Leeds maintained their recent unbeaten run and ended a streak of losing home league matches on Tuesdays with a 1-1 draw at home to newly-promoted Charlton Athletic. But this was a poor and uninspiring match from which the Whites were fortunate take a point.

The less said about this match, the better. Nevertheless, I will attempt below to describe the very few highlights from an evening on which the lowly 17,000 crowd were as flat as the disjointed performance on the pitch.

Following Friday evening’s infamously eventful match in Sheffield, Neil Warnock made four changes to the starting eleven. Out went injured captain Lee Peltier, replaced at left-back by Adam Drury. The midfield saw wholesale changes, with the jetlagged Rodolph Austin being rested along with wide players Michael Tonge and Aidan White. Into the team came David Norris, Paul Green and the much-derided Luke Varney.

The opening half an hour was a turgid display of feeble football from two Championship sides providing all the quality of a Sunday league pub contest. Charlton started brighter, though Leeds did have half chances with Jason Pearce heading over and Norris seeing a shot blocked. The most notable moment of the opening period was the flag related malfunction which caused the assistant referee to wave only a stick when the ball went out for a Leeds throw in. Cue chants from the kop; “we always get s**t flags”.

In a flashback to Leeds’ previous home match against Barnsley, Warnock’s men would take a highly undeserved lead into the dressing room at half time. Norris, one of the better performers of the evening, fired in from the edge of the area to provide the first half’s sole moment of quality. Tom Lees almost levelled immediately for Charlton, but saw his own goal attempt thwarted by the crossbar.

If a half-time lead left the home support dreaming of an improved second period, then those dreams were swiftly flattened as Charlton drew level after 50 minutes. Dorian Dervite fired through a crowd of players from the edge of the area, leaving Paddy Kenny unsighted and beaten.

The equaliser did temporarily spur Leeds into action for 10 minutes. El Hadji Diouf began to dictate play and won several corners. Sam Byram headed over following a good move, but in spite of the improvements there was still very little in terms of final product.

For the final half an hour, the match descended once again into pub football. Leeds continually pumped long-balls towards Luke Varney and Luciano Becchio, whose headers would simply fall at the feed of an opposition defender time and time again. Becchio, Varney and Paul Green were ineffective throughout and were unsurprisingly replaced as Warnock tried in desperation to get his side going. On came Tonge, White and Andy Gray, but alas the passes remained misplaced and the shots remained non-existent.

As the match drew towards a close, Charlton smelled blood and went for a sucker punch. Paddy Kenny had to be alert to deny Bradley Wright-Phillips and also pulled off a stunning save in the third minute of injury time to ensure that at least a point was salvaged from the evening. Simply for managing to conjure several shots on target, Charlton probably deserved to sneak a win.

A poor match, but Leeds do now find themselves in seventh place in the Championship table and looking upwards towards the play-off positions.

Many thanks to those of you who entered my ‘predict the score’ competition on Twitter. The closest guess came from Alfie George Burns (@BurnsAlfie) who predicted a 2-2 draw and a goal from Norris. Send your predictions (including goalscorers) for the next home match to me @Matt_K_Burton for the chance to be mentioned in the match report.

15 Responses

  1. Ilkleywhite

    We were poor tonight but still unbeaten in 7 isn’t bad
    Charlton could/should have won it last 3 minutes of the game great saves from Paddy, so I’m happy (ish) with a point, but we need to start to put a winning run together, we need to beat teams like Charlton convincingly, we need auto as we are no good in play offs, we always loose them, looking for automatic, here’s hoping. MOT

  2. Altrincham Andrew

    Atmosphere was flat from start. Players were lacklustre with too many passes going missing. Hangover from Friday possibly with both crowd and players having an off day.
    Need to create some noise on Saturday.
    Altrincham Andrew

    • Matthew

      Passes going missing because it was

      HOOF HOOF HOOF, pass HOOF ball missing HOOF HOOF ball conceded HOOF HOOF lose ball HOOF HOOF HOOF out of play HOOF HOOF lost ball, HOOF HOOF goal, HOOF HOOF lose ball, goal conceded HOOF HOOF.

    • Irving08

      We were playing a mediocre side that had only just come up in a sequence of three home matches. Only Leicester City, who are top, had a gate to shout about last night (circa 25,000).

