A healthy crowd of 25,497 visited the Theatre of Crisps this afternoon to watch Leeds United's promotion push falter yet again against lowly-placed opposition. Having been humiliated twice by relegation-bound Brighton & Hove Albion, Wednesday and Crewe this season, this time they found themselves unable to overcome a ten-men opposition and only secured the 1-1 draw thanks to a penalty kick.
Indeed, Robbie Blake's 12th minute penalty, for a foul on Rob Hulse gives the score-line a respectability it doesn't deserve. The perpetrator of the penalty foul, McCarthy was dismissed but having played for 79 minutes with ten men the Foxes still managed 14 shots against our ten, even though we had three strikers on the pitch for much of the game. Indeed, the Foxes had taken the lead in the fifth minute with a well-taken goal by Iain Hume. Whereas, influential Leeds captain Paul Butler had a strong game alongside Sean Gregan in the centre of defence, the game saw the return of highly-paid, Premiership refugee Eirik Bakke in a desultory performance that saw him subbed by David Healy on 56 minutes. Frankly, if Shaun Derry wasn't banned he wouldn't have got on the pitch.
An overall disappointing game resulted in bookings for Liam Miller and Eddie Lewis - everyone take note - we don't want another Shaun Derry fiasco! Official man of the Match was ex-Leeds midfielder and Irish international Alan Maybury - 18 games for the Whites - who made his name during three years with Hearts in the SPL.
With Watford doing what Leeds cannot - winning away (or anywhere) against Brighton, and Sheffield United coming out with the bragging rights from the latest Sheffield derby by two goals to one - any benefit from the morale-boosting victory against Watford mid-week was lost today on a field of mediocrity against a side that has just replaced its manager and has had a dreadful season propping up the table.
When Leeds miss out on promotion it will be because of the results against teams at the wrong end of the table. Nice guy Blackwell needs to teach his charges that when you face a lesser opponent you don't take your foot of the pedal, you floor it and mow them down mercilessly! Warnock would have no problem with that strategy and he'll be using it in the Premiership next season!