As always there were a number of Leeds United old boys getting on the scoresheet in yesterday's League matches. Most notable in the lowest division, League Two was Michael Sicknote Bridges, now plying his trade in the wilds of Cumbria, with Carlisle United who scored in their home draw with Cheltenham to take his total to four for the week! He hit a hat-trick mid week in the 5-0 away demolition of Boston United!
Which brings us nicely to Julian Joachim, a former Blackwell signing who scored twice in five minutes for the Lincolnshire club in their 3-1 victory over Bury. The second was a penalty. That's ten League goals this season in 26 games for the compact striker.
Moving into the Championship, Brian Deane made a debut sub appearance for Sheffield United having moved there after an unsuccessful stint at Perth Glory. Brian failed to make his third Blades debut a scoring one, not that it mattered as Warnock's Blades won 3-1 against Brighton.
Another ex-Blackwell signing made a more memorable contribution to an exciting game at Carrow Road that had plenty of Leeds connections. Norwich, managed by Nigel Worthington (signed for Leeds Utd by Howard Wilkinson) included ex-O'Leary signing Darren Huckerby in his side. Meanwhile, Watford now managed by ex-Leeds Ade Boothroyd, included Matty Spring in the staring line-up and Clark Carlisle on the bench. In a ding-dong game that was 2-2 in the last minute it was decided by Matty Spring scoring his 6th goal of the season from midfield, to make it 3-2 to the Hornets. As predicted Spring is showing Kevin Blackwell what he let go without giving a fair crack of the whip, averaging a goal every four games. Curiously in such a close fought game there wasn't a single booking, well done ref, Mr Atkinson of West Yorkshire!
And finally onto the Premiership and the club whose fans love to hate Leeds, Middlesbrough. Humiliated 7-0 by Arsenal last week their fans had a right to expect a reaction from the players. Unfortunately, as Leeds United fans know too well when two of your players are ex-Leeds Mark Viduka and Jimmy Floyd Moneybank... sorry, Hasslebaink, the reaction you get can be soporific or petulant. On paper its a strike force many Leeds fans would love to have seen in the White shirt but reality at Boro seems to be different. Today, however, Jimmy Floyd scored the first goal that saw Boro fight back against Wigan, mid-week FA Cup penalty shoot-out conquerers of Leeds Utd, to 2-2 having been 0-2 down at home. Unfortunately, for the hard-pressed Middlesbrough fans it didn't end there. In stoppage time the talented Neil Mellor, just signed on a season-long loan from Liverpool FC, and making his Wigan debut, knocked home an easy chance made by a clever back heel from another Wigan player. 2-3 to Wigan! In the words our dear Queen, 2006 has all the look of an "annus horribilis" for the long-suffering Middlesborough fans. This Premiership game was watched by just 27,208 fans, less than at Elland Road today (despite the boycott by many Leeds fans in protest against Ken Bates' ticket price rises).
Aaron Lennon was brought down by Gareth Barry of Aston Villa who got his marching orders. Villa manager and Lennon's old Leeds Utd manager, David O'Leary was happy that his ten men fought on for a 0-0 draw with Spurs. Spurs' ex-Leeds keeper Paul Robinson obviously keeping a clean sheet this afternoon.
Less happy was former White, Lee Bowyer who played in 0-1 home defeat for the Barcodes to Blackburn Rovers. Bowyer managed to avoid fighting anyone on his own side but will have been disappointed to hear the Newcastle United fans calling for the manager's head. Particularly as Blackburn Rovers won thanks to a well-dodgy 75th minute goal that appeared to be punched into the net by Rovers' Pedersen.
UPDATE: Rio Ferdinand waited until the 90th minute to power a header past the Liverpool keeper to win the Sky televised game and maintain Man Utd's second place in the table. With Child-stealing Chelski drawing against Charlton, Rio picked a good time to score only his third career goal for Man Utd in their 1-0 home win. Earlier Rio had cleared one of the line with the goalie beaten. Alan Smith didn't play due to injury.
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