Burnley H 2nd January 2022
I hope everyone has had a great Christmas and a Happy New Year. After having two games postponed over the Christmas period due to injuries and covid, it was great to be back at Elland Road today to see Leeds United play. It was great catching up with people in the Peacock and Kop today and thanks for the chats and support which are always appreciated.
Thank you once again for the support from everyone who has bought our CD today. As costs have been more than covered and repaid, 100% of the balance after those will go to the Leeds United Academy/Foundation once all CDs have been sold. Sales have been doing really well with our limited edition and I will always have some on me at home and away games. If you want one posting then please contact Mick Hewitt either via his Facebook page or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org. A minimum donation of £10 is required for a CD and for an extra £2, the words of all songs recorded in pdf format can be sent via an email link.
Thank you for those who have bought books via my publisher JMD Media or got them as a Christmas Present. It was great to hear that the Leeds United Supporters Club Malta are wanting a copy of all of my books for their library and look forward to seeing them on their return to Elland Road in the near future to hand them over.
I’ve had some great feedback on my last book United Are Back! Leeds United 2020/21 Back in the Premier League Behind Closed Doors so a big thank you to Victoria Spencer. Just finished the book. Cracking read. Took me right back to last season. Really great match reports and some fab quotes. One of my favourites “As soon as I saw the kit, the badge and that awful colour on the pitch, I realised the dislike I felt for them was still underneath the surface with a passion.”
Seeing both my husband and my mum get to Christmas was very important for me especially making memories, so even though we don’t know what will happen this year my football is my getting away from everything and destressing. Having my camera and taking photos means that I don’t get as wound up during games. That saying, after Roberts got booked for a tackle around 10 minutes into the game the referee felt the wrath of expletives from my mouth due to another inept performance from the officials. There again, I wasn’t the only one!
Team: Meslier, Ayling (C), Llorente, Koch, Dallas, Firpo, Raphinha, Klich, Roberts, Harrison and Forshaw.
Subs: Gelhardt for Roberts (58), James for Harrison (62).
Subs not used: Klaesson, Greenwood, Jenkins, Hjelde, Bate, Summerville, Moore.
Leeds won the game 3-1 with goals from Harrison (39), Dallas (77), James (90+2).
Attendance: 36,083 with 2,605 Burnley fans.
Referee: Paul Tierney.
Booked: Roberts, Llorente.
With Leeds turned around at the start of the game to attack the Kop, this was met by a lot of boos from the crowd. Dallas had our first attempt on goal before Raphinha’s quick thinking saw their keeper off his line but his lob went agonisingly close on the wrong side of the post. After another attempt at goal which I thought had gone out of play, although I couldn’t see due to everyone putting their arms in the air in front of me, I was told they’d kicked the ball off the line. Roberts had a couple of great chances but both went wide. Some of the passing between our players though was sublime and out of this world, it was as if we had them tied to pieces of string as we jinked our way around the Burnley players. Although some of the passing didn’t come off, we played some fantastic football with everyone playing their part. When Taylor ex-Leeds tried to claim a goal kick by telling the linesman to check his eyesight, he got a lot of verbal abuse but realistically, he needed to check his own eyes as it was a definite corner to us. Burnley had a few sporadic attacks with Meslier making a save from Wood (ex-Leeds). It just shows that once players move on they are mainly out of sight, out of mind for me as I didn’t even realise he was playing!
Leeds continued to try and open the scoring and did that just before the break when Harrison raced forward, then got onto the rebound to stick the ball into the net in front of the Kop and send the crowd wild. Leeds contined to attack and some great play between Firpo and Roberts saw the former’s final shot go way over the bar. As halftime loomed, Burnley had their best chance of the game when Taylor went on a run down the left and their final shot whizzed over the bar as Leeds went into the break leading 1-0. The time wasting from Burnley had been noticeable especially from their keeper taking goal kicks, which saw timings counted from fans including my granddaughter Laura with 25-32 seconds added on everytime As usual the referee just let them continue doing it without clamping down as only two minutes of time was added on.
The second half saw a determined Burnley come out and within five minutes of the restart were level although not without controversy. Llorente was in a tussle with a Burnley player but the free kick was given their way. He protested about his shirt being pulled to no avail as he found himself in the book. I’d like to see that incident again especially as the free kick was in a good position which they duly scored from. It’s a shame we didn’t have Billy Bremner or Paul Reaney on the line to kick the ball out. When I look at the game now, it makes me wonder how we managed all the defending/marking with two extra players on the goal line? As soon as they scored they made a beeline to the corner of the Kop to celebrate, determined to get a reaction from our fans which sadly they did. The referee could have made an example of their player by booking him immediately which would have calmed things down, but when one went back again to goad our fans more, he should have been sent off. That would soon stop them.
When Roberts went down injured, this brought the first change of the game when Gelhardt came on in his place and then James replaced Harrison four minutes later. Some great play from James saw Raphinha have a great chance on the right hand side of the pitch but hit the side netting. Leeds won another corner which Raphinha took, passing it short to Klich. He sent a great ball across to Dallas in the middle who sent a screamer into the top corner of the net as Elland Road exploded with delight. There were a couple of incidents identical to free kicks given Burnley’s way which we had to play on from, with nothing given our way with fouls on both Raphinha and Ayling. Another where our player couldn’t get out of the way resulted in a free kick for Burnley whereas the same on us was play on. All I want is a level playing field and not one sided decisions which happens too many times from the officials. As it was Leeds had the last laugh when Gelhardt sent a great pass to James who saw their keeper unable to save his header as the ball bounced back down and over the line to give us a third goal. Great celebrations ensued around the ground as Burnley were soundly beaten in the end and it was a case of shove your timewasting where the sun don’t shine!
Well done Leeds, determination to grind out a result showed in the end and despite a few hairy moments at the start of the second half, we were deserved winners. A few kids ran onto the pitch at the end of the game with stewards chasing after them. After one recently saw his dad banned for three months which I felt was extreme, I don’t feel they realise the consequences of their actions sadly. With our visit to West Ham for the first time next week in the FA Cup before league action at the same ground the week after (you couldn’t make it up as we have wanted to visit the new ground for so long), it was lovely seeing an old photo of mine appear in the Leeds programme today. It was taken with my friend Sue’s parents and brother outside Wembley when Leeds won the FA Cup in 1972 in the competition’s centenary year. This game is my all time favourite game seeing Billy lift the FA Cup from Her Majesty the Queen. The whole day was perfect apart from Mick Jones getting injured, but the Community Singing led by Tommy Steele wearing white and the National Anthem sung by the whole stadium were awe inspriring memories that will stay with me forever. LUFC – Marching on Together!