I had doubts about whether we could get a win at Roots Hall days before the game kicked off. In the last few seasons Leeds away to Southend has produced just four goals and the Whites have left Essex with just one point from three visits.

Although Southend aren’t the greatest of teams to watch, they know how to keep teams from scoring. They’re well organised, close the opposition down quickly and will be tricky for anyone to take points from this season. What Steve Tilson has done with such a small team and a club that’s seen it’s fair share of financial turmoil really has to be applauded.

It’s not that Leeds didn’t have their chances, there was just very few good ones. Beckford probably had the best chance in the second half but tried to pass the ball in when he really should have hammered it. He had other chances besides, but nothing clear cut. Southend made it difficult for us to play football and the ref didn’t help matters either. The majority of attacks for both teams came from throws, corners and free-kicks as the game was stopped and started continually.

No passing rythm ever really emerged for either side. Both teams fought for every ball and it spent a lot of time out of play. Long balls were battered from end to end and the match became a dull affair with little to get excited about.

Southend got their best chance from a penalty. Leeds’ lack of luck from penalties lately has been well documented by the media, fansites and every forum you can find, so when Shane Higgs pulled off an impressive save it felt like the tides might just have turned. However, Leeds couldn’t capitalise on Southend’s failure to convert and the match ended 0-0. The final score was a fair reflection of a long, hard-fought battle with very few good chances for either team.

As always, Leeds brought with them an impressive away following who were extremely vocal throughout the entire fixture. Southend’s fans were pretty quiet, but woke up from time to time, mostly when the Leeds fans taunted them. In fairness, there was little to sing about, but Leeds’ fans have been through the wars enough times and will always find something to keep themselves amused. After Higgs’ penalty save the travelling fans decided Capello was looking in the wrong place for the England goalkeeper and that Higgs is the countries number one.

Although the 100% record has ended, I don’t think we can be too disappointed by the result. We knew this would be the toughest test so far and were never going to win every game. To come home with a point from Southend is a good result and I’m pretty happy with it overall. For the time being, we sit top of League One. Charlton travel to Southampton today in what could prove a tricky fixture for them, so maybe we’ll still be top this evening.

Nice to see Dougie Freedman get on the pitch for Southend. Although his spell with us was brief, he’ll be remembered fondly by most fans after scoring five times in eleven appearences.

Hate to finish negatively, but I was extremely disappointed in Becchio last night. I know he’s a bit of a cult hero to Leeds fans these days, but I remain unconvinced by him. Some days he can impress me and make a difference, whether it be provider or goalscorer, but others he tends to go missing. This was one of his invisible games where I hardly remember him being on the pitch. Maybe I’m being a little harsh on him, but when we’re struggling for ideas, he doesn’t seem to offer any.

FInal Score: Southend 0-0 Leeds

TSS man of the match
Saving a penalty made the difference between coming home empty handed and leaving with a point. Higgs’ performance was very good all night, but for the penalty save alone he deserves man of the match.

  • Grumpy Older Man

    Were we at the same game, not if your Becchio comment is anything to go by..the disappointing player last night was Beckford, didn’t turn up, no contribution to the team, unlike Becchio who must have had to jump for 100 over head height balls out of our defence, worked his socks off (again) and recieved precious little support from the ref. Beckford missed his usual 2 guilt edges chances and whilst some got “stuck in” (Becchio, Howson, Kisborno) he disappeared off the radar.

    The overall team performance for poor BUT if we are going to play like that and come away with points it all bodes well.

    • TSS

      Hi GOM,
      Becchio’s defensive ability is totally besides the point (although he does do well in this area). He’s a striker and as such should be creating chances and scoring goals. He didn’t do that last night and that’s why I’m disappointed in him. Beckford did create chances, but failed to convert them, which was also disappointing. Attacking wise last night, we simply weren’t good enough.

  • LezToomey

    Mmm Bit disappointing, however I don’t think its Becchio’s responsibility or game to come up with the idea’s. I know that you could say that its everyone’s responsibility when the chips are down, and i guess it is, but Becchio more of a work horse. I would ask the same question of Beckford. Yes he scores the goals over the season but he does seem to be “off target” when it really matters (Play off final, Millwall….). it seems to me that in games like this we miss that Midfield general type character that will get on the ball push forward and create something, like Miller did in the 3-4 game at Southampton (and yes I know that team had other creative players in it as well, Healey, Blake etc.. but you get my drift).

