You know the feeling when you are trying to help another Leeds fan get in touch with someone you know without success? I then tried to ring the number only for it to be unattainable, oh dear. Mmm that had alarm bells ringing especially when I realised all the texts I’d sent to the “new” number hadn’t had an answer! I thought I’d messed up when I put the new number into my phone in one of those moments when you do stupid things, but as I found out later on in the evening, it wasn’t my fault. After giving me the new phone number someone else had recommended he kept his old number which made sense. Unfortunately I’d never been told this but at least all’s well that ends well, as I now have the correct number in my phone and the Leeds fan I tried to help was successful in getting sorted out!
It was going to be one of those games where I was relying on others and my grateful thanks once again go to the people who know who they are.
The team today was Wiedwald, Ayling, Jansson, Berardi, Cooper, Roofe, Dallas, Phillips, Hernandez, Alioski and Klich. Subs were Pennington for Hernandez (45), Vieira for Klich (67) and Grot for Alioski (62). Attendance was 27,60 with approximately 2,700 Leeds fans. Leeds lost 3-1 with Roofe (67) scoring the Leeds goal meaning we lost the top spot. Cooper was sent off just before half time for a second bookable offence
It was good to get there in time for kick off managing to out my banner up before finding my seat. On our way into the ground it was nice to be treated with respect by the female stewards who were looking for unacceptable slogans on any flags as they agreed Sue and I were respectable!! There were loads of Leeds fans still arriving after kick off as we found our seats at the start of the game. I’d not realised we were up again Warnock our ex manager and Bamba our ex player though until the night. For the first twenty minutes or so Leeds saw plenty of the ball and things were quite even on the pitch. The ref up to that time hadn’t been too bad then it was as if someone whispered in his ear and he gave us absolutely nothing which meant Cardiff went from strength to strength. Their first goal came from a mistake from us though. Jansson got the ball and instead of turning and going forward passed the ball back to Wiedwald who passed it straight back to Jansson. He then passed the ball out to the wing to Klich who had the ball covered until he slipped and Cardiff took full advantage of this. With their fast counter attack they had the ball in the net on the half hour point giving them the lead.
We were struggling to contain Cardiff making it look like our team selection was wrong. The ref surpassed himself when he gave a free kick to Cardiff but didn’t send their player off the pitch after treatment. He was more interested in giving our players a ticking off and even though they pointed out that their player needed to go off he totally ignored them. Someone mentioned later on that as he booked our player a new rule meant he could stay on the pitch?? Hopefully someone else will confirm whether this is the case but it wouldn’t surprise me as “rules” seem to get broken many times. A couple of times the reaction of their fans made the linesman flag for a free kick. After a short while Cardiff attacked us again leaving us at sixes and sevens as their player put a hard shot past Wiedwald from the edge of the box. To cap it all just before half time we found ourselves down to 10 men as Cooper tackled their player on the far side and was sent off for a second bookable offence. That knocked the stuffing out of us. Just before half time we thought they’d got a third goal when the ball hit the back of the net but it was disallowed for offside. Going in at half time two goals down wasn’t good though.
During the break it was nice to catch up with Caerwyn one of our South Wales fans and Simon who’d come up from Cornwall for the game. I received lots of nice comments about my blog from fans and thank you to everyone who took the time to speak to me about it. I want to say a big thank you to Dylan and his son Lucas for their support in buying my book Follow Me and Leeds United. Enjoy the read and I look forward to receiving feedback in due course. I also got feedback from my second book; Once a Leeds fans, always a Leeds fan that was read by another of our fans and he’d really enjoyed it. As usual all comments are appreciated.
Immediately at the start of the second half Pennington was brought on in place of Hernandez to shore up our defence with Cooper getting sent off. Before long though we were three goals down and it was game over.
Leeds didn’t give up though and we started to play better with 10 men than 11. As the Cardiff fans celebrated with top of the league chants as they had been in third place in the top of table clash (it’s been a long time since we could say that), the Leeds fans came into their own showing their loyalty and support for getting behind the team. A constant rendition of we all love Leeds over and over again kept going up a notch and eventually the Cardiff fans sat down and you couldn’t hear them at all. As play stopped after a foul, a rendition of Marching on Together rang out in full voice from the Leeds fans who then carried on where they left off with we all love Leeds until the end of the game. In between all of this Roofe scored a goal to pull one back for us and although if we thought there would be a revival and aspiration for a draw, sadly it wasn’t to be.
It was a disappointing result tonight, there is no getting away from it as I thought Christiansen may have learnt from the Millwall game. I appreciate he wants to play football but the team selection didn’t work in that respect. We were bullied out of the game and again in my opinion Vieira should have been on from the start to add that bit of steel into the midfield. I haven’t been impressed with Grot so far and after he came on as sub, I am still not impressed with him. That said, they should be proud of the support they got from the Leeds fans today and it was good to see Christiansen join the players in clapping us at the end of the game.
It will be a late home coming for lots of fans and especially harder for those of us who are back at work in the early hours of the morning It will be not so far for all our Welsh fans and those who don’t live too far away though. Luckily I was able to sleep both going and coming back but know that plenty of black coffee will be required to keep me going.
Saturday sees the Trust AGM before the singing practice of all the old Leeds songs with a group of Leeds fans. If you know of any singers that should be involved there may be space for them but I will give no promises and they’d need to contact me ASAP if interested.
Sheffield Wednesday away on Sunday beckons so we have to bounce back. Christiansen will have to reflect on what hasn’t worked away from home for us. It’s been a breath of fresh air enjoying the season so far so the result is a bit of a downer, but there will be another good following of Leeds fans at Hillsborough so we need to turn it around and fast. The international break is around the corner once again which causes further disruption at the wrong time and is one thing we could do without! Forever and ever, we’ll follow our team; we’re Leeds United we rule supreme. See you there – LUFC – Marching on Together!