Besides an uncontrollable love for Steve Morison, Neil Warnock and myself have one thing in common. We're both desperately unlucky. Sometimes we may bring it on ourselves. Other times however, its completely out of our hands. A causal link between the two could also be formed; every away game I attend ends in defeat. With an away record as dismal as Leeds' this season, that could be said for the majority of supporters. However, aside from a win at Bristol City in September my away record is like no others. In fact, with me in attendance we never seem to score away from home. The last three have all ended with clean-sheets for the home side and although the most recent away day at Middlesbrough was fairly entertaining the two before it, namely Hull and Barnsley were nothing short of embarrassing. It couldn't happen again could it?
I thought so. But Kez and James didn't and even if it was set to happen again, I was looking forward to it. Even at 7am when my alarm went off. After a quick Weetabix and some toast we piled into Kez's car and after a brief stop at Co-Op we made the coach with plenty of time. There were three of us and with the back seat stolen by one solitary woman, James was bullied into sitting on his own. I hate long journeys, especially after forcing myself to switch off my phone as to save its short battery life for the journey home. We stopped fairly early at Grantham where we bumped into hoards of Tunbridge Wells fans heading up to Shildon for their F.A. Vase semi-final replay. They were very friendly and clearly very keen and I was happy to find out they won the tie 4-3 on aggregate. Good luck to them in the final.
Four Four Two magazine is a routinelyaway day purchase for me and we passed forty five minutes or so completing its football quiz. I took the role of quiz-master in what was a dour 5-5 draw between Kez and James. Considering the quiz contained twenty five questions they should both be ashamed even if the questions were on the tricky side. For the last hour I risked my iPhone's battery life and put my iPod in. Through my earphones Liam Fray asked me if I was "scared to be proud". I wondered whether this would be a question I'd be best answering after the match. After some fairly irrelevant police stoppages we arrived at Portman Road at about 1.15. First stop - Nandos. Or not. It was shut...we think. Either that or Kez wasn't strong enough to open the door. Reeling in disappointment but still extremely hungry, we scurried off to McDonalds; our second trip there in two days. Again I failed to win an instant win Big Mac. I told you I was unlucky.
The away end at Portman Road is less than impressive and we found it quite small and dingy although the view from our seat was good. Half an hour passed slowly in what was a freezing Suffolk but eventually the game kicked off and here is when Neil Warnock began to get unlucky. For thirty five minutes, Leeds were fabulous, playing a brand of football I'd never associated with either Neil Warnock or my beloved club. The attacking midfield trio of Paul Green, David Norris and Michael Tonge were linking up well with Morison and Varney up front and despite pressure from the hosts in the first few minutes, Leeds soon took complete control of the game. The statistics highlight that the Whites had twenty shots and it seemed the majority of them came in the first twenty minutes as Scott Loach denied Varney, Green, Norris and Morison in the early stages. Michael Brown flicked a header wide and Paul Green saw a shot cleared off the line as Leeds threatened to run riot. I was bouncing and absolutely loving life.
|Referee Adcock living up to his name.|
The half-time entertainment did nothing to brighten up the mood in the away end although one poor Ipswich fan did make a complete tit out of himself. Checking Twitter wasn't a good idea either; the abundance of criticism I read had clearly been tweeted by a vast amount of fans not at the game. James' score prediction of 3-1 Leeds was looking very ambitious, Kez's 2-1 Leeds was looking doubtful and my negative, okay realistic prediction of 2-0 Ipswich was looking possible. Four minutes into the second half however, my prediction also began to look ambitious as Ipswich doubled their lead through a deflected McGoldrick half-volley. I looked at the ground, wondering why I'd spent £46 on what was sure to become a four or five-nil thrashing.
On the way home I decided I could also answer the aforementioned question Liam Fray poses in The Courteeners' outstanding 'Bide Your Time'. I'm scared of where we're going Liam, but I'm never scared to be proud of my club.