Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Leeds United 2 - 1 Everton

I know, I have been rubbish with the timing of this report, I have man-flu!!!

I'll tell you what, for a game I wasn't too bothered about winning, I was certainly bloody excited as kick off got closer and closer.

The rain was belting it down and flooding had occurred across a lot of the country but apparently the game was never in doubt due to the ground staff working really hard all day to make sure the fixture went ahead.

Warnock made some significant changes to the side that won against Nottingham Forest at the weekend, bringing, Ashdown, Brown, Pugh and White to the starting 11.

The first significant thing to happen in the match was in the 4th minute when Aidy White worked hard to play around the Everton defenders to open the scoring with a fantastic goal.

Tom Lees had it all to do when Mirallas looked to even the odds at the other end of the pitch as Everton were pushing for a goal but he managed to clear the ball.

Gary Speed played for both Leeds and Everton, so as a tribute we began to sing his name on the 11th minute of the match for 11 minutes in the hope that the 5000 travelling Everton fans would join in, however they sang over most of it, but we carried on.

On the 12th minute of play Pearce headed wide of the goal when Diouf took a free kick from the right hand side.

Jamie Ashdown attempted to clear a ball from the area on but it hit Anichebe which was a worrying moment, as we've all seen those mistakes before!! Luckily, though, the ball went out of play.

Sam Bryam was next on the 20th minute, running through the Everton midfield/defence and crossing into the box but it went just over the bar.

Oviedo crossed a decent ball into the box for Anichebe but he put it well over the crossbar on the 29th minute, this sparked the Everton attack and shortly after they were on us again when Coleman crossed into the box but Ashdown had it covered.

Rodolph Austin went close to adding his name to the score sheet when he fired in a shot from a distance but it was just wide.

Diouf was getting a nice chorus of boo's from the Everton fans every time he touched the ball, especially when he almost scored on the 37th minute but he blew the away fans kisses and got back into position as the play continued.

Just before half time Jason Pearce went down with a head injury after he went to head the ball and instead, headed Naismith's head!! He received treatment and was bandaged up to the nines but he still played on.

We were dominating Everton and didn't look to be tiring after what was a really well worked half of Football, Luciano Becchio had the next chance to double the lead when Diouf crossed into the box, Becchio got his head to the ball and it looked for all the world it was going in, however Naismith was in the right place at the right time and he managed to clear it off the line, which was the last chance of the half.

Everton had made two changes as the 2nd half kicked off, bringing on Phil Neville and Steven Pienaar for Junior and Gueye.

On the 51st minute of play Neville took Diouf out with a sliding tackle, this made him even more popular than he already was with the Leeds United crowd who began ripping into him with classic chants such as "Your brother's a c*nt, and so are you" - I bet he just loves coming to Elland Road ha ha!!

A chance a few minutes later for Everton to even the odds went begging when Pienaar shot from the edge of the penalty area but it cleared the crossbar

This was closely followed by a Fellaini header that went wide of the goal.

The pitch opened up for Michael Tonge as he found himself in a position to shoot but it was just off target & never really challenged the keeper.

Just before 60 minutes, Everton came painfully close to scoring when Naismith headed a ball on from Anichebe but it was wide of the goalmouth, this was the closest we had come all night to conceding a goal, they were pushing hard for the equaliser.

The game was getting tastier and Everton were really coming into it, another chance bang on the 60 minute mark went begging when Pienaar shot on goal.

Michael Brown picked up a yellow when he slide tackled Pienaar a couple of minutes later.

We weren't giving up that easily though and a great few minutes of pressuring the Everton back line was rewarded when Rodolph Austin put the ball past Mucha to double the lead after Diouf's free kick on the edge of the penalty area came in, Pugh had a shot on target but it was Austin who was eventually there to see that the ball went in the back of the net on the 69th minute.

The 5000 away fans in the South & West stands fell completely silent as Elland Road erupted in jubilation, the atmosphere was brilliant and we were all buzzing, this couldn't be going any better for us and we were making them look like the Championship side, still we had to be cautious, you never do know with us, they have the potential to step it up and we have the potential to drop off and make the game very hard for ourselves.

Much of the next 10 minutes were Everton's as they tried to claw their way back into the game somehow and on the 80th minute, they were. Sylvain Distin just won the ball that came from Anichebe to head it home for the Toffees.

Not long after, Everton were screaming for a penalty when Fellaini shot on goal and Pearce was in the area, they claimed the ball had hit the hand of Pearce but it wasn't given.

We were scrapping for our lives now and Everton were so close yet again as Jelavic headed straight into Ashdown's hands from very close range.

There was a stoppage in the 87th minute when Tom Lees became our second defender of the night to draw blood, Lees got a cut above his eye, got bandaged up and carried on with the game.

The 4th official put the board in the air and there were 4 minutes of added time left to play.

The 4 minutes were pretty much dominated by Diouf trying to keep the ball as far away from Everton as possible, some great teamwork saw the clock run down with very little in the way of pressure and when the final whistle went, Elland Road erupted once more and clapped off the lads, who had worked so hard for this victory.

The passion and the drive to win was purely fantastic and to hear the atmosphere at Elland Road again really was special. This was a game we weren't under any pressure to win and we went out there and fought for our lives.

Pearce, Lees, Austin, Byram, Diouf, White, everyone, EVEN PUGH!! They were all honestly brilliant, the whole team worked as one and they were fantastic.

The cup draw was the night after the match, and I was really hoping for Liverpool away as I've never been to Anfield, I didn't think there was any chance of another home game, but we were infact drawn against Southampton at Elland Road!!

So sorry this report is so late, I know, I'm rubbish!! :o( I will catch up with the reports when I man up and get rid of this cold/chest infection :o) Thanks for bearing with me!!

MOT xx <3 xx

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