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So Robbo's only 1 behind the fatman for the season now...
If you weren't there you won't believe how good this game felt by the end - it was almost like one of those European nights. So many highs and lows - so much tension and release. Felt utterly drained and euphoric by the end - not much to do with the quality of the football I'm afraid but nobody said you need great football to get great excitement.
The first half was pretty awful. The defence all over the shop - Roque Jr causes more havoc than benefit there I reckon, and funny enough I said to a mate on the way out that we should give him a go in midfield - he's got stature, he can tackle and pass plus he loves to drive the play forward. I think his love of coming forward with the ball will lead to problems with his being a Chalf in the English league where breaking can be really quick - he might get caught upfield. Camara is doing his level best but some of the holes between him and Roque, well Ian Harte could have driven a bus through. Speaking of him - he was getting dicked by a 2nd division winger so I guess we'll have to go lower to find his natural level. Kelly wasn't having a good time before getting injured - he was leading Harte by 6 to 4 on the punts straight into touch when under no pressure, when he went off - Radebe came on, did well and then was v lucky not to get sent off when he chopped a winger down when already on one yellow card.
As someone said there was a spell when Lucas, Batts, Smith and Bridges were pinging the ball around and we looked like a football team. Almost. Lennon looked terrific, very fast, good control running at defences at speed - just what we've been missing - and a wonderful attitude. Bet he's knackered this morning though.
Wilcox was hopeless and rightly replaced by Domi at half time - Domi offered more pace and aggresion - while still being entirely convincing. Olembe was weird. I thought he had a very tidy first half hour or so, and then went completely awol. Only to return pushing us forwards once more when it was the do or die stuff. Batty is what Batty was: no more no less. Except to say El Tel reckoned he couldn't last 90 minutes - 120 minutes last night Terry.
Smith ran like a demon as ever and then fluffed a golden chance in the last minute of extra time - header 6 yards out - wide of the target... Penalty was a good'un though
Cyril - tried and had a good couple of moments but overall left little impression. Not like the return of Micky Bridges who nearly scored with his first touch. How good it was to see some class back up front. Let's hope against hope that he can stay fit.
Top night but let's not forget that we were really up against it against a second division outfit.
How weird life must be for Roque - 4 months ago WCup final now playing against Swindon in the "____" Cup.
At 2-0 down I was trying to console myself with the fact that over the years, no matter how good a team Leeds've had out, we've still been beaten by clubs like Swindon, and that this wasn't another sign that we were plummetting towards the oblivion of Nationwide football and the administrators that would be hovering, vulture like, over the sad shell that is left of Leeds United. Still, you gotta look on the bright side...
There were plenty of positives even at 2-0 down: despite his stature and age Aaron Lennon looks like a real propsect. Fast, skillful, strong on the ball, looking for an intelligent pass at the end of a surging run. David Batty, laughingly accused of being past it, lasting 120 minutes and - aside from a few more stray passes than usual - looking his usual accomplished, tigerish self. He's twice the midfielder of any other player we have at the club even at his age and even with the amount of time he's had out. Micheal Bridges, appearing to an ovation that sent shivers down the spine, looking like the class player he was three years ago, almost scoring with his first touch.
In truth, the problems lay in the defence. With a world cup winning defender that likes to go out on Safari roaming around the pitch, Uncle and Nephew at times back to their worse, it only leaved Camara as a class player. The back line badly misses the experience and class of Matteo or a fit Radebe.
Leeds started brightly and after ten minutes or so it looked like it was going to be a stroll in the park. Slowly Swindon came into it and their magnificent supporters got more and more vociferous until they exploded with delight, when a superb free kick from a dubious looking decision was curled in to the top left hand corner, past a floundering Robinson. As the half wore on it looked more and more grim.
Second half found Wilcox, who looked devoid of ideas, even against second division opposition, replaced by Domi who added pace and little more invention to the team. The Swindon goal was almost under siege. However, when a neat pass into the Leeds area found Robinson hesitating to come out for a ball that maybe should have been his, the Swindon forward chipped a really neat, almost sideways shot into the corner of the net, it looked all over.
With thirteen minutes left, a corner, which Harte mercifully didn't take, broke to the left back in the box and he fired an impossible shot in, past a forest of legs right into the corner of the goal.
A second goal didn't seem likely though, even when the goalkeeper, already dubiously booked for handling outside the area, clattered into Smith chasing a long ball and received a second yellow card.
With seconds of the four minutes of injury time remaining and - bizarrely - people pouring out of the exits, Paul Robinson came up for the second of two corners in quick succession. Bridges played the corner short and received it back before curling in a great cross which, unbelievably, Robinson glanced with not inconsiderable skill over the giant replacement 'keeper into the net.
I can't remember such pandemonium and joy at a goal, possibly since Anderlecht, definitely since the nine man win at Highbury.
It was only a fizzy, s*** beer cup, it was only a second division club, but it was a last minute equaliser in a cup competition by the fekkin' goalkeeper.
Inevitably no goals were scored in extra time (despite a last minute guilt edge chance miss by Smith).
Pens went a little like this:
Smith: Very nearly burst the back of the net with a simply unstoppable
Whatever, it caps what has turned out to be an extraordinary game that will live long in the memory. If you didn't fork out the measly ten quid you should be kicking yourself from here to Goodison Park and back.
Copy from Football Unlimited of 25/09/2003.
Paul Robinson was inspired at both ends of the field last night to help Leeds reach the next round of the Carling Cup and avoid what looked for so long like being another humiliating defeat at Elland Road. The Leeds and England goalkeeper followed in the footsteps of Sunderland's Mart Poom by scoring in open play on a night of high drama.
Robinson's glancing header deep into stoppage time from Michael Bridges' cross left himself stunned, let alone his colleagues, the crowd and opposition. Having done the hard part, he then proved the coolest customer in the ground again by getting enough of a touch on Andy Gurney's decisive penalty to send Peter Reid's side through at the expense of spirited visitors.
The outcome was cruel on Swindon and especially Gurney, who had scored one of the goals of the season to break the deadlock on the stroke of half-time.