FA Carling Premiership
Coventry City 2 - 2 Leeds United
(Half-time: 0 - 1)
|Leeds United||Robinson, Haaland (Hopkin 46), Granville (Harte 72), Radebe, Wetherall, Ribeiro (Kewell 69), Batty, McPhail, Jones, Wijnhard, Hasselbaink.||Martyn, Kewell, Woodgate|
|Coventry City||Hedman, Nilsson, Burrows (Edworthy 37), Shaw, Breen (Williams 46), Telfer, McAllister, Boateng, Soltvedt, Huckerby (Aloisi 58), Whelan||Clement, Quinn|
|Leeds United||Wijnhard 43, Hopkin 92|
|Coventry City||Aloisi 64, Telfer 72|
|Yellow Cards||Red Cards|
|Leeds United||Haaland, Wetherall|
|Leeds United||Coventry City|
|Shirt numbers of goalscorers||?||?|
|Dave Woolmer||Kick 'em in the air|
|The Guardian||Leeds look ahead|
|The Electronic Telegraph||Leeds move up a gear just in time|
|The Times||Leeds able to call on reserves of strength|
|Express Sport||Hopkin's strike is so costly|
|The Independent||Hopkin saves Leeds blushes|
|Yorkshire Evening Post||Jimmy's good as gold|
|BBC||Hopkin sees Leeds end on high note|
|Soccernet||Coventry City 2 - 2 Leeds United|
|Carlingnet||Coventry City 2 - 2 Leeds United|
For once a healthy allocation of tickets meant over 40 East Anglia Whites were able to make the quick zoom up the A14, and forsaking our political principles for a cheap pint, were safely ensconced in the Conservative Club just around the corner from the ground by 1.30. This gave us time for a few pleasant pints and for one of our number to win the pub card (50 quid season ticket next year paid for) before heading off to the ground.
Whatever you think of the new away shirt, we've obviously sold a shitload of
them already, because I nearly walked straight past our entrance, due to the
preponderance of Sky blue shirts. Once inside we got a mini fireworks display
as the team came out, and then we played spot the reserve and tried to work
out exactly who was play for Leeds. DOL had rested half the team, so we
Haaland, Wetherall, Lucas, Granville
Jones, Batty, McPhail, Bruno
Not surprisingly given the team, our play didn't really flow sweetly, but in the first half we managed to create a fair few chances. McPhail was played through by Jimmy but the keeper blocked the shot and then McPhail returned the favour but Jimmy blasted it when all he had to do was lift it over the keeper.
Wetherall and Wijnhard also had decent chances saved and Coventry managed to miss a couple of chances at the other end. While all this was going on, there was a certain amount of action in the stands as well. Our friends the West Midland Police seemed to be forever diving in among the Leeds fans to drag people out and the atmosphere was a bit volatile for a while. Can't say our lot were totally blameless, the 4pm kick-off meant most people were more drunk than usual and I suppose the Police are entitled to get a bit pissed off when people are ripping the advertising boards off the wall.
Still the atmosphere was lightened by the news spreading around that Scum were losing, and we had a good moment when Macca, who was standing in front of the Leeds fans giving it the "One greedy bastard chant" acted all surprised. Just before half-time Jimmy was put free down the left, a bad 2nd touch took him wider than he needed to and with what I think was a shot he hammered it across the face of goal. Luckily Clyde was loitering on the far post and from a distance of about 6 inches managed to knock it into the top corner. Because of the goal, half-time was a happy affair and with the help of the sunshine we had one of the best WATC-COE of the year.
Second half meant Hopkin came on for Alfie with Jones going to right-back. To be honest we were pretty crap and Coventry came back well and it wasn't too much of a surprise when they equalized after Radebe just failed to cut out a cross. This shut up our chants of "1-0 to the Leeds reserves." And "Can we play you every week", though we did get to sing "Noel Whelan is a Leeds fan" a bit later after he'd been put through by a defence splitting pass from McPhail.
From another cross Wetherall got in a good tackle and Robinson picked the ball up, the ref then proved he hadn't seen us play much, by saying it was deliberate and giving them a free-kick on the edge of the 6 yard line. There's no way Wetherall could have done that deliberately. Still it provided a moment of comedy, as the ball was touched to Macca, who slipped as he went to shoot and was nearly trampled by the Leeds players charging out from all of 3 yards away.
Inevitably a second goal came, it looked like the danger had passed as a cross went over everyone, but Telfer collected it and fired it back in and Robinson only moved after it had hit the net. We brought Kewell and Harte on for Bruno and Granville, but it looked too late as apart from a couple of runs from Kewell we didn't really look like equalising. But Deep into injury time Harry picked up the ball and played Hopkin through who went around the keeper and scored to stop the end of the season being a bit of a damp squib.
