Saturday, February 21, 2009

Yorkshire Post 21/2/09
Howson grabs Leeds 2-0 victory at Cheltenham
By Chris Waters
TWO goals by midfielder Jonathan Howson earned Leeds United a 2-0 victory over bottom club Cheltenham.
Howson opened the scoring in the 54th minute when he headed home powerfully from 12 yards following a right-wing cross by Andrew Robinson.
And he doubled the advantage in the 65th minute when he fired home left-footed from 15 yards after latching on to a clever through-ball by Fabian Delph.
The victory was Leeds's fourth in succession at Elland Road and reignited their play-off hopes following successive defeats to Huddersfield and Hereford.
Howson's opener followed long periods of domination by Simon Grayson's men, who did everything but score during the opening 45 minutes.
Jonathan Douglas, who returned to the team after a one-match ban, headed against the woodwork in the 26th minute, while Robinson - who enjoyed a splendid game in midfield - struck the post just before the interval following a bout of pinball in the visitors' area.
Leeds carved out the first opportunity of the game on 10 minutes when Howson latched on to a clever through ball by Douglas only to draw a smart stop by goalkeeper Scott Brown.
Moments later, Robert Snodgrass had a header cleared off the line after the visitors allowed him too much space following a Robinson corner.
Leeds had much the better of the early possession but also lacked that little bit of luck in front of goal, epitomised by Douglas and Robinson finding the woodwork.
There were further chances before the break when Howson drew a smart stop by Brown from 15 yards and then Robinson shot fractionally wide from a 20-yard free-kick.
Cheltenham had only two notable attempts during the opening period, Michail Antonio firing a 20-yard shot just wide and then Lloyd Owusu having a close-range attempt blocked by goalkeeper Casper Ankergren.
Leeds looked comfortable once they had opened the scoring, although they did have a scare in the 62nd minute when Nicholas Bignall had a close-range header disallowed for offside.
Otherwise, the home team's movement going forward was too much for a Cheltenham team who have now gone 12 games without a win in all competitions.
Yorkshire Evening Post 19/2/09
I understand fans' reaction
By Phil Hay
Leeds United manager Simon Grayson has sympathised with the supporters who berated his players at Hereford United on Tuesday night, admitting they were justified in voicing their frustrations during and after the club's 2-0 defeat.
Grayson was left mystified by a performance which inflicted fresh damage on United's league position and brought chants of protest from the travelling fans in Hereford, and he urged his team to take heed to the vociferous complaints aired at Edgar Street.
Tuesday's loss was the fourth of Grayson's short reign as Leeds boss but by far the most damaging, coming against a team who have struggled throughout this season and lie third from bottom in the League One table.
The 39-year-old echoed the thoughts of United's 1,903 supporters at Edgar Street by declaring the club's display "unacceptable", and he insisted he would not take issue with any of the fans who criticised his side before and after the final whistle.

Grayson said: "They travelled a long way, they paid their money and they're entitled to their opinions.
"Obviously the players have got to accept that, and I accept it as well. That performance is unacceptable for fans who have travelled a long way.
"We're paid to put out a team who'll produce and work hard for each other, and the players haven't done that.
"I'm sure they'll be hurt by the reaction of the fans but they've got to draw from that and make sure they give them something back."
United's first opportunity to redeem themselves after Tuesday night's defeat will come during the visit of Cheltenham Town to Elland Road this weekend, another match that Grayson would realistically expect to win should his players find their most impressive form.
Cheltenham are ranked 24th in League One and were beaten for the fourth game running at Stockport County on Tuesday evening, and United's players resumed training this morning with Grayson weighing up possible changes to his starting line-up.
Jonathan Douglas' return from a one-match suspension will provide him with a welcome option with which to strengthen the team's midfield, and the Leeds manager admitted that several of his players should be worried about their places after failing to prise a positive result from their trip to Hereford.
Grayson said: "One or two players will be looking over their shoulders for the starting line-up at the weekend.
"They're going to be down but when we get back into training I expect them all to be lively and looking over their shoulders to see if they'll be in the team.
"I'm looking for a response because that's what they have to do.
"You don't put your head in the sand or bury yourself away.
"You've got to be men and come out fighting like we have done after certain other results since I've been here.
"We've got to get back to basics and make sure we galvanise ourselves by getting a result and a performance at the weekend."
The greater bulk of the points accrued by Leeds this season have materialised at home – 29 gained at Elland Road compared to 19 won on the road – but Tuesday's loss was United's ninth of the season away from home and Grayson has again reiterated the importance of his squad's reaction to the atmospheres they typically encounter in opposition stadiums.

