This was the second time in a week that I was heading to an away game straight from work only this time the Fullerton Park coach was taking the strain. I arrived at Elland Road at the same time as my daughter Danielle and had a chat to Fiona Hanley the Supporters Liaison Officer (SLO) for Leeds before getting on the coach. We seemed to arrive in Hull in no time at all and found out why there was to be no parking around the ground, due to the big Hull Fair situated on the car parks. As we were escorted through the site, I couldn’t help but notice the great amount of impressive mobile homes there were. Obviously they must be doing okay!
Once in the ground I headed to the front to hang my flag up although I was disappointed when I went back to get it near the end of the game, to find it had been knocked to the floor. What a shame no one tied it back up again! I also couldn’t believe that we had only been given 2,100 tickets for this game either. When they had a small attendance with no end of empty seats, it doesn’t make sense that they can turn the extra money we would create by not selling us more. As once again we sold out our allocation in minutes, they must have more money than sense. The one thing they did have right though was having loads of beer being served at once, something that has been mentioned to Angus Kinnear recently that needs improvement at Leeds. The one thing that was over the top in my opinion was the amount of police in attendance dressed in riot gear.
The team: Peacock-Farrell, Ayling, Cooper, Jansson, Phillips, Klich, Harrison, Douglas, Alioski, Saiz and Roberts. Subs were: Forshaw for Saiz (74), Dallas for Harrison (74) and Shackleton for Douglas (82, went off injured). Leeds won the game 1-0 with a goal from Roberts (51). Attendance was 13,798 with 2,100 Leeds fans.
As the game kicked off, Leeds started with plenty of possession and on the attack coming close in the opening minutes. At that time I thought some of the Hull players looked scared as I wanted us to take charge of the game. At times our build up was slow and we had some sloppy passing. At other times we were passing the ball between ourselves and wearing Hull down. We should have taken the lead with Alioski through on goal but his final shot was wide. I thought the ball had taken a deflection or hit the post first but I may be wrong with that. We should have also taken the lead just before half time when Alioski’s cross came to Douglas who seemed to have an open goal in front of him; unfortunately he blasted the ball over the top of the goal. That was an excellent chance and showed again that we can create chances but need to take them.
Thank you to Whitby John for buying my new book Back to Reality, Leeds United 2017-18. It was nice to hear that Olivia, who bought the same book at Millwall, has taken it to school to read. As she is the only Leeds fan surrounded by Bradford fans, she is doing an excellent job of flying the flag for us!
At the start of the second half it didn’t take long before we took the lead with an excellent goal from Roberts. He let fly from outside the box and the ball beat their goalie which was unexpected according to some of the fans near me. I hoped that would settle the nerves a bit. We had shouts for a penalty turned down surprise, surprise when the ball hit their player’s hand(s) in the area plus when Saiz fell in the area he was booked for diving. We saw plenty of the ball but to me, it looked like we were playing a slower game today. With us having three games again this week, I felt that impacted on the way we played tonight and were preserving our energy. It wasn’t one of the better games to watch from the terraces but at the end of the day, we got three points and the win which took us back to the top of the table. Leeds were fighting for the ball as Hull started to put some pressure on us. I just didn’t want them to get anything out of the game at all but we managed to keep them out thankfully.
At the end of the game the team had come over to the Leeds fans to clap us when all of a sudden Cooper came with a Leeds shirt with the word “STAY STRONG TOBY” on it. That gesture brought tears to my eyes as we learnt yesterday that despite Toby overcoming his treatment for neuroblastoma, he has now got a brain tumour. Keep fighting little man and I really hope you can overcome this too.
After arranging to meet someone in the Peacock for my book on Saturday at 1.45 pm, I’d checked on my calendar as I suddenly had the feeling the kick off time had changed. I thought the Leeds fixtures would change automatically but they didn’t so I’ve rearranged my arrival time now. I also had a French Journalist for FRANCE FOOTBALL, the main football magazine in France contact me. The one that rewards every year “The best player of the year” with The Ballon d’Or (The Golden Ball). Hopefully I will meet up with him at the Brentford game as he said he would be interested to meet a true Leeds fan and a well-known blogger! It is nice to know that my blogs are being seen around the world. See you on Saturday – LUFC – Marching on Together!
Heidi Haigh – A fanatical Leeds United supporter of over 50 years
Author of the following books:
Follow Me and Leeds United
Once a Leeds fan, Always a Leeds fan
Co-author with Andrew Dalton of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Leeds United
The Sleeping Giant Awakens, Leeds United 2016-17
OUT NOW! Back to Reality, Leeds United 2017-18