Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Brighton & Hove Albion 2 - 2 Leeds United

Normally, on a Friday, I would be trying to drag my arse out of bed for work, but, I woke up, bright as a button at 7am and sprung out of bed as I needed to get ready for a full day on the road with Leeds United.

Last season's match against Brighton was one of my favourite away days, we had a great time, I was hoping today would be the same.

If you aren't a Football fan, you probably wouldn't understand why we get so excited about away days but, ones like this are just fantastic. We had made good time getting down there, so we went to the pub at around 4pm and had a good couple of hours drinking, talking to friends, sharing stories about matches, how we all got into Football, what our first Leeds United matches were, allsorts, you almost forget there is a match to go to!!

When we got into the ground, we decided it was probably time for another couple of beers before heading to our seats. The concourse filled up with Leeds fans pretty quickly, and after a couple of rounds of 'Let's go f*cking mental' with beers in hand, the floor got pretty slippery, as I found out, more than once ha ha!!

Warnock decided to name an unchanged side from Tuesday nights win against Southampton, choosing to, again, leave Luciano Becchio on the bench and start Luke Varney.

We had the first chance of the game when Rodolph Austin missed wide of the target after taking a free kick.

It was clear to see that we were going to encounter some problems with Brighton's attack, as Tom Lees blocked a shot from Barnes who also went wide with another shot, not much later.

Both sides were struggling to take control of the game, though Brighton did have the edge. But on the 15th minute of time, Lee Peltier brought down Buckley in the area and ref Lee Mason had no doubts that it was a penalty. Craig Mackail-Smith took to the spot and made it 1 - 0 to the home side.

Just minutes after, Mackail-Smith had another shot but it was blocked by Tom Lees.

Dean Hammond sent a cross in for Ashley Barnes who had a go at goal, Paddy Kenny saved on the 23rd minute.

33 minutes gone and Diouf took a corner but El-Abd made a clearance and it was out for another corner. Diouf stepped up again, but this time Wayne Bridge managed to clear it away. Suddenly, Luke Varney was pushed, without the ball, in the box by Bruno Saltor. Mason again, pointed to the spot, this time in our favour. We all fell silent as El-Hadji Diouf stepped up to the spot, I was thinking, if he scores this, we could push on and sort ourselves out a bit, get a bit of confidence, if he doesn't, our heads might go down, we'll start getting bookings, there might be a sending off, oh god, we might lose....I'm glad those things weren't going through Diouf's head, as he may well have missed ha ha, luckily though he smashed it past Kuszczak.

As we got in to the final part 5 minutes of the first half, Tom Lees, who had earlier sustained an injury to his eye had to be replaced by Danny Pugh as he was struggling with his vision.

Before the break, Lee Peltier blocked another shot from Craig Mackail-Smith and Dean Hammond also saw his chance land safely in the hands of Paddy Kenny after a corner by Orlandi.

Nothing had changed since the 1st half ended and we were still very slack. Bruno Saltar saw his shot go over the bar on the 51st minute of play.

Craig Mackail-Smith was hunting his hat-trick and on the 62nd minute, Paddy Kenny made sure he didn't get it when he saved another shot from the striker.

Warnock decided there needed to be a change within the squad and brought Luciano Becchio on for Luke Varney.

65 minutes gone and we were really under the cosh and we were finding it hard, but, the ball came to Michael Brown on the edge of the area, he put his foot behind the ball with some force, and, thanks to a deflection from Bacchii,it found the back of the net. The odds were even and the game, was again, anyone's.

On the 73rd minute, we found ourselves in trouble again, like we often do, when Sam Bram was penalised for bringing down Mack ail-Smith in the area. Again, Mason pointed to the spot and it felt like you could see the headlines tomorrow, 'Craig Mack ail-Smith scores hat-trick against Leeds'. He stepped up....Struck the ball....Paddy Kenny SAVED!! I jumped about for about a minute saying 'HE'S SAVED IT, HE'S SAVED IT!!' I couldn't actually believe it!!

We needed to push on now if we were going to get all three points and Warnock again changed the team on the 80th minute, bringing off El-Hajji Dough for David Norris.

We still looked out of sorts though, and it looked like Brighton wanted it more. Ashley Barnes just missed the target when he headed inside the penalty area on the 80th minute.

As the game drew to a close though, it looked like the score was settled, until the fourth minute of added time that is, when Andrew Crofts had one last shot, but Paddy Kenny pulled off a tremendous save.

The game ended and we left with a point, the final score was 2 - 2.

You can't help but be disappointed with the way we are playing at the moment. We are so negative and aren't passing the ball enough. It wasn't a patch on Tuesday night's win against Southampton anyway.

As you will all probably know by now, we drew Chelsea at home in the Quarter Final's of the Capital One Cup. The game is to be played on the 19th of December and will be live on Sky.

If I had to give Man Of The Match to anyone, I would have probably given it to Kenny as he kept us in it with his penalty save and his save right at the death.

We need to improve for Burnley on Tuesday. Fingers crossed we do.

MOT xx <3 xx

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