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Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Pretend Scousers v Leeds Utd Mar 9th 2010

Despite being on a 4 match unbeaten run and sitting in 2nd spot with 2 points advantage over Charlton in 3rd, tonight's trek to Tranmere for our "game in hand" was a going to be a pressure one. Have the wheels fallen off Leeds' promotion bandwagon? was a common question in the media and stronger versions of the same theme on the many LUFC websites and forums.

Joining me in the car as we dashed across the hill to scouseland was the Happy Chocker and his brother Chris. Nervous anticipation was the best description of the mood in the car. Now I tend to be optimistic at the best of times and buoyed by the usual pre match rush of the "of course we're going to win" drug I was predicting a 3.0 win. Chris and HC chuckled.

After blagging a free car park spot in the official Tranny car park by claiming that "I do summaries for Yorkshire Radio" worked a dream. Well I didn't lie.............I just wasn't doing them last night. The nice scallywag security guy didn't mind he let me in on some poor guy's ticket from Radio Merseyside! 1.0 to Leeds.

As ever Leeds fans had snapped up the full 2500 allocation and were in good voice in the Cowshed end. Nayls was back in defence in the only change to Saturdays team. The match kicked off and Leeds flew out of the blocks like Linford Christie on drugs on a pitch that was as bobbly as a snickers bar with extra peanuts. Leeds were playing with high tempo and no little skill as they bamboozled Birkenhead's finest with slick passing movements. This was in stark contrast to the rather agricultural approach from the home team who chose to launch the ball as high as they could at every opportunity. Who's their manager now? Peter Kay?

Leeds were a revelation and their attacking approach almost paid off at the first corner when Becchio's header sailed inches wide. Leeds were soon in front though from a Snodgrass free kick. I thought Kissy had headed it into the net but the goal was given to the Scot. 1.0 inside 10 minutes. Things were looking good! They were looking a hell of a lot better minutes later when Beckford skillfully held a difficult ball up in the box before rolling it to an ever improving McSheffrey who jinked past the dinosaur of a defender before being hauled down. Penalty. Up steps Beckford and coolly slots the ball past the home goalie. 2:0 and coasting. Not only that Tranny were looking like a boxer out for the count and we'd only played 15 minutes.

The travelling hordes celebrated in style putting the recent disappointments behind them and revelling in the moment. Even when the scallywags pinched a goal back through sloppy defending I felt that was a mere blip in a perfect night.

At the other end McSheffrey was stinging the goalies hand with a rasping shot that Becchio tapped in . Offside. Snoddy fired in a shot, Beckford was running riot and Tranmere didn't know whether they were coming or going. This was better. All of a sudden we were good again............albeit against a poor Tranmere team who seemed to have been coached by Peter Kay.

The inevitable 3rd goal came just after the half hour with a sweeter move and execution as you'll see on a football pitch this season. Howson and Doyle recovered the ball from the sky and Jonny skimmed a perfect through ball to Jermaine who instinctively pinged a firm cross for "Our Argie" to fly in from the penalty spot to head past the hapless goalie. 3.1 and game over. Leeds still piled forward and a Becchio chip amongst other chances nearly made it 4 before half time. Memories of our trip to Bristol Rovers came flooding back.

Leeds fans have put up with a lot in recent years and to suffer a minor fall from grace since Xmas has yet again tested their loyalty and confidence so it's no surprise that the celebrations of a near perfect half of football were laced with relief and humour. "You're only here to steal our cars" & "you only sing when your robbing" were two of many dittys that the home fans were taunted with.

The 2nd half started with Tranny bringing on an Enoch lookalike in Bas Savage to try and wrest back control form the mighty whites but to no avail. Kissy and Nayls stood firm under their aerial bombardment and the midfield coped admirably in bringing the ball onto the deck even on the rutted pitch. The only surprise was that Leeds didn't score more. Beckford got away from his "markers" to notch his 2nd and Leeds' 4th with 25 minutes still to go. Casper was called upon late on to pull off a superb save from a long range shot. Mad Max, Kandol and Dickov all entered the fray for the final quarter as Leeds played out for the win that had been on the cards since the first minute. Dickov showed some real classy touches in his cameo.

Beckford was the star of the evening not just because he scored twice but he's now starting to hold the ball up and lay off good balls for the supporting players. Is this Dickov's influence me wonders? Whatever or whoever he's certainly making the Beckford bashers amongst our fans eat their words. All in all a super performance....................just what the doctor ordered at the squeaky bum part of the season. Bags of confidence banked ready for the more testing trips to Southampton and Norwich from this game.

The ride home wasn't easy as the Birkenhead Tunnel was closed but who cared. The Pharaohs curse had been slain. Beckford and the whole team area on fire and we're 5 points clear of Charlton. Life felt good as the clock ticked past 12 mid night and into my Birthday as we arrived back in Selby.

Southampton on Saturday. Now didn't they lose to Tranny? Course they did! Leeds are back on track and looking to stretch their 5 game unbeaten run at St Marys. Look out Southampton, you won't know what's hit you.
Can't wait!

PS sorry the blogs late but work and Birthday parties intervened!


mixermac said...

Happy birthday and hopefully next season you will be travelling to grounds in the Championship.

Olly Frank said...


I know this sin't the right place but I couldn't find contact details for you. I came across your site and even though I’m not a Leeds fan I really enjoyed reading it. It’s turning into a real scrap at the top of the table but the win at Tranmere gives you a bit of breathing room. It’s been great having Leeds back in the headlines and I don’t think there was a sensible football fan that didn’t enjoy your win at Old Trafford.

I know you probably get loads of these but the reason I'm emailing is that I work on a new, stats based game called Picklive Football. The basic principal is you choose three players and you score points for completed passes, assists and goals etc. Everything is updated in real time and you play against other users to create that competition element. We play games every Tuesday and Wednesday night at

Also, as the game relies on live data, we get a lot of match stats that I thought you might be able to use during the summer as we're covering every game at the World Cup. Currently we only do Premier League games but we’re hoping to do Football League games next season and you could use the stats for these as well. During the match every single action is recorded, such as interceptions, failed passes, and tackles and I thought these might help you analyse the game a little deeper and let you write pieces about the World Cup during the summer.

Here is an example of the match stats from Tuesday's Arsenal v Porto game: (these show the Picklive points scored by the player but the number of each action can be worked out using the scoring summary:

If the game sounds interesting or you'd like the stats just send me an email and I'll answer any questions you might have and would be more than happy to help.



Andrew Butterwick said...

Thanks for the comments Olly,
You game looks interesting. I might give it a go if I get a minute

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