Swelled by almost 2,000 Leeds fans, Edgar Street held its biggest crowd of the campaign during United's visit, almost doubling the average attendance at Hereford's ground.
Grayson said: "The players have got to realise – and they should be used to it by now – that every time we play at away grounds, people want to beat us.
"That comes naturally and if the players can't handle that situation then they'll probably end up playing somewhere else in the future. We've been very good at home and we've won our last three games there.
"We've looked very bright and breezy. We also looked very good at Huddersfield on Saturday but we just didn't look bright or hard to beat against Hereford.
"We were too open and we looked like we could concede. "We've got to go back to the basics of trying to defend properly and win matches the proper way.
"But the players will stick together and the fans will all stick together as well. We are all in this together and I expect Elland Road to have a good atmosphere at the weekend – and to see a positive result."
Grayson refused to accept the suggestion that the loss to Hereford, coming four days after United's West Yorkshire derby defeat to Huddersfield Town, was an indication that Leeds lacked the mettle or the quality of squad to qualify for the play-offs in May.
The former Blackpool boss remains confident of his side's credentials but admitted that the club were under increasing pressure to deliver more than promises about where their League One campaign would end.
"Every manager in the country will have had an experience like this," he said.
"At Blackpool we lost 2-0 to Rotherham after a very similar performance and then went on a run of winning our next 10 games. There's still a lot of football to be played.
"The players have got to accept what could happen and to be man enough to put it right because people can talk good games in dressing rooms and before games, but when you get onto the pitch, that's when the talking really matters. I expect a response this weekend."

Yorkshire Evening Post 18/2/09
Grayson fires warning to players
By Phil Hay
Leeds United crashed to their 13th defeat of the League One season on a humiliating night at Hereford United – provoking an angry Simon Grayson to warn his squad that they are playing for their futures at Elland Road.
United's manager delivered a damning verdict on the performance of his team after goals in either half from Jennison Myrie-Williams and Febian Brandy earned Hereford a 2-0 win.Leeds were beaten in front of almost 2,000 of their own supporters at Edgar Street, and their players were subjected to taunts and abuse from the visiting fans after Brandy's 63rd-minute effort put the game beyond them.
Grayson was full of praise for his squad after their 1-0 defeat at Huddersfield Town on Saturday – a display he described as one of the best of his tenure – but he refused to defend them last night, condemning the performance in Hereford as "unacceptable" and insisting that their failure to respond positively to a ninth away defeat could signal the end of certain players' involvement with Leeds.
The 39-year-old remained in the dressing room with his team for more than half-an-hour after the final whistle, and he admitted: "I'm very disappointed, not just with the result but with the performance.
"When you hear your own fans singing things like that at the end of the game then the players should be hurting. It was a poor performance. Sometimes you can't put your finger on why it's happened but we've had a discussion and we're trying to get to the bottom of it.
"We've got to use this result as an example or an inspiration between now and the end of the season – to make sure it doesn't happen again.
"Performances like that are unacceptable. We didn't play with any quality and our decision-making was poor, and that's from a team who played very well at the weekend and been on a decent run.
"I'm not going to criticise individual players because that's not my style but we've had words in there.
"Hopefully they'll use it as inspiration because if they don't, one or two might not play for the club again."
Myrie-Williams opened the scoring in the 39th minute and Brandy's close-range header in the second half gave Hereford a two-goal lead to defend, but Leeds were badly punished for Lee Trundle's failure to convert a penalty with the game goalless on 37 minutes.
Grayson said: "Penalty decisions and missed chances are big moments in football matches, and we've got to be more ruthless in both boxes.
"We were put on the back foot when they scored and from then on we never really looked like we were going to create any chances.
"We also can't afford to miss the chances we're missing. That's not a criticism of individual players but it's there and it's a fact.
"I thought we'd turn the corner with performances like this.
"I could accept the players lacking confidence when I first came here after losing five games, but they've won a lot of matches recently and put in a good shift against Huddersfield.
"Tonight it didn't look like the players wanted the ball. They didn't take responsibility to get on it or to do the right things in both boxes.
"When all that comes together, you get a bad night. I'm angry and frustrated by the result because we've had a fantastic following again.
"There's a few knocks in the dressing room but there's more broken pride than anything else. "Performances and results like that are hard to take, especially when your own fans are giving the players some stick. They've got to be big enough to accept that."
With Carl Dickinson returning to Stoke today, United's boss revealed that a number of bids to sign a new right-back on loan had failed before the Hereford game.
Grayson said: "Dickinson's done well for us and if there's any chance of bringing him back in the future then I'd be desperate to do that."

