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Could it be the battle of the roses once more?

As I emerged from my extended hiding under the covers, I removed my ear plugs and flicked on the TV to discover that another upset was avoided!

Despite doing our best by missing 24 chances on goal and gifting Kettering the opener just after the hour with an Ian Roper header, Leeds fought on and got an equaliser and a draw.


61% of possession was also not enough to guarantee a win, but unlike Histon last year, once we went a goal behind, we never gave up. We kept pressing and pressing and got an equaliser from Jermaine Beckford with 13 minutes to go.

Once I saw this result and saw the highlights I was a mightily relieved man. I couldn't bare the thought of another Histon.

Based on what I saw if this was a trial the Leeds players would've been up for murder as they were killing Kettering. But they couldn't finish the job, so probably would've ended up with a GBH charge instead.

But I would've taken a draw happily before the game as with our amazing home form, we should win the replay in just over a weeks time. Please God.

Another incentive for a victory over the poppies of Kettering came in the draw for the third round.

Watching it live, my heart seemed to stop as every ball was pulled out, thinking this our one. I still get nervous watching the draw, probably for the fear of getting another non league team ready to upset you again.


As Arsenal ladies footballer Kelly Smith played with the balls (i know, childish) with Sir Steve Redgrave, one by one they were pulled out and still no Leeds.

All this time i had my eye on the 'numbers to watch' and slap bang at the top was 23, Manchester United.

In what seemed an eternity we were down to four balls. One was Leeds/Kettering, one crucially was Man United.

And as the penultimate draw was made, Leeds was still in the hat, as was Man United. If my heart stopped before the draw, it was threatening to explode now.

We had been drawn away to Manchester United. The war of the roses is on.


The fierce rivalry that hasn't been re-ignited since 2004 in the premiership could be started again.

This I know will have sent all Leeds fans into delirium. The propsect of re-living the amazing matches from the past. The chance to go back to Old Trafford again, to see the proud white shirts walk out onto the pitch at the 'theatre of dreams' (yuck). I almost shed a tear.

I felt after 5 years of heartache, this was the first step back. Getting the name of Leeds United known again for all the right reasons.

We showed what we could do against Liverpool in the Carling Cup. Praised for our fans, our players, our manager, our spirit, we could once more show the world that Leeds United are on the way back.


We may be a league one team but thats what makes this game even better. Theres no pressure, we can go there do our best, hear our wonderful fans sing their hearts out and show that even though people took great pride in kicking us while we were down, that we are Leeds United and we will never be defeated.

Only slight problem with this plan, is that we have to beat Kettering in the replay first. Bugger. It's never simple.

As a Leeds fan writing this blog I always try to maintain a impartial view on our games and how they could go but on this occasion,I am changing my tune.

To all the footballing gods, you have been cruel to this club for many years now, for once we are showing signs of improvement by being top of our league, but i beg of you. Please let us win against Kettering at Elland Road and give us, the fans, the chance of starting once again the fine rivalry that every Leeds fan and Manchester United fan wants.

For that reason for one night only, every Leeds fan and Manchester United fan will be cheering on Leeds next tuesday to victory. Then it'll be game on once more.

So everyone from both sides of the pennines, for the one and only time, pray for a Leeds win. I want it, you want it, lets get this game on!