Wigan v Leeds United 17th August 2019 at the DW Stadium

Well it’s been quite a week. Wednesday saw me attend the Premiere Event for the documentary Take Us Home : Leeds United at the Everyman Cinema in the Trinity Centre, Leeds. Getting a VIP invitation was because I featured in the documentary and it was a great opportunity to be involved. My grateful thanks go to all those who made this possible for me. Please note though, it should have been a blue carpet as we don’t do red! I watched the remaining five episodes last night and had to keep watching until the end no matter how painful it was at times. I found it really emotional but did enjoy it because this is Leeds United my football club and fellow supporters. I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who took their time today to complement me on my performance in this or asked for their photo to be taken. As always, I appreciate all your comments.

For those of you who have been following my family challenges since the beginning of the year, finally we have some good news to focus on. My husband’s latest tests are fine and any residual changes are down to the treatment he has had for his cancer, with Huddersfield Royal Infirmary keeping an eye on him for the next five years. I know we aren’t the only people who have been going through this and good luck to any other Leeds fan/family who are going through similar challenges. My baby grandson is making good progress and should be transferred into special care shortly rather than being in intensive care. He is now over 3lbs and putting weight on which is good to see.

The team: Casilla, Douglas, Cooper, White, Dallas, Phillips, Hernandez, Klich, Forshaw, Harrison and Bamford. Subs: Costa for Klich (76) and Shackleton for Forshaw (90). Attendance was 14,819 with 5,200 Leeds fans. Leeds won 2-0 with a brace from Bamford (34, 65).

As I got in my car to head to Leeds, the heavens opened and I thought we’d be in for another soggy day. It was nice to see the sun begin to shine when I got to the ground and luckily for us, it kept out all day plus it was quite warm. After ending up with freezing fingers at Salford during the week, it was a very welcome change to the weather. It was nice to meet Dean from Leyland during our pub stop and hopefully he managed to get into the ground. After getting a coffee I found myself in bad books as I knocked it over, soaking my daughter Dani with hot liquid as well as me. She wasn’t impressed with me and said I can’t be taken anywhere! We got to the ground with plenty of time to kick-off and as we made our way to the front of the stand, it looked like I wasn’t going to be able to put my flag up. As Dani and I made our way to the front corner, we managed to hang it over the end of the stand. At that moment it was so blustery I was expecting the wind to take off with it so made extra sure that it was tied on tight.

There was a good atmosphere under the stand as I made my way back into the middle section to my seat. I was right behind the goal but had a great view. The atmosphere transferred itself onto the terraces which was great as I really enjoy the singing. It was good to see that Sean had made it too coming from Australia for the game. The first half started slowly and Wigan were at their most dangerous at this time. With Casilla chasing after the ball back towards the goal, I shouted at him to pick the damn ball up. Obviously I was nervous at that time as I swore at him too. Sorry about that. He made amends for me just after that when he made a good save to keep Wigan out. When Wigan hit the post we were able to clear the ball as we gradually began to take charge of the game. Wigan were doing their damndest to stop our players by fouling them with some challenges going unpunished but also getting quite a few free kicks. I said to the lad next to me that we don’t want them going down to 10 men this time as we know what happened at Elland Road last season. With Wigan’s next attack, the ref blew for a free-kick to them for a foul just before Bamford received a really bad one from their player already booked. The next minute after what seemed to be a message from his linesman to the left of us, he changed his mind and gave their player a second yellow then a red card. With Wigan down to 10 men once again, I thought we’d make sure we didn’t succumb to them in the same way as we did at Elland Road. Learn from your mistakes came to mind. Bamford hit a weak shot at goal when he should have put some power behind it. I said he needed some lessons from Allan Clarke on how to make any attempts into goals. Once he learns from him he’ll do better. A few minutes later he did indeed score as Forshaw’s shot rebounded off the post for Bamford to stick the ball into the net out of reach of their goalie. It was good to get the goal and put us in front on the day. Just after that fighting broke out in the main stand to our right as Leeds fans became under attack. I wasn’t sure if it was some of our corporate fans as I thought I saw some wearing lanyards who were then taken out through one of the boxes. Hopefully no one was badly hurt. Just before the break Hernandez had a shot saved meaning we went in a goal up at half-time.

It took ages to get underneath the stand to the far end where the ladies were situated. It wasn’t a surprise to see a few of the lads obviously can’t read when challenged as to why they were in there. As I made my way back to the middle of the stand I bumped into Ella before someone knocked some of her beer out of her hand. The next minute the same thing happened again before someone stood next to me found the same happen to him. The next minute we ended up with a beer bath as some was thrown into the air. Dani said it was Karma when I told her later, saying I couldn’t complain after spilling my coffee on her lol. By the time I got back in the stand the game had already kicked off.

The second half started with lots of free kicks given to both sides with many stop and starts. Wigan shouted for a penalty when challenged in the area but the ref waved play on. I didn’t think it warranted one though. When Leeds whipped the ball off the toes of a Wigan player, we were all mystified when they were awarded a free kick as it looked a perfectly legitimate challenge to us. Leeds were awarded a corner with many Leeds fans going mad that we should have had a penalty for handball. With the new rules changes, a penalty should be awarded for both a deliberate or accidental handball. As it was, from the corner, Bamford bundled the ball over the line for his second goal of the game to give us a little breathing space. Harrison was in constant space down the right hand side as Leeds kept attacking. Hernandez and Harrison both had shots saved to prevent us getting a third goal and Casilla made a further save to keep a clean sheet. It hadn’t been a pretty game, but I was happy to get the win and three points. It doesn’t matter how Leeds win as long as it goes in our favour.

Our next game is on Wednesday against Brentford which see Pontus return with the opposition team. Sorry Pontus but you need to go home empty handed with no points please. I’m not sure why we aren’t playing on the Tuesday evening though which is our normal day for mid-week games? We then go to Stoke next Saturday for the Championship game before meeting them again a few days later for the Carabao Cup second round at Elland Road. The away ticket sell-outs has reared its head again with loyal fans missing out on tickets. It can’t be right that someone who hasn’t missed a game since 2012, went on the pre-season tour to Australia, got a ticket for Salford then missed out on Stoke. The club must look after loyal fans and not take them for granted. I love our worldwide fan base and will always encourage our fans to come to games. Although it doesn’t affect me being both a home and away season ticket holder, I do care about other Leeds fans.  See you on Wednesday – 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

 Website: www.followmeandleedsunited.co.uk Twitter: @FollowMeAndLUFC Facebook: Follow Me and Leeds United: Instagram: Heidi Haigh – lufcheidi @followmeandleedsunited