Saturday, 3 May 2008

Super Leeds sink the Gills

Leeds United supporters surrounded the statue of Billy Bremner to let Gillingham fans know exactly what they felt about the 15-point deduction and their Chairman, Paul Scully's gloating comments when the Football League's penalty was endorsed by the vested interests of rival clubs.

Billy's statue is situated right outside the entrance/exit to the away fans corner. It was all light hearted stuff and the fans where hamming it up for a film crew who were there to record it. It could have turned nasty when half a dozen bobbies got in behind to move them, unnecessarily, off the pedestal but no-one was bothered:

15 points who gives a stuff?
We're Super Leeds and we're going up!

United had overcome the penalty by amassing 91 points, which should have seen them automatically promoted. The prize of a trip to Wembley now awaits the Super Whites if they can carry on this winning run for the two games against Carlisle. Then we can really show the world what we think about the Football League "family."

38,256 packed into Elland Road, the Football League's biggest crowd of the season, to watch United play Gillingham.

The first half was a scrappy affair with the teams packed into an area about the size of the centre circle for much of the time. United found the Gills hard to break down and paid the price on 20 minutes when nippy striker, Simeon Jackson, took advantage of an error by Paul Huntingdon, then skipped across the front of goal and blasted the ball past the helpless Viking, 0-1.

Backed by the noisy crowd (whose rendition of 'Marching on Together' made the hairs on the back of your neck stand up), United got on top in the second half. The introduction of Seb Carole for Peter Sweeney, in the 69th minute, made a difference and it was Carole's cross to Bradley Johnson the equalled things up. Johnson hit a superb volley from just outside the penalty box, 1-1.

United boss, Gary McAllister, rested a number of players and brought in youngster Scott Gardner for his first game since August and Tresor Kandol came back into the starting line-up. Gardner made a nervy start but by the second half was making some exciting runs down the flank that had the Gills on their toes.

Rookie, Fabian Delph, came on for Jonathan Douglas in the 76th minute and looked good.

Kandol looked low in confidence and took a bit of stick from the crowd at times. He looked hesitant in making passes, when he helped out in midfield, but all that went out of the window, with two minutes to go, when he collected a pass from Andy Hughes, slipped the Gills defence and walloped the ball into the back of the net, 2-1.

Gillingham had to win this game to stay up. In the end it did not matter because Cheltenham won against Donny so the Gills were down anyway.

United go into the play-offs as the team in-form and with the Arbitration Panel's decision still rankling, our hopes are high for a swift return to the Championship against all the odds.

Leeds United 2 Gillingham 1

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