Derby County 0 : Leicester City 1 – 17th August 2013

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Well. This was my first grand day out as a solo season ticket holder, seeing as we were visiting the folks anyway for the Blackburn game. And a pretty eventful day it was. A fire evacuation at St Pancras, a disappointing result, a nasty incident after the game and a rather decent Chinese takeaway (sourced from 2 different locations) when I got back home to Watford. I really was living life on the edge.

I have to say it was a great feeling sitting in the newly renamed Gordon Guthrie Stand, what an ovation he had at half time and what a great tribute from the club. Who says football has lost it’s soul?

I underestimated how good Leicester were. There was me thinking, “They’ve not bought anyone in the close season, the money tap’s been turned off and surely there’s going to be some sort of hangover from that traumatic play off defeat against ahem.. Watford. We’ll beat them easily”. No. They were just as good as us, very organised and physical. Wes Morgan was outstanding in defence, an absolute rock but also good with his distribution. They harried and chased us all over the pitch, forcing basic errors from us throughout the game. Vardy, Wood and the grinning, bequiffed Nugent also caused us numerous problems.

Our defence looked very hesitant and Keogh looked all over the place at times. Probably a game that he’ll want to forget. Does that mean we need a new centre half though? Probably not. We didn’t lose because of the defence. I’m led to understand that we were playing a 4-1-2-1-2 formation. Well, I could see that Hughes was playing just behind the strikers but I couldn’t work out where Jeff, Bryso and Coutts were playing. Or indeed what they were doing. Perhaps we got the tactics wrong this time and didn’t change things around until it was too late. We definitely had a better second half.

Russell did well I thought, he had a few good spells and caused their defence a bit of trouble, but as Clough has said, he clearly does need time to adapt to this league. Hughes was our best player by far, always willing to get forward, receive the ball and play it simply. He should have done better though when through on goal. Forsyth put some good crosses in and had a good chance to equalise but his distribution was lax at times. Freeman was excellent, getting in some great attacking positions. Adam Smith must wonder why Clough brought him in on loan. I’m beginning to wonder myself. 

I thought Martin had a good game, I’m beginning to warm to him. There were some comments on twitter about him diving and falling over a lot. Well, I think that’s fair comment about a few incidents but, in the main, I reckon he just holds the ball up well and annoys defenders into fouling him. He’s certainly got more skill on the ball than most Championship strikers.

So there we go. A frustrating result but on another day we might have got a point out of it or even a win. Leicester will certainly be in and around the play off positions in May. And so will we. Let’s move on.

On last thing. I’ve not seen any violence at (or near) a football match for a while. As I walked back disconsolately to the station I saw a few running battles between rival “fans” near the Harvester. One Leicester fan was being punched repeatedly while on the floor. He seemed pretty ok by the time I got there but a bit further on another fan was lying on the pavement unconscious. There were quite a few fans around him and there was a lot of anger at the police when they eventually arrived. They had a point. Plenty of police at the station and at the ground but none in between? I think they need to review that when Leeds and Forest come visiting.

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