QPR – 11th March 2017

I was aiming to be at Elland Road earlier than usual but by the time I’d picked my granddaughter Laura up it was 1.45 pm by the time we reached the Peacock. Another 30,000+ crowd was expected at Leeds today and the Peacock was packed. I had arranged to meet someone who was buying my book Follow Me and Leeds United. After trying to walk around the garden I realised it was like looking for a needle in a haystack. Luckily we managed to meet up and a big thank you to Nick for the support.

It was a fine day and not too cold as we went into the ground around 15 minutes before kick-off. The team today was Green, Ayling, Berardi, Bartley, Jansson, Bridcutt, Vieiera, Roofe, Wood, Pedraza and Hernandez. Subs were Sacko for Roofe, Doukara for Pedraza and O’Kane for Vieira. Attendance was 30,870 which in my eyes were 30,000 Leeds fans and approx. 870 QPR fans (maybe not even that many!)   Today was also the 600th appearance for Green and a big well done to him. He has been vital in our defence as of late making some fantastic saves to keep out the opposition.

We had a couple of attacks which didn’t come to anything before QPR started making the most of attacking us. Although they came close, luckily for us most of the shots went wide or over the crossbar although with one cross they got in, I was sure Matt Smith was going to head it into our goal. He would have done but our defence more than matched him to clear the ball. There weren’t any clear chances for us and although we came out strong from the back, we couldn’t match that at the other end. QPR started time wasting in the first half and were obviously here for a draw or a breakaway to win. What I wasn’t happy to see was Pedraza going down like a sack of potatoes when I thought there was no need. He was very lucky not to get booked a couple of minutes later when it looked like he made a revenge tackle. I don’t like diving and cheats and I may be doing him a disservice by thinking that’s what he had done, but I stand by that as it’s something we don’t need in our game. Especially when I’ve seen how other members of the team play out of their skins when battling for everything!  As half time approached I was just happy that QPR hadn’t scored either.

The second half carried on in the same vein as the first. QPR weren’t going to give up and make it easy for us. Unfortunately for us we couldn’t break them down even though we did manage to have a lot of possession. As the lad next to me shouted when we won a corner, why have we got five players still back in our half? As I’ve said before when Bridcutt plays we tend to play deep and to be honest it showed. We did attack but their goalie really had very little to do (I think Green saw more action). We started putting more into the game from 60 minutes and the last 10 minutes saw us try to go for a win. When a great ball was put into the middle there were shouts for a penalty as Wood claimed he was being held. We also should have had a corner with Doukara and their defender tackling on the line. The ref disagreed though and although I couldn’t see the outcome I was told it was definitely a corner. When Sacko got into a great position to have a shot on goal in the final minutes he kept going across the edge of the area instead of having a go. In the end he lost the ball when he could have at least tried to score. Luckily for us though QPR despite getting into many scoring chances were very poor with their final ball and did not having their shooting boots on. With QPR trying to slow the game down and get a point, they attacked our goal at the South Stand. I’m not sure what happened but there was a bit of squaring up which resulted in the game being stopped and O’Kane throwing one of their players to the floor twice! That was wrong timing and we shouldn’t have risen to it as we could have gone straight to the other end and scored. As it was by the time the ref restarted the game (also after O’Kane and their player were booked due to the fourth official), the momentum was lost. He didn’t play any extra time for the spat either.

I still think that no game is going to be easy and no other team is going to present us with three points every week. It was a frustrating game in the sense that I knew it wasn’t going to get us a win. Yes one point is better than none which I will take as a positive as well as a clean sheet, even though in reality it feels like two points dropped. Well my granddaughter Laura did say it would be a draw! Still we just have to keep going and getting what points we can.

As we got back to near where I park the car I saw a group of people around another car. As we reached it, I realised that the window had been smashed as there was glass everywhere so I stopped to talk to them. I was told it was my fault by someone who knew me!  The attack on the car was witnessed by a couple of women, one who had been asleep in her car across the road. She heard another woman screaming then realised what was going on. This happened half an hour before the end of the game. Whoever it was stole the radio console so knew what they were after and got away through the woods. I know the police put out an alert the other week that fans had to be vigilant so this has been going on for a good few weeks. There were more than enough police outside the ground at the end of the game although with it being QPR I couldn’t understand why. Surely there should be patrols going around so the thieves can be caught? I felt really sorry for the fans especially when they have to drive back to Devon. Luckily they weren’t going straight away as they were going to some friends to get everything cleaned up first, but this will have soured their trip to Elland Road.

Next week sees our second home game in a week with the visit of Brighton. Thank you BBC Radio Leeds as I’d forgotten it was a 5.30 pm kick off! As we have a few games where we play the teams around us I just want as many points as possible. The fact we have only nine games left to play this season is unbelievable.  Where is the time going? With the international break after the Brighton game I wonder whether the impact this time will be good or bad for us. We normally seem to be on a good run and then can’t pick ourselves up after the break so this time as things have been hit and miss (even though we are unbeaten in six games?), I will accept us getting to the play offs. See you next week – LUFC – Marching on Together!