Two goals from Jermaine Beckford sealed all three points for Leeds United as newly promoted Exeter came close to causing an upset.

It should have been much easier for Leeds and in truth, Exeter hardly featured in the game at all. Wasted opportunities nearly cost Leeds though and after going down to ten men, Exeter equalised late on, sending the visiting fans into a state of ecstasy – you’d have honestly thought they’d just won the league. It did seem somehow predictable though that they’d equalise once down to ten men and although it was an excellent free-kick that earnt them the goal, Leeds should never have given them that opportunity.

Leading up to the equaliser Leeds had gone missing from the game and seemed happy to sit on the one goal lead. Afterwards though, Leeds pushed forwards and piled the pressure on which resulted in an 89th minute winner from Jermaine Beckford. His second goal was met with chants of ‘Sign your contract for the lads’ as the Leeds faithful made their feelings clear.


View from the Kop as over 27,000 cheer the Whites on at Elland Road

Maybe it was the weather, or perhaps lack of fitness, but at times the game died a death, Leeds seemed happy to sit on their lead and Exeter caused Shane Higgs few problems. I don’t personally feel Becchio had a good game, nor did Snodgrass who I barely noticed throughout the 90 minutes. As for the new signings, Jason Crowe missed an absolute sitter that should have given Leeds a two goal lead and killed the match off, Kisnorbo played well and weighed in with some good tackles and Doyle did ok in midfield without ever really excelling. It’d be hard to pick a man of the match, but I guess you’d have to choose Beckford simply for the two goals he scored, although in truth he did little else. Good strikers tend to be like that though I guess? I don’t remember Gary Lineker having much of an impact on any game, but did tend to pop up and score the goals.

Exeter’s fans should be applauded for their support. They sold plenty of tickets and mingled well amongst the Leeds fans. I was chatting to a couple before kick-off who told me they were surprised at how friendly Leeds’ fans are and how good a day they’d had in the city. Walking back to the city centre afterwards, I got chatting with another who said he was also surprised at how welcoming we were and expected a lot more hostility. Hasn’t he heard “we’re the nicest fans in football…?”

I’m keeping this short as it’s going to be published so late after the match that I’m sure anyone who missed the fixture will have already read an in-depth review elsewhere. I would like to add that it’s very nice to see the TV back up and running at Elland Road and congratulate our own fans for their efforts during the minutes applause. The chant of ‘there’s only one Bobby Robson’ was extremely nice to hear and shows the respect this man had throughout our nation.

Overall, and despite going the hard way about it, we got off to a winning start and are now undefeated on opening day for twenty years. I’m sure some of you were expecting a whitewash, but to win this league there’s going to be some poor games where we’ll need a bit of luck and others where we have to grind a result out. So long as we keep putting the points on the board then all’s good! On and on.

Highlights (UK only) on the BBC: