Before I start my blog today I am going to skip to the end of the game. I can’t remember the last time that I have been so engrossed in a game. The atmosphere was the best we have had at a home game for as long as I can remember together with seeing the away side wilting and looking intimidated. Lastly but not least seeing the team perform as a team, backing each other up, having chances to score, putting the effort in and being unlucky not to have scored more! It really felt like the sleeping giant was stirring and long may it continue! Interesting that I wrote the next paragraph before the game so I’ll leave it as it is!
Before I set off for Elland Road I had a couple of jobs to do. As usual I was wearing one of my Leeds shirts and I still maintain that it is one of the reasons that people feel comfortable to come up to me to talk about them. Some people walking their dog came up to me to ask who we were playing and if I was going to the game. At the tip, I got help with my rubbish then had another conversation about Leeds including Monk. I agreed he needed time for us to have some stability and move forwards. These are by no means isolated incidents; because I wear my Leeds shirts whenever I’m not at work, the amount of people who come to talk to me including strangers is phenomenal. We are a sleeping giant in my opinion!!
After picking my granddaughter up we got to Elland Road in good time as I’d been asked to take some photos of someone in the Peacock. With the weather being warm and fine, the garden had many fans taking in the music from the band. There was a good atmosphere about the place too. After meeting the girls who were modelling t-shirts saying “NEVER UNDERESTIMATE A WOMAN WHO SUPPORTS LEEDS UNITED” and getting the photos asked of me, we headed into the ground.
There looked to be a decent crowd too and Ipswich fans filled the top part of their stand and brought more than Blackburn had. The team today was Green, Taylor, Bartley, Ayling, Jansson, O’Kane, Hernandez, Dallas, Wood, Phillips and Sacko. Subs used were Roofe for Sacko, Mowatt for Hernandez and Grimes for Dallas. Attendance was 22,554 with 902 Ipswich.
The game started with Leeds on the attack and I still can’t believe how a fantastic strike from Chris Wood from the left hand side of the pitch didn’t end up in the net. I was convinced looking at it from the Kop that it had gone into the top right hand corner of the goal! Unfortunately it hit the post and came back out. The fans were getting behind the team but the play kept getting held up for the ref giving free kick, after free kick to Ipswich. It looked like a lot of cheating going on because they were going down like flies and there weren’t any real bad challenges being done. It did slow the game down for a while but although Ipswich had some corners, it was good to see that we were able to clear the ball and prevent them from scoring. They also had a deflected shot which looked perilously close to going in that I was glad to see went past the outside of the post. Chris Wood looked to be on fire and was chasing after the ball and I would say this was probably the best I’ve seen him play. After the half hour mark, Leeds were on the attack and Charlie Taylor put in a great cross into the middle which landed perfectly for Chris Wood to head the ball into the net for his seventh goal of the season. Cue celebrations all around and it was kept that way until half time.
The second half saw some of the best football we have seen for some time with Leeds dominating the play and looking like they would add to the score line. Sacko had a fantastic run along the left and should have scored but unfortunately put the ball wide. The good thing was that at least we were getting into positions to look like scoring! When was the last time that we had done this for a lot of the game? To be honest because of how we were dominating the game at the time I wouldn’t have brought any subs on, this was what others around me thought too. We had got to the 70 minute mark before I realised that we hadn’t brought any of the subs on and the first one ended up on 76 minutes when Roofe came on for Sacko. Whatever happens, Sacko should be proud of his achievement today because I can’t remember the last time that anyone has had a standing ovation when being subbed. He will be a great prospect for the future I’m sure!
The three subs coming on did make a difference to the pace of the game as Ipswich came at us a bit. The one thing we wanted was to hold on to the lead and get the three points. After some more time wasting from the Ipswich players it was good to see only three minutes of injury time was to be played. With the amount of times Ipswich players went down, I thought we were heading for the same as the last league game of seven minutes which thank goodness didn’t happen.
At the end of the game the team received their applause which was well deserved and it was good to see things finally looking up and as if they are heading in the right direction. The scenes seen at Leeds today have been missing for so long and it was good to see them back again, even for a little while. Just think, how good things would be if these carry on in the same way? Fingers crossed from me because I loved everything about it today as it reminded me of the Leeds United of old, along with the togetherness of the fans and the team. Long may it continue!
As long as we aren’t brought down to earth with a bang, I’m hoping that the midweek game at Bristol City on Tuesday will go our way. I’m not being greedy honestly! As long as we try like today, then anything can happen. If the opposition know that we are getting harder to beat and not be a pushover then that will be a good start! Putting the fear back into the opposition will go a long way to us heading in the right direction! See you at Bristol – LUFC – Marching on Together!