May 07 2017

Wigan 7th May 2017

I left home with the sun shining only to arrive at a very cold and windy Elland Road. I’d also passed four individual magpies too so thought that wouldn’t be such a bad omen for the result today. I hung my banner around Billy’s ankles to take some photos and wanted to climb up and drape it over his shoulders but thought better of it. Thinking about it, a woman of my age climbing on Billy’s statue wouldn’t be a pretty sight plus knowing me I’d have fallen off!!

Our stop was at Leyland today and it didn’t take us long to get there. Ours was the only coach there and we had a quiet couple of hours before leaving. When we arrived though the landlady spoke to our organiser to say he had to take personal responsibility for all our members. Apparently yesterday they’d had West Brom fans in, four coaches in total but only two booked in who had caused all sorts of problems. We were already booked in for today and the police had been informed that we were coming. Thank you to Georgina for her support by buying my book Follow Me and Leeds United, unfortunately I didn’t see Richard in the crowd at Wigan so will arrange something else. As usual though there were no issues with our members who enjoy something to eat and drink on the way to a game.

We got to the ground at 11.15 for the 12.00 pm kick off and found it in glorious sunshine, a complete contrast to Elland Road this morning. I went and hung my banner behind the goal and thought having my boots on maybe wasn’t such a good idea as the sun was cracking the flags at that point. As it was my seat was further up the stand so I was in the shade so it didn’t become an issue although I stayed nearer the front for the second half.

The team today was Green, Bartley, Berardi, Coyle, Ayling, O’Kane, Roofe, Dallas, Wood, Hernandez and Vieira. Subs were Pedraza for Hernandez, Sacko for Dallas and Phillips for Vieira. Attendance was 15,280 with 4,720 Leeds fans. Either Wigan had loads of fans who stayed away due to them already being relegated or it was the amount of Leeds fans in the home side to the right of us who swelled the crowd. Looking at my photos though I cannot believe they had more fans in total in the three sides than the Leeds fans in our stand!

With nothing to play for (despite me saying only 14-0 would do – tongue in cheek lol!) I wasn’t expecting very much from the game which proved to be.  Ayling was playing centre back in place of Jansson who was suspended and he didn’t look too comfortable in that position during the first half. Wigan had started off brightly and within six minutes were ahead when they got into the penalty area and had a clear shot of goal. 15-1 the Leeds fans sang but as we thought, the margins of scoring so many were not going to happen. Monk had the support of the Leeds fans saying we had to sign him up! It wasn’t long after that when I realised that the stewards in the stand to the right of me were getting all the Leeds fans in there to come to the end of the stand nearest to us. There was plenty of banter between the two sets of Leeds fans then. A couple of Wigan fans were kicking off but were spoken to by a steward and backed off. As least it was good to see it hadn’t descended into the free for all that happened at Blackpool a couple of seasons ago.

The first half didn’t offer much more to be honest and I was starting to flag by half time and was glad there were only a couple of minutes of injury time. The second half meant we started off brighter and it was good to see Ayling make some runs forward and look threatening. He looked more comfortable in the position he was playing too. We started playing forward a lot more and when O’Kane was brought down in the penalty area that was the cue for Wood to take the penalty for his 30th goal of the season. It was quite an even game after this where we had a shot off the crossbar and Wigan had a chance where Green parried the shot and Bartley helped to clear the ball behind him.

At the end of the game the players and staff came to applaud all the Leeds fans and as they looked in awe at the support, I personally don’t think they will ever see that from other fans. As a club Leeds United are very lucky that they have the loyal support that they have.

It was good to get back to Elland Road in good time due to the early kick off although I couldn’t believe it was back to an icy biting wind once more and no sun! At least it was better weather back in Halifax.

That’s the end of this season now and we will shortly hear about the takeover with Radrizanni gaining 100%. I am optimistic but am keeping my eyes and ears open because as Leeds fans we have had so much to put up with over the years I will see what happens and judge on what I see.

It won’t be long before the fixtures are out for next season and we are back again. I hope everyone has chance to relax before we start again. Personally I have a busy time ahead with my youngest daughter’s wedding and plenty of family things to do.

Enjoy the close season and see you in July when our warm up starts once again!  LUFC – Marching on Together!