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First Football Away Trip

This Saturday me and my friends Chris & Steve continued the traditional attendance to watch our teams Leeds and Birmingham play each other. This time around it was slightly more special as both Oli and Luke (Chris and Steves sons) were attending their first ever away match to watch their team Birmingham play.

After the previous meeting this season in Birmingham, which saw our sides battle out a 1-1 draw both our sides have had differing seasons. My beloved Leeds United just can’t buy a win and find ourselves one place above the relegation zone. Birmingham City on the other hand are the “form side” and with a new management team in place are up to the dizzy heights of 12th. Not bad considering they were all set to struggle yet again after their dramatic last day escape act at Bolton last season.

We met up at Leicester services and despite arriving safely had the first drama of the day. I’d sat in the car far too long with the heating and radio on and because of this drained the battery. What followed were comical scenes as we tried to jump start a power steered car around a car park on the M1. At the second time of trying we got there and were all relieved as my car whirred into action.

The drive up was equally dramatic with various periods of black skies throwing down sleet and snow as we got further North. At one point we saw the clearest rainbow and almost passed the end of it. It was so clear you could even make out the Indigo band, sadly no gold pot was to be seen.

With the car finally Parked up we wandered down a familiar path to me with some new additions, each footstep closer the buzz of anticipation grew. A quick stop at Greigs provided us with cheap food and hot drinks to keep us going.

As we arrived at Elland Road I showed Oli and Luke around our club shop which in comparison to Birminghams is about ten times the size. We had a walk around the outside of the ground, saw the Billy Bremner statue and had our photo taken outside the stand of the ground.

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As we peered through the gap from inside out to the ground the snow was hammering down. A bitter cold swirl of air felt as we pondered finding our seats. We were welcomed by wet seats despite being under cover, the wind can be cruel. A quick dry with our hats and coats and we were ready. The anticipation evident with just under 24,000 fans sat down following their prematch ritual be it a beer or a pie, or both.

The game was frantic from the off and despite an early penalty given to Birmingham which was duly converted by Caddis, Leeds were always dangerous. As the first half came to an end Leeds were knocking on the door and a cross looked to have been bundled in by Belusci only to see it somehow clawed away off the line by Randalph. Oli and Luke did well, I know how difficult it is not cheering when my team has scored, they were unmoved.

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The second half saw both sides hit the woodwork and debatable decisions not go the right way. Three penalty calls were all turned away as the tension grew. As the game headed into the last five minutes Luke Murphy was the saviour. He maintained his cool and steered the ball home on the half volley from just inside the penalty area.

A draw was a fair result and one that keeps Leeds United unbeaten against Birmingham City over the last two seasons. Everybody enjoyed themselves which at the end of the day is what it’s all about.

Luke and Oli both ticked off a big achievement from the life list and I look forward to having them both back next season. That is if we can hang onto our status in the Championship this season!

MOT

Mark

A time to reflect on the positives

Firstly as I write this blog I’m Suffering from the latest cold that is going around. It’s been a few days now but the positive thing is that I’m still alive but not so kicking, however as I sit up in bed trying to rid myself of the suffering it certainly gives you time to reflect.

Somebody once told me that we spend only a short amount of time on planet earth as it is. Because of this, it’s equally important to remember that when you are not feeling your best, that you must still be grateful to be here on earth. It’s so very very true, as I grab another man sized balm tissue and drink my umpteenth Lemsip all I’m thinking about are the positives.

It’s been just over a week since I last wrote on here. Most of my last posts had been Leeds United related, this time around I’d like to bring it back round to me and what has been going on in my life.

After a month of upheaval which included painting, decorating, tipping, diying, car transporting, selling furniture and using a carpet cleaner for the first time we’ve finally moved house. We made the decision a couple of months ago which now allows us to lead a more grown up lifestyle. We now have a garage and our own garden which is pretty freaking awesome. It has been certainly worth it as we now find ourselves unpacking the last few boxes.

I may not be the most naturally DIY skilled person but my efforts in putting up our wooden blinds have given me a sense of pride. Despite my requirement of taking good care when opening and closing them, they are still very much in place……. still!

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It’s easy to let the negatives take over your life. In a week which has seen my car require some bodywork repairs to breaking down halfway off the drive, you must try and draw those crumbs of comforts from the places they hide. My car problems have helped me bond more with our new neighbors (who helped me jump start it) in the rain, as well as allowed me to have one of the best conversations I’ve had with my fiancées Dad.

The blessings are when you realise it could have been so much worse. The indications suggested a leaky Power Steering hose and faulty Pump which would’ve cost over £800 to repair. The diagnosis discovered it was a faulty Alternator which is far less, life can be good like that.

Finally as I sign off from this blog I’d like to mention the Winter Olympics. They have been truly fascinating to watch. It’s evident to see that Team GB have continued on from where London 2012 signed off. Already assured of equalling our highest medal tally of 4 is an amazingly proud achievement. Let’s hope our Curlers and Speed Skaters get what they truly deserve this week. Life is certainly full of positives….. (as I grab yet another tissue)

DarcyB