With other Leeds fans calling for our support to be the twelfth man today, it was fantastic to see us getting that siege mentality back, getting behind the lads and having a fantastic atmosphere. We must do this for every game and it certainly made a difference today along with a fighting performance from the team. Keep going Leeds, we can do this!
Despite storm Dennis on its way to lashing the UK today, I managed to get to Elland Road with my granddaughter Alexis during a lull in the weather. Getting there in good time we went to the front of the club shop to meet Paul who was buying two of my books Back to Reality and Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United. Enjoy the read and it was good to hear that he enjoys reading my blogs all the time so thank you for the support. We had a quick visit to the Peacock, and it was nice to see some of the Halifax Whites in there with Shuy who was here from Australia. It turned out he had a ticket not far from me in the ground. Again, we timed it right getting into the ground before the rain started but it meant there would be challenging conditions for the players today.
The team: Casilla, Ayling, Cooper, White, Dallas, Costa, Bamford, Klich, Hernandez, Phillips and Harrison. Subs: Augustin for Bamford (75) and Shackleton for Hernandez (90). Referee: T. Robinson. Attendance was 35,819 with 1,203 Bristol fans. Leeds won the game 1-0 with a goal by Ayling (16).
Leeds were up for the game from the off as we attacked towards the South Stand. We continued to attack and took a deserved lead in the 16th minute when Leeds had shot after shot blocked before Ayling got on the end of the ball to hit it into the net. Within a few minutes Bamford put the ball into the net to give us a second goal or so we thought, only for the linesman to put his flag up for offside. Once again, a Bamford goal was chalked off by the officials. That is at least three goals he has been denied this season due to official decisions or being awarded as an own goal instead. That is so frustrating for him and us. It felt that had that goal been awarded, then we would have gone on to get a hatful. Costa was brought down by a Bristol player only for the ref to play on. With that Costa ran on and hit a fantastic shot that their keeper did well to save. I said he should get his angry head on more often! It had been a very one-sided game with Leeds fighting for every ball, continuing to attack and kept Bristol down to a late chance as we went into the break with a one goal lead. The Leeds crowd had played their part too which was great to see and hear despite many of them at the front of the stands having to contend with the worst of the weather. I’m glad our seats are far enough back and that we aren’t in the family stand anymore as we used to get wet in those seats.
The second half saw Bristol attack first, but Leeds carried on dominating the game as Harrison and Costa kept attacking down the flanks. Phillips was in great form again showing how much we had missed him as he put some great balls through. We looked dangerous every time we came forward and the Bristol keeper was in fantastic form as he kept out what looked like certain goals from Bamford and Costa. Bamford’s shot was low and looked to be going under the keeper only for him to land on the ball and stop it going into the goal. Costa had beaten the keeper only for him to somehow fling himself at the ball to stop it going into the net. He led a charmed life that’s for sure and Bristol had him to thank for keeping the score down. As we had attack after attack, I thought we wouldn’t attempt to make any changes to the team. I was disappointed to see Bamford was then taken off for Augustin as I didn’t think he deserved to be subbed. What he brings to the team cannot be discounted and he looked disappointed to be taken off. I would like to have seen him stay on as well as Augustin as you could see immediately the difference once he went off. Shortly afterwards we gained the upper hand again as Harrison’s shot hit the crossbar. We deserved that second goal but unfortunately with the woodwork and the keeper in outstanding form it was proving hard to get. We had limited Bristol to very few attacks and most of them were dealt with comfortably although one looked too close for comfort. Shackleton came on to replace Hernandez to ensure we got the points. It was great to see Shackleton add pace to the game in injury time as Leeds attacked and we were unlucky that Augustin’s shot went past the wrong side of the post.
As the final whistle blew everyone on the terraces were ecstatic to get the win. As the cheering went on for ages it really was good to see how everyone had come together today and that’s what we need to do every game. I loved this side today and everyone played their part so well done to everybody. The three points were very important today as we got the win and the bonus of a clean sheet as other teams around us capitulated. Another home game next week with Reading the visitors and hopefully I am meeting an Argentinian journalist so want to be there early. Enjoy the win everyone and see you next week. LUFC – Marching on Together!
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, Leeds United in the 1980s
- The Sleeping Giant Awakens, Leeds United 2016-17
- Back to Reality, Leeds United 2017-18
- Out now: Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United
Website: www.followmeandleedsunited.co.uk Twitter: @FollowMeAndLUFC Facebook: Follow Me and Leeds United: Instagram: Heidi Haigh – lufcheidi @followmeandleedsunited