Round 3: Wednesday 15 October 1997
Stoke City 1 - 3 Leeds United
(AET: Full-time: 1 - 1)
(Half-time: 0 - 0)
Referee: P Jones (Loughborough)
|« Coventry City
|Newcastle United »
|Martyn, Kelly, Robertson, Haaland, Radebe, Wetherall, Wallace, Ribeiro (Lilley 75), Hopkin (Bowyer 105), Halle, Kewell
|Muggleton, Pickering, Griffin, Sigurdsson, Tweed, Keen, Forsyth, Wallace, McMahon (Crowe 86), Andrede (Nyamah 75), Kavanagh (Whittle 110)
|Kewell 69, Wallace 93, 105
|Kavanagh 66 pen
|Shirt numbers of goalscorers
|19, 8, 8
|Links to Reports on the net
|Soccernet match report
For a brand new stadium (cap ~22000), it had a lot of flaws I thought, beer pumps not working properly, ran out of pies early, crush in the bogs (not as bad as Southampton though !).
Leeds section was behind one goal, but our stand was only half full if that, as far as I could see.
Line up (4-4-2):
Martyn Halle Wetherall Radebe Robertson Kelly Hopkin Haaland Ribeiro Wallace Kewell
Leeds started very tentativeley, or patiently to be fair. Stoke never seemed capable of scoring, never mind troubling us at the back, but one scary moment, when Halle headed away for a corner under pressure, he came a bit too close for comfort of scoring an own-goal.
Second half was much livelier, at least to start with, and it could have been 1-1 after the first minute. Stoke had a couple of chances now, but it still looked as though extra time was looming. The penalty looked like a bit of a dive from where I sat, at the wrong end admittedly, and Martyn dived the right way, though a bit too far too quick. The ball almost looked as though it went in through him.
Only 3 minutes later, Harry Kewell latched on to the ball from 22-23 yards out, and hit it perfectly into the top corner. I believe this was his first competitive goal in the first team ? And yes, he did seem to enjoy it quite a bit...
After that, we could have (should have) finished them off easily, but seemed reluctant to commit enough people into the box, played some excellent possession football, but lacked the final edge.
As soon as extra time started, it was all over though. Only two minutes gone, and crowd had just started to sing Super, Super Rod etc. Cross comes in, Rod with his back towards goal, directs a backward header looping over the keeper and in at the far post.
Stoke folded immediately, and when Rod added another near post header (again !) before end of first half of extra time, half of the home crowd left to the chant of Time to go, Time to go...... f*** off etc.
Should have beat them over 90 minutes, as I thought they were actually very poor for being in the top half of division one. Perhaps they were still suffering from the derby against Port Vale 3 days earlier.
Oh, and I have to mention what an absolutely superb game Lucas Radebe had. He did not put a foot wrong in 90 minutes, and seems to have developed a 6th sense, Anticipation. He seems to know exactly what's going to happen next, moves to intercept, and quickly distributes the ball safely out of defence. Man of the match by a mile.
Not too keen on putting scores on all players, since I don't think you can keep your eyes on all 11 of them for 120 mins, but Kewell had one of his better games I think, crowned with what could be one of the goals of the season. He still has a lot of work to do to improve his first touch though, as he lost seemingly easy passes over the touchline a couple of times.
Rodney Wallace was Super Rod once again, both goals taken superbly on the head, despite being the shortest man on the pitch. Martyn had very little to do, and if I had to pick a couple of negatives, Kelly and Robertson did not do to well at all.
Ribeiro was subbed for Lilley before full time, with Kewell dropping back, but Lilley is not really up for it I think.
Got out of the car park at 10.45pm, with an 80 mile journey up to Lancashire ahead of me. Just managed to get a curry and home to switch the telly on, and saw the goals again. I have to say they looked better live though, especially Harry's equaliser - YES !!!
