Arriving in Wycombe for our first ever competitive match against newly promoted League One rivals was a pretty surreal experience and one you only find in the lower depths of English football. There’s no ‘hardcore’ fanbase of Stone Island and Burberry wearing youths. Instead what you’ll find is a family orientated fanbase with as many silver-haired grandfathers as there is youngsters. Helpful and pleasent stewards and friendly locals is a far cry from the visits we’ll be making to Millwall and Charlton this year, but no doubt a welcomed one.
Around 2,000 Leeds United fans had made the journey south and most of the pre-match discussion revolved around Beckford’s exclusion from the League Cup game earlier in the week. It was evident that no matter what Simon Grayson said and how much we liked him, few were willing to believe anything told to them by a club that had lied so many times in the past and the conspiracy theories surrounding Beckford’s “injury” were ripe. When the match did get underway and Beckford appeared with a bandage around his knee, this only added to the conspiracy cover story. Cynical lot us Leeds fans.
With Ben Parker out injured, Hughes was filling in at left back. Have no idea why Simon Grayson continues to do this as Hughes never convinces in this position. The decision is even more bizarre when you consider the two natural left-sided players we have available to us in Sheehan and White, both of whom I suspect would do a better job than Hughes.
The first half was a dreadful one. Jason Crowe struggled to contain the pace of Wycombe’s winger who continually beat him and whipped cross after cross into the box. It was only “Prince Harry” and the other Wycombe strikers failure to convert that kept the scoreline at 0-0. The interval came as a welcome break from the poor football we’d witnessed in the first 45 minutes and as we enjoyed some half-time refreshments, we could only hope a better performance would greet us in the second half.
The second half got underway and Leeds were a different team. The troublesome winger had been silenced and Leeds’ passing game had suddenly appeared. The Leeds fans responded to the improved display and the travelling 2,000 were now in full voice.
The first and only goal came when Snodgrass found Becchio on the edge of the area who fired home from distance to give him his first of the season. 1-0 and we were starting to look like the Champions we’re being touted as. A second seemed inevitable but it never came, despite some good chances created by Leeds. Beckford’s attempt at an over-head kick would have been as spectacular as Becchio’s earlier goal had it gone in, and Johnson had a couple of efforts from distance.
They say that to win the league you have to learn to win 1-0 and despite a dismal first half from Leeds United they somehow kept Wycombe out and punished them for their failure to convert. The first half was something to forget, but in the second we ran Wycombe off the pitch. Wycombe did produce a late chance that was tipped onto the post and wide by Shane Higgs, in the standard nail-biting finish Leeds United seem so insistent on, but overall I think the three points were deserved.
Performances aside, we’ve made a 100% start to the season and although the league table is a little irrelevant this early on, we currently sit third. I’d expect Leeds to be strong favourites for the Walsall game on Tuesday night, but they should provide a tougher test than the two newly promoted teams we faced so far. It’s all good while we’re winning! On and on.
TSS man of the match – Shane Higgs
The summer signing was vital today making some impressive stops and clearing the danger throughout. Higgs made a great save in the dying minutes, tipping the ball onto the post and out-wide saving Leeds United from what could so easily have been a draw.
Jermaine Beckford watch
Jermaine successfully picked up his first yellow card of the season for stupidity towards the referee. After what I assume had been pushing in the box, the ref tried to call Jermaine to one side for a word. Jermaine being Jermaine decided to stand in the same place and refused to move, so the referee – unwillingly to stand for his childishness – booked him for his troubles.
Final score: Wycombe Wanderers 0-1 Leeds United (Lucciano Becchio)