Heidi's Blog - Leeds Fight Back Twice to Secure Draw Against Watford

30 Mar 2024 06:02 am, by Lufcheidi

Watford v Leeds United | 29th March 2024 | Vicarage Road

Firstly, I want to pay my respects to both the families and friends of Christopher Loftus and Kevin Speight who were both brutally murdered in Istanbul 24 years ago next week. At our game against Hull on Monday, there will be a minute’s applause before the start of the game and a 24th minute screen tribute as Leeds fans turn their backs on the game as they have done every year since the atrocities. It is also a poignant week for me with the anniversary of my baby daughter’s death the day before, so it always hits me hard at this time of year.

After an early 6.20am call to appear on BBC Radio 5 Live Breakfast alongside a Leicester and Ipswich fan, it was mentioned that I didn’t sound too confident about the game tonight. My response was that having been a Leeds United supporter for over 50 years, I know you can never take anything for granted. Having the team turn up to play for the shirt, the fans, giving 100 percent, is all I ask for. With some of the players having been on international duty it was going to be a tough one as I wasn’t sure how many injuries we had picked up and would judge the game by what I saw on the pitch.

As it was, we were very leggy for a long period in the first half which happens a lot after these breaks. With a great push in the last 10 minutes of the game when we looked back to our best with subs made, we ground out a 2-2 draw. The positives are that we remain unbeaten and got a point which is better than none. It will remain tight at the top for the automatic promotion spots, and I would love for us to keep our destiny in our own hands. We will find out soon enough what happens in that respect.

We had a good run down the M1 and after stopping at Leighton Buzzard arrived at the ground an hour before kick-off. As we were getting off the coach a Watford steward got on the bus and told us we were not allowed to take any big bags or flags into the ground which was very disappointing. Why football fans are treated this way I’ll never know. I was allowed to bring my water in but then as I got off the coach, suddenly tears started falling down my face although why at that moment, I couldn’t tell you.

Obviously, there are a lot of pent up emotions under the surface and it only takes one thing to push you over the edge. I’d been listening to my mum’s favourite German artiste on the way down so maybe that caught me off guard too. I walked past our turnstiles as I didn’t want to go in the ground with tears streaming down my face and was grateful for the support from some of our fans outside the ground who got me through that emotional spell which was greatly appreciated.

Leeds had an early chance where Summerville hit a curling shot from the right of the box which their keeper made a good save from. I had thought it was heading into the net at one point. Watford were causing us problems with fast football and took the lead just after the half hour mark when they got clear on the left and although Meslier made a good save the rebound was blasted into the net. Leeds equalised six minutes later with a near identical shot from Summerville cutting in from the right of the Leeds fans, but this time the ball curled into the top corner of the goal causing great celebrations amongst the team and fans alike. Sadly, Watford took the lead again with another quick counterattack and hit the ball into the net just before the break.

With all the empty seats around the ground, it would have been better for us to have the whole stand. As there were only three ladies’ loos available as the stand was split with the home fans, I only got back into the stand just as we were ready to kick off the second half. This time we were attacking the far end. Summerville had another shot saved by the keeper. Things changed when our first sub was made and Firpo went to left back and Gray went into midfield. We looked a more balanced side as both Rodon and Ampadu resumed their great partnership. Joseph had been on the pitch less than a minute as Leeds attacked.

Another great run by Summerville down the left-hand side of the pitch, saw his cross dummied by Firpo, as Joseph’s first shot with his left foot was blocked, then he hit the rebound into the net with his right giving him a fairy tale start. Leeds were very unlucky not to win the game in the last minutes as another great run from Summerville saw his shot saved by the keeper before Anthony got to the rebound and saw the keeper save the shot with his feet.

I was just pleased in the end that we hadn’t got beaten and one point is better than none. It looks like Ipswich got the luck today as they took the top spot when Blackburn had a couple of goals disallowed. It’s still all to fight for and with games still coming thick and fast we will have a better idea of where we are in a couple of weeks. LUFC – Marching on Together!

Leeds drew the game 2-2 with goals from Summerville (37) and Joseph (85).

Team: Meslier, Cooper (Captain), Ampadu, Rodon, Byram, Gray, James, Bamford, Rutter, Summerville, Kamara

Subs: Firpo for Cooper (63), Piroe for Rutter (74), Anthony for Byram (84), Joseph for Kamara (84)

Unused Subs: Darlow, Shackleton, Cresswell, Gelhardt, Charlie Crew

Attendance: 20,236 (2,104 Leeds Fans)
Referee: David Webb
Booked: None