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Yorkshire Evening Post 14/2/09
Clarke header sinks Whites
By Phil Hay
Huddersfield Town 1 Leeds United 0
For the third time in succession, Huddersfield Town cut down Leeds United with a victory which may prove infinitely more precious than their previous two.
A Nathan Clarke header after only 16 minutes decided a predictably full-blooded West Yorkshire derby at the Galpharm Stadium and maintained Huddersfield's recent dominance of their nearby neighbours, fuelling their prospects of qualifying for League One's play-offs.
Six points behind sixth place before kick-off yesterday, the second derby of the season was one that Lee Clark, Huddersfield's manager, could not risk losing. How much value he would have seen in a draw is also debatable. In the end, Clarke's decisive finish secured a result of some importance.
Town's last two wins over Leeds – in April and November of last year – came at times when the club were heading in no discernible direction, but yesterday's win has the potential to begin the sequence of form that Clark requires to bridge carry Town into the play-offs at the end of the season.
Leeds played their part in an entertaining match and were left to rue missed opportunities in both halves – particularly the header from Richard Naylor which struck a post at the death.
But Simon Grayson's players were unable to pressurise Huddersfield into surrendering the lead given to them by centre-back Clarke.
While Huddersfield's manager celebrated one of the better results of his short managerial career, Grayson was forced to assess the damage of a defeat which undid the good work completed on Monday night when an ambitious Millwall team were beaten 2-0 by Leeds at Elland Road.
The promise of United's return to the top six went begging yesterday, much to his frustration.
The burning issue surrounding the match was the three-match suspension incurred by Jermaine Beckford, four days after his misdemeanour in Leeds' victory over Millwall.
The Football Association's insistence that the ban begin immediately estranged the striker from Grayson's squad, a scenario that United's manager had prepared himself for.
From the moment that Beckford was charged with violent conduct for hitting Millwall's David Forde with an elbow, it was clear that he would play no part at Huddersfield, and his ability to create goals from the merest of chances was missed by Leeds yesterday.
Luciano Becchio provided Grayson with a combative replacement, but the absence of Beckford cannot have disappointed Huddersfield's players and staff. He had been notable by his absence from United's starting line-up in the previous two games between the clubs, both of which were won by Town.
Clark felt confident enough about new signing Lukas Jutkiewicz, his recruit on loan from Everton, to blood the striker from the outset, and a positive start from his team was rewarded with a goal after 16 minutes.
A poor clearance from United captain Naylor saw Michael Collins force a corner with a low cross into Casper Ankergren's box, and Grayson's defenders were caught ball-watching as Clarke drove Gary Roberts' delivery into the net from close range.
Huddersfield had enjoyed the better of the game before then, though Leeds might easily have taken the lead 60 seconds before Clarke's header flashed beyond Ankergren.
Andy Robinson cut Town open with a long pass to Lee Trundle on the right wing, and the striker dinked an unselfish pass to Robert Snodgrass, who was unmarked inside the box. Snodgrass' shot lacked power and gave a relieved Alex Smithies the chance to clasp the ball to his chest.
The foray into Huddersfield's box was Leeds' only incisive attack in the opening 20 minutes of the game, though the hectic pace of the game did not lend itself to numerous early chances at either end.
Smithies was called upon to defended Town's lead with two fine saves in the space of a minute as Leeds responded swiftly to Clarke's effort.
The goalkeeper beat away a swerving shot from Robinson and produced an equally impressive parry when Rui Marques headed the resulting corner goalwards. Marques' chance was every bit as good as Clarke's, but Smithies' firm palm kept his clean sheet intact.
Snodgrass forced another opening in the 28th minute when he ran through Clarke and Robbie Williams before lashing the ball over Smithies' crossbar from a position where he should have examined the keeper properly. As he considered the scoreline at half-time, Grayson could hardly claim that his side had lacked opportunities to level Clarke's goal.
United's deficit would have been more severe, though, without the crucial block from Marques which prevented Jutkiewicz from turning a Roberts corner into the net from close range.
And Anthony Pilkington should have scored in the 44th minute when he freed himself from Naylor's clutches and drilled a header over the crossbar.
Clark made a change at the half-time break which was presumably enforced, replacing winger Lionel Ainsworth with Phil Jevons, and Roberts' switch to the left wing removed him from the more prominent attacking position in which he had caused Leeds constant problems in the opening 45 minutes.
Town's grip on possession weakened visibly at the start of a second half which Leeds controlled throughout, and United's pressure saw substitute Jonathan Howson – on for Andrew Hughes – glance an inviting cross from Jonathan Douglas wide of Smithies' right-hand post.
Smithies' diving save kept out a goalbound effort from Robinson on the hour, laid on by Snodgrass' corner.
And when the roles were reversed 12 minutes from time, Smithies' brilliant low block – the best of several saves which justified his man-of-the-match award – prevented Snodgrass from clipping Robinson's through-ball into the net.
Through 10 breathless minutes leading up to full-time, United harried Huddersfield's defence and saw Naylor's header strike the foot of Smithies' post.
But Grayson's players found every avenue barred by a club who have opened the door to the play-offs.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Yorkshire Evening Post 10/2/09
Beckford class makes the difference
By Phil Hay
Aided by an early kick-off in Huddersfield, Leeds United have the opportunity to reassociate themselves with one of League One's top six positions on Saturday.
That prospect would not have been worth the paper it is written on at the start of the season, when United's ambition went far beyond the play-offs, but eight weeks after the managerial transition from Gary McAllister to Simon Grayson, it is precisely where the club need to be.
