After the last two 'performances'....And the fact that it was a Tuesday night, I wasn't expecting much to come of this Capital One Cup, Fourth Round tie against Southampton.
On the way to Elland Road, I was arguing with myself thinking, a win might do us the world of good, get some confidence back in the side but then again, it's an extra game to play and we really should be concentrating on the league....But, if we do go through, it's more money in our pockets....Well, not in MY pocket, cos I'll be the one forking out for another ticket, anyway, by the time I'd gotten into the ground, I'd stopped thinking about it and decided to take the 'whatever will be, will be' attitude.
Both sides had made changes to the starting 11, Jamie Ashdown and Luke Varney started in place of Paddy Kenny and Luciano Becchio.
We began with a lot more pace than we had done in previous games, we were passing the ball around well against Nigel Adkins' side. Sam Bryram and Aiden White both had crosses cleared away.
On the 14th minute came what is being dubbed as 'miss of the century' by Luke Varney.
Varney found himself with a perfect opportunity, he was looking at a completely open net when the ball fell to him, he went to hit it, from one yard out and missed wide....it was more difficult to miss!! We didn't know whether to laugh or cry.
Diouf had a chance a minute later but that just missed, wide right, in less spectacular fashion it has to be said ha ha.
In the 10 minutes that followed, we were all over them, plenty of crosses in to the box, lots of opportunities but sadly, no goals scored.
Luke Varney had two more chances to open the scoring. On the 26th minute he took a shot that missed right of the goalmouth. On the 28th minute, he saw the chance to put the ball over the keeper who was on the edge of the box and it looked for all the world it was in, but it bounced off the post.
This sparked off chants such as 'If Varney scores, were on the pitch' and 'Who needs Van Persie, we've got Luke Varney'.
A goal for us was coming, Rodolph Austin was the next to try his luck on the 32nd minute when Sam Byram sent a cross over, but his header was left of the goal.
Finally though, Michael Tonge scored on the 34th minute from the edge of the box to put us in the lead and a very well deserved lead at that.
That was the most significant thing to happen before the ref blew his whistle for half time.
Luckily the break hadn't stopped the way we were playing before the half ended and on the 53rd minute, Michael Tonge had a chance from outside the box, but it went just wide of the target.
Two minutes later and Danny Butterfield tried to cross the ball but Tom Lees cleared it from any danger.
Kelvin Davis saved a shot from Luke Varney on the 63rd minute.
Emmanuel Myakka missed just left of the goal after attacking the Leeds back line on the 70th minute.
We definitely still had a firm grip of the game, though Southampton were showing signs of getting back into it as the game began to draw to a close but El-Hadji Diouf made sure it was well out of reach for them on the 85th minute after Rodolph Austin shot on goal, Davis originally stopped it from going in, but Diouf was there to make sure it went in.
Three minutes later, Richard Chaplow had a chance for Southampton but Ashdown saved.
Danny Pugh came on in place of Lee Peltier and Luke Varney made way for Luciano Becchio as Neil Warnock looked to change the side in the closing minutes.
Luke Shaw gave away penalty in the first minute of added time when he brought down Tonge in the area and Becchio was there to step up and smashed it past Davis to make the score 3 - 0.
Warnock made another change and brought on Andy Gray for El-Hadji Diouf which was pretty much the last thing to happen before the whistle blew for full time.
A very odd, but lovely feeling to walk away from Elland Road with a smile on a Tuesday night!!
I thought Diouf played a lot better than he did the past couple of games, held the ball up well towards the end of the match, Brown & Tonge were also much, much better.
Varney DID offer something to the side going forwards, he had the pace and quite often exploited the space he was given by the Southampton defenders but he didn't put away, the chances he had, and he had a lot of them. My thoughts when it was still 1 - 0, was that his missed chances might come back and bite us in the arse, but luckily for us (and him) they didn't!!
Ashdown wasn't given a lot to do by the young Southampton side but he managed to keep a clean sheet all the same and that in itself is a big positive.
I would just like to say though, we played so much better last night, because we weren't lobbing the long ball from the back & expecting Luciano to score from it. It wouldn't matter who was playing upfront for us if we carried on hoofing it like we were the other day because our tactics were negative and that showed by how poorly we played.
The best chant of the night came when we were all looking at the big screen for a replay of the chance Varney missed, when it was rudely interrupted by an announcement about someone's Ford Fiesta, telling them to contact their nearest steward, we were all booing and soon the air filled with 'You can stick your Ford Fiesta up your arse' ha ha!!
Hope we can carry the confidence of the game into the next match now, away to Brighton on Friday night :o)
MOT xx <3 xx