Port Vale Carabao Cup (League Cup!) 1st round 9th August 2017

As I set off from home with my daughter Dani and two granddaughters Hannah and Laura, we didn’t get very far. As we hit the main road we were turned around by the police as the road was cordoned off due to a road traffic accident. This was still in place on our return to Halifax which doesn’t look good for those involved. As we passed Shibden Park I was glad that we hadn’t gone Brighouse way due to the diversion, as the M62 was down to one lane there due to a broken down vehicle. Luckily we got to Elland Road without any further issues. As we got out of the car a black cat went past us and then Dani saw two magpies so things were looking up for us tonight!

I went to Billy’s bar to take photos of the new timeline. It looks great but sorry to be picky as Salonika in 1973 is missing from the timeline and also there is no mention of the League Title in 1974. There is a space under the 1973 FA Cup Final for this to go and I will ensure I pass this information on to the club. I was in Salonika for the European Cup Winners Cup Final where we were robbed by a bribed referee which was proven who was banned for life after the game. Why the cup was never awarded to us because of this I will never know! This was my first trip abroad to see Leeds United and it is something I will always cherish despite the result. As I was taking the photos I was approached by someone who enjoys reading my blogs which is good to hear and thank you. I then went to the Peacock to join the others before going into the ground. As we left the Peacock I heard someone shout me and it was Tony from the West Midlands who I haven’t seen for a while, but he went everywhere to see Leeds with us as one time. It was good to have a quick catch up and he doesn’t look to have aged either! I remember him having his car painted in Leeds United colours which he had parked outside the Wolverhampton supporter’s club bar. Unfortunately that wasn’t a good idea as he ended up with loads of problems by doing that. I’ll have to get an update from him for next time as I can’t remember the specifics about what happened.

As we got to the turnstiles we had to queue so by the time we got inside the teams were already out on the pitch ready to start. The team today was Wiedwald, Anita (making his home debut), Borthwick-Jackson making his debut (here on a yearlong loan from man u), Ayling, Shaughnessy (making his home debut), Vieira, Klich (making his home debut), Saiz (making his home debut), Ekuban (making his debut), Dallas and Sacko. Subs were Alioski (making his home debut), Bridcutt and Gomes (making his home debut).  Hopefuly I’ve got all that right lol!  Subs were Alioski for Sacko, Bridcutt for Klich and Gomes for Ayling. Attendance was 15,431 with 801 Port Vale fans. Final score 4-1 to Leeds with a Saiz hattrick and Ekuban scoring the goals. Goal timings were: Saiz (13, 60, 62) and Ekuban (83), Tonge (37) an ex Leeds player scored the Port Vale goal. Their manager was Michael Brown and Danny Pugh who were also ex Leeds players.

With all the new names in the team it was hard to work out who was who for a while. I had to zoom in with the camera to see the names on the back of the shirts as I’ve no ideas of the numbers to work out who is who. I know I shared a post with all the player numbers on but didn’t actually take much notice of it. I remember things more by seeing for myself but I couldn’t work out who Bridcutt was when he came on as sub as he looked completely different. I think it was because he has a beard now

The team started off on the attack which brought a save out of their goalie. There was some counter attacking from Port Vale before Leeds took the lead in the 14th minute. When Dallas crossed the ball trying to emulate his recent goals, this time the ball bounced back off the post and fell to Saiz who hammered the ball into the net for a great goal! Leeds had the majority of the play and it was good to see us attacking and shooting at the goal. Unfortunately just before half time Port Vale equalised and it was Tonge who got their goal.

At the start of the second half we attacked the Kop end and it wasn’t long before Christiansen made a double substitution on 58 minutes with Alioski replacing Sacko and Bridcutt replacing Klich. Immediately we went on the attack and within two minutes had gone back into the lead with Saiz getting a second goal. It was even better two minutes later when Saiz completed his hattrick with a further goal sending the Leeds fans into raptures. We hadn’t finished there and Ekuban got a fourth goal to put the tie out of reach for Port Vale. At least it meant we were straight through to the next round and not having to rely on a penalty shoot-out. Some of the passing between Alioski and Saiz was out of this world which was too much for one Port Vale player as he reacted to the mickey taking and was promptly sent off. Seeing the East Stand giving a standing ovation to Saiz shows the impact he had made on the pitch today. I had already said I liked the look of Alioski and on tonight’s showing I wasn’t wrong!

We were all buzzing at the end of the game. I said the passing was sublime (where that word came from in my brain I’ve no idea) and was joined by Jo who was having a lift home with us who said the same word had been used by her! We have played some fantastic football tonight; we have shown speed, skill, taken shots at goal on and off target and shown us all what we have been missing as fans for a long time. Monk going as done us all a favour by leaving us for Boro as I feel we are in for some exciting times with Thomas Christiansen as our manager. It has been a long time coming and although I know there is a long way to go, I am looking forward to the future as a Leeds fan. I couldn’t stop being giddy but it was a lovely feeling to be coming out of Elland Road feeling like this. I also want to say a big thank you to Roy who purchased my jointly authored book with Andrew Dalton, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Leeds United, Leeds United in the 1980s. Having already bought my other two books Follow Me and Leeds United and Once a Leeds fan, always a Leeds fan it is a great endorsement that he has bought them all. I can’t ask for better feedback than that and it is greatly appreciated! Also the fans who took the time to say they enjoy my blogs and look forward to reading them is great feedback too.

Saturday sees us host Preston at Elland Road and I am looking forward to seeing all the new art work around the ground including the “Side before Self” poster across the East Stand. Billy Bremner who epitomised what being Leeds is all about still is and always will be my hero and the quote is so apt. Tonight’s win will see us being very close to selling out against Preston I’m sure. This is what being Leeds is all about and the future is looking bright! See you on Saturday – LUFC – Marching on Together!