The chance to take that important step forward was presented to Leeds after their victory over Millwall last night, a game that Grayson hoped would start an ascent up the division which continues unbroken until the end of the term. Unlikely though it seems, 12 league matches have passed since Leeds were last able to call themselves a top-six club, as they may be able to do for a couple of hours on Saturday.
United have been in similar waters before, against the same opposition. When Huddersfield Town visited Elland Road in November, the talk beforehand was of a weekend on which Leeds could temporarily top the division with the assistance of a 12.15pm start and helpful results elsewhere. Their ensuing 2-1 defeat was a missed opportunity which Grayson cannot allow a repeat of at the Galpharm Stadium.
The 39-year-old stressed before kick-off last night the importance to United's league position of pinching points from the clubs directly above them, and his players absorbed his comments readily.
At the end of a physical, fractious and full-blooded game – everything that Leeds and Millwall tend to produce – the value of a 2-0 victory was plain for Grayson to see.
Two goals from Jermaine Beckford separated the teams on another occasion when the striker's ability to twist an even game in United's favour came to the fore. His first goal was vintage Beckford, crashed home from a ridiculous angle, and his second on 90 minutes knocked out a flagging set of visiting players who had expended every ounce of their energy.
The striker's evening was not without its problems, however, and it remains to be seen whether he is hit by any fall-out from an incident in the 65th minute where his elbow connected sharply with the jaw of Millwall goalkeeper David Forde as both players awaited the delivery of a corner.
Beckford was booked by Alan Wiley – a lenient punishment on the basis of television replays – and further disciplinary action will depend on the observations of the Select Group referee in his written report to the Football Association. A suspension of any sort would diminish the merit of Beckford's performance, but hypothetical scenarios were unable to water down the immediate significance of the win he claimed.
After eight days without a fixture – an eternity at a time of the season when games are shoe-horned into every available gap – Grayson restricted himself to one change in reaction to United's 1-0 defeat to Walsall, dropping Bradley Johnson and giving Robert Snodgrass an opportunity which the Scot deserved.
Snodgrass' response was to play a key role in the opening goal on 32 minutes and give United a lead which, while accepted gratefully by Grayson, could not have been described as a reward for the more dominant team.Leeds had come under pressure during a sustained period of possession enjoyed by Millwall prior to Beckford's flamboyant strike, and a goalline clearance from Richard Naylor – the one United player who had stood out before then – epitomised the confidence that Kenny Jackett's players were evidently feeling.
Naylor appeared in a convenient position on 23 minutes, hacking the ball against a post and away to safety after David Martin's cross found the head of Gary Alexander. A touch from Casper Ankergren was no less crucial, and replays displayed the fine margin of United's escape. Wiley's decision to deny a goal was an accurate call, but only just.
Millwall's performance blossomed quickly on the back of that chance but it was from one of their own attacks that Forde found Beckford's finish flashing over his head and nestling into the top corner of his net.
Snodgrass was waiting in midfield to collect a clearance from United's box, and his powerful run through the centre circle left Millwall's retreating players trailing behind him.
The winger's pass out wide to Beckford did not offer an obvious chance to attack Forde, but the striker brought the ball under control and, from an unfavourable angle, whipped a shot over Millwall's keeper and inches under the crossbar.
The shot represented United's second meaningful effort on goal – the other, created by Snodgrass' fourth-minute corner, was headed into the side-netting by Naylor – but it had the effect that Grayson desired, disrupting Millwall's steady flow and instantly relieving the concerns of a slightly twitchy crowd.
Beckford's goal was unquestionably against the run of play. The forward should arguably have scored 23 minutes earlier when a long pass from Andrew Hughes found him unmarked behind Millwall's defence, but Beckford looked as surprised as the crowd to see the lineman keep his flag lowered, and Jackett's players quickly swarmed over him on the edge of the box.
Yet as firm as Millwall's hold on possession was, they did not better Alexander's header before half-time nor create a large amount around that chance.
Adam Bolder and Jimmy Abdou took a tight grip on the centre of midfield, but Beckford's strike released their hold and Jackett's was the more pressing of the two team-talks after 45 minutes. United's feeling of optimism would have been stronger at the break had Andy Robinson's deflected shot looped under the crossbar instead of sinking into the roof of Forde's net.
But Grayson's players reacted gamely to Millwall's aggressive attributes – borne out by uncompromising challenges before and after half-time, several of which were reciprocated – and his defence gave less quarter than they had against Walsall.
The first fixture between the clubs this season – a 3-1 victory for Millwall – hinged on goals from the Londoners either side of half-time, and United's players did not try to deny that they had been bullied into defeat.
Leeds were resistant to Millwall's physicality and willing to engage in the darker side of the fixture. United's win was not quite men against boys, as Robinson had termed their loss at the New Den, but it was a satisfying display of their mettle and spirit.
The slender lead provided by Beckford was threatened briefly by Alexander's 62nd-minute free-kick which would have beaten Ankergren had it not sailed a foot over the bar.
The last word went to Beckford, who anticipated Luciano Becchio's flicked header in injury-time and lashed a left-footed shot past Forde from what might have been an offside position. One score settled with another to come in Huddersfield on Saturday, at the end of what could be a telling week.

