Google analytics

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Leeds Utd v Hull City 9th Nov 2010

Despite the fact that the Codheads were in the middle of an awful run of form and they had a number of their first choice players missing there was a sense of trepidation at Elland Road before the latest Yorkshire derby.  The reason?  The curse of Tuesday night football and the ghosts of PNE, Leicester and Barnsley sent a cold chill down my spine.   Surely after the weekends heroics against Coventry we were destined to bury the curse? Well that was the plan in the Capt's Lounge before the match.  News that Collins had given way to Bruce, Johnson had replaced the injured Faye and Kasper was back from his paternity leave was not altogether unexpected.  So with fragile confidence the Happy Chocker and I took our usual seats together with Jamie the Jinx, who has yet to see Leeds win in our company.  Mmmm good job I'm not superstitious.

The game kicked off with a number fans still streaming through the turnstiles.  Kevin Friend was the man with the whistle and despite his surname I don't think he has any in LS11 after his previous showings.  So the form book suggested an easy Leeds win whilst the omens suggested otherwise.  The opening 10 minutes were tense and scrappy as both teams sought to gain a toehold in the game.  Howson had the first chance of the game when he latched onto a lay off from Becchio but shot well wide.  The fluent play evident at the Ricoh Arena had been replaced by a more jittery version of the same game plan with a robust 5 man midfield.  Prominent in that midfield was Johnson and on 15 minutes he made the first of a number of telling contributions to the nights entertainment when he rashly conceded a free kick 30 yards from Kasper's goal.  A soft free kick that looked to me as if he'd got the ball.  Still nobody could beat Kasper from that distance could they? Well actually yes they could as the Spurs loanee, Bostock, rifled as good a free kick as I've seen for a long time into the top corner of the Leeds net. Kasper didn't stand a chance. 1.0 Hull.  That familiar sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach suddenly emerged.  The 3000 Codhead fans danced with glee whilst around me there were plenty of worried frowns, mine included.

Leeds were shook by the goal and for the next 10 minutes really looked as if they believed in the Tuesday night curse.  Then just when I was thinking this was going to be another midweek disaster Leeds equalised with what was a bizarre piece of Football.  Firstly a Hull defender facing his own goal attempted to back head a clearance from the edge of his box instead of heading to his goalie or put it out of play.  The ball fell to Becchio whose attempt to control the ball resulted in a perfect "kneed" pass into the path of Bradders who smashed the ball home to the relief of the Elland Road faithful.  1.1.  Suddenly I felt better and Leeds began to play with some purpose.  Mad Max was now partnering Becchio up front with a more conventional 4 man midfield that started to take control of the game.  Leeds do keep their fans on their toes though.  Just to keep the game interesting Bostock found his way through to goal and slipped the ball under the advancing Kasper only for Bruce to scramble the ball away as it crept towards the goal line.  I glanced at the Happy Chocker.  He had his Tuesday night face on...........worried sick!

Half time came with Leeds on the front foot.  A rare Snoddy header looped over the bar as Leeds applied the pressure.  The half time debate was positive.  The Codheads did look a bit toothless up front.  Andy O'Brien was having another good game but our midfield seemed to be harried off the ball too many times for my liking.

The 2nd half got underway with Leeds attacking the kop end and soon set about taking control of the game. We dominated possesion and when a deep cross found an unmarked Howson one half of Elland Road thought he'd added to his recent goal tally as he crashed the ball into the side netting.  This was better.  The Hull goal was under siege.  Mad Max jinked his way down the left flank and ran into trouble but just as quick got himself out of trouble...............Bradders won the ball........Mad Max tries a flying shot ............the ball falls to Becchio on the edge of the box who side foots the ball past the helpless goal onto the bar. Bollox!  The momentum was building as Leeds poured forward in a sort of patient pouring forward type of style.  Davide Somma replaced Mad Max and immediately made a couple of intelligent runs.  At the other end Kasper was sat in a chair reading the Evening Post to pass some time!  The goal was coming and in the end came from an unexpected source, Mr Cool, Andy O'Brien, rose to meet a cross from Snoddy and directed into the Hull net via the post.  2.1 Leeds. Maybe night games aren't so bad after all?

With just under twenty minutes to play all we had to do now was kill off the wounded Tigers.  Becchio received a flying elbow and received lengthy treatment.  Shouldn't Ashbee have got a red for that?  Not according to Mr Friend.  It was now all Leeds and Hull looked like a battered boxer clinging onto the ropes waiting for the bell.  Bradders should have sealed the game when he got on the end of a cross but missed from 6 yards with his head.  Leeds were having lots of joy down the flanks and it was all too much for Mr Thunderbolt boots Bostock as he scythed McCartney down from behind and received his second yellow of the night which then converted into a nice juicy red colour.  Leeds were home and dry.  By now Kasper was reading the "Good Parenting" magazine as Leeds passed the ball about at will.

Then out of nowhere Hull equalised.  A quick break won them a corner. A poor near post effort was met by Bradder's swinging boot and the ball ballooned into the net.  2 bastard 2 and they hadn't had a kick in the 2nd half.  Suddenly I hated Tuesday night games again.  Still there was time to get  a winner but it was now Hull who looked the most likely.  "I've seen the trailer" I commented to the Happy Chocker.  "Too f****** right" was his blunt reply.  The match finished in a frenetic finale as Bruce had his header cleared off the line and both teams dallied with a possible win. But it wasn't to be and the final whistle signalled a glum march back to the car for this Leeds fan. A draw snatched from the jaws of victory that certainly felt like a defeat. Two points definitely thrown away, more through missed chances than poor defending.  Too many times tonight the passing seemed to be passing for passings sake in contrast to Saturday's crisp, purposeful performance.  Still for all the disappointment, and there was lots on the faces of the Leeds fans, this was the 7th point we had gleaned in 3 games since the humiliation against Cardiff.  A harvest that everyone would have taken in the aftermath of that night match?

Traffic problems didn't brighten the gloom in the car on the way home.  Even though it was a draw it left an after taste very similar to a defeat................and against a relatively poor Hull side.  So officially the Tuesday night curse remains.  The next chance to bury the curse? Cardiff away on Jan 4th.  Don't hold your breath!

After tonight we are level on points with Coventry who in the final play off place.  Any sign of a consistent run will push us well into the play off mix.  Still a long way to go though starting with Bristol at home on Saturday.  Safety belts, harnesses and defibrillator's definitely required. The rollercoaster continues.
Can't wait.

Leeds 2 v 2 Hull 09/11/10

No comments:

Site Counter