Leeds held by ten man Northampton
Saturday, 8th Nov 2008 22:37
Leeds United 1 Northampon Town 1
When the Cobblers went down to ten men as early as the 26th minute Leeds looked odd-on favourites to win the tie, but a determined Northampton held on, and Leeds must travel down to a replay at Sixfields on Tuesday week.
Gary Mc.Allister wanted to field a near full-strength team for this game, but Beckford cried off with a groin strain shortly before kick-off. That left Becchio as a lone central striker in a 4-3-3 formation, with Snodgrass and Robinson as specialist wingers on either side.
Leeds began well, but Northampton showed their battling qualities as Coke launched into a dreadful tackle on Ben Parker. The ref must have considered giving him a straight red, and might have done had it been later in the game, but for the time being he decided that a yellow card was sufficient.
Though Leeds had most of the possession in the early stages it was the Cobblers who took take the lead with their first attack in the ninth minute. Gilligan was allowed to run free down their left flank, and after our ex-striker Constantine challenged Lubo the ball ran through to an unmarked Mc.Gleish, who tucked it past Casper.
Leeds continued to put them under pressure, with Telfer having a header cleared off the line, although Northampton had the ball in the net for a second time, only to be denied by a linesman’s flag. Then came the incident that should have ensured that Leeds would go on to win the game. Delph was in full flight when Coke pulled him down from behind, and duly received his second yellow card.
From then on Leeds had even more of the play, and the referee handed us a lifeline in the 37th. minute, when Howson’s leg was clipped as he went past Hughes in the box, and he took another step before he lost his balance and went down. Northampton boss Stuart Gray later complained that the award was generous, but a penalty it was, and Robinson casually stepped up to hammer it into the top corner.
We made one more decent opportunity before the break, with Robinson hammering a shot against the post from outside the area, and the one-way traffic continued after the break, with Snodgrass also sending a fierce shot against the post after cutting in from the right hand side. But from this point on we seemed to be running out of ideas as to how to break down a determined Northampton defence, and we seemed to hit an awful lot of shots straight at the goalkeeper.
Showumni came on for Howson as Macca tried to force a breakthrough and he showed a couple of decent touches in a very crowded penalty area. He also appealed for a penalty after going down in the box, but the referee decided that one spot kick would be quite enough, and waved his claims away.
We had one final chance right at the end, when Becchio was pushed just outside the area, but although Robinson managed to chip the free kick over the wall, his shot lacked the power to beat Fielding, and the keeper was able to save quite comfortably. And that was about it, and we now have another cup game to fit into our tight schedule. If we’re going to get through this tie we’re going to have to show a lot more penetration when it comes to the replay.
Photo: Action Images
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