With £35 in his pocket courtesy of Vital Leeds United for a new shirt, Dazza71 went on to Elland Road following an early start to watch Leeds take on Huddersfield Town. Read his match report here!
Well thanks to the powers that be it was a very early start for me and the misses!! The alarm was set for 6am and we were both up and ready and on our way by 6.45am with the 200 mile journey ahead of us.
We arrived at the ground for about 10.30am and it was straight in the club shop to by my new Leeds shirt which I won for having my backside glued to this seat for the month of November! (If only more were like you Dazza! Ed) On the day we was marking the passing of the Leeds legend I thought it was only correct to get BREMNER 4 across the back.
Winter had definitely arrived with heavy rain, wind and freezing cold temperatures. I walked to the ground with a couple of brass monkies!
The ground filled up and Leeds remembered Billy by playing some clips of him scoring during his Leeds days and then they played the Ballard of Billy Bremner. Before kick off the players and fans remembered the great man with a minutes applause, its a shame all the Huddersfield fans didn’t join in but they were soon to get what they deserved.
The game kicked off and Leeds went with a 4-4-2 formation with Andy Hughes once again filling in at left back and Kishishev in the middle alongside Douglas. Huddersfield’s keeper Smithies will have no doubt been disappointed at having to miss Cbeebies in order to make his debut at the tender age of 17. With that in mind it was disappointing that Leeds didn’t put him under immense pressure from the off. It was actually Huddersfield who started the better with Wallwork winning the midfield battle. In only the 2nd minute Booth wasted a good chance and after a bit of a scramble Wallwork blazed over.
Huddersfield continued to press and Kamara was using his pace to get around Hughes on the right, usually his crosses didn’t match his wing play and after a few scrambles the ball would eventually be cleared. The defence at times looked very nervous especially down the side patrolled by Hughes and Heath and this was getting the fans frustrated. Leeds were playing far to many long balls with Richardson and Hughes lumping it up field and generally not finding a white shirt.
It wasn’t until half way through the half that Douglas and Kishishev finally started to take control of the middle and get some width into the game by bringing in Prutton and Westlake.
Leeds eventually made the break through when the ball dropped to Douglas some distance from goal and he drilled the ball on a wet greasy surface past the helpless youngster in the Huddersfield goal. It was quite appropriate that the man who is now captain of Leeds United and wears the number 4 should score on the day that marked the tenth anniversary of Billy’s death. It actually looked like the keeper dived to far and the ball went over his arms.
This got the Leeds fans in full voice and they were to make his life uneasy for the rest of the match. Beckford picked up a silly booking for what looked like making a gesture at the Huddersfield fans and then Kishishev also followed him into the book after a late tackle.
The game continued pretty much the same for the rest of the half with Huddersfield still having the majority of the play. On the stroke of half time Kishishev was lucky to stay on the pitch when a late tackle went unpunished by the referee. If he’d not picked up a yellow card earlier in the half he would have definitely got a yellow for this tackle!
Dennis Wise must have thought he couldn’t take anymore chances and replaced Kishishev with Howson for the second half.
The second half kicked off with Leeds attacking the kop and we soon got into our stride.
The Leeds fans were just getting on Kandol’s back for not playing the ball in early when he played it out wide for Prutton, he put in the perfect cross for Beckford to get the slightest of touches to make it 2-0.
Leeds were now in full control and the hugely impressive Howson started to drive Leeds forward from midfield and also win lots of tackles. Leeds went further ahead when Westlake broke down the left and after a few attempts it was left for Beckford to tap the ball into the net for his second and Leeds third. Beckford was also having a very good second half and was running the Huddersfield defence a merry dance.
Beckford, who was a doubt before the game picked up an injury when winning Leeds a free kick. Rather than take any further chances with him they replaced him with super sub Tore Andre Flo. Beckford got a well deserved standing ovation from the Leeds faithful when leaving the pitch. It wasn’t long before Flo was celebrating Leeds fourth when he tapped in after a good effort from Westlake was well saved by the Huddersfield keeper.
The Leeds fans were now in full voice and kept reminding the terrier fans of the score in ‘Huddersfields cup final!’ There was also a few chants for Billy Bremner and I am sure he was looking over us today with a huge smile on his face.
The only sour note was Kandol picking up a silly booking for throwing the ball into the ground which meant it was his fifth booking of the season and a suspension. I am not sure but with Beckford also now on four bookings I wouldn’t have been surprised if he wasn’t instructed to get the booking. This would not risk the chance of both him and Beckford getting booked in the same game and both being ruled out at the same time.
The final whistle went in front of the highest crowd in the third tier of the football League in almost 30 years.
The march continues towards the return to the Championship and if we can keep playing the way we did in the second half we will go up as champions.
Even though Huddersfield had the majority of the first half he had very little to do. On a miserable day for keepers he dealt with any balls into the middle and was very rarely pressured.
Continues to impress on the right of defence and his overlapping wing play continues to help out the attack.
Had the pace of Kamara to deal with but generally broke up the play quite well. A few more games in the position will do him the world of good and he could make the left back spot his own.
Doesn’t seem to be defending with much confidence at the moment and most of the panic in defence was usually centred on him.
Could we have the next Lucas at the club? Continues to dominate in the centre and break up any attacks. Just needs to work on his distribution, he regularly hoofed the ball into touch when going long.
Got into the game more in the scond half and was at the heart of two Leeds goals, unlucky not to score himself.
On a day when it was all about the old Leeds number 4 Douglas had a great game in the middle with his tough tackling and distribution of the ball. Fine goal cemented an excellent performance.
The first signing we must make in January his the full signing of this man. Just come back from injury but he was at the heart with Douglas winning all the tackles in the middle. Was a tad fortunate to stay on the field and it was a ‘WISE’ decision to take him off.
Another player who had a very good second half and put in an excellent ball for Beckford’s first. He also put in a few more telling crosses which Leeds players just failed to get on the end of. Also works hard for the team and seems to drift around the pitch putting in some excellent tackles.
It’s not quite happening for him at the moment and the fans continue to get frustrated with his lack of effort at times. He sometimes gives up the ball far too easy and doesn’t seem to go into tackles fully committed.
Beckford was unable to make much of an impact in the first half with balls usually hit long and hard for him to chance without a hope of getting onto.
In the second half he scored two typical centre forward goals. Please give him the ball at his feet and he will run past defenders for fun. He was doing it with ease against the Terriers and I just hope we can hold onto him in January.
Howson for Kishishev (8/10)
I think this boy could be the next hero of the kop. Another local boy like Batty and he puts himself about in the same style. The one thing he’s got that Batty really didn’t his he can also drive at the defence and he will score a fair few goals for the club.
Flo for Beckford (7/10)
Once again came on and scored. He’s not getting any younger but he’s experienced to know exactly what place to be in at the right time. I hope we can keep him fit and he will score 10-20 goals this season.
Came on with a few minutes left and played upfront. Not much chance winning many aerial battles.
Referee Mr Jones:
I must also give a mention to the referee MJ Jones who only looked a young bloke. He controlled the game very well and took into account the fact it was a local derby and also poor conditions. He wasn’t afraid to take his time and consult other officials during the game.
There was a period just after the first goal when I thought he was going to lose control but he kept the game flowing really well.
Cheers for an excellent report Dazza!