Will late Freedman strike put Leeds United back on course?

The League One playoffs jumped into life tonight with a pulsating game between Leeds United and Carlisle United at Elland Road.  I was set to start to draw parallels between us being 2-0 up after the away leg at Yeovil last season, and of course ultimately failing dismally, which would have offered Leeds some solace for their trip to Bruton Park.  However, a goal in the sixth minute of added time (only four were added, mind!) by Dougie Freedman perhaps gives Leeds renewed hope.

Westwood in the Carlisle goal was undoubtedly man of the match, he kept out a plethora of Leeds chances which would have put the game well beyond doubt despite goals from Danny Graham and Marc Bridge-Wilkinson that looked to be giving the Cumbrians a surprising 2-0 lead to take back with them to the north.  A surprising turn of form for them given their remarkable collapse in the final stages of the regular league season (much to our benefit!).

Following on from the somewhat disappointing first semi-final between Southend and Doncaster, it’s been good to see some decent end-to-end football; controversy wasn’t far away – not least with the amount of time allowed at the end of the game – it leaves a tantalising fixture for the return game, Carlisle won’t feel comfortable to sit on their lead, and of course Leeds will need to attack to overturn the existing deficit.  After both first legs it remains in the balance which sides will be battling out for the final promotion spot at Wembley.

I can only reiterate what a relief it is to watch the playoffs as pretty much a neutral; whilst many folk I know are clamouring to see Leeds lose, I find myself just out for seeing a decent game of football to be honest – and tonight that’s certainly what I’ve seen – and I’m hoping for more in the next leg!

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