Round 2, Second Leg: Tuesday 30 September 1997
Bristol City 2 - 1 Leeds United
(Half-time: 1 - 1)
Referee: N S Barry (Scunthorpe)
|« Manchester United||Coventry City »|
|Leeds||Martyn, Kelly, Robertson, Haaland (Lilley 82), Radebe, Wetherall, Wallace, Hasselbaink, Bowyer, Hopkin, Molenaar (Halle 45)||Beeney|
|Bristol City||Welch, Locke, Bell, Dyche, Taylor, Edwards, Goodridge, Owers, Torpey, Doherty (Barclay 82), Tinnion||Brennan, Plummer|
|Bristol City||Goodridge 41, Taylor 61|
|Yellow Cards||Red Cards|
|Leeds||Martyn, Bowyer, Hopkin||Hasselbaink|
|Bristol City||Dyche, Torpey|
|Shirt numbers of goalscorers||9||?|
|Ade Thomson||Please sir! Dont play extra time, Pleeeeaaase!|
|Frances Isgrove||Bristol last night|
|Fat Head||Lucas With The Lid on|
|Links to Reports on the net|
|Soccernet||Soccernet match report|
Sorry to those who may have been in Rising Sun/Coopers Arms - we only got to the ground 5 mins before KO and teams came out just as we took our seats, right behind the goal, 3rd row from front. Although you are close to the pitch and can see the players quite well, its very difficult to get an idea of whats going on out there.
Team lined up:
Englands No 1 Molenaar Radebe Wetherall Robertson Kelly Hopkin Haaland Bowyer SuperRod Bottlebank
We started off quite brightly, and within 10 minutes, wallace put a ball across goal, looked like a defensive botch and Jimmy put it away. GOAL! Leeds 4-1 up on aggregate. City looked void of ideas and never really looked like threatening the Leeds goal until...
Jimmy running down the wing, a city man all over him like a crap suit, instead of settling for the free kick the muppet gives a well aimed elbow to the face THUMP! The city player goes down, bottlebank lost his bottle and walked. It was the right decision for the ref to make, he had to go. I hope he got a bloody good bollocking from GG at half time - we were 4-1 up, were not under pressure and should have settled for the free kick.
After this things went downhill. Molenaar looked a liability at the back, fell over a lot, made some right botches. The ball down the right channel to kelly was used a lot, but never came to much. Robertson did play reasonably attacking wise, but not really effective as a full back in a premiership team.
The pressure mounted, we began to look stretched and it seemed a goal was imminent. on 41 a defensive nightmare gave a city player a chance and put it away from about 5 yards out. Martyn didn't have a chance. Martyn pulled off some good saves and claimed some good cross balls along the ground. The save I remember most was the free kick - he only just saw it at the last minute and leapt like a salmon at the ball to take it before it ended up in the net.
Half time. No WATC-COE. Halle came out to warm up and replaced Molenaar. Wallace still up front. 2nd half was all city pressure on the leeds goal and they got another from a corner. Hard to tell who was to blame as it was at the other end. All Leeds ideas were to pump it up to our pint sized striker - surrounded by 2 defenders with just a little height advantage he found it difficult, but still managed to cause some problems. It was a bit testing on the old patience however - if only I had a book to read, it would have been far more exciting than the dross we served up in the second half. After their second, they were swarming around our area like flies round a honeypot. If they got another, extra time would have been played and even the most committed would have found it difficult to justify staying. With 8 mins to go, a well overdue GG tactical masterpiece of taking Halaand who was completely anonymous and replacing him with Lilley was executed. We then passed the ball about and looked dangerous again, could have had two goals. Keeper was out to Lilley before he could divert it past him, Wallace received, controlled but the ball just ran forward half a yard too far. A worrying time was a fierce dipping shot which Martyn tipped over. Thank god for that 1/2 an hour of extra time would have been like torture!!!
Final whistle came, relief for Leeds, players clapped the crowd, set off on the half hour trek back to the car and home.
In summary : we can play, and can attack. The last 8 minutes were testament to that - if only Halaand had been taken off earlier. With only 10 men we were tested, and panicked too much. Credit to City - they gave it all and nearly stole it. We have a brilliant centre back pairing in Wetherall and Radebe. Why not put kelly at right back and laurent at right wing? City had a dodgy defence, we did not exploit it enough.
On an optimistic note, we *can* play good football, we just didn't for 95% of the game this time - probably knackered from scum game?