ITV 9/2/09
Goal hero Beckford could face punishment
Two-goal hero Jermaine Beckford could face further punishment despite seeing his brace earn Leeds three vital points as they ran out 2-0 winners against fellow League One promotion hopefuls Millwall.
The striker was accused of elbowing Millwall goalkeeper David Forde in the face, causing bruising and a cut.
Beckford was booked in the 65th minute by referee Alan Wiley after the offence had been pointed out by his assistant.
Millwall manager Kenny Jackett said: "I didn't see the offence but I've seen my goalkeeper's jaw and eye and they don't look good. Some key decisions didn't go our way ."
Leeds manager Simon Grayson said: "I will await the referee's report before deciding whether to take any action against Jermaine.
"I didn't see an elbow so I can't comment on it. I would need to see the video, but Jermaine was booked so the referee must have seen something."
A goal in each half by Beckford took his tally for the season to 23 and left Leeds just two points off the top six - as well as delivering a blow to Millwall's hopes of automatic promotion.

Daily Mail 10/2/09
I predict a riot: But the only violence between Leeds and Millwall was on the pitch...
Playing 'Eye of the Tiger' before the start of last night's match between Leeds and Millwall was presumably the Elland Road stadium announcer’s idea of a joke.
If any song is intended to drum up aggression, it is the theme tune to ‘Rocky III’, and if any football fixture conjures up images of violence, it is Leeds United versus Millwall.
We might be in the age of all-seater stadiums, family areas and – shock horror – female sports journalists, but old reputations die hard.
Last time the Lions visited Yorkshire, more than 50 seats were ripped out of the KC Stadium’s North Stand by Millwall fans as Kenny Jackett’s side went down 2-0 to Hull City in the FA Cup.
And when Millwall played at Elland Road in October 2007, six of the buses carrying some of the 800 Millwall fans from Leeds train station to the ground were pummeled with missiles.
Leeds bus firm First were left with a £5,500 bill and 12 arrests were made as Millwall went down 4-2 at Elland Road.
So it was no surprise to hear the reported 340 Millwall fans who made the trip up to Leeds yesterday had to stop in the lorry park area at Woolley Edge Service Station on the M1 between 5pm and 6pm to collect their tickets.
When they finally got to Elland Road, they were ushered in to the stadium and forced to huddle in the corner on bright yellow seats whilst the Leeds faithful, all 19,000 of them, shouted expletives en mass and bellowed ‘Yorkshire’ at them for the first five minutes of them.
So much for a good old-fashioned Yorkshire welcome.
The police presence around Elland Road was understandably strong and highly visible, although I’m not quite sure what the poor, bedraggled PCSO they stuck on his lonesome by the M621 was going to do if it kicked off.
Hundreds of officers in florescent yellow jackets swarmed around the Billy Bremner statue, backed up by policemen and women on horseback and support vehicles parked in side roads.
Fans in and around the ground seemed to think the 7.45pm start, live TV screening on Sky Sports and the freezing temperatures would dissuade the thugs from rearing their bald, ugly heads, but nobody was quite sure.
There was a worrying sense of unease, a nervousness about the place, exacerbated by the strutting bravado of young lads who have never known what it is like to go to an away ground and be treated like an animal.
Football hooliganism belongs to a different era, and that was what was most unsettling about Elland Road on Monday night. The chance of violence, the police horses, the perceived animosity - it all seemed archaic, a throwback.
Leeds boss Simon Grayson admitted ‘Leeds-Millwall has a little bit of extra metal about it’ and, in his programme notes, chairman Ken Bates made the wry observation that we could ‘expect a full-blooded encounter’.
Thankfully, the 'thrill of the fight' was confined to the pitch.

