Watford v Leeds FA Cup Round 5
The magic of the FA Cup was fully in flow in the fifth round at Vicarage Road, the home of Watford FC.
Steve Evans made one change to the team that drew 0-0 with Middlesbrough on Monday, Sol Bamba came in for Liam Cooper who was injured. Mustapha Carayol was also absent from the eighteen due to injury, forgotten man Jordan Botaka getting his place on the substitute bench.
Leeds went out of the FA Cup thanks to a calamitous own goal by Scott Wootton, same old story. We were toothless in attack and when you've a player who has limitations in the position he plays in your defence, other teams will always get a chance, Why Evans defends him so much I'll never know.
Steve Evans was in a more benevolent mood when talking about the opposition manager Flores; "I think his teams play some fantastic football" and added he would make a "fantastic addition to the Premier League".
Actress Michelle Keegan, a star of Coronation Street had her Twitter account 'hacked' as a rogue tweet went out in support of #TimeToGoMassimo. Whether it was true she wrote it or not, it certainly got people's attention.
The sixth round draw was made, we weren't in it.
Birmingham City vs Leeds is rescheduled for Tuesday April 12th with a kick off time of 19:45. The original game was cancelled due to the FA Cup tie at Watford.
Confirmation that Guiseppi Bellusci will be banned for two games for picking up ten yellow cards, he misses Fulham at home and Brighton away.
Matt Smith is looking forward to a return journey back to his ex club, he Tweeted; 'Leeds bound. Looking forward to a return to Elland Road tomorrow night. Some great memories there!'
Leeds drew 2-2 with Huddersfield Town in an under 21 game, Eoghan Stokes getting both goals for Leeds. The side included Gaetano Berardi and trialist William Vouama, he's a 19-year old winger who plays for Parisien semi pro side Viry-Chatillon.
It seems as though Massimo has been slipping a few quid to a fan to spread the love about the owner on social media. The person later involved made a statement on his social media page denying the story, indicating it was a rouse to fool the national newspaper.
Leeds v Fulham
Steve Evans dropped Wootton, Dallas and Bridcutt. Bellusci was suspended so in came Liam Cooper. Lewie Coyle was given his first full start in the Championship, Mowatt and Adeyemi were also given a start after injury and loss of form had kept them out.
After going behind to an early Cairney goal for Fulham, Lewis Cook scored a stunner from outside the area to get Leeds level just before the break.
The second half seemed a battle between Fulham and Sol Bamba and the captain won it with some impressive blocks and last ditch challenges, both teams had chances to win an unimpressive game.
The best chance fell to Leeds substitute Stuart Dallas who's effort went wide when he was found unmarked in the penalty area. The crowd of just over 17,000 was the lowest of the season, it seems many supporters are staying away and already have given up on this frustrating season.
Worrying times maybe ahead methinks, but what a stunning Cook goal.
Post game Evans waxed lyrical about Lewis Cook's incredible goal, the Head Coach said; “We’ve had an absolutely stunning goal from a stunning young player. I’d go as far as to say it’s the best goal I’ve ever seen from a player in a game I’ve been involved in live. That’s how good it was". Safe to say we all agree with him too.
Nice gesture by Ross McCormack at the end of the game, he chatted with a section of Leeds fans and gave a fan his Fulham shirt, in the highlights of the game he also looked like he gave congratulations to Cook after the miidfielders wonder strike. Even after the 'stick' he usually gets, some merited, some not, It's clear he still harbours affection for Leeds United.
On Wednesday afternoon the club released it's accounts from 2014/15 season. The £23million pound loss from the previous season had been dramatically reduced to £2million, a staggering 90% decrease. Although revenue had lessened, the accounts will be welcomed by even the most sceptical of fans, me included.
The report says over £42 million have been put into the club by Eleonora Sports since 2014. Now all we need is a little vision, some ambition and a little bit of sanity on both sides of the fence.
The lowest Championship crowd this season was spoken about by SE, he said the attraction of Arsenal v Barcelona on TV and the team not being in a better league position affected the size of the crowd. He did however thank those that attended and said they saw an 'unbelievable strike' to get Leeds back on level terms and thanked them for their continued support.
Sam Byram lifted the lid a little on his move to West Ham United in the January transfer window. When asked if he was disappointed in missing West Ham's impressive FA Cup run; "Nothing was solid at the time (of the FA Cup game) but the game for Leeds was. At the time I was a Leeds player and I wanted to give everything I could for Leeds in the game.
“The manager wanted me to play and I couldn’t refuse. I enjoyed every game I played for Leeds. Looking back now I would probably have been a bit more reluctant to play but at the time I couldn’t look too far ahead". He added he was settled in his new club.
Across the meadow in Huddersfield, season ticket prices at the club were released for their next season, at £179, Ten thousand home supporters can watch Championship football next season. Finally, at least one team sees that filling your ground could be a great idea. At £8 a game it's hopefully something that could happen on our side of the meadow one day.
By Keith Ingham