Guiseley 2 Leeds United 3 - Crysencio Summerville the star pupil as Whites youngsters, away fans and Adam Forshaw share jubilant return
February 2020 at Hull City; the last time Leeds United’s fans cheered on their side as an away contingent inside another team’s ground.
Ah, but were there not Whites fans dotted around Southampton and also Chelsea as home supporters twice returned in the ongoing battle against coronavirus?
Maybe. But not like this. This was official. This was normality returned. Supporters, home and away, a full ground.
Not a Premier League ground, far from it, non league Guiseley’s Nethermoor Park.
But the significance of Tuesday night’s friendly felt huge and as the wider world looked to a normal future, United’s fans were also given an insight into the future stars of their football club.
With Leeds facing four friendlies in five days, United sent out an under-23s side at Guiseley and the club’s youngsters shone in an exciting 3-2 victory.
Yet even as normality returned, the first friendly of the summer was not without its drama.
With barely a soul at Nethermoor and fans no doubt either hurrying to finish work or enjoying a pre-match pint, an almighty storm broke out over Guiseley around three hours before kick off.
Several inches of water quickly built up on the roads and on the tarmac areas around the ground and it soon became apparent that it could be problematic.
However, stellar work from Guiseley’s staff and a rapid clean-up operation ensured that, when the bulk of fans arrived, there was no sign of any storm at all.
Even then, whether it was connected to the weather or otherwise, news emerged that kick off would be delayed by 15 minutes, reportedly because of heavy traffic.
When Leeds finally did arrive, there were none of the usual famous first-team faces on show.
No Kalvin Phillips, no Patrick Bamford, no Raphinha or record signing Rodrigo.
That ought to come with tonight’s next friendly at Blackburn Rovers.
There was one first teamer - the back-to-fitness Adam Forshaw who has endured a torrid time due to a hip problem but found himself on the bench.
Leeds then announced when unveiling their team that 23s boss Mark Jackson would be taking charge of a side that featured the likes of exciting young talents Joe Gelhardt, Sam Greenwood, Crysencio Summerville and summer recruit Amari Miller.
Would Whites head coach Marcelo Bielsa even be there? Of course he would and the Argentinian was given a huge cheer as he made his way to the dugout in addition to Jackson.
Within 17 minutes, Bielsa and Jackson saw Leeds go ahead through a Summerville penalty.
The tricky Dutchman won the spot kick after being tripped following some nifty footwork and Summerville coolly slotted home the penalty into the bottom-left corner.
Guiseley drew level just seven minutes later as Kaine Felix broke clear down the right-hand side and sent in a low cross that Bailey Thompson side footed past Elia Caprile.
The rest of the half became the Sam Greenwood free-kick show as the Whites won three set-pieces on the edge of the box.
Greenwood took them all and sent the first two over before the third hit the wall and Miller scooped the rebound over.
But Greenwood made it fourth time lucky when curling a rasping effort into the top-left corner.
The strike put the Whites 2-1 up at the break but Leeds were dealt a blow shortly after the restart when Gelhardt took a knock and hobbled off injured to be replaced by Max Dean.
As one Whites player went off with an injury, another one came back from one as first-team midfielder Forshaw was brought on to huge cheers on the hour mark, replacing the excellent Jack Jenkins in the holding midfield role.
As Guiseley looked to draw level, the second half for a Leeds side marshalled by captain Charlie Cresswell became about digging in and Forshaw looked in good shape.
With seven minutes left, Leeds opened up a two-goal cushion as more superb skill from Summerville took him to the byline to provide the opportunity to send in a low cross from which substitute Charlie Allen could not miss.
Guiseley pulled a goal back within 60 seconds as Lewis Hey slammed home from a tight angle after Caprile’s initial save.
The strike set up a grandstand finish but United’s young side held firm to ensure pre-season began with a win.
The kids - and Forshaw - are alright, and at long last United's fans got to see it on their travels.
Leeds United v Guiseley: Caprile, Drameh, McCarron, Jenkins, Cresswell, Kenneh, Summerville, McKinstry, Gelhardt, Greenwood, Miller. Subs: Van Den Heuvel, Forshaw, Allen, Moore, Dean.
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Thank you Laura Collins