The ‘we all hate Leeds scum’ brigade were out in force as the Galpharm recorded its highest gate of the season for the visit of the Whites. Yorkshire derbies are rarely something worth cherishing for Leeds United fans, such is our lack of success in these fixtures but after a confidence boosting win against Oldham, we were expecting a good performance from the Whites.

Leeds didn’t disappoint and were quick out of the traps. So too however, were the play-off chasing Huddersfield whose attacking movement was quick and direct. Unfortunately, so was their fouling ability and after several Leeds United players were upended by the Town players with no response from the referee, it started to feel like it was going to be one of those days. Leeds weren’t no angels either mind, and as the tackles became wilder, the tempo rose and the atmosphere inside the stadium intensified.

It was Huddersfield who struck first blood in what was becoming an end to end encounter, with neither team being allowed much time on the ball. Pilkington’s tame shot from the edge of the area took a fortuetous deflection off a Leeds player leaving Casper Ankergren stranded and the home side infront. 1-0

Huddersfield should have made it 2-0 after that when the Leeds United defence got it embarrassingly wrong leaving a Town forward with a free chance from six yards. With only one man on the line in his way and Casper at the wrong end of the goal completely, he fluffed what should have been a gift of a goal and given Huddersfield a massive advantage.

Leeds pressed for an equaliser with Snoddy forcing a save from Huddersfield’s keeper and Becchio heading over what was probably our best chance so far. Both teams were still fighting for everything with the sole focus of seemingly on attack. So far and despite trailing, it had been a thrilling encounter, no doubt fuelled by the occasion.

It got all the more interesting when Leeds United levelled the scores just after the hour with Jonny Howson scoring a nice header from a Robert Snodgrass cross to temporarily silence the home fans. 1-1

Leeds sensed victory after that and came out on top in the encounters that followed. Beckford looked to be through only to be thwarted by the referee’s decision making, which had been the only questionable performance of the day. It seemed as though it wouldn’t matter though as Snodgrass was once again the provider for Leeds’ second goal when an uncharacteristically good corner was met with an uncharacteristically good header from Luciano Becchio. Who said Snoddy can’t cross and our forwards are weak in the air? (Don’t answer that)

2-1 and it seemed like the Leeds of early season that could get a result under any circumstances. Neither team gave up at that point and the thrilling encounter continued in much the same style as it had started. The tackles were hard and fast, both teams attacked with purpose and the referee continued to try and learn his trade.

The game was to deal one more twist however when Huddersfield equalised with just five minutes left on the clock. I’d love to say you could see it coming and I’d braced myself for disappointment, but in all honesty, I was already celebrating victory. The game was so unpredictable throughout you really didn’t know what was going to happen next, but a voice inside me said that this was our day. That this was the Leeds United of August and that we’d be leaving with three points no matter what.

It wasn’t to be though and Huddersfield got was undoubtedly a fair share of the spoils. Both teams had contributed to what makes a great derby match and the most thrilling encounter I’ve witnessed in the league this season. Despite the late sucker punch, I wasn’t really too disappointed, as it seems we’re on the up again at the right time and are definitely capable of raising our game for the bigger teams. This game simply wet my appetite for a rematch in the CCC next season.

  • Craig

    Another very informative report. Thanks. The radio coverage implied that McSheffrey was about to be subbed just before our equaliser – and he did go off later on. Is he worth his place?

  • Choppers

    McSheffery doesnt seem on the same page as me. I dont understand why Larry drops a player out of the squad then replaces him with another player, just for them to be dropped from the squad all together.

    White is far better than McSheffrey IMO however maybe Grayson was looking for experiance. All too often we had good crosses into the box and no left winger was there to meet them. Waste of Space for me is McSheffrey

    Howson, seems to always have a bad half and good half. He did it at Oldham and did it at Huddersfield. I think Kilkenny needs to come back into the middle. They were an excellent partnership at the start of the season.

    Referee was terrible. I knew I recognised his name. He was the same Ref from Stockport, they guy who ran 50 yards on 3 occasions to check the ball was placed for the corner correctly which it always was and gave us 6 yellow cards for nothing tackles. The Ref hates Leeds as he isnt that picky at any other team. Like you say TSS he let the Huddersfield team gate away with forearms in the face, elbows to the head, late tackles but Becchio got booked for nothing.

    I think Grayson needs to lodge a complaint against this ref, he clearly hates Leeds.

    What do you think, OK one off game at Stockport, but now Huddersfield as well, its a joke that a ref can get away with a performace like that!!

    • TSS

      Totally agree mate, that ref is something else. Hate to give them the satisfaction of ranting and raving over them but he’s one of the worst I’ve seen.

      • Leeds through & through

        i also totally agree with the what you say about the ref, but i dont agree at all about mcsheffery, i think he has something about him, to be fair to the guy he has just come into a leeds team that are pushing for a league championship and has a following of fans that are very passionate about the team,

        • Choppers

          I think McSheffrey is good and will take time to blend. I just have not liked his attitude. From the moment he came the first things he said were, “I dont know why I have dropped down to this division” and “If Leeds get promoted I will probably sign with them”

          I didnt like him straight after that. You got a lad like Aidy White saying I would play in goal if it means I get to play for Leeds and another person saying well I am not sure if I want to be here.

