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Monday, November 30, 2009

Big Match Review - Kettering 1 Leeds 1

FA Cup
Kettering Town 1-1 Leeds United
Sunday November 29, Rockingham Road, (Att: 4,837)

Jermaine Beckford's goal 13 minutes from time rescued profligate Leeds from a giant killing at the hands of Kettering in the FA Cup second round.

A second half goal from Ian Roper had threatened to cause an upset but the two sides will now be forced to meet again at Elland Road for the right to meet Manchester United in the next round.

Leeds will feel they should have already had the job done though. After dominating proceedings early on at Rockingham Road they were unfortunate not to go ahead when John Dempster blocked Richard Snodgrass's header on the line.

Then it was the turn of the woodwork to deny the Whites with Jermaine Beckford's strike coming back off the crossbar and Snodgrass hitting the outside of the post with the rebound.

Kettering, under the player-management of goalkeeper Lee Harper, were struggling to really cause any problems up front themselves and had to rely again on Dempster to block a stinging shot from Mike Grella to keep things level.

The visitors began the second half where they left off in the first and only more heroic defending, this time from Sol Davies, stopped United taking the lead through a Snodgrass effort.

However, it was the Kettles who took the lead against the run of play. Just after the hour mark an inswinging free-kick found Roper who beat Leeds keeper Casper Ankergren to the ball to head into an unguarded net.

Simon Grayson's men responded and were twice denied by reflex saves from Harper in the Town goal to thwart first Jason Crowe and then Michael Doyle.

However, the manager was eventually beaten when neat play found Snodgrass in space and his low centre driven across goal was flicked in by Beckford.

And Leeds could have won it late on when captain Jonny Howson's mazy run ended with him poking a shot narrowly wide of the Kettering upright as both sides were forced into a replay in West Yorkshire.

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