Reading v Leeds United 26th November at the Madejski Stadium

It was very disappointing to see all the empty seats in the home end today, especially since they have stopped giving our fans the whole end. With a “singing end” that cost them money today, Reading is another club who are happy to throw money away especially as Leeds would have sold more tickets for the game.

The team: Casilla, Ayling, Cooper, Bamford, Hernandez, Harrison, Klich, Phillips, Dallas, White and Roberts. Subs: Costa for Roberts (went off injured, 34), Alioski for Klich (66) and Shackleton for Harrison (90). Leeds won the game 1-0 with a goal from Harrison (87). Attendance was 16,918 with 2,050 Leeds fans.

Leeds started the game on the attack but when this broke down Reading counterattacked with Leeds chasing back in defence. Luckily for us their player missed the ball and we were able to clear it. The game was fairly even, but Reading were keeping tight shackles on our players resulting in some misplaced passes from us. Roberts went down injured around the half hour mark and he ended up going straight down the tunnel. I hope it’s as a precaution and not that his recent injury has flared up again but this brought Costa on as his replacement. Casilla had to be on his toes a couple of times as he raced forward to get the ball in the penalty area plus making a good save to deny Reading the lead. Leeds shouted for a handball incident just before the break but the ref said to play on. I thought it looked blatant but would need to see it again to be sure.

Thank you Bob for buying my new book Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United having already bought some of my previous books. Another fan had just finished reading my joint book with Andrew Dalton, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Leeds United. As this book is based solely on the 80s, he said that it brought back so many memories of games he attended at the time. It is nice to get good feedback from fans too and as always the support is appreciated.

The second half saw Leeds attacking our end with some purpose. Again the game was pretty even with both sides cancelling each other out. With one attack Dallas hit a great shot which came back off the crossbar in our best chance of the game. Reading were still looking for a goal themselves winning a few corners but Leeds were standing firm. With White once again showing great composure on the ball, I really hoped he would get on the scoresheet. When Alioski came on for Klich it took a few minutes for the formation to take effect as Reading came at us again. Their keeper made a save from Dallas before Reading won a free-kick just outside the area from another attack. After Casilla made the save their player was stopped by Dallas from crossing it back into the area. Harrison picked the ball up as Leeds raced out of defence with a fantastic move, passed back to Dallas who with a great cross field ball found Alioski haring down the wing. He then passed the ball to Costa, whose pin point cross found Harrison at the far post in acres of space to head the ball into the net to send the Leeds fans wild behind the goal. Apparently it took 15 seconds from defence into scoring the goal, with Harrison involved in both the start and finish of the move, wow!! Just before we scored, I felt we would fight until the end and there was always that chance of a late goal. Some Leeds fans must have been in the stand to the right because just after we scored loads of Reading fans and stewards went chasing down the tunnel. I’d seen some fans thrown out earlier in the game in the same area, but I wasn’t sure if they were Leeds fans or not. It was good to see Shackleton back on the pitch even if it was only for injury time. Leeds weren’t going to let Reading get back into the game as we held on for the win and another three points to put us on top of the league. A very happy fan base left the ground to head home.

I’ll be there early on Saturday as I’ve to be at the players’ entrance by 1.15pm to get my photo taken with Marcelo Bielsa and my new book. I’m so excited, as is my granddaughter Hannah and can’t wait, so see you there. 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: Twitter: @FollowMeAndLUFC Facebook: Follow Me and Leeds United: Instagram: Heidi Haigh – lufcheidi @followmeandleedsunited

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