          I just dont think he has the stomach and desire to play for us. I thought he would come here and make Leeds a real classy team, but all too often his misplaced passes and his terrible crossing just gives away possession so cheaply putting us under pressure.

          I know its my opinion one that is not probably shared with the majority of fans. I just want to see passion and desire from my team but McSheffrey never looks interested

          • TheReaper08

            A little harsh choppers. What McSheffrey said was in the first 20 minutes of the Colchester game he thought he had made the wrong decision coming down to this level, if you were at the game you would accept that he had a valid point.

            He is an established CCC player and is on the books of a prem team, you can’t blame him for being apprehensive. He has an ambition to play at the highest level as possible and I don’t blame him for that.

          • Craig

            I guess what he was saying is that he feared that his (supposed) ability would be nullified by the more physical game played in this league?

            Like the rest of you I’m puzzled as to why White isn’t given a run and I hope Grayson is explaining his decisions to the lad to avoid him becoming disillusioned.

          • Choppers

            I was at the Colchester game, as I have been to every game this season home and away, inc Brighton and Hartlepool, so lets cut that out straight away

  • Craig

    What is all this about Snodgrass and your view that he is unable to cross a ball? OK, I can’t get to see Leeds live every week but from the games I have seen live and on TV and the highlights I catch it seems that Snoddy’s deliveries are frequently apt to create a scoring opportunity and sometimes a goal.

    • TSS

      He’s hit and miss, but from corners (or whenever the balls not moving for that matter) it’s more often than not, miss.

  • superhoops

    I agree with Choppers on McSheffrey – there’s certain things you don’t say even if you think it, and belittling the standard of the team you’ve come to play for after your first appearance is no way to get on the side of either your fans, manager, team mates.

    To be honest, I’ve heard this argument about him not being as effective in the more physical L1 a few times, but I don’t really buy it, as it then logically follows that Championship/Premiership teams would struggle against lower league opposition. McSheffrey has all the tools and ingredients to succeed at this level, it strikes me he needs to take it more seriously and drop this assumption that he’s above the level. I would p[lace him as the 8th or 9th best player at the club AT BEST so he has a lot of work to do to convince us all he’s better than that.

  • timm

    What Mcsheffrey said was that for the first 20 mins against Colchester he wondered what the heck was going on! & anybody who was at that game would agree with him as it was total rubbish! The fact of it is that he’s a quality player surrounded by a lot of 3rd division players & that can make quality look rubbish. Next time he plays a through ball & nobody gets on the end of it have a go at the player who should be on the end of it & not at him for putting it there. Why is it that some Leeds fans need a scapegoat? It’s not doing his game any good when he can sense some of the crowd having a go at him. 8th or 9th best player? Snodgrass is better but i can’t think of anyone else. Also, don’t forget we signed a Premiership/CCC striker & what’s Grayson done with him? Put him in midfield!

    • Dje

      I’m only interest in what proves effective. If as a team we don’t have the class to read McSheffrey’s wondrous through-balls then I’d much prefer him to not play them and give away possession so cheaply. He isn’t a fully paid-up Leeds player as yet – he’s only on loan until the end of the season – so taking time and effort to adapt our game to accommodate a loanee’s preferred level of footballing grace is a waste of time for me. Time I might add that translates as games played and many points dropped.

      That’s not to solely blame McSheffrey for our recent drop in form. I’m not looking for any scapegoat, just a volunteer to be the hero that gets us out of this division this season. If Dickov comes in and proves more effective in getting us goals/points/promotion through unprogressive lackey third division hoofing-football then so be it, and put McSheffrey on the bench.

      • Dje

        *interest = interested

    • TheReaper08

      Absolutely spot on timm, good man. The lad’s preferred position is striker but he has played left wing. Look back and you will see his best form has been up front.

      The quality of football in our league is garbage. Te lads intial comments that he may have made the wrong decison was based on the crick in his neck from watching the hoof ball played in the those first few minutes of the Colchester match.

      And like it or not that’s what people are doing and that’s what they always do, look for someone to blame. In this case the lad clearly has ability that belongs above this level but the expectation on him has been huge.

  • Choppers

    I agree with your comments Timm, to an extent, but how many times have we seen McSheffrey’s crosses hitting the back of the Kop when he isnt being challenged.

    When we signed him I thought we had a second Snoddy.

    I aren’t looking for a scapegoat, because I could quite easily have said Howson, who in my opinion has been poor for a few games by his standards.

    I didnt agree with McSheffreys starting comments, maybe that put him on the backfoot a bit with me (wether I interpreted them incorrectly I dont know) but I was expecting a good CCC player to be turning up, when in fact I think he is getting a starting place ahead of better players.

    I hope I am wrong on Saturday and he puts in a great shift, but I think Grayson will change again, putting white back in and maybe Kilkenny in the middle.