  3. DrD

    If crowds drop below 25,000 Leeds have to sell players to breakeven. The team’s mediocre and now the crowds/atmosphere are mediocre. Somehow, although the squad is not good enough for top half of the table, we are 7th. If we could have investment we may still make the playoffs, but will the investment come! all of a sudden we are not a top 5 team in the championship, never mind England and now the funbase is percieved as xxxx. We need to change and change quick otherwise the buyers will take a hit on their interest and walk away. Big crowd needed on Saturday and we need to start winning these ‘easy’ home games fast. No investment, Leeds will have to sell in January and staying outside bottom 3 will be an achievement.

    • Matthew

      We could skip the breaking even phase entirely if Bates didn’t waste the clubs money on pointless shit. The wages don’t come close to 50 percent of the clubs income.

      The club essentially could become self sufficient and retain its best players should it be run like a football club and not like one old mans doomed project.

  4. number1inyorkshire

    ooohhhh my that was the worst game with the worst atmosphere for many many a moon ..
    the kop was the worst it has been for ages .
    However the game gave us nothing to shout about ,leeds played the lump it game ,Charlton came not to get beat a 0-o draw would have been a fair result they both had to spoil it with a goal apiece ..
    Is it because it was the 1st of 3 at home in the week and charlton were thought to be the least of the 3 from both the fans and the team or is it just one to put down as one we didnt loose and move on .
    a ;point is a point but at home i think its 2 dropped and we should be looking to beat the likes of Charlton .

  5. derbyshirewhite

    Too many unenforced changes and players out of position to build any understanding or fluency. Far too many hopeful long balls in the direction of Diouf and Becchio. Very little creativity or control in midfield. Message to Mr. Warnock – you’re not alone in thinking your time would have been better spent fishing, watching paint dry or riding tractors but, unlike you, we had to pay to watch this display of footballing incompetence.

  6. Irving08

    Gosh, that toook some watching; in fact, I put my feet up at the back of the Kop and settled down to Ovid around the 55th minute.
    Not for the first time this season, I would question Warnock’s team selection and line-up; he learned quickly from his previous errors (eg not playing Byram v Blackburn), so I expect him to this time (eg playing a ‘midfield’ of Brown/Norris/Green/Varney).
    Why, though, does he persist in playing White on the right side, even when as last night he came on as a sub ? Absence of alternatives ?

    • Irving08

      In answer to my own question, possibly because, in the absence of Peltier last night, he daren’t risk playing Bryam there, as it would have meant shifting Lees over and playing Kisnorbo alongside Pearce.
      But if that is the case then the next question is – if Kinsorbo can’t be risked against a powder puff Charlton side who can he be risked against ?
      Even so, pushing Bryam up, and bringing White on to play wide left seemed to me to be the obvious tactic to adopt, at least once they had equalised.

  7. Matthew

    You can’t really blame Bates for the poor crowd in regards to the prices, the tickets wern’t that expensive for this game. You can however blame him for the lack of investment which has led to a mediocre side with the quality of the a Blue Square team playing last night. No a Sunday league side would be more fitting.

    Warnock needs to rest a few players against crap teams like Charlton in the future. Becchio, Varney and a few others shouldn’t of even made the bench. I know we are very thin on the ground but playing the same players who clearly can not play the amount of games being asked of them will not lead to results. Rodolph Austin for example, it wouldn’t surprise me if the guy was just burnt out which ultimately led to his injury, he had played a dozen games before moving here.

    Personally I would want Warnock out if he plays that same team against Brum on Saturday. He needs to like drop Becchio, start Hall, Tonge and a few others. Perhaps just playing Diouf as a lone striker.

    I agree that Green lacked match fitness. Should come good again in time. The game on Saturday should be reasonably difficult but nothing we can’t get a point from. They are on a dire run of form, and have shit manager.

  8. Irving08

    My LUFC first XI based on players currently more or less fit.
    These players should always be in the team; NW’s job is to find a way of optmising their contribution.
    Viz: Kenny, Pearce, Lees, Peltier, Byram, White, Austin, Tongue, Norris or Green (Brown for special needs), Diouf, Becchio.
    It means playing White always and only at left back and Bryam – on wide right midfield.
    Four of these players did not start the match against Charlton; the difference was noticeable.

  9. damned-united

    love how bates is now blaming us the fans that the take over may not happen, wish that fan slapped him instead


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