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Copy from Football Unlimited of 29/08/2005.
Rob Hulse showed that the Leeds United revival was truly under way with the only strike in this tight little contest, a goal that was doubly galling to Norwich City. The Canaries had tried to sign Hulse for a song in the summer of 2003 and afterwards their chairman Roger Munby revealed through gritted teeth that "he refused to come".
Instead the striker joined West Bromwich Albion, a bad decision that left him something of a forgotten man, and then his bad luck appeared to follow him to Leeds, where his pre-season was wrecked by an ankle injury. So with reputation low and fitness at a premium he might have been expected to take more time finding his feet in this campaign, but Hulse does not do self-doubt and on Saturday he set about Norwich with the air of a man making up for lost time.
Hulse was the difference between the sides and the result, though hardly suggesting that the Premiership is beyond Norwich, certainly declared Leeds' promotion credentials.
Copy from Football Unlimited of 27/08/2005.
It is almost certain that the boardroom lunch that preceded this match was more entertaining than anything that followed it. Delia Smith and Ken Bates going head-to-head, course for course, bottle for bottle, would have provided top-notch entertainment. Norwich v Leeds was, for long stretches, complete tofu.
At the beginning of this year Leeds were on the verge of bankruptcy and Norwich about to embark on their brave, if doomed, attempt to stay in the Premiership. Yet after yesterday's deserved victory it is Leeds who are in the promotion zone of the Championship while Norwich are in the relegation places. Outside of the top three football remains a fluid game, which is more than can be said for much of what was played here.
Leeds had the majority of the early play, forcing a flurry of corners, but Robert Green comfortably dealt with any danger. 'Glory, Glory Leeds United' sang the visiting fans, their ardour undimmed by the recent years of drought.