Leeds United 2 Millwall 0: Controversial Beckford let-off lifts play-off push
Jermaine Beckford's double strike maintained Leeds' push for the League One play-offs but the striker was lucky to stay on the pitch after elbowing Millwall goalkeeper David Forde on the chin in a penalty-box scuffle.
Referee Alan Wiley did not see the incident but, after conferring with his linesman, he gave Leeds' top scorer only a yellow card.
'Nothing happened,' claimed Beckford, who made it 2-0 in stoppage time, racing away to score his 23rd goal of the season with a left-footed strike from just inside the box.
Beckford's let-off meant the referee had twice come to the home side's rescue in a feisty match at Elland Road.
The first incident came in the 23rd minute, when David Martin's deep cross found Gary Alexander at the far post.
Alexander's shot was well blocked by goalkeeper Casper Ankergren at close range, but it cannoned off the post and Richard Naylor cleared off the line.
Millwall thought the ball had crossed the line but Wiley awarded Leeds a free-kick for an Alexander foul on Ankergren.
Leeds broke through after 32 minutes when Robert Snodgrass brought the ball out of his own half and fed Beckford on the edge of the Millwall box.
The forward cut inside and his curling shot dipped just inside the top left corner.
Beckford then squandered a great chance to make the game safe in the dying minutes - blasting over when substitute Luciano Becchio squared the ball to him in space - but he made up for his mistake in stoppage time.
Leeds manager Simon Grayson claimed he did not see Beckford's clash with Forde and added: 'It's a big result for us because Millwall were one of the teams above us and we needed to close the gap to them.
'Beckford is a big player for us - when you score that amount of goals and can produce things out of nothing it makes all the difference.'

