It was a late set off today but then ended up being even later as the coach we were travelling on had broken down earlier in the day, so we had to wait for it to get back on the road to take us to the game. Despite this and the traffic being quite heavy we arrived at the ground just before kickoff. A policemen said hello as soon as I got off the coach and the steward who searched me was very pleasant too. When I said I was carrying my books she said “would I be reading them during the game?” I said no I’m an author with my fourth Leeds book coming out and she said she would look out for them.
After a quick trip to the ladies my first sight was the back of a fella in one of the cubicles; at least shut the door please! Then another fella came out of another cubicle. I said “for crying out loud use your own loos”. Saying that, I double checked on my way out that I had indeed gone in the ladies just to make sure I wasn’t in the wrong, having made that mistake at Donny once. I went in the opening in front of the ladies sign instead of behind it and as I got further in thought something didn’t look right. A steward came chasing after me and escorted me out but luckily for me, I didn’t see any embarrassing scenes!
Although we were going to Leicester’s new ground the King Power Stadium, I always liked going to Filbert Street as we always took loads of fans. One memory was walking to a pub that some other Leeds fans couldn’t get in and the bouncers just stood aside to let us in. I got a great cheer from some of the Halifax lads when I got in. Big Brian from Halifax (number 13) aka Uncle Buck to my kids and granddaughters and Godfather to my youngest daughter Emily, died a couple of years ago but he’s never far from our thoughts. RIP. Another memory is of a few of us girls queuing up to get into the boy’s entrance and the police chucking lads younger than us out of the queue. They told the coppers we were older than them but weren’t believed as we were allowed to stay where we were and go in.
The team today had major changes and had Wiedwald, Anita, Jansson, Shaughnessy, Roofe, Hernandez, Phillips, Grot, Borthwick-Jackson, Cibicki and Klich. Subs were Ayling for Borthwick-Jackson (45), Sacko for Cibicki (65) and Vieira for Phillips (72). Leeds lost 3-1 with Hernandez scoring for Leeds (26). Attendance was a sellout crowd for Leicester of 31,516 with 3,300 Leeds fans.
As the game kicked off it was good to see us settle into it pretty well. The Leeds fans were in good voice and put the Leicester fans to shame as they needed to have a drum to try and get their singing going. They were poor overall but did start singing once they were winning later in the game though. You only sing when you’re winning comes to mind. We’d had a couple of attacks but didn’t look overwhelmed by the Premiership side. Phillips had put two fantastic crosses from in front of the Leeds’s fans over to the opposite side of the pitch only for Roofe to not get on the end of the ball. The lad in front of me said he should have cut inside and not let the ball bounce. All of a sudden Leeds had an attack and as some were shouting for the ball to be passed at the edge of the box, I thought have a go. With that the ball sailed into the net courtesy of Hernandez to put us into the lead, 1-0.
As Leicester tried to get back into the game we were playing further up the field but then were allowing them to break through the middle and put us under pressure. We weren’t being outplayed at all but Leicester got an equaliser not long after we had scored and before half time. The ball was cleared by Wiedwald only to the edge of the penalty area and ended with one of their players putting a shot past him to score. That was a big disappointment in that we couldn’t hold on to the lead. Despite this the Leeds fans kept singing lots of songs including some of the older ones that a group of us will be recording next month.
At half time as I went downstairs there were two policemen stood at the top of the stairs and I had a laugh with one of them. It shows how bad my eyesight is as I thought it looked like he was carrying a drill (It was actually a video camera) well at least I think that’s what it was! After a conversation with one of our fans I have agreed to meet him on Friday in the Peacock to autograph my book which he has bought. Thanks for the support. As I got down onto the concourse there was smoke arising to the left of me along with the familiar smell of the smoke bombs. At least there wasn’t any thrown onto the pitch this time or the big bombs set off thank goodness. On the way back up I stood talking with the policeman and another Leeds fan on the stairs. The former thought we might sneak it as he thought we had been playing well and that was from someone who comes from Leicester.
The second half saw Leeds bring on Ayling at the start in place of Borthwick-Jackson who took a knock earlier. We were playing well in parts but were still passing back too many times to Wiedwald though which is what puts us under pressure. After one attack Anita was shielding the ball and Wiedald raced out to get the ball. We were lucky to get away with the decision as he carried the ball out of the penalty area but the ref and the linesman didn’t react. Sacko a couple of times was given the ball down the side in front of us and with all the acres of space along the line either went inside and lost it or passed it back. He needs to get the confidence to take the ball to the bye line in the space he was in and cross it from there. Near the end of the game I suddenly realised Jansson was playing and for some reason I’d forgotten he was on the pitch. We certainly didn’t disgrace ourselves as Leicester eventually came out 3-1 winners. Although it was disappointing I am proud to support Leeds United. Seeing the Leeds fans sing even louder and continuous showed the support we have got is phenomenal. Showing other teams how to support their team with nonstop singing shows just how many teams miss playing us. Having a sellout crowd, it will be interesting to see their next home gate as I bet like Cardiff; it will be way down on tonight. You’re only here to watch the Leeds comes to mind. Seriously though we are one of the biggest draws around and I’m proud to support my team.
At the end of the game I’d got my flag and gone downstairs. Some lads asked for their photos taken when some others ran across to join us and get in the photo. Unfortunately one slipped on the floor which was quite treacherous but at least he was a good sport and had a laugh. I’d been walking gingerly to ensure I didn’t fall. Luckily for us the coaches were outside the turnstiles when we got out and as one lad came out he asked if I’d had my camera out filming at the end to which I said no. He said the stewards in the stand had been facing the Leeds fans and ignoring the Leicester fans behind them who were throwing things at the Leeds fans. As there was some retaliation it was the Leeds fans getting into bother not them; my friend Sue had said she couldn’t get out of the stand and it was very scary for her so I’m glad I missed it. It was nice to hear that my blog is the first thing that this lad looks out for after a game and to go through my photos. Your comments are greatly appreciated and thank you. With a police escort away from the ground we were back on the motorway in no time at all to find it wasn’t long before it went down to one lane. Obviously they knew approx. 3,000 Leeds fans were heading that way. After a good run home it was good to be relatively early at just gone midnight.