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Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Leeds United v Leicester City, Carling Cup 2nd Rd. Aug 24th 2010

A stressful dash up the M1 from Nottingham was needed for this fan to get to our cup clash with the Foxes.  After Saturdays euphoric taming of the Lions most white's fans were licking their lips at the prospect of a spot of Tuesday night Fox hunting.  In the kop bar I met up with the Happy Chocker to discuss the team changes Lord Larry had made. Higgs, Somma, Mad Max and Bruce all started with Sam left out completely due to injury.  It was then that I noticed something that would cast the first seed of doubt into my mind over the possibility of Leeds progressing into the next round........................Jamie!  Now over the last couple of years Jamie has not attended that many games.  He is a keen Leeds fan but circumstances dictate that he can only make a few live games which is probably a good see I cannot remember Leeds winning any game he's been to.  He makes Jonah look like a lucky charm.  Worse was to follow when he returned from the bookies stand with a bet for Leeds to lead at half time and Leicester to win after 90 minutes!

The game started with both teams playing open attractive, if not mistake strewn football.  Mad Max was soon buzzing about the Leicester defence like an annoying wasp and it was he who created the first chance on 10 minutes as he hit an enticing cross into the path of Becchio, who costs less than Berbatov, but this time didn't score a goal when really he should have done.  Chances flowed at both ends with Somma and Bruce going near for the whites while Higgs needed to be at his best to turn over a stinger from Leicester.  This was a game that wasn't going to finish 0.0!

The opening goal came when Higgs found Killa near the half way line who squirted the ball into the path of Mad Max whose first time ball was pounced on by the red hot Somma who guided the ball effortlessly into the net. 1.0 Leeds. Leeds tried to close the game out before half time as Bradders went close with a towering header as the Foxes defence started to shake.  At the other end it wasn't a solid fortress though as a set piece header flew over the bar from 4 yards.  Leeds led 1.0 at half time and although they had shaded the half the score could quite easily have been 3.2.  Still a lot of work to do.

Mad Max fired up the crowd within a minute of the restart with an amazing run beating about 27 defenders as he weaved his way into the box and fired off a shot that was blocked at the last minute.  Fantastic! That set the tone for the half as both teams didn't hold back as they attempted to secure a passage through to the next round of the cup.  Bradders had another headed chance and Mad Max again took the slalom route into the Leicester box before being denied by a last ditch tackle. More worryingly was the activity at the other end of the pitch as the Foxes began to snatch control of midfield and test the creaking Leeds back four.  Wellans was strutting around unopposed far too much for my liking and when he capitalised on an awful mistake by Johnson to fire in the equaliser I started fear the worst.  My throat was as dry as the Gobi desert and my stomach tightening into a knot as Leeds started to tread water.  We did have chances but they all seemed to fizzle out with a whimper the longer the half went on.

The game was lurching towards the dreaded extra time when Neil Collins outstretched arm gifted Leicester a penalty with 2 minutes to go.  Steve Howard, our nemesis last time we met, was never going to miss and he didn't.  Three minutes of added time was never going to be enough. The ref's whistle signalled the end of our League Cup run for another year as the delighted Foxes scampered away into the next round.

Somma again showed some classy touches and took his goal well.  3 goals in just over 100 minutes is an impressive return.  Bruce had a solid game, Mad Max was at times stunning and should have done enough to secure a starting place on Saturday.  Killa faded after a bright first half probably highlighting again the need for some steel in the centre midfield spot but I'm afraid Mr Bessone has now officially joined my "Nice chap but not good enough" club.

But of course the blame for this defeat lies firmly at the feet of Jamie as he once again put the Indian sign on Leeds' chance of victory.  I could always buy him a season ticket for the Theatre of Shite?

Saturday brings a trip to Watford and Jonty's pre match BBQ.  Can we continue our winning League for at Vicarage Road after barbecued wings and sausages?  I'm already praying.
Can't wait

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