Sunday, February 08, 2009

New pages uploaded at

Here’s the story of the two remarkable end of season double headers in 1970 against Celtic and Chelsea as United sought valiantly for the impossible treble.

1 April 1970 – United 0 Celtic 1

Dubbed the Battle of Britain, United met Celtic at Elland Road intent on building up a winning first leg lead in the European Cup semi final but it didn't work out that way as Stein's men shone

Read the full story at

11 April 1970 – United 2 Chelsea 2

United wiped out grim memories of their previous Wembley finals by turning on the magic against Chelsea, but even Eddie Gray's wonder show could not bring home the bacon

Read the full story at

15 April 1970 – Celtic 2 United 1

Billy Bremner scored a stunning equaliser for United in the cauldron of Hampden, but another mastro's performance from Jinky Johnstone inspired a winning Celtic display

Read the full story at

29 April 1970 – United 1 Chelsea 2

It was the last chance saloon for United's extraordinary season as they played out the dirtiest final ever against fierce London rivals but in the end there were only thoughts of what might have been

Read the full story at

Friday, February 06, 2009

Yorkshire Evening Post 6/2/09
Liam's still a Whites target
By Phil Hay
Simon Grayson has confirmed that Liam Dickinson remains a target for Leeds United despite their failed bid to sign the striker from Derby County earlier this week.
Dickinson was denied a move to Elland Road when his proposed switch from Pride Park missed Monday's transfer deadline, but Grayson is set to use the Football League's emergency loan market to secure the 23-year-old's services later this month.
Leeds and Derby agreed a deal which would have allowed Dickinson to join United on loan until the end of their League One campaign, but the transfer fell through after paperwork sent from Elland Road arrived with the Football League 14 minutes after Monday's 5pm deadline.
The January window was the final opportunity for clubs in England to agree permanent transfers and long-term loans, but the Football League's flexibility in allowing short-term temporary deals to be struck outside that window will give Leeds the chance to add to their squad from the beginning of next week.
Dickinson could join Leeds for a maximum of 93 days under Football League rules – potentially long enough to secure him for the League One play-offs if United delay his arrival until the relevant date – and Derby chairman Adam Pearson has confirmed that his club are still willing to sanction the forward's transfer to Leeds.
Grayson said: "It was one of those deals that came up late in the day and an opportunity I thought we should try and take. Unfortunately we didn't get him. Talks are ongoing and I'd like to think that if he had a choice of clubs then Leeds would be top of his priority list.
"Having worked with the player in the past, I understand him and he understands me so we've got chance of doing that deal, but no deal is ever secure until it's been signed, sealed and delivered.
"It's one where we'll again be exploring the option of bringing him in."
Ex-Stockport County player Dickinson played under Grayson while on loan at Blackpool from Derby earlier in the season, and the striker's temporary spell at Bloomfield Road was still in full flow when Grayson left to become United's new manager two days before Christmas.
Grayson is keen to secure a new striker after Bristol City rebuffed Leeds' attempt to extend Lee Trundle's loan deal until the end of the season, though the Championship club are indicating that Trundle will be given permission to remain with United for a further four weeks when his initial month-long agreement expires after Monday's match against Millwall.
Grayson said: "I worked with Liam at Blackpool and he's scored many goals in the last few years.
"He got his move to Derby (from Stockport) and I thought he'd be a good addition to our squad. I was disappointed not to have got him but we'll have to wait and see what happens over the next few weeks."
Dickinson scored 33 goals in 57 league starts for Stockport before joining Derby last summer, but he has not made a first-team appearance for his parent club.
The forward began this season on loan at Huddersfield Town, making 13 outings and scoring six goals.