|What I.Saw - "Unwelcome To Leeds"|
Tue 10th Apr 2012 15:37 by I.Saw
The curse Nigel Clough has placed on the Damned United continued as his Rams once again inflicted defeat on their free –falling rivals.
Damned United 0 vs. 2 Derby County
April 9th 2012
Fielding (GK); Naylor, Buxton, Shackell, Roberts; Green, Bryson (Carroll 87), Hendrick, B. Davies; Tyson (S. Davies 61), Robinson (Ward 82).
Unused Substitutes: Severn (GK), Bailey.
Leeds United: Lonergan (GK); Connolly, O'Dea, Lees, Robinson; Nunez (Rogers 77), Brown, Snodgrass, Pugh; McCormack (Webber 82), Becchio (Paynter 70).
Unused Substitutes: Forssell, Bromby.
Match Stats: Damned - Derby
Possession: 42% - 58%
Shots On Target: 6 - 8
Shots Off Target: 4 - 8
Corners: 1 - 9
Fouls: 12 - 16
Most Fouls: Snodgrass (4) - Buxton (4)
I.Saw’s Match Report:
Elland Road, paces away from the turnstile “Tickets” barked the man. A flash and he’s satisfied, now I’m allowed to use the bar code reader to enter the ground."
“Tickets” barely a pace or two inside. Another inspection, this time shepherded into the upstairs packed concourse."
“Can’t I have a drink downstairs where there’s more room” I politely ask. “No, all the facilities you need are upstairs” said the man. Upstairs you squeeze to the bar, squeeze to the toilet, squeeze everywhere. All on a bit of carpet left over from when the area was used as corporate, presumably.
The only thing missing was a sign “Unwelcome To Leeds”.
Up into the seats two more ticket inspections. If I had a roll of sellotape I’d have stuck the bloody thing on my forehead.
Match underway, our Purple shirts wash away the whites. Nathan Tyson loops his header onto the roof of the net from three yards when he could have scored.
Another deep cross into the Leeds box and Theo Robinson is hauled down, a clear penalty surely! Not given, is it going to be one of those days we wonder?
Paul Green heads over, our scattergun attack must hit target soon.
In the middle of the park, Robinson is sandwiched between two White shirts, pole axed he falls to the ground. A foul then. Referee Oliver Langford strides forward, a card, its red and Michael Brown is sent off. Later we see the studs into the Derby players’ midriff but at the time it looked soft.
The card galvanised the home side. Tackles began to fly in, Leeds though lost their formation and Craig Bryson took full advantage curling a delightful shot into the right hand corner of keeper Andy Lonergan’s net
“We Want Seven, We Want Seven” the chant echoing from the travelling supporters.
Tyson taken out on the touchline, he swings a leg from the floor and is lucky to escape a card; a throw in to the Rams the outcome.
Half time the Rams applauded from the field the home side leave to nothing, the boos being saved for the officials.
Whatever Warnock said at half time worked, Leeds have every decision possible from Langford in the opening period of the second, with lightweight Ramon Nunez a particular feather falling at every opportunity.
When that approach fails it is back to the frustration. Ex Ram Paul Connolly is very lucky to avoid a straight red for an awful tackle from behind on Bryson. It sparks a massive melee with Darren O’Dea running forty yards just to push anything in a purple shirt.
After it has calmed down and a yellow issued, Tom Lees becomes the next in the book for tugging back Steve Davies when the striker is clean through on goal.
Davies gets the last laugh when as he fires home the second with the Rams queuing up to have shots at the Leeds goal.
Warnock responds by brining off Luciano Becchio who had fought well in the air and he brings on Billy Paynter, he’s lost the plot.
As does Snodgrass, who offers himself for the next card as the home side vent their spleen in the usual fashion time honoured Leeds fashion.
And in a similar vein the police arrest a woman sat with kids from the South Stand after she continually made gestures at our fans in the West Stand. The police handcuffs showing a nice touch as a fashion accessory. A great role model for the kids, then again maybe they’d fancy a chippy tea.
As perhaps do most of the home support which left in droves as the minutes ticked away, then again with only 21,363 at the start the ground was hardly full.
A big club fallen on hard times or fans fed up of being charged top whack to watch dross with the prospect of higher season ticket prices and a lower wage bill next season? You decide.
Nigel decides to give Tom Carroll ten minutes and Derby play out time passing back and forth in a training ground manner. It matters not and it was relief to both sides when the final whistle blew.
We stayed to applaud the performance before leaving Elland Road with the wonderful feeling of doing a “Dirties” double.
All it needed to wrap it up was our free lift home courtesy of a Leeds United Season Ticket Holder.
If Carlsberg did football days this would be right up there.
Nigel Clough was very happy with his players after the match –
"I thought we actually played better against eleven men than we did against ten, because we started so brightly in the first 25 minutes and it was very much like a home side.”
"We were magnificent early on, especially when you consider it was our second game in 48 hours and there's always a concern about getting going and getting the legs moving - but I thought we should have two goals inside the first ten minutes.”
"Once they went down to ten men they were galvanised a bit so it was crucial we got the first goal, and what a goal it was from Craig Bryson. It was a big goal for the team and I don't think he'll score many better than that.”
"We gave Leeds some encouragement early in the second half and Frank Fielding made some very good saves and once we got back on top again it was about getting the second goal and winning the game - which Steven Davies did for us.”
"I thought the honesty of our players stood out at absolute mile and the characters they are; they're doing us proud and without the red card I think we would have gone on to win the game given how we started and the chances we were creating."
"We've had a great run against Leeds and to do the double over them and Forest in the same season makes it extra special for our supporters and I think this result once again shows this team is moving in the right direction."
"We all feel we could have won the two games we drew against Bristol City and Ipswich before Leeds, which would have taken us further up the table but we're delighted with how the boys are doing and with only two defeats in ten games we're establishing a habit of not losing games here.”
"Normally at this stage of the season everyone's shattered but we're all actually saying - I wish we had a few weeks of the season left!"
The clean sheet took Derby's clean sheet tally for the season to 13 - three better than what they achieved last season and Clough has expressed his delight for goalkeeper Frank Fielding and the entire Rams backline.
He said: "Two clean sheets in three days is great for Frank, the defence and everyone in the team. We've been solid in recent weeks and everyone has played their part."
Clough also added: "We can't wait to get back into action at Pride Park on Saturday against Middlesbrough."
Derby County vs. Middlesbrough
3pm – Saturday April 14th
Pride Park Stadium
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