LUFC Season review 2009/10 - May
We now moved into May and the final few games of the season as Leeds pushed for the final automatic promotion place.
It would all go down to the final game of the season on an afternoon when every Leeds fans bit their nails down to their elbows.
Leeds started the month with a tricky clash at Charlton Athletic but knew if results went their way they could be promoted.
Midfielder Andy Robinson was enjoying a loan spell at Tranmere Rovers and he was doing his best to help out the Whites. He scored for Rovers and also earned a penalty as the beat Leeds nearest rivals Millwall 2-0 at Prenton Park.
With the news filtering through to Simon Grayson at the Valley he went for broke with five strikers on the pitch as the game entered the final quarter.
Unfortunately, Leeds were undone in the final few minutes when Richard Naylor headed through his own goal to give the Addicks a 1-0 win.
It would now go down to the final game of the season against Bristol Rovers at Elland Road.
With the season still not finished, Leeds are already making plans for the flowing season and announce a home friendly with Wolves at the end of July.
A full house at Elland Road, welcomes the players into the final day of the season with their destiny still in their own hands, a victory would guarantee promotion.
Simon Grayson recalls leading goalscorer Jermaine Beckford to the side and also gives him the captain`s armband with Richard Naylor missing through injury.
The game sprang into life around the half hour mark, Jermaine Beckford was disappointed to see his strike ruled out for offside and almost immediately Max Gradel was given a straight red card for an off the ball incident to leave Leeds with an uphill task.
It was made even worse in the opening few minutes of the second half when the visitors took the lead through Darryl Duffy.
John Howson was introduced from the bench and the Leeds lad brought the side back on level terms with a superb curling strike from the edge of the area on the hour mark.
Within four minutes Leeds had turned the game round when Johnson`s scuffed shot fell to Beckford who pounced to lift the roof off Elland Road and put Leeds on the verge of promotion.
Leigh Bromby almost gave Leeds a 3-1 lead soon afterwards but his header came back off the post.
The referee eventually ended the game and Leeds fans invaded the pitch to celebrate with the players after a rollercoaster of a season, finally saw Leeds promoted back to the Championship.
Leeds held their awards dinner the same evening and defender Patrick Kisnorbo cleaned up taking the Player and Players player of the season awards.
Jermaine Beckford got the goal of the season for his never to be forgotten winning goal at Old Trafford against Manchester United in the FA Cup in January.
Johnny Howson who scored the critical equaliser is rewarded with a new extended contract. He signs for another season, keeping him at the club until at least 2012.
Leeds once again top the average attendance charts for the third season in a row, with an average of 24,817 fans coming through the gates of Elland Road for each game.
Simon Grayson announces his released and retained list from the current squad. Casper Ankergren, Rui Marques and Andrew Milne are all released from the club whilst Andy Hughes and Jermaine Beckford are offered new contracts.
Grayson also tells Andy Robinson, Lubomir Michalik, Tresor Kandol and Alan Sheehan to actively look for new clubs over the summer.
Leeds release a remixed version of the clubs anthem Leeds, Leeds, Leeds into the pop charts and it equals the record of the original in the 1972 season when it reaches a high of number ten in the charts.
Max Gradel is handed an additional one game ban for his final game of the season sending off.
Gradel refused to leave the pitch after his dismissal and will now miss the opening four games of the 2010/11 season.
Andy Hughes signs a new one-year contract with the club after being offered a new deal at the end of the season.
Leeds announces their first signing of the summer with the capture of goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel from Notts County in a two-year deal.
Slovakia will be the overseas destination for Leeds in pre season with two games arranged against MFK Ruzomberok and MFK Kosice in mid July.
They also announce a friendly in Norway against SK Lyn Oslo for the end of July.
This game eventually is postponed after the Norwegian club fall into financial difficulty. The fixture is replaced with a game still in Norway against SK Brann.
Leeds decide to release Jermaine Beckford from his contract as it is obvious that the leading goalscorer as no intention of signing a new contract.
This brings to an end a rollercoaster ten months that have seen Leeds storm away at the top of League One in the first half of the season only to suffer from the legendary 'blip` that almost sees them facing the dreaded play offs again.
The cup competitions will also be remembered, a spirited Carling Cup performance against Liverpool sees them narrowly lose 1-0.
In the Johnstone`s Paint Trophy they reach the Northern Final before losing on penalties to Carlisle United.
In the FA Cup, Leeds are global news as they cause the shock of the round in round three when they travel to Old Trafford and beat old enemies Manchester United 1-0.
In round four they once again go close to knocking out a top Premiership side. Beckford scores twice as the hold Spurs to a 2-2 draw at White Hart Lane.
They eventually bow out in the replay 3-1 as Jermain Defoe scores a hat trick at Elland Road.
We can now look forward to the 2010/11 season that kicks off this weekend against Derby County and most probably another rollercoaster ride as it`s never dull when you follow Leeds United.
Enjoy the season.
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