Rotherham Utd 1 (Odoffin 45+1)
Leeds United 1 (Summerville 6)
24th November, 2023, EFL Championship.
At the end of the day they all tell us that a point away from home is never to be sniffed at… but this felt like another two points squandered to me, especially as we dominated the first half much as we have done regularly this season against clearly inferior sides.
We got off to the perfect start, Crysencio Summerville once again showing what a clinical finisher he can be as he latched onto a brilliant first time pass from the quick thinking Georginio and curled his powerful shot in off the far post in pretty much the way his own chant describes him ‘scoring for Leeds’. Ethan Ampadu then put him through again in much the same position but this time a defender got a touch to unbalance him and the keeper was able to stretch out a leg to block another curling effort.
It was all looking good though as the clock ticked down to half time and we ought to have been in game management mode. Sadly it looked as though we already thinking about having a sit down and a cuppa as we missed three tackles in and around the box and Odoffin smacked the ball past Meslier. A poor goal and terrible timing Leeds! Earlier misses suddenly looked more important and by the end of the game our meagre 5 shots on target from 18 attempts would tell the story.
The one thing we all worried about before the game was that so many of our players had been busy with their respective nations for a couple of weeks and several had played lots of minutes. We could really have done without having to play on this Friday night against a side with far fewer players so engaged, let alone one probably spurred on to prove the odd point or two following the recent sacking of Matt Taylor. So, thank you Sky TV, our second half performance probably has a lot to do with your scheduling!
Whatever it was, we looked decidedly jaded in the second half and, once again, the substitutes we called on didn’t really make enough of an impact. OK, Pascal Struijk should probably have buried his late header and not put it wide and we were a tad unlucky that the liner was apparently able to see that Patrick Bamford was offside by no more than a millimetre or two. Having said that we owe Liam Cooper and Illan Meslier for ensuring we did at least get the one point as Coops slid in to block a goal-bound shot and Illan reprised the save the home keeper made earlier to deny Crysencio.
So, it was just a point and now we sit back and see how the competition gets on tomorrow. I’m convinced that West Brom will beat Ipswich but have a feeling Leicester will get the better of Watford and Southampton might well win at Huddersfield. That would push Saints above us of course. But there is a long way to go and this weekend’s results will not define our season. We do have to get straight back to winning ways though with our next two games at Elland Road; and neither Swansea nor Boro will be easy. At least we'll be playing in all white... these away strips do appear to be unlucky for us! Not since that vital win at Brentford in May 2022 have we won in anything but all white!
Rotherham Leeds U
Possession 26% 74%
Shots 6 18
On Target 3 5
Corners 4 3
Fouls 11 4