A packed Elland Road is a beautiful sight. It takes me back to my earlier days of being a Leeds fan, turning up to sold out games, the noise being deafening and wins being celebrated with the kind of jubilation which would look like insanity anywhere other than inside a football stadium.
Forget the fact that it was a return of a shitload of part-timers who were coming for the first time since we played Premier League opponents in the cup, the house was full to bursting and completely sold out…apart from a mass of Corporate seats and a tonne of Away supporter seats…everyone was there…apart from my mate who sits next to me who’d had a bit of a bender in Amsterdam so didn’t turn up.
And it’s been all change of course. The new owners paraded themselves before the game like a bunch of corporate puppets, giving free gifts away left, right and center, or more to the point North, East, South & West. But that wasn’t the biggest change…oh no….the biggest change and shock came when I glanced over to the dugouts and thought “their manager looks a bit like Brian McDermott” only to realise that this season, Leeds United have opted to take over the Dugout closer to the Kop.
And then the football began. At first glance, we looked to be on the back foot and Kenny had to do well a couple of times to deny Brighton, but then we picked up our game and began to press a little, until the 13th minute when Ulloa struck a ball, seemingly, straight through Paddy Kenny and into the back of the net.
Just when it seemed like it was going to be “another one of those seasons”, up pops Ross McCormack in the 18th minute with a great strike.
Half time came and went…I didn’t get picked for the halftime game…boooo!
And into the second half, it was back and forth between both teams. Varney had an effort just wide, but it was the introduction of Poleon which seemed to spur the team on. He seemed to put in that extra bit of effort and it almost paid off when he pulled a shot just wide of the post.
All looked to be heading for a 1-1 draw, but in the 90th minute we almost snatched things when the keeper parried a shot to Green who had plenty of time but blasted a shot over the bar…it just wan’t going to happen….and then it did.
Not long after Kenny had made a fantastic save, we saw the ball in the Brighton penalty area. It bounced up and over, and Murphy, on his Leeds United debut, “controlled” the ball before hitting it across the keeper, who deflected it and into the back of the net. I say “controlled” because he definitely used his arm to keep the ball at his feet!
So we pick up the three points in a cracking win to start the season. Maybe we’ll get the rub of the green a little this season…maybe….