Forest hack down United Adam Geary December 28, 2012 Match reviews 17 Comments Seldom do Leeds United fans enjoy a Christmas of content, yet 2012 has been quite spectacular for a number of reasons. Firstly, the parasitical cantankerous being that is Kenneth Bates has finally been relieved of his authority of Leeds United. Even better than that, his successors David Haigh, Salem Patel & associates seem to genuinely understand the fans needs. Twitter friendly, fanzine friendly, and most importantly fan friendly they have stormed on to the scene after the longest take over in history to outline a prosperous future for Leeds United and the fans. The fog that surrounded the Elland Road club was envied even by the that of the Trent over the City Ground. Now however we have seen two Leeds United fans realise Leeds is not just a business, but a football club too and I for one was a very happy Leeds United fan on Christmas morning. So onwards to the game, awaking at 6:30am on my camp bed handily set up by family in my west Yorkshire abode it seemed destine to be one of the good away days, a promised trip to the famous ‘Hooters bar’ before seeing Leeds storm the Forest, a happy hunting ground in previous years. Memories of the Gary Speed induced 4-0 victory of last season still lingered in the back of my mind. Nottingham came into view around 10a.m, Leeds fans could be seen gallivanting down the motorway past us as we swept into the Midlands City, I could almost taste the chicken wings, the Coors light, and the three points on my lips. Leeds has rarely given its fans an opportunity to be so content with life, but Neil Warnock and his men had seemingly being resolute in defence, strong in midfield, and the resurgence or a certain Argentinian had coincided with Leeds becoming the top team in the league form table. Millwall looked so long ago. After a copious amount of alcohol in England’s only Hooters bar we followed the buzzing Leeds fans into the famous City Ground, as we crossed the Trent River it was easy to see why bloggers had warned of a postponement, with the river brimming up to its banks. As always the Leeds fans were energetic and up for the inevitable battle of the fans. Kick off approached and ‘Mull of Kintyre’ was hijacked handily by the 3,400 travelling whites. Surprising to most, the line up for Leeds had excluded our captain, who was surely injured, and welcomed back our Jamaican hit-man Rudolph Austin and Michael Brown, a surprise choice for captain who replaced the outgoing Michael Tonge. optimism could be felt in the stands, and as we kicked off to the chorus of ‘Marching on Together’ it was Leeds who started the stronger, playing solid football, showing real grit and character and showing the Sky cameras just why our recent form has been deserved. It was through the ever persistent danger of Jerome Thomas that Leeds found the lead, his cross found El-Hadji Diouf who in turn caused enough mayhem in the box to allow Paul Green to stab the ball home, Leeds led and Kenny (who had received much stick prior to the goal) joined in the jubilation by goading the home support. For much of the first half Leeds controlled the play, the fans vociferous as ever, made sure the world knew who Leeds United were. However as the half dragged on play slowed, the forest fans got back into the game and in turn so did their players. Andy Reid defied all biological logic by producing pacey runs and expertly placed crosses to cause disruption to the Leeds back four. On the half hour mark Paddy was forced into his first real action of the game, dropping nicely to tip away an Elliot Ward flick. Leeds were however beginning to allow Forest to dominate and referee Tony Bates was blind sighted not to award Nottingham a penalty for a blatant handball in the Leeds box. This did however allow the Leeds faithful to mock chants of ‘HANDBALL’ for around 10 minutes before the man in black did point to the spot for a Tom Lees foul on the trickster Billy Sharp. The loanee slipped the ball past the Leeds number one on the stroke of half time, harsh, but the game was far from over. The second half started in the same vain as the first, Leeds controlling large parts, but Forest had found their feet and with the class seen in the likes of Blackstock, (a reported Leeds target) Sharp, Reid and Cowen the danger was never far away. The breakthrough came on 55 minutes, Sharp again latching on to a through ball before casually waltzing past Kenny to slip home a goal. The beginning of an alarming Leeds meltdown. Two minutes later a poor crossed ball found its way into the net via an Austin own goal, panic and lack of match practice can be blamed, but Leeds and the fans looked dead and buried. ‘Ross McCormack’ chants came from the crowd, a change was needed. It did not come, Blackstock scored moments later, a towering header punishing Leeds again, only moments after a replica goal had been disallowed for offside. 4-1 and game over. Leeds had collapsed quicker than a deck of cards. Changes finally did happen for Leeds, Pearce coming on and stabilising the back for and Davide Somma once more seeing an outing in a Leeds United shirt. The ship was steadied and Leeds began once more to dominate the middle of the park, but rarely was Lee Camp tested. The fans of forest enjoyed the majority of the off field chanting, yet Leeds weren’t done yet. As 80 minutes approached the substitution Leeds had waited for happened and Ross McCormack finally got some playing time, the Leeds fans took control of the field again ‘We all love Leeds’ frequenting around the stands. The eleven however could not break through and Forest stayed absolute. The 91st minute did see a consolation goal courtesy of Somma, which can only serve as a confidence boost but all in all, poor defending cost Leeds dear. 4-2 and another away day to forget. Hull is next on the agenda, an unenviable task for a tired Leeds side, but if promotion is the aim then beating our rivals is key. Marching on Together, see you Saturday! Follow me on twitter @adamgeary1 for LUFC updates and general comical comments.