Google analytics

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Huddersfield Town v Leeds Utd. Feb 5th 2017.

Way back in September when Huddersfield's star midfielder, Mooy, hit a sublime winner at Elland Road the storm clouds were once again gathering above Elland Road. Leeds weren't playing well, questions were been asked about Garry Monk's management and the fear of a relegation season weighed heavy on the shoulders of the battle weary Leeds fans. I doubt there was anybody inside Elland Road that day who would have predicted by the time the two old rivals met again Leeds would not only be above Town but both sides would be pushing hard for promotion to the Premier League. Unbelievable but true! Garry Monk's unwavering belief in his system and players has paid off massively whilst Wagner's German stormtroopers have continued their dalliance with the top six. All this means that today's high noon meeting down the A62 is the most mouth watering of West Yorkshire derbies for decades. So it's safe to say I was more than a little excited as I boarded the early Sunday morning train at Selby heading for Huddersfield, well I tried to board the train but it had been cancelled due to the lack of a conductor. Even more galling the train sauntered through the station with a "Not in service" sign on the front! Bollox. So a quick dash to pick the car up saved the day and ensured that we didn't miss another kick off..

Most of the pre match chatter amongst the Leeds fans was about the team selection and new arrivals. Will there be any changes to the starting eleven? Will any of the new lads start? Just how many Leeds fans have got tickets in the home end? As it turned out Vieira, Doukara and Hernandez came into the starting line up with  Pedraza and Barrow on the bench. The stadium was absolutely bouncing as the game got under way as the 2,000 Leeds fans were drowned out by the drum led home fans. They do like a cup final!

After a frenetic and hectic start it was Leeds who crafted the first chance as Hernandez released Chris Wood down the inside left channel but the Town goalie just managed to deflect his fierce drive for a corner. Huddersfield then picked up the pace and attacked the resolute Leeds defence. Green made a terrific one on one save from Quaner to keep the game level shortly before watching helplessly as a Jansson clearance cannoned off a Town player and looped back towards the unguarded Leeds goal only to nestle thankfully on the top of the net. The game was hurtling along at breakneck pace with tackles flying in from both teams in front of a baying crowd. This was a real quality raw boned derby and the crowd were loving it. On 27 minutes the home crowd were loving it just a tad more than the Leeds fans though.

Another Town attack probed the Leeds defence.......Jansson stuck out his telescopic leg to thwart the first wave of the attack but Tommy Smith reacted first to cross the ball back into the took a deflection and Izzy Brown was first to react and smash it into the net. The home fans self combusted as the scorer celebrated by gesturing to the Leeds contingent. Classy. 1.0 Town. Leeds were now under tremendous pressure and needed everyman to step up to the plate and get the mighty whites back into the game. Huddersfield piled forward which was just what Leeds wanted as long as they could retrieve the ball and counter attack. In the 35th minute that's exactly what happened. A swift Leeds break relieved the pressure and ended with a corner for the away team. Hernandez fluffed the corner but got a 2nd bite of the cherry as the ball was weakly cleared. The Spaniard didn't need any encouragement to cross for a 2nd time and this time hit Bartley at the back post who nodded the ball into the path of Wood who walked it into the goal. 1.1 and the drum was silenced in the home end as the 2,000 away fans danced with delight.

The match was like two old heavyweight boxers slugging it out without any consideration for anything cautious. This was full blooded who dares wins football at his best. Kachunga so nearly restored Town's lead within a minute but a heroic block from Berardi saved the day. Phew! Town finished the half on top as Green once again pulled off a great save and then saw unmarked Hefele's header go tamely wide. HT 1:1. What a game!

The urinal philosophers were breathless. "We're giving the ball away too much" observed one fan whilst another thought we "Needed to nail Brown and Mooy" Certainly when Brown replaced Palmer from the bench he had changed the game and looked a class player as he did when he played for Rotherham against us. Everybody took a deep breath ready for the 2nd half to begin. Could Leeds quieten the eager home team?

Dallas had the first chance of the 2nd half but his volley from the edge of the box was blocked but it was Town who now had the upper hand as attack after attack rained down on the battling Leeds defence. Bartley and Jansson were defiant as ever as they tried to blunt the Town attack. Van La Parra missed a chance from a through ball and then Quaner made a horrible hash of a clear chance in the box supplied by the impressive Brown. Leeds needed some inspiration to fire them up for one last effort. They got it from new signing Pedraza, on for Doukara, who's first touch was a length of the field run followed by a vicious swerving shot that Ward did well to save in the Town goal.

The game entered the last ten minutes with the scores still level and 22,000 squeaky bums in the stand. Town seemed to be running out of ideas. Leeds seemed to have all but squeezed the life out of their attacking intent but then disaster struck. Mooy hit a hopeful long shot that was going well wide but took a deflection right into the path of Hefele who gleefully smashed the ball into the net from close range. The stadium erupted as the ecstatic home fans celebrated an 89th minute goal. The celebrations on the field led too an unseemingly brawl in the technical area as Garry Monk took exception to Wagner's theatrical celebrations. Both coaches were dispatched to the stands by the referee.

There wasn't time for Leeds to respond to the heartbreaking last gasp winner as Town picked up all three points. The way the home fans were celebrating you'd think they'd already been promoted but credit to Town they were the better side and look to be hitting their straps just at the right time of the season.........but there's still a long way to go and I get the feeling this isn't the last time we'll play them this season. Leeds never really got into top gear today although they battled admirably. Too many balls passed to a blue and white shirt I'm afraid but to lose to two goals that resulted from deflected shots is hard to take. Rob Green was man of the match for me which probably tells you enough about the Leeds performance. Two good teams in a cracking game though.

Cardiff up next at Elland Road. We need to dust ourselves down and go again. We are still very well placed in the play off spots. No need to panic. Stay calm and support Leeds!

Can't wait.


1 comment:

Leeds watcher since 65 said...

Totally agree with your report, I watched on TV and the altercation took away from the fact we weren't at our best and probably they edged it, but Wagner's touchline jaunt was totally out of place and deserved the Monk retribution imo. Good to see the that the players and management seem as 1 something I have not seen for a while.

Site Counter