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Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Hartlepool United Home: Carling Cup 3rd Round

Tonight's match track
Midweek matches always have a different feel about them especially midweek cup matches. I think it's to do with dashing home from work or changing shifts to accommodate and then wolfing some tea down before gathering your thoughts for the match ahead. Due to the inadequacy of the train service we always use the car in midweek so all in all everything is different from our more leisurely journey on a weekend. The Quiet One can't make midweek matches during school time so has to make do with DAB Yorkshire radio under the bed sheets while we are cheering on the mighty whites.
Since our successful trek to Cumbria at the weekend the press appear to have woken up to Leeds' excellent form and everyone from Sky to the national daily's are talking in glowing terms with regards, not only the quality of our football, but also the quality of players available to Leeds this season. As fans our only worry seems to be how we can hold onto double Bex, Fab, Young Aidy etc come the transfer thing that will help will be a trip to 
Wembley so if we can just beat the "monkey hangers" tonight then we are within sniffing distance of the famous new stadium!

The Happy Chocker will be here soon so I will sign off with a prediction of a 4:1 win for now and return later with news of yet another top notch performance............please.

The Match:

After meeting up with The Monkey Hanger in Billy's bar for a pre match drink and hearing about his Dad, who's been kidnapped in Nigeria (hope it all sorts itself out soon), I bump into some old school friends who amazingly recognise me even though it's over 30 years since we trekked to Knotla High for our long forgotten education.
As we make our way past the long queue of fans still waiting to buy tickets even though it's nearly kick off, both the Happy Chocker and I fear a late KO but thankfully we get started on time. Macca starts with only two of Saturdays line up on the field opting to give the frustrated bench and fringe players a run out.......................not sure I agree with this but we have Snoddy and big Enoch up front and Hunty and Lubo at the back with Casper back in goal. My worst fears are realised with Hartlepools' first attack of the match when non existent marking allows Leeds born Monkhouse to score an easy header...Welcome back Casper.

The atmosphere starts to build as we scrap our way back into the match and it's not long before Snoddy equalises after a mistake by their defence. 
This settles the nerves but not for long as another bout of slack marking allows Hartlepool to retake the lead with a sweet shot over Caspers head.
All of the sudden the good form of recent weeks counts for nothing and there are mutterings of discontent in the Kop as we trudge off at HT still 1 goal behind. Beckford had already replaced Snodgrass after he disappeared with apparent "toilet trouble".
Leeds came out fighting in the 2nd half and Enoch pulls us level after managing to bundle the ball over the line from two yards out and all of sudden we are dominating the game.  But even though we are creating numerous chances, most are  spurned, with Beckford having a bad day at the office with regards his shooting. Our Argie replaces the much maligned Enoch and sparks extra fire into the front line but as much as we push forward somehow we can't score. As the match draws to a tense climax Hartlepool try their luck in securing the winner and in doing so caused numerous fingernails to vanish in the Kop.......................but just as it seemed we were consigned to extra time our little pocket battleship that is Robbo wins the game with a delightful shot cum cross in the first of 3 added minutes...............cue ecstatic celebrations around the ground, except the well populated Cheese Wedge. This capped a fine night of tricky wing player from the Pukka pieman and Macca will find it difficult not to start with him against Hereford on Saturday. 
All's well that ends well but we did make heavy weather of dispatching a vulnerable Hartlepool team who do pose a threat going forward.
The post match chatter was inevitably focused on "who will we get in the next round" and not surprisingly "that red team" are No1 on most fans wish list. Me I just want anyone at home as I think we can go all the way in this competition and certainly after yet another thrilling cup game the team must be beginning to dream of a swift return to Wembley.
So next up are Hereford on ideal opportunity to increase our goal difference and if things go to plan Mr Beckford will more than make up for the chances he missed tonight by adding to his 11 goals for the season.
Can't wait.

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