Leeds 1 – 1 Albion

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Our last view of Elland Road for years to come?

Gutted. No other word for it. Leeds probably deserved a draw overall, but I was sure we were finally going to ride our luck and leave Elland road – probably for the last time for many years – with all three points. As I said, gutted.

The day started inauspiciously when the PA system on the East Coast train out of King’s Cross announced we were on a dry train “Due to football issues”. Onboard there were Leeds, Watford, Ipswich, and even a Geordie fan running late for St James’s Park. He was probably just a lost beer monster, if he was he was on the wrong train. We managed a couple of swift pints and a warming shot in the railway station bar before jumping into a taxi for Elland Road.  Leeds’ tap lager in the away supporters’ bar was horrible, so I knocked back cider before grabbing a seat in the tiny yellow away section in the south east corner of the old stadium.

Just a note on Leeds stewards, and I’m not one who usually rags on the fluorescent jacket brigade, but these were some of the worst jobsworths I’ve seen. Granted the four or so Albion lads who got ejected for repeatedly refusing to sit down were pissed-up and annoying, but the introduction of purple shirted “quick response” teams or whatever they were called, plain clothes (undercover?) uber-stewards, and of course West Yorkshire’s finest was all a bit OTT to say the least. The fact that one of them was a ringer for Mark McGhee didn’t help either. I tried to get a photo of McGhoo’s visog but he was too fast for me, and for a moment I thought he was going to try and sling me out for the heinous crime of using a camera in a public place. Muppets.

The match now. Well, we weren’t exactly robbed, but when Virgo was sent off for a reckless lunge on Leeds’ Gradel after Brezovan threw the ball to him (fucking Albion goalkeeping again!), it looked ominous. Letting in a goal on 95 minutes was completely soul destroying though. Before the equaliser the team battled, frustrated and harried, Beckford never got so much as a sniff all game. When Murray went down and converted his own penalty we were sitting pretty, the home crowd were quiet, and I really believed we were for winning this one.

My man of the match was a hard one, this really was a team display, if you’ll pardon the cliche. Virgo was brilliant until he went, but he’s out of the team now for Charlton and James Tunnicliffe is out on loan, who’s going in at centre back – probably Painter with El-Abd coming back to cover left back. Our midfield was brilliant all game, again with Navarro starring alongside Crofts. I saw LuaLua for the first time too, and he looks great. But big Glenn Murray played the lone striker role superbly up front, and for that he earns my man of the match.

After the game we met up at the Grove Inn on Stone Row with a few Albion fans for some excellent real ale before heading home, again on a dry train. Some of the boys had a carry out so I blagged a couple of cans, and one of my party got a little bit too rowdy (sorry Lads!), but all in all we had forgotten about the game and had a bit of a laugh.

So, we’ve slipped a place to 22nd in the league after dropping two points yesterday, things aren’t looking good in the table, but we are playing well. Charlton away on Tuesday night is not as daunting a fixture as it might have been earlier in the season, we can match anyone on our day, we just have to have more “days” – time is running out.

The Hovian’s Albion Team Performance : 8 out of 10

The Hovian’s Albion Man of the Match : Glenn Murray

Albion Team (goalscorers in bold):

(4-5-1) Brezovan; Calderon, Elphick, Virgo, Painter; Bennett (Hart 56), Dicker, Crofts, Navarro, LuaLua (El-Abd 82); Murray

(Subs) Kuipers, El-Abd, Forster, Carole, Hoyte, Hart, Holroyd

Attendance: 24120

League One table

Sunday, 21 February 2010 00:00 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
Full League One table
1 Norwich 32 32 66
2 Leeds United 31 28 63
3 Colchester 32 18 62
4 Charlton 32 21 60
5 Swindon 30 12 56
6 Huddersfield 31 23 54
7 Millwall 31 12 52
8 MK Dons 31 3 49
9 Walsall 31 3 43
10 Bristol Rovers 31 -9 42
11 Brentford 30 0 38
12 Southampton 29 17 37
13 Carlisle 31 -2 37
14 Leyton Orient 31 -6 36
15 Yeovil 32 -5 35
16 Gillingham 32 -11 33
17 Tranmere 31 -21 33
18 Southend 31 -11 32
19 Oldham 29 -11 32
20 Hartlepool 31 -12 32
21 Exeter 32 -13 31
22 Brighton 31 -14 31
23 Wycombe 32 -24 27
24 Stockport 30 -30 20
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2 Responses to “Leeds 1 – 1 Albion”

  1. glasfryn Says:

    All in all a good result and with some luck could have been better, some of those on NSC were mystified as to why Gus bought on Hart but to me it was pretty obvious to make a bloody pest of himself and by the commentary thats exactly what he done.
    Only been to Ellen road once while I lived in Wakefield and it was Leeds V Everton and Billy Bremner and Alan Ball could not keep their hands off one another
    those were the days when footballers were men and if you were not sure if you were or not you could ask “bite yer legs ” Norman Hunter he would let you know in his own inevitable way and those were the days when Leeds were a team.

    G

  2. The Hovian Says:

    Yeah, the game plan almost worked, we made them look very ordinary, the equaliser was awful. I fancy our chances tomorrow night – expecting Poyet to go back to 4-4-2, hopefully with Forster partnering Murray, but we’ll see. We should just go for Charlton.

    I can only remember watching the Don Revie side in retrospect on TV, but they were hated probably more than Man U in their day when you ask older football people. It’s funny watching Hunter, because although he was a gangly big skinny fella, he was undoubtedly hard as nails. I love re-watching that punch-up he had with Franny Lee. You’ll never get players like that again, it’s a real shame.

    Cheers mate

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