By Keith Ingham
The first Championship game of the season didn't go too well, a desperately disappointing defeat at Millwall, a team I loathe who went one step below their usual on Saturday, singing a song about Jimmy Saville being "one of your own" as well as the usual comments about events that have happened to two of our own. Tasteless and not needed was the comment from THEIR own manager, I rest my case. Back to events on the grass, Leeds kicked off with Noel Hunt as a left winger, for Christ sake he's not even a striker never mind a winger !. Three new signings made their bow in the mucky gold kit, SIlvestri, Ajose and Doukara making the first Championship line up David Hockaday had picked for this tough looking first fixture.
The game itself panned out with the home side being the quickest and the more organised, 'Wall' settled early and once again we conceded another soft goal from a dead ball situation. To me I'd rather have a youngster learning his trade (Killock) alongside Jason Pearce, Scott Wootton's confidence has totally left him and maybe a move away from the club would benefit him. As a team we can't defend, it's as simple as that and you would have thought that would have been the first thing Hockaday would have sorted. We improved after the break and maybe should have got a point we really didn't deserve but a penalty late on put the game out of our reach, the simple fact is that they wanted it more and it showed.
Tuesday the 12th of August, my first visit to the Theatre of Hope and I took along my hope of a better display as well as a good friend of mine Sean Keating and his children, Abi and Reece. The kids only been a few times before so this madness we all have is quite new to them. Before the game I met David Watkins, the renown Leeds United book writer. He's done four so far in following this great club of ours. A really nice fella with some great mates with him. In town tonight were Accrington Stanley (who are they ! ), sorry it's been a long time since the advert promotion drinking milk but I couldn't resist. Mr Hockaday changed personnel for the game, in came Taylor, Bianchi, Smith, Charlie Taylor, Berardi and Lewis Cook was given his first competitive outing. Leeds passed the ball, yes you read right from back to midfield, probing and looking for openings. The front three looked lively and Doukara put Leeds one up with a turn and a very smart finish, it was the least the home side deserved. Occasionally the rain dampened the procedures but the fans were not to be drenched and disappointed as 'Sully' made it two with a great left foot shot from a great through ball debutant Cook. The two children were well happy as the half ended Leeds two to the good and I nearly fell over a seat while attempting to go for a 'comfort' break. It was a scene reminiscent of when Del Boy of 'Only Fools and Horses' when he says to 'Trigger' "Play it cool Trigg" in the classic wine bar scene.
The second half was disappointing as the fluid passing game seemed to be forgotten, players who seemed happy on the ball earlier, made rash decisions and 'Accky' came back into the game without really testing Taylor on his Leeds debut. Hockaday introduced Hunt, Benedicic and Poleon as he tried out his options, unfortunately this just didn't work. I'm confident I'll get a date with Katie Price, pregnant or not before the Leeds striker breaks his 'duck'. It's unfortunate, but how many chances does he get at the expense of another player more likely to score. The young Slovenian Zan Benedicic, had some nice touches and a storming run but looks a little out of match practise, his time will come. With the possession Accrington were having it was obvious they'd score as it seems impossible for us to keep a clean sheet. Gray scored late on for them and within minutes nearly equalised when his effort bobbled past a post. Beradi then was sent off trying to separate the top half of a Accrington player with time nearly up, but we hung on so at least our new couple of fans left Elland Road very wet but happy.
We returned home Keighley happy that the team at least had shown some promise with Lewis Cook and Tommaso Bianchi having very good debuts in the white shirt with 'Sully' Doukara grabbing the limelight with his two goals, Berardi the new right back might forget his debut after his discretion. News also filtered through that Leeds were talking to three players, Bellusci, Liam Cooper and Billy Sharp and all three could be signed by the weekend. So all in all a decent night and the promise of better things to come, I hope !
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