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Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Doncaster Rovers v Leeds Utd, Carling Cup 2nd round.

Having escaped from a frustrating day at work I arrived at The Keepmoat stadium with hopes of the mighty whites lifting my sagging spirits.  News that Lord Larry had understandably tinkered with the team of heroes who performed so brilliantly at Upton Park just over 48 hours earlier was understandable.  So AOB & Connolly returned to the back four whilst Thompson, Nunez and Sam all got starts in the midfield.  Keogh and Ross Mac remained up front.  "Should still be too strong for a weak Donny side" I optimistically suggested to the Happy Chocker.  He gave that "we've been here many times before" look.

The away end was packed to the rafters in stark contrast to the legions of cloned Donny fans who all looked remarkably like empty seats around the rest of the stadium.  Somehow the magic of this cup competition had not been sprinkled on this part of South Yorkshire................either that or the "Rovers til I die" brigade had all actually died?  The lack of opposition fans didn't exactly help in generating an atmosphere but that didn't stop who Adam Clayton describes as the best fans in the world from blasting a couple of lusty choruses of MOT into the South Yorkshire sky as we got under way.

Leeds had the opportunity to take advantage of the fragile Donny confidence by starting the game strongly and grabbing the early initiative and in doing so crush the Rugby shirted resistance from our South Yorkshire neighbours.  That would be the perfect tonic for my shite day at work.........................instead what I got was yet more frustration as Leeds fell behind within 3 minutes to a simple goal from James Hayter.  It could have been worse as Donny took complete control for the first 30 minutes.  Leeds looked tired and disjointed and frankly not really up for the game.  Dark thoughts started to invade my mind  "Well they'd better get them selves sorted out or they are going to have one well and truly pissed off fan to deal after making the 80 mile dash to see the game".  Donny should have been at least two goals to good as they waltzed through our non existent midfield time and again.  Capt Fantastic is never the same player in a midfield two me thinks?  The turgid game was  awaken from it's slumbers by a stunning strike from Nunez as he hit a sumptuous volley from the edge of the box beyond the Rovers goalie.  1.1.  Where did that come from?

It was still 1.1 at half time and the entertainment levels had been pretty low..............well actually absent!  The Leeds midfield was at times over run by a Donny side keen to pass the ball.  Giles Barnes on the right wing was testing Aidey White.  Good job Mr Porky Barnes was carrying at least a 10lb handicap or he could have caused real problems.  All in all the first 45 minutes were instantly forgettable briefly brought to life by Ramon's strike.  Surely the 2nd 45 minutes couldn't be as bad could they?

Mmmm initially the game proceeded at the same entertainment level, ie zero.  Even our Ex captain, Nayls, was strolling about playing a sweeper role for the home side.  That's how bad it was.  Lord Larry looked to change things on the hour as Taylor replaced White at full back and then Mad Max came on for McCormack.  The Ivorian certainly perked things up a bit and he even had the ball in the net only for it to be chalked off for offside.  The clock ticked monotonously to 75 minutes.  I am sure there was not one person in the 8,500 crowd who wanted to endure the torture of extra time.  Kissy replaced O'Brien at the back as Leeds looked to secure their passage into the next round.  Please God somebody score a goal!

The clock was on 81 minutes when my prayers were answered.  Sam and Connolly attacked down the right...............a cross was deflected to the edge of the box where Nunez reprised his first half goal and volleyed the ball into the corner of the net without the goalie getting a sniff.  Get in! 2.1 Leeds with 9 nervy minutes to go.  During those 9 minutes plus the 4 for added time I am sure there were players on the Leeds team who wanted to play extra time.  Every time we got the ball we gave it straight back to the men in hoops.  Even when Mad Max was set free by a rebound on half way and could have settled the tie he allowed a fingertip save to prevent him from reducing my blood pressure and netting the winner.  The final whistle did eventually go and we were in the next round.

This was not a classic but at least we got the result we wanted without having to trouble Lonergan, Snoddy and Clayton.  Nunez has again given Lord Larry a selection headache for Saturday's trip to Portman Road as 5 goals in 3 games is difficult to ignore.................I suspect he will still be warming the bench come kick off on Saturday though.  So all's well that end's well and I suppose paraphrasing Billy Davies it was Job done but not a game that we will remember fondly at the end of the season............unless you're Ramon Nunez!

Roll on Saturday when we hope to harvest 3 points from the Tractor boys.  That would do nicely thank you very much.
Can't wait.


LamBO said...

As usual a good summary of the game with funny anecdotes, Nunez's new song was the highlight for me along with his goals that is. Keep up the good work

Andrew Butterwick said...

Thanks for that. Yes I suspect the Nunez song is going to get plenty of air time this year. Could be our star of the season.

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