Sunday, 6 September 2009
Leeds v Stockport Sept 5th 2009
The Happy Chocker had the Jolly Pubman with him for this week's trip to the Theatre of Hope and our clash with Stockport. As ever there were plenty of fellow Leeds fans piling onto the train at Selby station for the short trip into God's city. The rest of the train was packed with a plethora of single sex parties intent on celebrating birthday's, weddings and even shopping trips, God forbid. All contributed to an excited mix of anticipation of the events to come.Our anticipation was slightly different though, Leeds are on a winning run of 7 matches for this season and hoping to make it 8 against the Hatters and this has contributed to an almost monotonous feeling that we can win every game. Now that's no bad thing, don't get me wrong, but at this time last year part of the excitement of the pre match build up was not knowing which team or which player was going to "turn up" so to have a settled, confident team playing highly effective football and swatting each team they come across like a dosy Fly takes some getting used to!
The pre match drinks were enjoyed in the Kop bar watching our rivals Charlton cruise to their 6th win on the trot and cement their top spot position...........Pressure on Leeds to match them......Funny though even that couldn't alter my view that we were going win again, only thing was after a couple of pints of smooth the score prediction had moved to 4:1 from 3:1. The pre match entertainment on the pitch was a professional ball juggling keepy up champion who was very very good...............but not as good as the LUTV producer who hilariously cut to a shot of Enoch's puzzled frown after a particularly mind boggling piece of ballwork by the show off in the middle.............classic! The Kop bar erupted in laughter.As the camera panned the Leeds players warming up the first sign of a problem? Tresor was there! More to the point Jermaine wasn't! Apparently a hamstring tweak had sidelined JB so Mike Grella would start and Tresor replaced him on the bench. Now just think what rumours JB's absence would have started if he'd missed last week?
So maybe the game was going to be a bit tighter than we thought with a new centre back pairing of Lubo and Bromby and no Beckford. As regular readers will know Lubo doesn't inspire me with confidence and he was the sole reason for my score prediction to show a goal to Stockport. Also I'm still not convinced that our blond haired American cousin up front has shown any end product despite his busy attractive play which has brought admiration from lots of whites fans.
So with all these doubts swimming around my head and a large inflatable Leeds beach ball bouncing about the kop the match got under way.
Stockport started like a team ravaged by insolvency, administration and transfer embargos and Leeds were soon in the ascendancy attacking the South Stand. Shane Higgs in front of the kop settled in for a relaxing first half. The ref was the same one who sent Becks and Kandol off at Gillingham and today's performance wasn't going to win back any fans at ER.
Now Mike Grella must have been reading my thoughts because within 8 minutes he had dispelled theory number 1 that he'd got no end product as he expertly planted the ball in the corner of the Stocky net to put Leeds one up! Leeds continued to dominate a hard working but poor County side as the Leeds midfield gorged themselves on their superiority. Higgs was now watching back episodes of Lost on his DVD player.
We got the first sight of an extra attacking weapon as Bromby launched the first of a number of long throws into the Stockport box, a la Stoke City, which the away team dealt with nervously. Doyle as usual was hurtling around midfield like a demented warrior and picked up a booking for a bone jarring challenge. As it happened it was Doyle who came off the worse and eventually gave way to Kilkenny before half time.
The match as a spectacle was up there with watching Big Brother at 3 in the morning but Leeds can only beat what's put in front of them and in today's case it was not a lot. The 2nd goal came from a Snoddy free kick that the Stocky goalie failed to hold, r u Casper in disguise?, and big Lubo stabbed home the ball with nonchalant ease.....................Always new Lubo would come good!!!!!!!!!!
The match meandered to half time with Leeds in full control at 2:0. A deluge of goals in the 2nd half was definitely on the cards.
The deluge might have seemed possible but Leeds failed to take advantage of attacking the kop even when we were awarded a penalty for hand ball. No we all know we've missed the last 675 penalties so who was going to take this one. Lucciano made his way forward.......er no........Bradders was keen but the poison chalice fell to Snoddy and yes you've guessed it penalty 676 was missed aswell as the Scotsman's feeble effort cannoned off the goalie's knee. Nobody was surprised.
Meantime the Jolly Pubman had tried to find himself a bit more space in the yawning acres of empty seats in the west Stand only to be thrown out be a pedantic steward. Customer service at it's best! The fractiousness was spreading into the rows in front of me as an argument ensued over a walking stick. You can tell the action on the pitch wasn't that riveting.
On the plus side though Lubo was having his best game in a white shirt and Johnson and Howson were adding to their growing reputation as they scampered about the congested midfield. Bromby, who had had a quiet debut, limped off injured to be replaced by Robbo? Mmmm interesting change and so it was as Crowe went to centre half and Johnson filled in at left back with Hughes moving to right back. Even that didn't disrupt Leeds' stroll to their 8th srtaight win of the campaign. There was time for Enoch to replace a tiring Grella and for Higgs to put down his DVD player and earn his money with some assured catches and a couple of good saves but the match finished more on a whimper than a wham.
On this form it's likely that we will still be cossetting our 100% record when Charlton visit ER in October. On reflection for a team that started with 3 key players missing and subsequently to lose 2 more during the match shows both good resilience and strength in depth that augers well for this season. Simon Grayson has moulded a team to be feared and respected in this League.
It was a subdued journey home in line with the fare that we had watched only lifted by a debate on Turkey Twizzlers liking for Red wine! It was that sort of day.
Next up we have Sarfend on Friday night. Don't you just love the fixture computer.