    Maybe I am being harsh as well, we are still unbeaten and top of the league but I think yesterday was an opportunity that we should have been able to take. What worries me is that we are not actually playing that well, Stockport was good, Tranmere was OK (they were very poor), But Grayson said in his post match that he thought we played really well in places, and that he was pleased with the performance. Maybe that was a bit of Psychology? He has been pointing out the negatives after games recently so maybe wanted to be more positive. They do need to start playing better though when we come up against the Charltons & Huddersfields.

  • Martyn

    Another good report!
    It was another bitty performance. All of the games I’ve seen so far have been the same, looking fairly solid at the back but really not creating much going forward.
    That said we must be doing something right!!
    Snods has had a very slow start this season, we really need him firing.
    Howson and Doyle work hard, but give little creative wise.
    Johnson?? what does he give?
    So then often we get long balls for Beccs to battle for and Becks to watch!
    Higgs and Kisnorbo are great signings, Bromby looked OK.
    Hughesy, great effort, but not a left back!!
    Just wait till we start firing!!
    MOT

  • Simon in Leeds

    Excellent report, well balanced and written, thanks.

    If we can draw where we used to lose, and win where we used to draw then that’s an improvement as others have said. It’s obvious but true. No one wins every match after all. At least we’ve not suffered too much from the sale of Delph.

    And the fun has returned in following the Mighty Whites.

  • Paul South Wales

    I would have to agree with TSS, in that Bechio is no great shakes. He always gives his all, but i think he’s been found out this season. I have never been impressed by his playing ability, but the fans like him because he’s a work horse. Sommer or grella should be given chance, and i can see it coming, even Kandol (good in the air). MOT

  • Trent

    A bit harsh on Becchio. he won most things in the air, battled well , held the ball up well and I thought did well however those around him failed miserably. Beckford didn’t bring his shooting boots with him and I thought he went missing for lonf spells. Snodgrass faded badly and Robbo shpuld have been brought on not Kilkenny who had no impact on the game.

    • TSS

      Totally forgot about the substitutes. The first one was out of Grayson’s hands obviously, but Kilkenny was a bad call as you say. We needed some strength and a battler in midfield (as someone pointed out earlier) and Robbo was the man for the job.

      Grella should have been brought on earlier too as well I reckon.

  • zidhenry8

    I cant believe it. Now its Becchio’s turn to be picked on by the so called Leeds fans. I havent seen the game, but you cant pass judgement on a player on just one game. For me he is one of our top players. His work rate is second to none. He fights for every ball and has that never give up attitude. Reading about prefering Kandol, or the yet to find his feet Somma. Shut up please and support the lads on the pitch.

    • Martyn

      I have to agree zid and the others too really. Beccs is not really a top player but we do need his work ethic. Of course we want a player who wins everything in the air, shields it well, brings other players into the game AND scores 20 goals a season. The reality is they only exist in the prem not Div 1.
      Beccs is needed in this team! Sure we want to see Grella and Somma do well but if they do? Bye bye

    • TSS

      Hi Zid,
      I said I “remain unconvinced” by Becchio, meaning that he never really won me over in the first place. His work ethic is unquestionable and when he plays well he can be a credit to the team, but at times he offers very little for me.

      Also, I DO support all the lads on the pitch. I’ve sang along to the Lucciano Becchio song everytime and will always do so. I don’t want to see any player fail in a Leeds shirt or perform badly. If he plays a blinder next week, I’ll happily write that, but I can only write how I see it and for me he was poor against Southend.

      • Grumpy Older Man

        I’ll tell you what TSS, if Becchio is our weak link this squad is going all the way to Europe…..

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  • Paul South Wales

    Zid, if you think Bechio’s one of our top players, you need to go to more games, i’ll ask you again at the end of the season. We need a battling midfeilder who’ll fight for everything, but i think his goal contribution will be nowhere near last season, and i didn’t pass judegment on just one game, that opinion was formed last season.

  • Anon

    Another top write up TSS. Zid, we can’t just blindly follow our players and get behind them if they are not doing the business; what would be the point of a forum? Sure Beccchio has given his all in SOME matches and last season’s 19 goals prove that, but I am sorry mate, this season he is average.Grella is far more effective at the moment in the few opportunities he has been given.We must be objective.