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Saturday, 17 March 2018

Leeds Utd v Sheff Wed 17th March 2018.

Another Wintry blast was scything down Elland Road attacking any exposed skin amongst the hardy 31,000 fans heading for a Yorkshire derby between two misfiring teams from God's own county.  With League positions irrelevant at this point in the season there was just the not so insignificant matter of local bragging rights up for grabs between Leeds and the blue side of Sheffield.  With both teams desperate for a convincing performance to deflect  ever mounting criticism from fans, media and owners I was hoping for a good old fashioned no holds barred derby.  Well I was hoping!

Radrizanni's biting comments about the Leeds players in midweek had struck a nerve so would the players respond with a bang or would the current drift towards end of season oblivion continue?  We were about to find out.  PH chose to give Tom Pearce his debut at left back, brought back O'Kane into midfield, No Saiz due to a hamstring injury and retained Ekuban up front in a selection that got mixed reviews amongst the fans gathering in the Pavillion.  Is Ekuban's selection more to do with the likelihood of Lasogga not been at the club next year?  Has O'Kane got some blackmail material on Heckingbottom? Having braved a last minute blizzard to get to my seat the game got underway.

Both teams came into the game in horrendous form and the nervousness shone through in the opening 15 minutes as errors and misplaced passes littered the game.  Leeds began to take charge of the game though and on 23 minutes Hernandez couldn't finish with his head after a good cross from Alioski.  Leeds continued to look the brighter and minutes later a sublime move from  a free kick released Ekuban who spurned an absolute golden chance from 8 yards as he hit his shot straight at the goalie.  In lots of ways Leeds United's form since Boxing Day was summed up in that moment.  Flashes of potential let down by a poor final pass/shot/challenge.

On the half hour Ekuban again failed to take advantage of a half cleared corner from Wednesday as he snatched at a glorious chance and blazed the ball into the kop.  Heavy sighs and numerous expletives drifted around Elland Road.  Was this going to be yet another story of missed chances and frustrated fans?  The game bungled along to half time with neither team showing much quality in front of an amazingly large crowd.  Wednesday had the ball in the net just on half time only for it to be ruled out for offside.  HT 0.0 and both sets of frozen fans retired to the bar and toilets with little to enthuse about.  The Urinal Philosophers were in a resigned mood.  "This season can't finish quick enough" muttered one disgruntled fan whilst another thought "It's a but better than Reading but not a lot"  On the positive side BPF was having another good game, Pearce had settled well after a nervy start and Forshaw was looking good in midfield.  The half time blizzard left the pitch white over as the 2nd period got under way.

Alioski went near with a shot from the edge of the box 2 minutes into the half but neither side really looked as if they had the ability to grab the game by the scruff of the neck and entertain the frozen fans.  Ekuban was running the channels well but losing composure once he got in the box.  Pearce was now getting forward well and causing Wednesday problems but it was all a bit......well underwhelming if I'm honest.  Then on 70 minutes the game sprung into life.  Lasogga replaced Ekuban but within a minute powder puff defending from Leeds allowed a cross into the Leeds box for Reach to out jump the Leeds "defence" and head onto the post and Nuhiu to react first and tap the ball home.  1.0 Wednesday.  Once again shocking defending from Leeds.  Leeds nearly replied straight away through Hernandez but the Wednesday goalie parried away his shot.  The game was now being played in blizzard conditions so bad I could hardly see what was going on at the other end of the pitch.

PH threw Grot on to try and rescue a point with 12 minutes left quickly followed by Phillips.  Surprisingly the subs worked as Grot rose and headed home an Hernandez cross with just 4 minutes left on the clock.  1.1 and just maybe we could snatch a victory from the jaws of defeat as Leeds pushed forward to pile pressure on the creaking Wednesday defence.  6 minutes of added time encouraged the home fans as they bayed for a winner.  What they got was yet another example of why they have slipped out of the promotion chase so dramatically over the last 4 months.  Nothing to do with Coach but all to do with the players.  A hopeful hoof up the pitch by Wednesday found the soft underbelly of Leeds United in all it's glory.  Pennington, who up to then had had a decent game, was muscled off the ball by Nuhiu with embarrassing ease before slotting the ball past BPF.  FFS how difficult is it just to clear the ball in that situation.  I was absolutely apoplectic with rage.  A soft, soft goal to concede after dragging ourselves back into the game against a very poor Sheffield side.  Bollox.

The game ended with Wednesday the winners and although Leeds season has already gone there is the very real possibility that we won't win again this season on this form.  The players are just not good enough and don't have the heart or steel required not only to play for Leeds but to play in the championship.  The whiteout after the game made the journey home even more depressing.  At least we won't lose next week.  Onto Bolton at home on Good Friday and the forlorn hope we can resurrect  some of our early season form..........don't hold your breath though!

Can't wait.



Leeds watcher since 65 said...

Thanks for still bothering to report on this garbage your blog is first class. As for the team... shocking. MOT

Unknown said...

Very well summed up by you I was still trying to get warm while reading the blog was in lower North Stand and was frozen stiff and bored stupid with this squad now mot

Terry white rose said...

It might be depressing at ER Andrew but sat in the sunshine in Johannesburg its....still depressing. It's hard work being a Leeds fan, but then again, I wouldn't support anyone else WAFLL

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