Charlton 30th April 2016

After waking up to snow yesterday it was nice to set off to Elland Road in sunshine. That didn’t last long though because by the time I’d picked my granddaughter Laura up and got to Leeds the rain had started. Laura had been so excited about coming to Leeds that she’d slept in her Leeds shirt the night before! She was also singing I love it, I love it, I love it Leeds, Leeds over and over again which was quite catchy.

We managed to get into the packed Peacock in between showers and there was a nice atmosphere about the place. As it was to be our Military Day today where members of the Armed Forces who have died were to be remembered, I wanted to get into the ground in good time. I was also asked how many words I was going to write today.  I said it depends on what happens and what there is to talk about!

The team today was Silvestri, Taylor, Bamba, Cooper, Coyle, Murphy, Cook, Wood, Dallas, Bridcutt and Botaka. Subs used were Mowatt for Dallas, Antenucci for Bridcutt and Diagouraga for Murphy.

A good crowd of just over 25,000 were there to see Leeds play their last home game of the season. It doesn’t seem two minutes since we were in Austria and Norway for our pre-season tour.  The first half though was another one that we could forget about. Despite the fact that we set off brightly with a couple of good chances this petered out after about 20 minutes.  The game descended into a run of the mill game with not much to shout about. Charlton came the nearest to scoring when they hit the post which luckily rebounded out of harms way. Typically though after another surge forward from us, Charlton came to our end and the ball ended up in the net from close range to put them into the lead. That was the cue for many fans to head downstairs for half time. As I went down for half time, I said to someone that it never works when we play one up front at home.  With that a man shouted out, how can you say that when we could have scored six goals with the chances we had?  I stand by my statement because collectively as a team, this system has been played so many times this season and it is abysmal to watch. Also we don’t come out with a win at the end of it or if so it is a rare occurrence.

If we thought the second half was going to be better we were wrong because within a few minutes we were two goals down as Charlton scored their second.  A chap behind us was screaming at the team saying Charlton were already relegated so why was this happening? He had many people laughing as he shouts and screams every game but at least he has some passion in him! Evans made some changes by Mowatt coming on and then Antenucci. We changed formation and it wasn’t long before we pulled one back with Bamba heading into the net after a great cross from Charlie Taylor.  He didn’t stop to celebrate and grabbed the ball and ran straight back to the centre circle.  We actually started playing football when Diagouraga came on and our formation changed again. Although Wood hit the post we didn’t get a second goal and went down to a 2-1 defeat.  We really left it too little too late again which was little consolation for the big crowd.  Although many left at the final whistle there were still some fans in all the stands ready to see the players go round the pitch at the end. There was no sign of Bellusci with the rest of the players and when I asked where he was, someone said he was in Italy.

We now have only one game left with our visit to Preston next week. Many of the Fullerton Park branch are dressing up in seventies gear for this.  Sue, Dani and I will be going dressed as Leeds fans from the seventies.  My beret will be replaced by tying a scarf round my head together with scarves around my wrists. Unfortunately my dungarees are long gone (not that I’d fit in them anymore), but it will be nice to reminisce about following the best team ever in that era!  See you at Preston – LUFC – Marching on Together!

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