Brighton A 27th November 2021
After waking up to snow and horrendous winds, I knew it would be a challenging day for Leeds fans travelling to the game, especially those in the north. With freezing fingers after clearing snow from my car, the worst snow was down to the main road and apart from one flood to contend with I got to Elland Road just after 8am in time for the coach. I realised that I’d made the mistake of not putting my walking boots on as I’d cold and wet feet before even leaving Leeds. It was going to be a long day. The travel disruptions didn’t stop there as we had to detour around Barnsley to get past a jack-knifed lorry/accidents that had shut the M1. It’s a good job we had allowed plenty of time to get to the game because even though we made good time after that, it was slow going on the M25. We luckily still managed to have a pub stop before getting to the game 30 minutes before kick-off. With all the Leeds fans arriving at once, there were plenty of queues getting in. I had to have my flag checked (I think for content) to see if it was allowed in, and the steward very kindly said it was okay. Being able to hang my flag up at Premier League grounds has been virtually impossible at many so far this season so I’m glad it got an airing. Whoever designed the ground though, putting the ladies’ loos next to a packed bar wasn’t good planning.
A big thank you to Dave for buying by new book United Are Back! For anyone wanting to buying it, remember to use the code HAIGH25 if ordering direct from my publisher JMD Media to receive your discount for any of my books or others on the site.
With it being the 10th anniversary since Gary Speed’s death, it was a lovely gesture seeing some fans had been given t-shirts before the start of the game. The Leeds fans ensured they remembered him by singing ‘Oh Gary Speed’ on 11 minutes.
Team: Meslier, Cooper, Firpo, Rodrigo, Raphinha, Phillips, James, Dallas, Forshaw, Harrison and Llorente.
Subs: Struijk for Phillips (45), Shackleton for Firpo (45), Roberts for Harrison (63).
Subs not used: Klaesson, Gelhardt, Klich, Cresswell, McCarron, Jenkins.
Leeds drew the game 0-0.
Referee: Craig Pawson.
Attendance: 31,166 with 3,000 Leeds fans.
The Leeds fans were in good voice but Brighton fans after their initial start were very poor, and I was surprised when they booed their team off at the end of the game. Leeds found themselves under the cosh and we had to be thankful for the woodwork and Meslier keeping Brighton from scoring. Firpo received an early booking which maybe impacted on his performance, as he was given a torrid time during the first half. It took a while for Leeds to get a grip of the game before having an attack, but our final shot was wide. The nearest we came to scoring was when we won a free kick taken by Raphinha which just missed Rodrigo, and James who couldn’t get a good contact for a shot. The rest of the half was dominated by Brighton’s continuous attacks with again the woodwork and Meslier preventing them scoring. It had been a poor half from our point of view but at least the scores were 0-0 at half time.
The second half saw both Phillips and Firpo subbed but it didn’t make any difference to stopping Brighton from attacking. Again, it took time for us to have an attack with Dallas’s shot saved by their keeper giving us a bit of hope. When Roberts came on, he made an immediate impact, but it was a shame he didn’t lift the ball over the keeper to score, instead it was straight at the keeper who saved the shot. Meslier made another great save tipping the ball over the bar as Brighton continued to try and break the deadlock. The last 10 minutes saw Leeds get into the game more and a great run by Forshaw saw Roberts’ shot saved by the keeper. Roberts had a further shot saved before the game ended in a 0-0 draw. With freezing fingers and toes at the end of the game for me along with an icy wind, conditions hadn’t been great, but Brighton had the best efforts. That said we could have been a few goals down by the end of the game, so the positives are that we didn’t lose and gained a point. I’ll admit at one point I thought there was only one team going to score and it wasn’t us, but for once things worked out in our favour. One thing I will say though is that despite thinking the purple kit looks okay, on the pitch it had no impact for me and would rather not use it during a game. As the Brighton fans were going out of the ground next to me, a Leeds fan amongst them shouted Leeds, Leeds, Leeds. Leeds fans here, Leeds fans there!
It had been a very poor game overall and although we had a very good run home with no diversions for once, I couldn’t wait to get home as I felt very down. Sleeping on things is the best way forward for me and I’m feeling a lot more positive this morning. We have two home games this week so come on Leeds, believe in yourselves and let’s get those two wins under our belts before heading to Chelsea. See you there LUFC, Marching on Together!