We had the most of the first part of the match, passing the ball around quite well, moving it forwards, then back, looking for an opening which came along a couple of times in the first half, but the finishing touches weren't quite there. And I have to mention that people were complaining at this endless passing the ball! Complain about the long-ball sure, but don't complain when the ball gets passed round the defence up to midfield, back again etc, 'cos that's how man u, Newcastle, Chelsea play, ok they do it better, but f*ck me there's no pleasing some people.
I know in the second half it got a bit negative and players were unnecessarily passing back instead of going forwards, but in the first half, the Leeds fan's impatience was a bit sad.
Stoke had good moments, mostly via the counter-attack, which caused problems for Wetherall on occasions, and Robertson often, although he left the defending of the (his) left-back position to Radebe at times, which was probably just as well. He looks ok going forward, having moments when he can surge past 2 or more players, but we can't afford to have him in the team.
Their goal on 65mins was from a penalty though I couldn't really see the incident. It seemed Wetherall bundled someone over though.
Kewell's goal 2mins later was fucking superb - a good build-up and a volley from about 25yards out into the top-left left us delirious.
So it ended 1-1 and loads of Stoke fans and a few Leeds fans headed for the exit.
Wallace's first goal just a few minutes in was a glancing header from a cross, which looped over their keeper, although I'm not sure if he just meant to flick it to another player.
The 3rd goal I missed completely - I was looking around at the stadium. F*cking twat I am!
Radebe: class, class, class, class,
Robertson: ok going forward, otherwise, shite, shite, shite...
Halle: ok to good
Wetherall: Good, though sometimes beaten by a pacey attack
Martyn: Good performance, some good saves, almost beaten by Halle's back header. I thought he'd saved the penalty but it went down the middle and he missed it with his legs.
Hopkin: Physical, good midfield and when attacking.
Haaland: er, ok I guess, sometimes good, sometimes bad. To be honest, I don't really remember him much.
Ribeiro: Played well, had a couple of strikes on goal.
Kelly: He didn't really shine, I don't think the midfield position is good for him, sometimes he looked a bit lost, though contributed well to attacks down the right. Still no good at corners.
Wallace: Fast, effective, skillful. Scored 2 goals and plenty of other shots on goal.
Kewell: Showed skill, always trying to play with composure. Very good performance and a cracking goal.
Bowyer (for Hopkin in extra time):
Came on and did well, good passing.
Lilley (on for Ribeiro): Didn't do a lot, but tried - I guess this is the guy we put on when we're trying to hang on to a lead, someone to go for the long-balls.
Leeds players fell down a lot on the wet surface, though not the Stoke players.
The Brittania Stadium is quite impressive from the outside, cantilevers everywhere, and inside it's not bad, though its similar a lot of stadiums around now. The Stoke fans can get quite an atmosphere going at times - I particularly like the Tom Jone's Delilah song.
The Leeds fans got into it in the 2nd half complete with a stiring few minutes worth of WATC-COE, and especially in extra time, with plenty of Time to go...fuck OFFs!
Anyway, I took my nephew (8 years old) to his first match to ingrain on him that LUFC is the path of righteousness. As the poor lad has been picked on at school for not following scum or Stoke (he lives just outside Newcastle-Under-Lyme) this was a great night as he saw the Gods win, and in extra time convincingly.
Totally agree with Toby about the location of the Stoke stadium. Fine looking monstrosity and reasonably comfortable, but the walk there is through Industrial Zone complete with shite canal and wastelands galore. Right next to the incinerator as well.
Lager at half time
Good singing from Leeds fans and the Potters (they were over the moon about beating Port Vale on Sunday)
Potters doing their Delilah song after they had scored and getting to the bit "I put my dick in her hand and she laughed no more" at which point Kewell took out their net. Stoney silence.
My nephew saying "who is that Leeds player with the short blonde hair? He's not very good is he?"
Hopkins getting shirty, alot.
North Staffs police giving everyone
parking tickets (Paying that I don't think)
All the players falling over, a lot.