Leeds United 1 Derby County 1: YEP Jury verdict

Aidan White on the run against Derby County.
Aidan White on the run against Derby County.
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Our YEP jurors have their say on United’s final day 1-1 draw with Derby

Keith Ingham

Age: 52

United fan for: 38 years

Lives: Keighley

Finally, after 11 attempts, which include a League cup defeat, Leeds finally stopped the incredible run of defeats against Derby County with a 1-1 draw.

Brian McDermott kept faith with the team that beat relegation-threatened Birmingham 3-1 but Aidy White was given a place on the substitutes’ bench.

Derby started well and on six minutes claimed the first goal when Dawkins capitalised on defensive disarray in United’s penalty box and it gifted the Rams’ an opening goal. The goal typified how Leeds have defended for the season. A Sunday League defence would have done better than the professionals in the United defence.

The goal seemed to spark the home side into life and Matt Smith brought a tremendous save from Grant to keep his side in front.

Then a moment when time stood still, Michael Brown strode purposely forward and unleashed a shot that brought the best out of Grant in the Derby goal.

Leeds played with purpose and only the Derby keeper kept Leeds from levelling the score. A good half from Leeds.

With the half-time beverages still being enjoyed, myself included, Matt Smith drew Leeds level with an accomplished finish, 1-1. With Michael Brown in inspired form, Will Hughes struggled to get the upper hand in midfield as the 37-year-old held the upper hand. It was a brilliant performance from him.

Leeds pressed Derby to get the win that the fans wanted but the final ball just wasn’t good enough.

The effort was to be applauded at the end as the near thirty thousand sang their support. It was definitely not an end-of-season game as both teams tried to get the winning goal.

As Leeds probed with the outlet usually being Aidy White, a second-half substitute for Murphy.

The chance for Ross McCormack to get to 30 goals arrived but when the ball found him at the back post he headed it into the Derby keeper’s awaiting arms.

Leeds still pressed and although Matt Smith battled for every ball, Leeds could not finish the campaign with a home win.

This was a good performance from the team and without doubt the season has ended on a plus note, with only one defeat in five games. A very busy summer awaits and with moderate investment I’m sure that we can, after a few years of mediocrity strive to get back to the place all of us fans think we need to be.

An eventful season to say the least but one I’ll not remember for the right reasons.

Man of the match: Michael Brown, a very impressive display from the midfield man.

Gary Newbould

Age: 42

United fan for 41 years

Lives: York

United brought their Championship season to a close with a creditable draw against play-off bound Derby County and in doing so ended an amazing run of ten successive defeats against the Rams.

The pre-match minute’s silence was impeccably observed by all inside Elland Road as a fitting mark of respect for the horrific events that took place in Leeds earlier in the week.

The early minutes were all too familiar as the Whites (and in particular their defence) seemed to be still in the dressing rooms as Dawkins put the visitors ahead after just five minutes. With Derby looking very much a team hungry for more goals those inside Elland Road feared the worst. However after around 15 minutes, United came back into the game and enjoyed a much greater share of possession and in particular Matt Smith looked a constant threat and Michael Brown dominated the highly acclaimed Will Hughes in midfield.

Four minutes after the break a clever Ross McCormack through ball allowed Matt Smith to finish with aplomb for his 13th goal of the season. Ross McCormack then had several half chances to reach 30 goals for the season, but to no avail.

Yet another fantastic crowd of almost 30,000 showed up yet again.

Next season we expect the team to do similar every week.

Man of the match: The loyal hordes, as ever.

Elliot Bransby

Age: 24

United fan for 18 years

Lives: Alwoodley

Three things came to end this weekend.

The draw brought to an end a dismal run against Derby that had seen the Rams win the previous ten meetings.

The season came to an end which started with high hopes but then what happened after Christmas was just simply unacceptable and I dread to think where we would have been without Ross McCormack.

Finally, this is my last article and my jury role has come to an end. Whether it’s been my opinion, stats or some humour I hope you all have enjoyed reading and it’s been an honour and a privilege to write. Big changes are expected in the summer but roll on next season, I can’t wait!

Man of the match: Matt Smith.

Michael Hemsworth

Age: 29

United fan for 18 years

Lives: Leeds

I don’t think I have ever looked forward to a summer break from football as much as I have this year. This wretched season is over at last! Matt Smith’s goal was an excellent finish, created by a wonderful touch from Ross McCormack. Here’s to a successful summer of rebuilding.

Man of the match: Ross McCormack.

Stephen Clark

Age: 41

United fan for 23 years

Lives: Shipley

For a change it was a pleasure to be at Elland Road as an enjoyable game of football took place instead of the turgid fare of most of the season. After a shaky opening, Leeds not only got to grips with Derby, but for long periods of the game were far superior to a side who have an eye on the Premier League.

In the forward areas Matt Smith was nigh on unplayable, and had a composed finish for Leeds’ equaliser. Ross McCormack didn’t reach the 30 goal landmark, but showed a unselfish streak as he saw the need for Leeds to win the game as more important.

It’s over to Signor Cellino to now produce us a team on the pitch.

Men of the match: Matt Smith and Michael Brown.

Jonathan Ford

Age: 23

United fan for 19 years

Lives: Beeston

Well, that brings the curtain down on a topsy turvy, sometimes ridiculous season. We deserved the three points, and optimism starts here. Congratulations on the player of the year, Ross McCormack, fully deserved! Roll on next season.

Man of the match: Michael Brown.

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