  • jimbo

    Good point on Saturday but it could have been 3.LETS PLAY OUR BEST 11

    We need to have a playmaker in midfield but he was on the bench ( Kilkenny)

    We should also play Snoddy on one wing and Gradel on the other

    Why are we playing McSheffery and Howson

    If we are to go up automatically team selection needs to change

    • TSS

      Disagree totally on Howson. Whenever theres a proper physical battle to be had in a match, him and Doyle are the right pairing for centre midfield. Killa at times can get shut out with ease in such games, although he’s a very important player in other games.

      Basically, it depends on the opposition, but Howson was a good choice for me. Gradel meanwhile is very tempremental and very hit and miss. He tries to do too much, too often and when played from the start, doesn’t seem to have the same impact. He’s done well for Leeds, but not sure he’s worthy of a regular first team spot just yet.

  • Matt bb

    Another lost opportunity to me on saturday, as huddersfield are rapidly becoming our bogey team, we should be thumping them not conceding goals in the last five minutes. I saw mcsheffrey in the colchester game and for me he was excellent, i think ultimately he will be a good signing for us, though why he isnt played up front i dont know, white should have started on saturday, didnt even get a subs bench.. The rather stuttering improvement continues however, we most certainly’d have lost this two weeks ago.

  • timm

    I’ve heard Grayson a couple of times now talking about why White gets subbed & misses games etc..Apparently he suffers terribly with his nerves & as a result of this he gets exhausted to the point of being ill! SG puts it down to him being a young lad but i know Eddie Gray has said that its a worry. Let’s hope he gets over it soon because i think that lad can be the best we’ve had here since Tony Dorigo.

  • tim the white

    Grayson bottled it for me when Johnston came on. We should have pushed on for a third as soon as we got the second with more forward power.
    When did we last kill off a game? SG satisfied with a point – not me!
    Well maybe Dickov will turn out to be the trump card!

  • Colin

    A few points on some of the comments:

    I think the McSheffrey nay-sayers are exactly the same ones who previously vented their frustration (wrongly) on Beckford.

    McSheffrey will never get selected up front at the moment because no manager in their right mind can drop Becchio, who’s scoring freely at the moment and Beckford, who’s a proven class act at this level.

    Choppers – you reckon Howson’s been poor, but he scored a great goal at the weekend and is your typical ‘fox in the box player’ – he’s good all round – he can head, he can score, he can pass, he can tackle, he can cross and he can do a job in a number of positions. I’d have him on the team sheet personally every week.

    I have some sympathy with the comments about some of Snodgrass’ crosses, some of them aren’t always accurate, but the thing is that he’s never afraid to put another cross in even if his last one wasn’t great. I think some of the players would rather bottle it and pass to Snodders rather than take on a cross themselves and at this level, even if you haven’t put in a good cross, it makes a lot of 3rd division defenders poop their pants and that’s where a poacher/scrounger like Beckford gets his chances. For example, if you play route one against a defender like Sean Gregan, then he’ll lap it up all day. Whip a cross in against him (whether on target or not) and he’ll ruin a perfectly good pair of pants.

    • Craig

      I think your points are spot on Colin.

  • Colin

    Another thought and not sure what anyone else thinks about this – do you think that SG has changed his strategy and for the rest of the season is looking to get 3 points in home games and 1 point in away games?

    He seems to be making out that the rest have to catch up Leeds and have to find points but if Leeds just stick to that game plan then we’ll be alright.

    I guess it makes sense, with Norwich and Charlton not in ideal form, but I just think it’s a shift from the previous approach which was to win every game or keep a clean sheet at home. I think the clean sheet idea has gone out of the window.

    A bit risky? Maybe? I’m not sure, but it seems that Leeds are more setup from the outset to get points rather than win games. Basically what I’m saying is that in the first game against HT, we were going for the win (but got a point) and this game we were going for a point and that’s what we got.

    Hmmmm?

    • TheReaper08

      I think you might be right.I think the attitude now is not to lose and not necessarily to win. Keeping hearing things such as ‘one point at a time’ and ‘a good point won’ etc.

      That fear has made the team reluctant dare I say it a bit prohibitive in it’s approach to games.

      I don’t think any one, two or three players are to blame, you will always get your Championship Manager geeks suggesting so and so should be playing or the formations wrong etc. etc. The fact is our current squad should be good enough to get us out of this league. Whilst we can all have a preference over left midfield McSheffrey, White, Johnson or A.N.Other should all be able to do a good enough job.

    • Craig

      I’m not sure about this. As soon as I see the team sheet for the upcoming match I can usually see logic (theoretical at least) in the selection. Either players who are tired or out of form get dropped or Grayson beefs up the midfield against physical teams.

      Surely the only way you can play for a point is to adopt a defensive formation and drop the creative players? OK, sometimes Grayson rotates them or leaves one out for a rest but I’m not sure you could accuse him of being defensive. Take his substitutions for example – are they not far more often attackers than defenders?