Leeds made it thirteen straight league wins at Elland Road and kept their 100% record this season as Tranmere Rovers were cast aside in a dominating display at home.

Picture by DTS1970@Twitter

Picture by DTS1970@Twitter

After the game Tranmere manager John Barnes admitted it could have been six or seven and that’s no understatement. Right from the off Leeds looked lively and could have been infront within the opening minute when Jermaine Beckford forced a good save from the Tranmere keeper after linking up well with Lucciano Becchio.

Beckford struck the post just minutes later after beating the keeper and hit another shot over the bar before Bradley Johnson gave Leeds a well deserved lead in the 14th minute. It was a shot from Becchio that was saved by the Tranmere keeper, but it ran free and fell to Johnson who slammed home. 1-0.

Some good performances from Leeds’ midfield, notably Jonny Howson, kept the pressure on Tranmere and Leeds continued in search of a second with Tranmere having few answers to Leeds’ total dominance. The second goal came ten minutes before the interval when Andrew Hughes hammered the ball up field. Beckford punished a mistake from the Tranmere defence and slid the ball home to make it 2-0 to Leeds and the Whites were coasting.

View of the West Stand and pitch

View of the West Stand and pitch

In the second half, Beckford hit the woodwork again when his shot came back off the underside of the bar whilst Kisnorbo and Howson both tried their luck too. The woodwork however was proving more effective than Tranmere’s defence as Beckford struck the post again from 30 yards out, by which point he could have had an hattrick.

Had it not been for the efforts of Tranmere’s goalkeeper and the Elland Road woodwork, this game could have been close to a rugby score by the time Leeds added a third. Grayson made three late substitutions bringing on Robinson, Kilkenny and Grella. Beckford was one of the three Leeds United players to be changed and received a standing ovation for his performance, followed by a chorus of ‘sign your contract for the lads’ from the Elland Road kop.

Picture by DTS1970@Twitter showing Lucas The Kop Cat congratulating the players.

Picture by DTS1970@Twitter showing Lucas The Kop Cat congratulating the players.

The third goal came with minutes remaining. Grella earnt a freekick 25 yards out which Johnson hit sweetly, only to be denied by the troublesome Elland Road woodwork. This time however, Lucciano Becchio was on hand to head home the deflection and make it 3-0.

The belief amongst the supporters is growing by the match. Choruses of “E-i-e-i-e-i-o, up the football league we go” and “We’re going up as ******* champions!” echoed around Elland Road throughout the fixture. The attendance was a lot worse than I expected, with just 21,000 turning out for the game, which wasn’t helped at all by the taxi full of fans Tranmere had brought.

In and around the bars in the city centre and Elland Road, the talk continues to focus on Jermaine Beckford’s future with everyone watching carefully as the transfer deadline approaches.

View of the East Stand. Also visible is the South-East stand which housed Tranmere's fans.

View of the East Stand. Also visible is the South-East stand which housed Tranmere's fans.

It’s a little early to say whether the result was a reflection of a dreadful Tranmere side or an exceptional Leeds United one. It really could have been much more than it was and John Barnes relief at the scoreline is hardly suprising. Leeds attacked well throughout, the entire team worked well as a unit from the defence, right through to the strikers giving Tranmere few opportunites and keeping their defenders and goalkeeper busy for the entire 90 minutes.

A great performance which leaves us second in League One, behind Charlton only on goal difference. Next up is a slight distraction with the League Cup second round tie against Watford on Tuesday before we head to Colchester on Saturday who have made a good start to the season winning three of the opening four and currently sit third in League One.

TSS man of the match – Jonny Howson
This could have gone to any of the players on the pitch yesterday, but for me, Jonny had a brilliant game creating chances throughout and working hard to help Leeds win the match.

And finally…

Picture by DTS1970@Twitter showing the final score on the big screen.

Picture by DTS1970@Twitter showing the final score on the big screen.

Michael Ricketts also made an appearence in the second half looking much heavier than I remember. His addition was met with sarcastic chants from the Kop of ‘Ricketts for England’ as the Leeds fans enjoyed themselves in the Elland Road sunshine. He looked as bad as the rest of the Tranmere team and I suspect John Barnes would have provided them with more of a threat had he donned a shirt himself. At this rate, Barnes will be sacked by Christmas I suspect.

Thanks
Once again DTS1970 has provided some of the matchday pictures shown on this post. If anyone else has any pictures that can be used on TSS, please send them to admin@thescratchingshed.com or send me the link on Twitter.

  • Hunslet38er

    It was a great performance, if a little frustrating that we didbt thrash them outta sight..
    the crowd was down as it was a ludicrous category A game, which appears to put off around 5000- and its not suprising. Bates and Harvey really need to explain and justify this situation but i dont eXpect to hear a cry of “we got it wrong” anytime soon..Grred has lost out to poverty here.
    Still, was mighty glad to be there, hope there is more there next time..
    MOT..

    • TSS

      It is a bit hard to understand why Tranmere can be considered a catergory A game. I suspect Bates just wants to make as much money from each fixture as possible, but surely it’d be a better idea to offer the tickets a bit cheaper and get more in.

      MOTForever (writer of Travels of a Leeds fan) has just told me on Twitter that he thought Michael Ricketts looked like the Nutty Professor!

  • Paul South Wales

    I was supposed to have gone to this fixture but had to cancel due to other commitments, judging by the reports it was a stormer! I wondered why the crowd was down on usual figures…now i know, hope Bates learns from this. It’s about time we got five or six goals, and it sounds as the wwodwork was the only thing preventing this yesterday. I fully expect us to beat Watford Tuesday as we always compete well with footballing sides (Crystal Palace last year). Colchester will give us a good game next week and we’ll see how far we’ve progreesed after that! MOT.

    • TSS

      Was suprised at how bad Tranmere were. The real tests are to come as you say, so lets hope we can keep this up throughout the season.

  • Paul South Wales

    Oh, and it’s great to see the big screen back!

  • Robert Bapty

    why on earth was this a cat A game & why is the next home league match against Stockport also a cat A, I’m sure if Tranmere had have been a cat B there would have been at least 5,000 more fans there, surely 15,000 fans paying £21 would be better than around 10,000 paying £26, and to think Bates is considered a shrewd businessman!