Lucky for me I was heading to Leeds from Halifax so my car journey took approximately 20 minutes. Fans coming from the opposite direction had to endure snail paced traffic due to an incident west bound on the M62 which backed up along the M621 and the ring road in Leeds. I was due to meet one of the lads from the now defunct Selby branch of the Leeds United Supporters Club in the Peacock who’d got caught up in the traffic. Luckily he got there for a catch up. For any other Selby members (I saw two more today too), there is hopefully going to be a meet up after the Sheffield Wednesday game as it’s an early kick off. It was nice to have a chat with some of our Irish fans before the game too.
The team was Green, Bartley, Jansson, Ayling, Berardi, Vieira, O’Kane, Roofe, Sacko, Wood and Hernandez. Subs were Barrow for Roofe, Phillips for O’Kane and Doukara for Hernandez. Attendance was 22,402 with approximately 300 Bristol fans.
It was important that we stepped up our game today as things hadn’t been going our way just recently. It was also the first for a long time that we’d been turned around to attack the Kop in the first half. We started off well and had a couple of chances but they weren’t on target. The first time we had a stray pass was in the 7th minute which was a big improvement. We were lucky that Green was in great form tonight because he was called on to make an early save to keep Bristol out. Leeds then had a couple of shots on target that their goalie had to save. Jansson got the ball to the left of the penalty area and beat their man to put a cross in which raised our game. At that moment I wasn’t sure whether we would get a goal but I didn’t have long to find out. Leeds were given a free kick which was taken so quickly by Hernandez that he took everyone by surprise apart from Chris Wood. He reacted well to put the ball into the net whilst I kept waiting for the ref to disallow it as it had been taken before the ref was ready. For once luck was on our side as the goal was given. I had my camera poised to take a photo and all I had to do was press the button, but for some reason I was so mesmerised I “dropped” the camera to watch the action and missed it! Oh well, all that matters is that we scored! Luckily at half time we went in with a goal lead despite Bristol putting us under pressure just before the whistle blew. As I took a photo downstairs, the plaque for the Revie Stand in the Kop looked decidedly shabby and I look forward to the day that we can get it refurbished!
The game changed again in our favour when we attacked the South Stand. Hernandez shot, only for the ball to be deflected wide of the goalie to put a bit of light between us and Bristol! That came out of the blue so soon after half time but gave us a cushion. Bristol never gave up though and for me the man of the match was Green as he made some great saves to keep them out. I felt quite calm though because even though Bristol kept attacking we were playing better and had a lot of possession ourselves. At one point all the South Stand and the team shouted for a penalty which was for a handball incident. I couldn’t see it at the time but have seen a video shared online and it was a unanimous shout for a blatant handball. Chris Wood also got past their goalie but couldn’t get the final shot in to give us another goal. I’ll give Bristol their due because they still kept attacking us and on a different day I’m sure they’d have got something out of the game. Having seen them get something out of the game in the last few minutes down at Ashton Gate, I wouldn’t just accept the score with minutes still to play. One shot that Green saved from them was unbelievable as I have no idea how he managed to keep that one out of the net! We were put under pressure continuously during the five minutes of injury time as they won a few corners. With more or less the final kick of the game Bristol pulled one back as Green was unlucky not to keep a clean sheet.
For once luck was on our side and I am grateful for the three points to get us back on a winning streak. I will take each game as it comes and just look forward to us keeping going and getting as many points as we can. I will then see where we are later in the season but fingers crossed we will still be amongst the top six! We head to Ipswich on Saturday and the only good thing to come out of the Sutton game is the fact we don’t have to travel there midweek! See you there – LUFC – Marching on Together!