On a day where thousands braved the cold to see Leeds United take on Huddersfield Town, the only real winners were those chasing the automatic promotion spots as Charlton, Norwich and Colchester all won. For Huddersfield, 14points behind their west Yorkshire ‘rivals’, the challenge was to close the gap on the league leaders and far from being pretenders in the race for the Championship, Huddersfield became the first team this season to score two goals at Elland Road. Even Premier League Liverpool didn’t manage that.
In truth, a 2-2 draw on reflection was the right result as the game, even before kick off, promised goals. Huddersfield may well be League One’s top scorers but for all they score, they are all too prone to shipping them at the back. So Leeds, who’s back line look just as susceptible to shipping goals were not overly confident of pulling off a result and were, for much of the game, under the cosh. As expected, defensive errors proved the difference on most goal scoring occasions; Leeds’ first came after Huddersfield’s highly rated ‘keeper Alex Smithies failed to hold a cross and Rob Snodgrass stuck the loose ball into the net. Down the other end for Leeds’ second, Jermaine Beckford finally decided he wanted a piece of the action and challenged Smithies in the air; ultimately, neither really got contact on the ball which fell kindly for Max Gradel to further enhance his reputation. He duly obliged by smashing the ball into the empty net. Leeds’ defence went walk about for both the away sides goals, ‘keeper Casper Ankergren again culpable as he was caught trying to decide whether to come punch the cross or stay on his line. By the time he’d finished, the ball was in the net and the away fans were going a bit mental.
The game wasn’t a classic, but all the same entertaining for the neutral; the focus though, quickly turned to the crowd. The home crowd to be precise. While a quick mention must go to the boisterous Huddersfield contingent making the short trip – that said one can’t imagine they take that many away every week, but equally it’s not every week that there is the demand in the home ends to justify opening the East Stand Upper at Elland Road. The match, over the past three years, has always attracted a larger crowd than the ‘average’ League One clash and while many of the best atmosphere’s in recent years have been, in no small part, thanks to the larger crowds, it is somewhat infuriating.
**Warning – Rant alert**
Today, as Simon ‘Larry’ Grayson said before the game, despite the hype, this is about 3pts. Except, for so many, it was more. It was their first game of the season, ok maybe second but for plenty of them, there is little doubt in my mind that they haven’t seen the inside of Elland Road since they all came out the woodwork when Millwall came to town for the play offs.
Yes it’s great for the club, more people through the turnstiles means more money into the club.. or someone’s pocket but for the club’s development on the pitch, Andrew Varley may as well take a picture of today and blow it up, such was the sound of silence comin from the extra 14,000 ‘fans’. It wasn’t even the lack of atmosphere, its the little things that change from the usual routine on a ‘regular’ Saturday, things like the walk down to the ground – today made so much slower, seriously, how hard is it to walk round a corner without everyone slowing down to stopping. Lowfields Road was packed even more than usual, bumper to bumper and the queues at the burger vans saw many regulars have to resort to purchasing said items of food from inside the ground. Anyone who has done so will question their quality to the point of whether the burgers are actually edible. Then in the ground there was the usual clamouring around in wrong end of the stand, making everyone stand up only to find they needed to be about 20 rows down, 89 seats to the left. Then there’s the ‘Oh, errr.. Excuse me, I think you’re in my seat.’ Well actually, love; I’ve been sitting in the same seat for two years, I don’t think so.
Yes, grumpy old woman that I am at the tender age of 21, I can’t help it being stuck in my ways. I like the changes to come on the pitch, the surprises, however nasty. While I feel plenty in touch with my generation, I can’t help but notice how much this generation of teens has ‘evolved’ from ours. I can’t help but think if I’d even attempted to go out the house dressed like some 15yr olds now.. well it wouldn’t have happened. Kids are growing up too fast these days.
Then there’s the ‘kids’ these days, walking around in these, especially the ones going to football matches:
They’re horrible. Boys wear them more than half way down their arses – thus showing their knock off calvin klein boxers, and then at the ankles, the jeans look like they’ve been strapped on. I’m no fashion guru but we never dressed like that when we were kids, even if said attire had been available, I’m not sure it would’ve caught on; but that was the 90’s.
Football was definitely the order of the day, as after the lunch time KO at Elland Road, Farsley Celtic called and it just happened to be one of those games which proved real value for money. £4 to see a seven goal thriller against Redditch. The game swung the home sides way before Redditch hit back to lead 1-2, then 1-3 but Farsley weren’t done yet and came back to win 4-3. Highly entertaining, though slightly tainted by a shocking display from a ref who simply loved the sound of his whistle but an important win for the home side to take them almost comfortably clear of the relegation zone.
A mention must also go to the pies on offer at Throstle Nest, needed more gravy but they were well worth freezing the proverbials off for!
So there we go, a pretty eventful day all in all but I’m wiped out. Completely exhausted, the recovery still has a long way to go yet.