Taylor steers Oldham to surprise win
Sunday, 17th Aug 2008 14:29
Leeds United 0 Oldham Athletic 2
Well, what a crushing let-down this was! Never can I remember being so keyed up for a match and so down afterwards. This was the game we had all waited for for so long, the first home game when we had the chance to compete with the rest of this division on even terms, and when the club could start the long climb back to the Premier League. And what happened?
Leeds began the game with the same eleven who opened the season at Scunthorpe, and we didn’t make a bad start to the game. Snodgrass was again outstanding on the wing, but we didn’t have the penetration to convert out possession into decent chances.
If we’d played some decent through balls Beckford could have murdered Gregan with his pace, but most of our passing was far too wayward. And for a big man, Showunmi didn’t win a great deal in the air, the least we can expect if he’s going to be a foil for Beckford.
We did have one decent chance in the first half, with Taylor heading a clearance just wide of the post from a Robinson free kick, but that was about it. I expected us to get a grip on the game after the interval, but instead things went from bad to worse. Just five minutes into the second half Oldham took the lead, with a goal that was a complete shambles from a defensive point of view.
A clutch of defenders on the left failed to prevent the cross being delivered, and Huntington missed the ball completely. This allowed Hughes to lob it over the on-rushing Casper and although it hit the bar, Taylor was on hand to nod the rebound into the net.
Oldham had a possible second ruled out for offside, but a few minutes later it was our turn to suffer at the hands of the ref, when he turned down a good shout for a penalty. Showunmi seemed to have been pulled down by Gregan (and we remember him adopting these tactics all too often in a Leeds shirt) but the officials didn’t oblige.
And in the 65th. minute Oldham went further in front, when Taylor was given plenty of time and space to make his way across the edge of the area, until he curled a brilliant shot past Casper into the corner of the net. That was the signal for Macca to bring Becchio and Delph into the game, at the expense of Showunmi and Howson.
The new guys made something of an impact, with the Argentinian forcing Crossley into a save and Delph setting up Robinson, but the tubby one could only shoot wide. But we never really looked like getting back into the game, and would have gone further behind if Casper hadn’t reacted quickly to deny Alessandra.
The early atmosphere had gone and the crowd had gone very quiet long before the final whistle put us out of our misery. This was a wake-up call, and we can but hope that things will get better once the new signings have blended into the side. But I think Macca will have to make some changes before Yeovil.
Becchio should replace Showunmi up front, as the Argentinian offers us more up front and wins more in the air despite Showunmi being a good few inches taller. Our central midfield is looking a bit lightweight now we are playing with two wingers, and with Howson out of form, maybe Delph should come in as the creative midfielder. Finally, Rui and Huntington don’t seem to be on the same wavelength at the back, so maybe Lubo could replace one of these two.
We’ve got far more strength in depth than anyone else in this division, so let’s make it count. Roll on Yeovil.
Photo: Action Images
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