The ups and downs of LUFC: Kettering Town, Charlton Athletic, Capaldi & Crowe TSS December 7, 2009 Leeds United 3 Comments Kettering Town take two On paper, this match is a no-brainer. Leeds have won seven of their last nine matches, drawing the other two whilst Kettering have managed just one win in the last five. Leeds are top of League One whilst Kettering play their games in the conference. The quality and amount of players at Simon Grayson’s disposal should make this game an easy win for the Whites, but as Kettering showed in the first match, they won’t go down without a fight. Of course, there’s also the added bonus of a trip to Sold Trafford for the victors. For a club like Kettering, such a lucrative fixture could bring a massive boost to their finances. The Manu fans have been making their wishes heard lately with continuous choruses of ‘We all hate Leeds scum’ whilst the prospect of an early return to Old Trafford has dominated talk amongst Leeds fans. At Elland Road, you’d expect us to beat Kettering. The last time anyone beat us on home soil in the League was last January and we’ve come up against far stronger opposition in that time. That said, we’ll need to guard against complacency. When teams have nothing to lose, they can often throw up a few suprises. Addicks sense opportunity After closing the gap to four points this weekend, Charlton’s players are already talking of catching Leeds. Whether they thought it impossible to catch us before the draw to Huddersfield or not, I’m not sure but Lloyd Sam, Charlton’s Leeds-born winger has issued a rallying call to his fellow team-mates. By all accounts, Charlton’s 1-0 win over Southend United at the weekend was a little lucky. Not the greatest performance of the season from them, but much like Leeds have done, taking points when you’re not at your best is key to promotion. Personally, I think Huddersfield was a minor blip in an otherwise impressive season for the Whites. Derby games are never easy, and our record over our West Yorkshire counterparts says it all really. I’m sure Leeds will regroup ahead of Brentford this weekend, where I fully expect them to take all three points and maintain the gap on Charlton. However, the title race isn’t going to be easy. Norwich and Charlton will push us all the way and no one will be celebrating ’til May. Phil Hay’s match ratings v Huddersfield Is 5/10 the lowest Phil Hay ever gives in his match ratings? Because for me, 5/10 for Tony Capaldi is being massively generous after the mare of a game he had on Saturday. Tony Capaldi: Having seemed so composed at Oldham, Saturday’s match was a real struggle for the on-loan full-back Capaldi who never looked comfortable and found Pilkington a handful…5/10 The analysis is about right. Pilkington ran Capaldi ragged and he never looked up to the challenge. He looked out of his depth throughout against stronger opposition and really should have been taken off at half-time. I’d have given him 2/10, and even then I feel I’m being generous. Truly, truly woeful display for the Cardiff loanee. Maybe Ridsdale sent him in to mess our season up? Jason Crowe: Offered less going forward than he can do and was up against a very lively character in Roberts. Failed to cut out the cross which led to the second equaliser…5/10 Offered less going forward than he can do is an understatement. He offered nothing. More to the point, he offered even less defensively. The full-backs remain a problem for the Whites and these two simply aren’t the answer. I’d have generously given him a 3/10. Elsewhere, Snoddy gets 8/10 which is definitely right. Only man on the pitch that looked a threat for large parts, whilst Vokes is another one of those players in the 5/10 club.