Tuesday, 20 March 2012
Leeds Utd v Notts Forest. 20th March 2012
Tuesday night football for fans of the mighty whites has always been approached with a certain amount of caution and trepidation. The combination of a fixture under floodlights when the day has a T u e s d a y in it has usually meant disappointment in recent years. But not tonight......after all we were playing struggling Forest on the back of an impressive run of form since Agent Warnock took charge of his Mission Impossible challenge. What could possibly go wrong?
Well first of all an accident on the Eastbound M62 had me crawling along at 5mph when I should have been downing a well earned pint together with a tasty meat and potato pie. Thankfully the traffic cleared in time for me to arrive just in time for kick off. Not surprisingly the same team started the game as Saturday after the sterling performance against the Hammers in front of a packed Elland Road. At least 10,000 fewer fans had made the trip to the Theatre of Renewed Hope for this one though.
Forest were first out of the traps as a slick move down their right flank created a good chance with less than a minute on the clock. Leeds looked lethargic as Forest’s speedy passing bamboozled a flat Leeds side. Despite this we were soon in front. Ross Mac won the ball and wriggled into the box before been upended by Guedioura. Snoddy smacked home the perfect penalty. 1.0 Leeds. That should settle the nerves? Errrr no within two minutes the unfortunate Forest player had made amends in spectacular style as he pinched the ball from some wafer thin Leeds tackling and then hit a screamer from fully 30 yards past a flailing Lonergan. 1.1. Bollox!
Forest then took complete charge of the game as Leeds produced an inept lifeless performance severely lacking in any sort of creativity........unless you call lumping the ball forward for Becchio’s head creative? On the other hand Forest were knocking the ball about at will with “fatman” Reid pulling the strings in midfield and McCleary running riot on the flanks. This was not feeling good at all. “Very Prestonesque” I commented to HC as Leeds looked like conceding every time Forest looked at our goal. Where had the resolute defence gone? Just when we looked like limping to half time level we were stung on the counter attack with too many defenders absent without leave McCleary cut in from the right and hit a stinging drive that Lonergan could only parry up and into the net. 1.2 Forest at half time and Leeds had been dreadful.
“Same old shit........different manager” was one disgruntled fan’s view. Nobody was disagreeing with him.
Awful as we were in the first half nothing could prepare us for what we were about to see. First Blackstock struck Forest’s third before Becchio then a Messi like strike from Michael Brown of all people brought Leeds level at 3.3. Three goals in three minutes. It was soon five goals in eight minutes as Forest moved up a gear and led 5.3. Unfuckingbelievable Jeff! Forest were now running riot as Leeds capitulated totally McCleary bagged his 4th and Blackstock his 2nd as Forest stretched their lead to 7.3. I know following Leeds is sometimes a burden but FFS this was bordering on the ridiculous. The seventh goal was too much for me and for the 2nd time this season I was heading for the car park with more than 5 minutes still to play. Love hurts sometimes. Leeds certainly know how to get battered in style!
Just how a team can go from slugging it out toe to toe with the best in the League to tonight’s showing is beyond me. If Agent Warnock didn’t know the size of his task at Leeds he does now as the Mission Impossible has suddenly changed to “Mission more chance of seeing the Pope selling condoms in Kirkgate market” The galling thing is that all the other results went the right way for us tonight except the one at the Theatre of not so much Hope. Whichever way you look at it the faint chance of making the Play Off’s disappeared with this drubbing. Yes mathematically we can still do it but when anyone starts using that phrase you know you’re fucked.
So Forest wreaked handsome revenge for their own four goal deficit at the City Ground and all credit to them. They looked anything but a struggling team on this form. For Leeds I somehow think the season will drift away from here on in. Millwall is not the place you want to go after a performance like this but that’s where the battle weary Leeds fans will be come Saturday afternoon. Which Leeds team will turn up for that one? Probably one with the stinging criticism of a certain Mr Warnock ringing in their ears. Mmmmm............