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Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Leeds United v Newport County. League Cup 2nd Round 22nd Aug 2017

17,000 fans had made the dash from work for this Cup tie including a healthy number from the Valley's giving boisterous support to the Welsh League 2 side. Inevitably there were no shocks when TC announced 9 changes to the team that swept aside Sunderland on Saturday evening. I'm not a fan of changing the team for cup competitions but the team selected looked strong enough to see us progress to the next round and the prospect of Premier League opposition. Rob Green was in goal with a back 4 of Anita, Shaughnessy, Ayling and Borthwick-Jackson. Midfield two were Vieira and Klich with Dallas, Stokes and Gomes tucked in behind Roofe up front. Significantly no place for Sacko on the bench.

Mrs MOT was with me for this game to give a slightly different view on proceedings and to tell me that there's no point shouting at the players they've got a man on because they can't hear me! Old habits die hard though. The game got underway and it soon became evident that the Leeds team were struggling to gel together in sharp contrast to the eager hard working Newport side. Too many sloppy passes littered the opening exchanges together with a slow tempo that allowed the visitors to get 10 men behind the ball when Leeds threatened to attack. Despite advice to the contrary I was soon screaming at the Leeds players to clear the ball and warning them of an impending Amber clattering challenge from a Newport player. This was not pretty. Fair do's to Newport they were making a good fist of it against their championship opponents and when they opened the scoring on 33 minutes this fan wasn't surprised. But for a stinging shot from Ayling we had offered nothing in attack. It was all the more frustrating to see the goal conceded as the Leeds players stood off Labadie and let him shoot only for Green to make a complete hash of the save and allow the ball spin into the net. 1.0 Newport and the Amber Army were delirious.

Leeds did grab an equaliser just on half time when Ayling's persistent in the box meant the ball fell to Roofe who finished coolly. Half Time 1.1. Mrs MOT is not a urinal philosopher but her admission that she had dropped asleep three times summed up the first half perfectly. The actual Urinal Philosophers were a bit more brutal in their assessment as they slated the under performing players. "That was woeful" grumbled one fan while another thought " I might as well stay in the bar and get pissed rather than watch that rubbish" Leeds fans are hard taskmasters. Meanwhile in the depths of the West Stand TC was issuing his instructions for the 2nd which must have included some reference to speeding up the tempo of the game and the accuracy of the passing.

No substitutes made by Leeds as the 2nd period got under way. Leeds did have a bit more oomph in their play and within 4 minutes were ahead as Roofe helped himself to a second goal to knock the stuffing out of the visitor's resistance. Newport made a sub bringing on the giant Frank Nouble on to play up front. TC responded by taking off Anita and putting Cooper in the back four. Just after the hour Roofe completed his hat trick after Ayling headed a deep cross back across the box for the ex Oxford man to complete his treble with a bicycle kick. 3.1 and game over. As if Newport weren't in enough trouble Saiz replaced Stokes. Immediately his devine touches and vision changed the game. He is an absolute pleasure to watch.

Leeds were now playing like a championship side as play flowed and pressure began to squeeze the life out of the hard working League 2 outfit. Dallas and then Gomes went close to increasing the lead but surprisingly it took until the 72nd minute for the next goal to go in. Saiz swaggered with the ball in midfield before releasing Borthwick-Jackson with an outrageous pass and when the ball fizzed into the box there was Saiz to finish it off 4.1. Delicious. Alioski came on to cause Newport even more agony before Vieira finished the scoring on 90 minutes with the 5th and final goal. Full time 5.1 a scoreline that in the end was harsh on Newport.

Roofe did well for his goals but struggled in the first half with his hold up play. None of the fringe or young players grasped the opportunity provided for them tonight I'm afraid. Good experience for them though. Saiz was again sublime even during the short time he was on the pitch. He cost £3m. Somebody somewhere has been done up like a kipper with that deal me thinks. Mrs MOT stayed awake for the 2nd half and was impressed by the little man, Saiz. She's actually a very good judge of players it seems!

So 9 goals in two games in this competition with weakened teams augers well for the next game with the cup draw due at 4.15am Thursday morning live from China. Absolutely bonkers. Notts Forest on Saturday is next on the agenda where we will go still unbeaten this season and looking for a 3rd win on the bounce away from Elland Road. We will need a replacement for Wood by then. Rumours have it that Grot could be the one. If it is him he will fit in well with Dirty Leeds with a name like that! Roll on Saturday............

Can't wait.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm looking forward to this grot player arriving. As by all accounts he's 6 foot 2 and quick and we'll keen. So the complete of wood!!!

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