Saturday, 8 December 2007

United tame the Terriers in first derby for twenty years

The sound of "there's only one Billy Bremner" rang out, at a packed Elland Road, during the one minute applause for the great man who died on 7th December 1997.

It was the first derby against Huddersfield Town for 20 years.

Leeds United started badly in the poor conditions, though they still had slightly the majority of possession. But Town edged it on chances and quality of play. Fortunately for United, the Terriers had 17 years old rookie, Alex Smithies, in goal for only his second game. The lad allowed a 25 yard shot from Jonathan Douglas slip through his fingers, on 23 minutes, letting in his third goal in only 30 odd minutes play for the club, 1-0.

Radostin Kishishev, on one yellow card and warned a second time late in the first half, was replaced by Jonathan Howson at the start of the second half.

Three minutes after the re-start a cross by David Prutton was collected by Jermaine Beckford who drove past the luckless goalie, Smithies, from six yards, 2-0.

The game just got more exciting as spells of pressure from both United and Town resulted in much goal mouth action. Then on 69 minutes a good save, by Smithies off Prutton, fell to goal machine Beckford who made no mistake from six yards, 3-0.

Beckford was replaced by Tore Andre Flo on 82 minutes and five minutes later he right-footed into the net from six yards, 4-0.

Unfortunately there have not been many Leeds/Huddersfield derbies over the past forty years, mainly because United have been playing in a higher league. What is not widely known is the fact that Leeds played in Huddersfield's blue and white stripes for many years from the formation of the club, until they reverted to blue and gold, the colours of predecessor club Leeds City, in the 1930's.

The match attracted a remarkable pre-Christmas sell out attendance of 32,501. The largest crowd for a third tier game since 1979.

Leeds United 4 Huddersfield Town 0


Jock Coats said...

My first and abiding memory of going to a football match was to see Leeds take on Liverpool in a mid-70s Charity Shield match in which Bremner and Keegan were both sent off for fighting! I was a Leeds supporter, my dad a Liverpool supporter. I have sinced crossed the Pennines so to speak.

Chris & Glynis Abbott said...

I was at the match too. It was Cloughie's first competitive match in charge. There was a lot of tension in the team at the time.