So Leeds United ….
Reunions for Dennis Wise and Mick Harford. And for someone somewhere perhaps with Tresor Kandol.
For Leeds a side strong enough to omit Tore Andre Flo, but with Kandol and Jermaine Beckford (complete with Mohican) up front.
And for Mick Harford’s Hatters (how good it is to write those words) a contrast to the sterility of 4-5-1:
Jackson Perry Keane Goodall
Spring Robinson Currie
Talbot Andrew Furlong
On the bench Parkin, Hutchison, O’Leary, Morgan,.
Yet again the dulcet tones of The King, The Wonder of You, transmogrifying seamlessly into The Boys are Back in Town.
A tremendous reception when Big Mick finally emerged onto the pitch, contrasting to the boos for that nasty five footer, Dennis Wise.
A great noise from the off, with the United fans in good humour, taking all of 1 minute to start the taunting about the ground, then joining in and acknowledging our rejoinder about their lack of fame.
Early pressure from the Town looked promising without being sharp. But enough to encourage chants of SuperKev.
The first clear chance came to Leeds, Kandol lobbing over from 18 as Brill advanced. And then astonishingly Tony Thorpe’s parentage became less amusing than usual as the song changed to discus Dennis Wise’s parentage.
It took 24 minutes for the first decent Town attack, with Currie, Furlong and Goodall all firing in decent efforts, the first two blocked and the latter over the bar.
But a minute later Leeds were ahead, a free-kick from 22 yards which they chose to play a well-rehearsed routine off the training ground, a chip to 8 yards where Paul Hungtington was unmarked and headed neatly past Brill.
And then the atmosphere turned nasty, apparently caused by objects thrown into the Oak Road from the Main Stand or Enclosure. Diffucult to be sure but quickly succeeded by a series of scuffles with United fans in the Kenilworth Stand.
And to be honest the game was much the same, handbags flying all over the place as United tried to eliminate any semblance of football by keeping the game tight and playing their attacks over the top, whilst the Town tried to play their way through the crowded middle, with snarling tackles flying in.
And neither pretty nor effective for either team, the bobbly pitch not helping.
So O-1 at half-time.
And agan early pressure from the Town with Talbot performing miracles in the Leeds box and hitting a cross-shot which bemused everyone but landed on the top-netting.
For 20 minutes the Town pressed and Leeds played,if at all, on the break and the hoof. Mostly this meant 6’1 Tresor Kandol wrestling with 5’8 Keith Keane under high balls, with Keane inevitably winning.
Mid-way through, with no sign of a goal, Dean Morgan replaced Darren Currie, and immediately the chances started to come, with Deano on fire as he sought to demonstrate why Leeds should have agreed to his modest wage demands. Time after time he carved the Leeds right flank apart, with an urgency and skill which would guarantee him a starting place if he could maintain it.
And 5 minutes later big Sam Parkin came on for Andrew, to a huge cheer. Lost for longer than the Holy Grail, from the depths of mythology emerged Luton’s answer to Achilles.
Rusty, yes. Bald as a coot, almost, but deadly as the deadliest deadly thing also. As the game drifted to the inevitabl horrible scenario of a Denis Wise smirk, so he struck. In the third minute of injury time Alan Goodall and Dean Morgan lnked down the left, and Goodall curled a beautiful cross to the near post, where Super Sam glanced it past a static Caspar Ankergren and into the corner.
Cue jubilation as relief emerged. Let’s face it, losing to a Denis Wise side is a disgrace to football. Much more important than mere issues like survival.
Brill 6 nothing to do
Jackson 6 not as bad as usual
Keane 8 monster game and fans MoM
Perry 7 solid and a couple of great interventions
Goodall 7 yet another great game
Talbot 6 worked tirelessly but got nowhere
Spring 7 the classiest player on the pitch
Robinson 4 usual crap performance
Currie 3 moved twice
Andrew 6 a tad off-colour?
Furlong 5 nothing came off for him today
Morgan 8 almost won MoM inside 22 minutes
So Leeds United ….