 title. You could feel the expectation and confidence of the fans as we left the ground. The belief is back and we are on a roll. The only black cloud surrounds Beckford's future at the club...............if the silly money that Bates has said will be the only thing to prise him away from ER come along this week then we could be a little less optimistic about our promotion prospects, after saying that the team were outstanding today and even without JB will be a match to any team in the division.
Roll on Tuesday and Watford in the Carling Cup and dare I say it our 6th straight win? Can't wait.