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Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Leeds United 2:3 Hull City. 18th Sept 2012

The prospects of playing high flying Hull on a Tuesday night with our injury depleted team did not fill me with much hope.  My mood was not helped by the dodgem park that is the M62 as I headed to the Theatre of Hope from Trafford.  As kick off time approached I dumped my car and scuttled down Elland Road just in time for kick off.  Rebellion was in the air as the anti Bates protest flickered to life in the South stand as the game kicked off.  Varney and Diouf replaced the injured Ross Mac and Drury in a patched up Leeds side.

I was pleasantly surprised as Leeds started on the front foot with Diouf at the heart of everything.  He danced round the full back and swung in a dangerous cross that Amos in the Hull goal plucked from the air.  Hull didn't heed the warning though and soon after he skipped past the same full back and surged into the box before tumbling to the ground.  The linesman flagged for a foul and the ref pointed to the spot. Penalty.  Cue protests from the Hull players but to no avail.  Up steps Becchio to slot the ball past the goalie into the bottom right hand corner. 1.0 Leeds.  Maybe tonight's the night for Leeds after all?  It certainly looked that way as Diuof next found Becchio at the back post.....his header was scooped away by Amos only for Austin to have his follow up shot blocked.  Next Austin was released by Diouf in the box and tested Amos low down to his left. We could have been 3.0 up and only 15 minutes gone!  Then Hull decided to play.

Koren was the ringmaster as he weaved pretty patterns from the centre of midfield.  The Tiger's tail had been well and truly tweaked and they were now on the prowl.  Koren had able assistants in Aluko and Elmohamady as Hull found ample space in the middle of the park to hurt Leeds.  Pearce and Lees at the centre of the Leeds defence were holding firm though............that is until White and Tonge went for the same ball on the edge of the box and managed to roll the ball to Elmohamady inside the box and unmarked.  The Egyptian gratefully slotted home the gift past a helpless Kenny. 1.1.  Hull moved up a gear and within 6 minutes were two up.  Faye drifted off Lees at the back post and headed Elmohamady's cross into the net with ease. 2.1 Hull and Leeds were now rocking.  Next it was Aluko surging from midfield past tacklers as if they weren't there only for Pearce to bring him down on the edge of the box.  Robert Koren lined up the free kick.  "If this goes in it's game over" commented brother Chris.  Thankfully Kenny pulled off a fine save.  Half time couldn't come quick enough for a Leeds side blown away by a superior East Yorkshire outfit.

Hull continued to have the better of the game in the 2nd half as they appeared to be cantering to an all too easy victory.  Then the game changed in the 63rd minute as an injury to Becchio ended his game as he headed for the over crowded treatment room.  Enter Dominc Poleon.  Some fans weren't quite sure who he was but after his first two touches resulted in runs at the Hull defence resulting in corners they would sure remember his name now.  The crowd, lifted by Poleon's impact, raised the decibel level as Leeds sort an unlikely equaliser.  Just to show his impressive start wasn't a fluke he then produced the run of the night as he turned his man on the half way line and sprinted away past another defender then another before firing in a stinging shot that Amos did well to save.  Maybe we could rescue a point?

The momentum was now with Leeds.  Then disaster struck.  From a Leeds corner Hull broke and somehow had a three on two advantage so when the ball was played into the box Koren was stood like Billy No Mates at the back post and tapped in the killer goal.  Poor schoolboy defending from Leeds and 3.1 Hull.  Game over or was it?  Andy Gray came on for the disappointing Varney.

Diouf was still sparkling and with the willing Poleon causing Hull problems Leeds had one last assault on the Hull goal.  White did well to win a corner, Diouf swung it in and Gray headed home. 3.2 Hull with 5 minutes of added time left.  Leeds then went in search of an unlikely equaliser as they bombarded the Hull back four but to no avail. Full time Leeds 2:3 Hull.

A hugely disappointing game for Leeds.  They worked hard but lack the quality to compete with teams such as Hull, Blackpool, Cardiff and probably Forest on Saturday.  This is time to batten down the hatches over the coming weeks as injuries, a paper thin squad and a distinct lack of quality all conspire against Leeds.  Diouf was my Leeds MOM with Poleon's cameo giving some hope on another black Tuesday night game at Elland Road.

Forest on Saturday.  Call me a masochist but...............
Can't wait.

Travels of a Leeds Fan.

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