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A scrappy crappy game. In the end decided by the result of 3 second half goalmouth scrambles. Ipswich scored from the one in our area, we failed to finish off either of the 2 down their end.
Unsurprisingly after extricating ourselves from the pub with its revolutionary text ordering system we found that we were fielding the same team and same 4-5-1 formation as last week. We started well and had a goal fairly disallowed for offside in the first few minutes.
However, despite dominating possession we didn't create an awful lot of decent chances, partly because our most dangerous attacker, Healy, was often the one providing the crosses. An Oster shot straight at the keeper from our most fluent move of the half and a looping Gregan header over the bar were about as close as we came. Ipswich rarely threatened, Carlisle was impressive in the air and Kelly and Pugh swept up well behind him.
Second half started badly as we gave a comical goal away, 2 defenders collided on the edge of the area, to let the otherwise anonymous Kuqi get a shot in, and though Sullivan parried it, Bent managed to brush-off Pugh's and Sullivan's challenges to bundle the ball into the net. As he celebrated Leeds bodies were littered around the area.
The goal knocked the stuffing out of us for a while, though we nearly equalised when a corner bobbed around the area and Carlisle and Deane both failed to get a decent contact within the 6 yard box before Ipswich hacked it clear. Second half was more even, but Sullivan still had relatively little to actually save, though he was indebted to Kelly for a couple of clearances from dangerous looking crosses, one of them especially looked easier to put in, than clear.
Blackwell sent Joachim on for Wright who'd been booked and booed after Wilnus made a meal of a pretty harmless tackle, but apart from a couple of runs down the wing ended by fouls, little really changed. Our best chance came in the last 5 minutes when Deane turned on the ball during another goalmouth scramble but hit a weak shot straight at their keeper. A final crap corner and it was all over, we deserved at least a point, but last weeks decisive finishing was as expected a flash in the pan, and we were back to our usual powder-puff style.
Down to 19th, no ground, not a good week.
Sullivan 6 - Nothing much wrong
Kelly 7.5 - Excellent defensively and for once some of his crosses found their targets.
Pugh 6 - Quiet
Butler 6.5 - Solid enough
Carlisle 8 - Dealt with the highly rated Bent well.
Walton 7 - Increasingly becoming the heartbeat of the team. He's the one chasing down the lose balls in midfield and he was the one on the halfway line urging his team-mates forward after their goal.
Gregan 6 - Should be doing what Walton is trying to do. Doesn't.
Wright 7 - Was getting a bit wound up though, so probably subbed to avoid him getting sent off. Fairly industrious before that.
Oster 7 - Another promising game and worked hard. Totally unfair but I think he may turn into another Barmby and get progressively worse over time.
Healy 7.5 - Obviously a sharp intelligent striker and equally obviously wasted in midfield.
Deane 6.5 - Tried hard, but isolated up front and didn't finish when he had the chance.
Copy from Football Unlimited of 15/11/2004.
Joe Royle showed little sympathy for Leeds' plight after Kevin Blackwell's exoneration of his team. The Leeds manager claimed off-field turbulence had distracted them from their duties. "I defy people to show it doesn't affect you," said Blackwell.
Royle defied him. "I don't think I've ever gone on to a pitch wondering what was happening in the boardroom," he said. "Kevin's entitled to his opinion. I'm entitled to disagree. Ten out of 11 players couldn't name a director."
This week Leeds will hope to ease their directors' worries by securing the backing of Norman Stubbs' consortium now that a sale and leaseback deal has been signed for Elland Road. A takeover by Stubbs' group is expected to reduce Leeds' debt, in the region of £30m, by about a third.