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Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Sorry Leeds fall to late Austin header.

Burnley is not the most aesthetically pleasing town at the best of times but with a background of fine drizzle and wind welcoming me as I headed for Turf Moor it wasn't  the most appealing start to another night of Tuesday football for the mighty whites.  Once I had found somewhere to park the car amongst the warren of back streets that surround Burnley's ground I was striding towards the away end with a smidgen of optimism.  After all our recent trips to Turf Moor have proved fruitful with stirring comebacks being the order of the day even if they were usually led by one of our Norwich asylum seekers.

So what were the prospects for tonight's game? News that Lees hadn't recovered from the poke in the eye he received at Brighton meant there was a start for Adam Drury at Left back in an otherwise unchanged Leeds team.  Burnley's had the dangerous Austin up front. I am sure he was the Swindon striker we thought we'd bought when we ended up with Billy Barndoor?  The away end wasn't full although we did have a healthy number of diehards who had made the short trip over the Peninnes.

After our recent stuttering performances I was looking for a confident and controlled start to the game.  What we got was a large dose of déjà vu as Leeds struggled to keep possession in a scrappy opening 15 minutes.  The ball spent a significant time above the immaculate playing surface as both teams played out a classic tussle for mid table mediocrity.  Paddy Kenny was very solid in the Leeds goal dealing with an early breakthrough from Marney well and even finding time to have some "dialogue" with the home fans behind the goal. I doubt he was discussing chances of the candidates for the US elections?

Just as the crowd was falling into a game induced coma the match suddenly sprung into life.....well there was a modicum of excitement.  Becchio for once got the better of the tall Burnley centre back
and flicked the ball to Diouf twenty yards out. Diouf twisted and turned to create some space before
curling a shot inches over the bar. Then minutes later Kenny was tipping over a stinging long range shot from Trippier as Burnley finished the half just on top of what was a very poor showing by both sides.  Even Diouf had been quiet.  He did find time to give someone in the Leeds end an evil stare for some reason as he went to take a corner. Not sure what was said but EHD was not a happy bunny.  Half Time 0.0 and definitely not a standing ovation for either team as they trudged off into the archaic changing rooms. Not surprisingly the words shite, dire and f***ing rubbish were the most common descriptions of the first 45 minutes in my earshot. We do desperately need some quality in the team.

The 2nd half started with Leeds on top in a match with nil nil heavily embedded in it's fabric the longer the game went on.  White spurned a good chance for Leeds after what passed for a flowing move as he chose to hit a shot with his left when he was more in a position to hit it with his right.  The Burnley keeper turned it round for a corner.  But we never score from corners so the chance faded away. Whatever NW had said to his team at half time had lifted the tempo a bit but too many times Leeds lacked the final decisive ball.  Aidey White in particular was at his frustrating best, creating space with his pace but then time and again supplying a poor final ball. I'm sure Diouf was ready to strangle him on more than one occasion as he found space in the box only to see White's "pass" whistle past him to some imaginary player in space on the other side of the box.

Dyche, the new Burnley manager, changed his team as he brought ex Leeds player Vokes onto partner Austin up front. There was still 25 minutes to go in a game where it was difficult to see where a goal was going to come from. Our Austin prevented a shot on goal with an inspired block as Leeds defended doggedly.

The game entered the last ten minutes with both teams eyeing the possibility of snatching a winner. Mr Warnock was about to hand the home team an ideal chance to capitalise on the mighty whites lack of any quality on their bench.  He withdrew the tiring Drury and replaced him with Pugh.  I think he forgot to tell him he was playing at left back though as within a minute Burnley had scored as Trippier suddenly found himself in acres of space down the right flank where Pugh had gone AWOL. He took the ball to the bye line and whipped in a searing cross that Austin had the simple task of heading past Kenny. 1.0 Burnley and effectively game over.

Leeds did nearly scramble an equaliser in the last minute as the good old fashioned tactic of throwing everyone forward so nearly paid off as Grant in the home goal clawed away a goal bound shot. The game ended after a frustrating 4 minutes of added time.  The disgruntled Leeds fans were very philosophical at the end. We're shit and we know we are summed it up perfectly.

A poor Leeds performance against a poor Burnley team. Difference was that they have a genuine striker in Charlie Austin who plundered his 20th goal of the season.  Tonge had one of his worst games in a Leeds shirt but he wasn't the only one under performing. It's a good job we have Kenny in goals or we would be losing  games than we already are.  Dark days ahead for the mighty whites me thinks.

Watford at home on Saturday. Where do we go from here?
Can't wait.

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