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Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Derby v Leeds Utd 12th April 2011

Following Leeds United is not the easiest of burdens to carry.  For all the good times there are very many bad.  Tonight was one of the classic Leeds United "car crash" games.  If you were one of the 3,000 plus  faithful fans who made the trek to Pride Park you will know exactly what I mean.  This was a game we had control of and then just when we turned our superiority into a goal we give two stunningly naive goals away within two nanoseconds of going in front. It was so frustrating and unfortunately rammed home the unpalatable fact that we have punched above our weight in this division all season and are not yet good enough to get promoted.

But for those fans who weren't at the match here is a brief summing up of what an emotional rollercoaster it was.

Bannan came in for the injured Snoddy and Kilkenny replaced Johnson in yet another permutation of our mid field five.  The changes seemed to work in the first half as a Killa inspired Leeds zipped the ball about  the perfect playing surface and enjoyed much the better of the first 45 minutes.  Leeds had one scare when Kasper managed to keep out a cross that Jamie Ward just failed to connect with.  At the other end Mad Max went near and Bannan had a couple of shots flying goalwards.  All was looking well despite Jonny Howson nearly getting his knee removed by a flying Derby boot.  It felt like a good performance. Hopes were raised amongst the fans. The defence looked reasonably sound against a distinctly average looking Derby side.  Everything in the garden was looking rosy.  All we needed was a goal.

The 2nd half started with Leeds firing towards the away support.  They also continued to have the better of the play with Killa scuttling around the pitch organising and berating his fellow players like a mother hen.  Confidence began to rise amongst the Leeds fans.  Mad Max rattled a free kick in that the keeper just parried away.  We must score soon?  and we did.  The Ivorian gem, Mad Max, latched onto a ball on the edge of the box and scorched a screamer into the net sending the Leeds hordes into ecstasy as the last few weeks of frustration was released in one joyous celebration.

There is a saying in football that you're always at your most vulnerable when you've just scored yourselves.  And so it proved to be.  Livermore needlessly gave the ball away on the centre spot as Leeds pushed forward.  With the back line now exposed Derby moved the ball to the left flank before whipping in a pin point ball for Ward to finish with glee.  1.1 and suddenly the Derby crowd came to life.  Within a minute it was 2.1 as Davies made the most of the acres of space he had on the edge of the box to volley home an absolute stunner past a helpless Schmeichel. Mr Livermore's man I presume as he was given the hook immediately to be replaced by Johnson along with Somma on for Becchio.

After that I'm afraid to say that with the exception of Killa and Kasper too many heads and shoulders were drooping on the Leeds side for my liking as we once again snatched defeat from the jaws of a much needed victory and saw our hopes of any sort of promotion glory disappear into the Derbyshire sky.  Yes we pushed on and had a couple of goal mouth scrambles but all to no avail.

I was fuming at the final whistle.  The mix of frustration, expectation and annoyance at how we'd let this one slip was boiling up inside me.  Even the march back to the car didn't calm me down.  "We're just not good enough" I shared with a fellow Leeds fan waiting in the car park.  The last time I was this upset was when we'd capitulated to Hereford on that awful night back in League One.  We are still 6th in the table but the omens are not good.  Nothing has gone right since the two loan guys came in and upset the fine balance of the mid field.  Not that I'm blaming them personally but we just seem to lost something and we are not creating enough chances now to cover up for our brittle defence.  It will be very difficult to turn round now in my opinion................and for Leeds' most optimistic optimist that's saying something!  I am just so so disappointed and it's not like we've not been there before is it?

A bad week could get a whole lot worse on Saturday against Watford unless Lord Larry finds a magic formula to either stop the goals going in at Kasper's end or start creating oodles of chances again at the other end.  If he does.............
Can't wait.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This season could be'marching on to knowhere!'Not enough backbone and passion when it comes to the crunch we fall short.

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