Scores on da doors
Martyn - some class saves, kept us in it. 7
Molenaar - Lia-bloody-bility. Like the blackburn game but didn't have a diving Dahlin to foul in the box. Fell over too much, 3
Robertson - Nice touches going forward, not a full back for Leeds. 5
Wetherall - Before sending off, won everything, after, lost his composure and distribution suffered. 6
Radebe - Collosus. This guy is f***ing class. Some really saving well executed tackles. Fills the back line with confidence. 8
Kelly - ran around a lot, tried hard. outjumped for headers in the second half by city player. 6
Hopkin - Fiery, midfield dynamo. This lad has class, but with a partner in midfield (Halaand) had to do a lot of work. 6
Halaand - completely anonymous. 4
Bowyer - got booked, after the booking backed out of some 50-50 balls. in the last 8 minutes came good, useful play going forward. 6
Wallace - Ran a lot, worked hard, set up the goal, was in a difficult position in 2nd half, but tried his best. 7
Jimmy - stupid twat. 0
Halle - Not as bad as Molenaar, but not brilliant.6
Lilley - first two touches fell over, but added spice to the attack in the closing minutes. 6
Ref - obviously it was his birthday recently - must have got a pack of new cards cos he wanted to show them at every opportunity - several Leeds players booked needlessly, city players with equally dodgy fouls got away scot free. 6
Crowd. In good voice to start with, but after sending off, quitened. Chants included We beat the scum, Munich song, Marching on together, we are Leeds. 6.
The formation of both teams was five three two, although from my seat on the half way line, it looked more like ten in midfield. At one stage it was like watching kids play- everyone running after the ball regardless of position. Our line of attack was the direct approach, which worked ok for the first half hour as both Jimmy and Wallace easily outpaced their defenders, and caused them all kinds of problems with some lovely runs off the ball.
Our goal came from a long ball to the right. Both Wallace and Jimmy had made runs into that area which somehow caused the Bristol defence a lot of confusion. Wallace got to the ball, Jimmy pealed off and got into the box from where he scored. Sitting in the midst of the Bristol fans I was on my best behaviour- but I couldn't hide my grin!
After half an hour, Jimmy was sent off for elbowing (a yellow card offence in my opinion-but the Bristol player made a meal of it). Once he'd left the pitch the game threatened to degenerate into a real scrap with dodgy tackles flying in all over the place. You have to seriously question the tactics of constantly hoofing a long ball to a single forward- a single _short_ forward at that. Wallace didn't win any of those balls all night, and was never going to. All that happened was that we handed possession to Bristol on a plate, backed off them, and let them come running at our defence.
OK if we were confident in our defence, but we didn't look comfortable there. Molenaar was a liability (substituted at half time for Halle who was little better), Robertson was scary, Wetherall won everything in the air, but caused a few skipped heartbeats when the ball was on the floor, even Radebe was having problems with their number 7. He ran him all round the park, and was the only Bristol player with any real skill. Doubt he'll be there for long. Kelly had a poor game too. Our attack always came down the left, with Robertson hoofing the ball upfield. Kelly only touched the ball a couple of times in the first half, with the ball finding touch more often than another Leeds player.
From the sending off onwards, it was basically a case of one way traffic, with us desperately clinging onto the lead. No-one seemed to know what formation they were supposed to be using, although it looked more like four at the back. To give him his due, GG was going ape, and was told to sit down by the ref. At least he had a bit of pride and passion. The way our defence was perfoming, their goal was inevitable, and I hate to say it, deserved. I was relieved to be on level terms going into half time.
After the break, we came out looking much better, with an organised four four one system Obviously the bollocking worked. They never managed to let their extra man count, much to the annoyance of the crowd around us. Having said that, they didn't give our defence an inch, harrying them at every count, but we were still happy to let them come at us when they (frequently) had possession. Our attack remained via a long ball to Wallace. Their second goal came from a corner, and was against the flow of play. I think it was a long range shot that deflected over the bar with Marytn beaten. Just. Poor defending on our part at the corner let them in.
The sad thing was that when we took our time, and played the ball on the floor we looked good. Dangerous even. We could, and should have scored a couple from some cracking build ups, but surprise surprise, Wallace's first touch let him down. Even Brian Deane would've scored from there!
Lilley made an appearance in the last ten minutes, coming on for Haaland, with Wallace moving back into midfield. It was a little late in the day, for him to make a real impact, but he worked well with Wallace, and again they should have scored. In injury time, (mostly due to Wetherall, who took a couple of knocks) they had a free kick just outside the area. Thankfully they wasted the opportunity.
All in all,a good night out, but the football was distinctly disappointing. Flashes of brilliance interspersed with loads of shite.
-Nigel Martyn's twin brother Neil making his debut,
-Bristol fans shouting B-ris-tol, somehow managing to make it last three syllables. Odd.
-Me screaming Come on you Leeds, whilst all around were shouting Come on you Reds, and managing to get away with it.
-The away fans singing their hearts out.
-Our skill on the floor. It didn't happen often, but was definitely worth watching.
-Hearing the surrounding Bristol fans saying how good we were- how after watching us, they could understand why one of their former players went to Barnsley to be able to play against teams like this every week. Poor bastards- what must they be used to?
At our best, we looked a different class, and certainly deserved to go through. At our worst, you'd have no way of knowing that we are in the Premiership and they are in the second division. We were sometimes that bad. Bristol put their heart and soul into that match and deserved the win for their effort if not skill. We should have seen them off, and could have too. All we needed to do defensively was stop their number 7. For the best manmarker in the premiership that shouldn't have been a problem, and Radebe did put in a couple of great tackles. However he had all kinds of problems with him, and following Jimmy's departure was forced to defend as a unit, allowing the number 7 the space he needed. On the attacking front, we just needed to take our time, and build it up from the back. You could see their defence crumble whenever we tried it. Why it wasn't part of the game plan, I'll never know.
