Leeds 1-3 Spurs

A passionate cup tie played in a good spirit in front of a packed Elland Road ultimately ended in disappointment for most of those fans. Chants like 'Fa Cup, who gives a fuck' from the West Yorkshire contingent might purport otherwise, but don't be fooled - this was one of those big nights that Leeds has craved for so long, and provided the stage that many feel they should more regularly occupy.

Fitting then, perhaps, that this stage should end up providing the platform for other forgotten stars. Gareth Bale and David Bentley excelled, especially in a second half in which the Leeds midfield were bypassed and defence continuously opened up by Spurs' slick passing game. Defoe will no doubt get all the plaudits he deserves for a predatory strikers performance, but it was Bentley and Bale who consistently got the best of their markers and delivered testing balls into good areas.

I missed the first ten minutes of the match - Elland Road is hard to get to from the city - but the first half was a captivating affair. Snodgrass caught the eye for Leeds and seemed to have the beating of Bale whilst Beckford, perhaps more on reputation than performance, was causing problems for the Spurs defenders. At the other end Defoe was a constant menace and had already been clear of the Leeds defence twice before he opened the scoring with a mishit effort. The Leeds response was immediate, forcing a series of corners and freekicks, and Gomez into one great save, before the equaliser came.

If the home support thought that would prelude another famous cup scalp they were wrong, as Spurs came out in the second half with much greater intent and control. Still this might be the best result for both teams as Leeds stall in the league. And in any case its the FA Cup, who gives a &$*&?

Back on the Holte

On the train home from Liverpool I remember discussing the upcoming end to the season with my Everton supporting friend. The following Saturday we played Wigan at home whilst Everton faced a tough trip to the Emirates on Sunday. He told me that you never knew what could happen against a side like Wigan at home, and I laughed him off, certain that we would make a fight for fifth place.

That was the back end of the 07/08 season. In the end we lost at home to Wigan (again), and drew away at West Ham - a game best remembered for Olof Mellberg's incredible free-shirt gesture. Joel was right, and Everton beat us to fifth. I was so depressed I didn't bother blogging that match, and then left the country for a while (this was planned, not due to the depression). Now I'm back, and a week short of twenty months later I was back on the Holte End for the second leg of the cup semi against Blackburn - not a bad return!

Belatedly I've decided to reopen this blog for any game, Villa or otherwise, or football issue. I was never sure how many people bothered reading it in the first place, but welcome back if you are.