Beckford silences Spurs
Leeds earn replay in White Hart Lane thriller
By Chris Burton. Last Updated: 24/01/10 6:37pm
Beckford: Cup hero
Jermaine Beckford was the hero once again for Leeds as they held Tottenham to a 2-2 draw in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Peter Crouch fired Spurs in front during an enthralling encounter at White Hart Lane but the Whites, who saw off Manchester United in round three, hit back through hot-shot striker Beckford.
Roman Pavlyuchenko then stepped off the bench to edge the hosts back in front, but Beckford kept his composure in the dying seconds to rifle home from the spot and book a replay.
Spurs burst out the blocks, looking to stamp their authority on proceedings from the off, and the visitors threatened to wilt under intense pressure early on.
With just eight minutes on the clock, Leeds Academy product Danny Rose, on his first senior start for Tottenham, was felled by a reckless challenge from Michael Doyle and Alan Wiley pointed to the spot.
Jermain Defoe's spot kick was poor, though, and Casper Ankergren was able to spring to his left and divert the ball to safety.
Leeds did come into the game as the half wore on, with Jermaine Beckford going close on a couple of occasions, but it was Spurs who broke the deadlock three minutes before the interval.
Ankergren could only parry a scuffed shot from Niko Kranjcar on this occasion and Crouch was on hand to instinctively knock the ball into an empty net from close range.
Leeds responded in style after the break, proving that they are more than capable of holding their own against illustrious opposition.
Their hard work was then rewarded on 52 minutes when Spurs failed to deal with a corner and Beckford was in the right place at the right time to bundle the ball over the line.
Spurs looked to have had the last word when Russian striker Pavlyuchenko gave a timely reminder of his talents on 75 minutes as he rounded off a flowing move by firing into the bottom corner.
Beckford, though, had other ideas and he lashed into the top corner from the penalty spot deep into injury time after being felled by Michael Dawson.
Getting back to the top of League One may be the priority for Simon Grayson's men with Norwich overtaking them earlier in the day but the cup is providing a wonderful distraction and they will be encouraged by another battling performance and their goalkeeper being in top form.
The first half was simply a case of whether Spurs could find a way past Ankergren, a week after Hull City's Boaz Myhill single-handedly denied them victory with a goalkeeping masterclass.
Ankergren's performance came against a strong Spurs line-up with only Vedran Corluka rested and youngster Rose given a chance to impress against his former club in his first start for his new employers.
Rose's selection can be interpreted as a blow for David Bentley. Spurs boss Harry Redknapp hinted at the midfielder lacking effort in training on the eve of the match, he was not included in the matchday squad and did not watch from the bench like injured team-mates Aaron Lennon and Tom Huddlestone.
They watched Spurs apply heavy pressure in the opening stages and it needed Ankergren to be at his best.
The Danish shot-stopper was first required to tip over the crossbar from Defoe when the England striker latched on to Dawson's clearance and took the ball around Leigh Bromby with his head.
Then Niko Kranjcar was denied when Ankergren parried his long-range drive - but there was more to come from the Leeds No.1 after Rose was fouled by Doyle in the penalty area, a clumsy challenge from the midfielder.
Defoe took the spot-kick and Ankergren leapt to his left to make a one-handed save.
Ankergren also stopped a free-kick from Gareth Bale, and even when he fumbled a Kranjcar set-piece, Patrick Kisnorbo scrambled it clear with a brave block.
Spurs felt they should have had a second penalty when Defoe raced through and Jason Crowe brought him down, with Alan Wiley deciding the defender played the ball.
With Ankergren to thank for keeping the scores level - and Wiley's decision - Leeds then threatened to open the scoring at the other end. Robert Snodgrass made a yard of room on the edge of the area and his curling effort stretched Heurelho Gomes.
Beckford had an even better chance on the half-hour mark, using his body to turn Dawson but flashing his left-footed finish wide of the target.
Three minutes later he got one on target, after Snodgrass looped a ball over for him, with Gomes required to block his powerful volley.
Crouch made Leeds pay for their wastefulness when he struck three minutes before the break. The move started when Bale beat Jonathan Howson on the left and pulled the ball back for Kranjcar.
Inevitably, after his stunning first half, Ankergren saved but the ball fell for Crouch to tap in.
Jermaine Jenas presented a glorious opportunity to Leeds in the first minute of the second half with a sloppy backpass but Beckford's touch was too heavy when he tried to take the ball around Gomes.
But the 26-year-old made no mistake with his next chance. Bromby flicked on Snodgrass' corner and Jenas should have cleared, allowing Beckford to prod over the line.
It was his 21st of the season and another reason why Premier League clubs have been looking to sign him next season once his contract at Elland Road runs out.
It added to the cracking cup-tie atmosphere - and chances kept being created.
Sebastien Bassong headed straight at Ankergren, then Snodgrass went wide at the other end.
Redknapp's response was to take off Crouch and Kranjcar for Robbie Keane and Pavlyuchenko, with the Russian scoring with his first chance.
Wilson Palacios shifted the ball inside, Pavlyuchenko dummied and Defoe sent the ball through for him to slot past Ankergren.But there was a final twist, with Dawson fouling Beckford in the penalty area with stoppage-time running out and the Leeds player smashed home the penalty.
|Tottenham Hotspur||Team Statistics||Leeds United|
|1||1st Half Goals||0|
|13||Shots on Target||5|
|3||Shots off Target||4|
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