Could this really be the team that beat Man U at the weekend?
It's slightly weird starting a game two goals up, and the atmosphere was a bit muted as our boys knocked the ball around as if they were strolling through a friendly. Eight minutes on the clock and we casually extended our lead as Hopkin played Wallace through on the right wing with a classy first-time pass and little Rod's nicely judged cross was nonchalently flicked in by Hasselbaink. 4-1 on aggregate and it was surely all over. "We only need five more," joked a mathematically challenged local. I settled back for a relaxed and pleasant evening. Unfortunately, so did the players...
As we eased up and invited City to put us under pressure, it soon became clear that the 3-man defensive system was not working well. City were finding space on the flanks, and while Radebe was good enough to paper over the cracks on the left, Molenaar was exposed as a turkey ripe for the plucking on the right. The crude Dutchman's display was truly abysmal - every bit as bad as his nightmare at Blackburn, only this time without the redeeming feature of a goal.
On 28 minutes, the game erupted when one of City's seemingly endless supply of lumbering defenders ploughed into the back of Hasselbaink. It wasn't the first time, and Jimmy had apparently had enough, leaving his assailant in a crumpled heap on the floor. The common consensus was that he had employed an elbow, but nobody around me seemed to have actually seen it. Silly, really, as the tie was virtually won at this point. Now we faced a long haul to the finish with only 10 men.
A combination of hard graft from our midfielders and City ineptitude saw us almost reach the break without conceding. Almost, but not quite. Foolishly, I now made the mistake of leaning across to my wife and muttering to her that we "only needed to get to half time without letting a goal in and we're safe". A minute later it was 1-1. Predictably, the touble came down our left and when the cross eventually came over, the unmarked Goodridge had plenty of time to control the ball, take aim, and make a cup of tea, before placing his shot past the exposed Martyn.
Thankfully, Molenaar was spared further punishment as Leeds brought on Halle and reverted to a flat back four for the second half. Immediately, we looked more comfortable and, territorially, the game was a lot more even. Wallace almost settled the issue after a great surging run by Hopkin, but couldn't quite get the ball out from under his feet before the keeper smothered his shot. I began to relax a little. Big mistake.
On 61 minutes City forced a disputed corner and the big lads lined up for a charge on the edge of the box. More slack defending as the ball swung in and landed on the head of the unmarked Taylor who powered a fine header into the top corner of the net. Half an hour left, and a long, gruelling struggle to the final whistle beckoned...
We survived thanks to hard graft all round (especially from Hopkin, Haaland and Bowyer in midfield) and a towering defensive performance from the masterly Lucas Radebe. If we've had a better defender than Lucas at the club then I've not seen him. At times he seemed to be operating as a one-man defence, covering both flanks, winning his share in the air and tackling anything that moved. Most of the bother came from corners and long throws, but there wasn't really a clear-cut chance for City to level the tie and we looked the more likely scorers on the break in the closing stages.
Never do things the easy way, do we? I bet Mr Hasselbaink wasn't the most popular boy on the journey back to Leeds.
Line-up: Martyn Molenaar Wetherall Radebe Kelly Hopkin Haaland Bowyer Robertson Wallace Hasselbaink
MARTYN 6 (A couple of useful saves, but he didn't have an awful lot to do. Ran 60
yards to get himself booked during the Hasselbaink sending-off fracas. The ex-Rover
seemed a little unnerved by his hostile reception from the City fans in the second
MOLENAAR 4 (Just awful. I felt embarrased for him. Surrendered possession constantly. Couldn't time a tackle to save his life. And so bloody SLOW. Get rid!)
WETHERALL 6 (Reasonable performance, although he never quite seemed to subdue the mediocre Torpey in the air.)
RADEBE 9 (Magnificent. The most complete central defender we've had during my 30 years supporting the club.)
KELLY 6 (Unexceptional. Worked hard but offered little attacking threat and was often guilty of reckless passes when we were trying to keep possession.)
HOPKIN 8 (A fine captain's display. Assured in possession, strong in the tackle, he's starting to look the part. Booked for squaring up to the inept referee. Good man!)
HAALAND 7 (Supported Hopkin ably until he was slowed down by injury in the second half.)
BOWYER 6 (Worked hard but still not firing on all cylinders. His confidence seems to have taken a dip for some reason.)
ROBERTSON 5 (A poor display from the wooden-legged "wingback". Can't see what GG sees in him. Looks a real weak link. Get rid!)
HASSELBAINK (Scored a fine goal. Got sent off. Er, that's about it really.)
WALLACE 8 (Ran his little socks off and looked a constant threat. Sitting with the City fans, I could sense that he was the player they feared as there was an ominous silence whenever he got the ball.)
Jon Abbott (email@example.com). Last modified $Date: 2003/07/20 11:09:23 $.