At the final whistle, surprisingly enough there was no pitch invasion (god knows why they picked Cov away as last game of the season after what had happened there before). This meant that DOL could lead the players over for a last round of applause and a few souvenirs including Lucas' boots were chucked into the crowd and Clyde wandered off nearly naked. That done we left the ground to the Coventry fans for their own lap of honour.
Our best player on the day was Batty. In a pretty average performance i'm afraid none of the players with something to prove to DOL (Bruno, Clyde, Granville) did anything special. Clyde continues to look more like a middleweight boxer than a centre-forward.
Unfortunately the police had one more card up their sleeve and decided to keep the coaches waiting til everyone had left the ground, and then one of the slowest police escorts ever meant it was an hour after the game finished before we got out of Coventry.
Good day all round yesterday....
Began very delicately as I stumbled down from Sheffield still hungover/ drunk for the Lards match. Thanks to KOT for supplying mw directions to pitch at last minute. Still managed to arrive after kick-off, but after swift change and early substitution I was on.
Now the trouble with coming on as a sub. is that it takes a while to get a feel for the pace of the game. Thi is exacerbated by a brutal hangover. Thus I put in a few early challenges that it could, perhaps, be argued by the more picky saw me not very close to the ball. All I can say is that they got a laugh from the linesman so can't have been that bad ;-)
As for the game overall O'Lardy followed the spirit of the day in putting out a chronically understrength side, and as AdieT told us all later, it was remarkably close for a 7-0 defeat.MOTM to Sean for managing to clear the bar from that close a range. Some truly innovative goalkeeping from our increasingly strange range of keepers. A training day on "Coping with the concept of a lob" may be in order.
Anyway off across, and round, and then across, then round, Coventry to the pub, following the weird and wonderful world of DaveB driving and niggy navigation. A gentle double whiskey later and off to see Leeds Reserves.
Most of the key points have been described already. A couple of the most memorable moments from me...
Alfie flattening their guy (was it Noel?) and making mock stretcher motions to the Leeds fans, and nodding his huge approval of "Alfie for Norway"... top fella, who really does give his all for the club. Though he'll probably be down to the bench next season he's certainly worth holding on to.
An audacious dummy by Jones in the first half in front of the Leeds fans, that completely baffled the Coventry defender and even got applause from the Cov. lot.
Fans in good form, here's to you Jimmy Hasselbaink, Leeds fans love your more than you can know... would love to have had Da Rev there singing that...
Scores on the proverbial....
Robnson - 6 - thought Nige would have stopped the first goal. Doesn't seem to shout enough at those in front of him, though as a young lad it must be difficult to try and boss someone like Lucas around.
Alfie - 8 - for that challenge. his great attitude, and Noggy smile...
Jones - 7 in first half 5 in second. Looked happier in midfield, though lacking a turn of pace... touch and go still whether he'll make it at top level.
Wethers - 7 - always have loved him, always will. Actually showed a remarkably good first touch at times yesterday taking down long balls. Thought he could/should have buried one of his headers
Lucas - 6 - knackered. Still a God but a very tired God. Surprised her wasn't rested actually.
Granville -5 - average in first half, roasted in second. Boateng gave him hell. Lucas screamed at him more than once, though pointedly clapped him off when subbed.
Batty - 7 and a bit - out-Battyed by Alfie. They were sustained periods in the match where his passing was forwards... shocking.
Ribeiro - 2 theories with Bruno. 1 - he hasn't had enough of a run this season so has never been able to get back to heights of last season, or 2 - in the sterility of our midfield last year he shone like a beacon, but now we've got a young. lively midfield he is shown to actually be one-paced and sluggish. Let's hope it's 1.
McPhail - 6 - did his bit, nearly scored early on - but isn't this the kind of match where he should really be imposing himself? If the Dyer rumours are true then McPhail may become increasingly peripheral.
Jimmy - 7 - really wanted a goal. Little/ no real understanding between him and Clyde. Seemed to be looking for Harry most of the time. Nice work for the first goal, though he blasted one chance at Hedman before that when it was screaming out to be lobbed over him. Don't often see Jimmy try lobs? Discuss?
Clyde- 5 - big cuddly Clyde. Big, what's off-side? Clyde. Bless. The way he was going for the strip at the end I thought he was gonna show Becks what she missed out on at the meal...
And the subs...
Hopkin - 6 - he scored.
Brief cameos from Harry - who terrified them by introducing the notion of running at people - and Harte, who improved things by not being Granville.
Copy from Football Unlimited of 17/05/1999.
Leeds may have been denied a winning finale to a season of high satisfaction but there is every sign that they can take another big step forward next season.
David O'Leary made seven changes from the team which beat Arsenal on Tuesday, effectively ending the Gunners' title hopes, yet his makeshift side still dominated at Highfield Road.
But O'Leary accepts the scale of the challenge that still lies ahead if the Yorkshire club are to improve on a highly impressive fourth-placed finish this season. Holding on to this current crop of outstanding youngsters would be a start.
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