Round 4: Saturday 24 January 1998
Leeds United 2 - 0 Grimsby Town
(Half-time: 1 - 0)
Referee: G P Barber (Pyrford)
|« Sheffield Wednesday
|Crystal Palace »
|Martyn, Kelly, Robertson, Wetherall, Molenaar, Bowyer, Hopkin, Ribeiro, Hasselbaink, Wallace, Kewell
|Beeney, Lilley, Jackson, McPhail, Halle
|Davison, McDermott, Lever, Handyside, Gallimore, Donovan, Groves, Jobling (Clare 58), Smith, Livingstone, Black
|Rodger, Butterfield, Wrack, Pearcey
|Molenaar 45, Hasselbaink 79
|Shirt numbers of goalscorers
|Land of the Gods calling!
|The Sunday Times
|Hasselbaink completes Leeds late awakening
|Dutch double ends Grimsby resistance
|The Electronic Telegraph
|Leeds finish with a flourish
|Links to Reports on the net
|Soccernet match report
Shit I wasn't going to talk about the first half.
Anyway, the second half start much better - whether it was the goal or GG's half-time bollocking I can't say. Bowyer and Hopkin were still bad, but the rest of the team played better. We started with 5-10 minutes of pressure including with 3 corners taken either by Kelly or Ribeiro. Kelly seems better at corners now.
Molenaar and Kewell, stood out for me. Jimmy is frustrating, because often he'll get the ball and mess up, but then like he did in the 79th minute, he can get the ball and do everything just right. Kewell had the ball just inside their half, advanced and played a geat ball across to Jimmy, he went passed 2 or 3 players We had several good chances. Molenaar had another free header from a corner which should have gone in but went over. Wallace had a shot from inside the penalty area, hit first time that hit the outside of the post and bounced away. Jimmy had a header go just over the corner of the goal, and a swerving shot go almost the same way. Wallace didn't have a good game. Once he got the ball and should have shot, be he turned and passed out wide instead, and another time he should have passed for Kewell to shoot, but he didn't see him.
In the end it was comfortable, but for a long time it was unconvincing and we're not going to get much further without a lot of improvement.
Grimsby brought 000's - filling the S stand and the S/E corner - I'll post an interesting bit about ticket prices that I heard on Sat. in my next posting. Their team is fluent, with good passing, they kept the ball away from us for long spells, and were particularly effective attacking down our left flank - no real surprise there -. They have the lower league requisite of 2 huge CHalfs , and a lumbering CForward, who could well have been sent off with a stricter interpretation of the rules just before half time, when in a 10 min spell he jumped into Kelly with his elbow and flattened him - for this he got a booking - 2 min.s later he kicked the ball away after a free kick was given against him, and then he clattered 2 of our players in the next couple of mins. for good measure. That he didn't walk was probably good for the overall balance of the game. They only gave us a couple of scares, towards the end Nige came charging to the edge of the box to slide tackle a guy racing through on goal... the rest of the time they lost the plot about 25 yards out from goal having played well to get there.
We played what is almost our starting 11 - only Lucas for Molenaar - was missing. Kelly, Wetherall, Molenaar, and Robertson at the back, Bowyer, Hopkin, Bruno, Kewell, across the middle, and Rod'n'Jimmy "spearheading" the attack. We had a better balance with Kelly at right back, and he looked more comfortable there, Wetherall had a superb game at the back and Molenaar had a good game once he'd scored. Now as you know I bang on a bit about both Big Rob and Robertson, and I had wondered whether it had become blind prejudice on my part so for a while I watched them closely.
Robertson - of his first 10 attempted passes, 9 went directly to Grimsby feet, I gave up counting after that because it got too depressing. Their first three attacks came from the right winger, who was totally unchallenged from half way, to the penalty area, where he then crossed it - Davie boy being nowhere in sight.
Molenaar- good goal, and a good second half, but in no way did he merit MOTM as reported in several papers. a couple of times he was so badly dragged out of position, chaing the ball into midfield, only for it to be passed aroung him, out to the wings. .. here for some reason the wingers farted around with it for several seconds failing to exploit the gap. Meanwhile Big Rob was not even walking back into the box but stood about 10 yards outside hands on hips watching the winger - leaving Bruno "the Giant" marking their 6ft+ CForward. If a cross had come in their would have been two plausible out comes; their guy wins it and possibly scores, or Bruno fouls him and its a penalty. This was so obvious that I was embarrasingly caught standing up screaming at Molenaar to get back into the box - much to Toby's amusement.
1. A left wing corner fron Kelly, into the 6-yd box, Molenaar gets highest, and heads home like a bullet.
2. Kewell picks the ball up in midfield, threads it through to Jimmy, who somehow goes round/ through 2 defenders into the box and finishes - his cartwheel is improving.
The corners were good from both Bruno and Kelly through out the game. We could have had a few more goals, Jimmy hit a low curling freekick which was well saved, Rod and Jimmy both hit the woodwork, and if Rod hadn't been so greedy he should have laid it off to either Jimmy or Harry on the edge of the box instead of trying an impossible shot on the turn.
We've got a good draw again - let's hope it keeps going.
MARTYN -7- little to do
KELLY -6- much happier there, although distribution sometimes woeful
ROBERTSON -4- seemed to be hiding - never making himself available as an outlet for teammates. which may or maynot be a bad thing considering his passing ability.
WETHERALL -7- solid.
MOLENAAR -6- see report
BOWYER -5- incredibly annoyingly inconsistent
HOPKIN -6- patchy, got stuck in, but seemed determined to pass to his mate. His mate who was sitting in the Lower east stand.
RIBEIRO -6- grit, and some lovely passing. But only intermitant, worth persevering with in the middle
KEWELL -6- again patchy, and again better after the break
WALLACE -4- very ineffective
JIMMY -7- between him and Wetherall for MOTM. Unlucky not to score more, caused a lot of problems, and seems to have a better attitude.
Second half and we'd got a bit more organised. Grimsby could have played for weeks and not scored, so ineffective were they in the last third. Jimmy, auditioning for Swan Lake, executed a couple of beautiful dives. Even for his goal he looked like he was tempted to go down until he saw the ball had broken free to the right. Good finish though, although Row J had gone down in anticipation of Jimmy lashing one into the Kop again. Jimmy did the same free-kick routine when he scored against Newcastle (was it them he got 2 against - my memory fails me?) and saw a slightly less well hit shot saved at the foot of the post!
Other entertaining bits:- Hopkin holding his hands in the air victory-style as he finally found a Leeds player with a pass, to the ironic cheers of the Kop. Telling 4 folk who'd sat in our seats to hop it. Erm, that was about it. Worth 16 quid - hardly. We were professional though, never ever looked like losing, and now have a real chance to progress, having the easiest tie of any Premiership club. The 16 quid ticket and 29,000 crowd says a lot, especially as there were 5,500 Grimsby fans there. No doubt the next round will be 18 quid, so can I be the first to say MONEY GRABBING B*STARDS!!!
Given that Kewell is the only one who can consistently beat a man with skill, I'd give him a 7, with everyone else getting a 6, except Wallace (5) and Robertson (3). The fattest linesman in the world at the Kop end should be shot, he was so bad!