Kettering Town 1-1 Leeds United – FA Cup Second Round.

Not much of a match report today as the majority of you will have watched it on ITV and I’m ready for a few well deserved pints in the hotel bar, but for those other soggy and cold Leeds United fans that travelled alongside me today, the real joy came from the third round draw that followed the game.

The performance from Leeds wasn’t bad by any means, but Kettering’s determined defence and goalkeeper-come-manager nearly led to a repeat of Histon last season. One moment of poor defending and hapless goalkeeping from Casper Ankergren led to the mistake that put Leeds United 1-0 down. Unlike last year, I didn’t feel like we were out despite conceeding pretty late on. This Leeds United team doesn’t give in and Jermaine Beckford’s equaliser came as no suprise to me at all.

My major concern is how obvious Casper’s flaws were for the entire country to see. If you’re going to come out and punch the ball, there’s no room for error and once again, Casper made one. It’s so terrifying to watch any team get an attacking set-play against Leeds when he’s in goal that I’m sure the anxiety I’ve been subjected to must be having an adverse affect on my health.

Overall though, Leeds dominated as expected. One moment of madness can’t detract from the fact that Kettering’s goalkeeper performed miracles and their defence performed exceptionally. For a club in so much turmoil, their performance should inspire real belief in the side. Once more, Leeds’ heads didn’t drop either, which is a massive plus for me. We carried on fighting and got a well deserved equaliser which takes it to a replay at Elland Road. A replay that’s value to Kettering alone will be massive, but with the added lure of Manchester United, it’ll no doubt be competitive too. The biggest game of Kettering’s existence perhaps?

As much as I’m looking forward to a premature return to Sold Trafford, we’re back in action in the League on Tuesday away to Oldham Athletic and that’s where the concentration must be for now. Still, I’ve had more phonecalls from glory hunting “friends” now that it’s hard not to get carried away! I bet Kenneth’s counting the pennies already.

  • Grumpy Older Man

    Your Casper obsession is blinding you, Ludo ducked out, even if Casper comes he still has to do his job. Now I happen to think Ludo’s having a good season but it was his fault. Now you often quote stats in defense of Beckford, well Casper has let in 1 in 5 games, Martin D hasn’t played, Higgs is out for a while, its Casper or nothing so might I suggest until he costs us a game, pull your punches and get behind him.

    • TSS

      Hi Gom, I predicted this reply and in my defence I did say “One moment of poor defending and hapless goalkeeping” so I did identify both as a flaw. Furthermore, I’ve been pretty complimentary of Casper of late, adding that I saw no reason for another keeper to be brought in when we’ve kept four clean sheets in a recent ‘ups and downs’ post.

      That said, it was another howler from him. It’s not like they’re uncommon, although he’s been a bit better lately. Lubo has been good this season too, but even when he isn’t he usually wins the battles in the air, so I can only conclude Casper shouted for him to leave it. Hence the reason he seems to duck!

  • Paul South Wales

    I thought we gave a very good account of ourselves today, and are a completely different proposition from that of last year. I too was confident that we would get an equaliser. As for their goal the two players involved are not first teamers and perhaps that showed why. Although Lubo played well up until then, and Casper has good qualities, but perhaps the goal keeping coach should take some responsibilty because this problem isn’t going away, and was evident for all to see again today. If he’d stayed on his line and left the tallest man on the pitch to deal with it (why did he duck, did Casper claim it?) it would have been a comfortable save, Anyway i thought overall we really worked hard, and i’m looking forward to the long trip up next Saturday to watch us take Huddersfield apart. MOT

    • Dje

      I thought Ankergren did fantastically well with the cross from the right wing in the second half, the one which was imminently going to land on Elding’s head at the far post – a much harder cross to deal with than the one from which they scored – but then he undid that good deed with his mix-up with Michalik.

      Ultimately I don’t think the goal-keeping coach has anything to answer for as it is just Casper’s inconsistency on dealing with crosses. You can’t really coach consistency. I think we’re just going to have to live with it, Casper’s never going to be 100% reliable on crosses and we’ll just have to muddle through with that.

      To be fair to him though his prowess is for shot-stopping (and time-wasting when we’re ahead) and I reckon he’s saved us many more points than he’s cost us with the few howlers he’s dropped. And as this season is about the 46 league games and promotion, if Casper was to play all of our remaining fixtures in goal then I’d be perfectly content with that and our chances of reaching our goal to get back to the Championship this season. So if we run the risk of having Casper spoil our little flutters in the cups this season then so be it, we aren’t going to win the FA Cup and I doubt anyone’s that bothered about the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

  • Timmo

    On the telly in the USA again, amazing. Nail biter for sure, I think Casper and Lubo should be buyin the drinks tonight.

  • Eddie

    Re the possible tie with Man U. Perfect draw. Assuming we see off K., big earner for the club with the side benefit of the club being in the biggest shop window on the planet. If we get knocked out, hopefully we exit with honours and can then concentrate on our main goal, promotion. No distractions.

    Shop window for Beckford too. I’m sure there will be a few managers who want to see how he copes against Man U’s reserve defence, (assuming we see off K.).

  • Matt bb

    Should have polished off kettering, lack of a killer touch is worrying, i wonder, with this following the orient game if there isnt a little complacency setting in.. Ghosts of cup upsets past were haunting us, get your heads up lads and do them!

    • Yorkshrman

      Orient we played poorly and were lucky ….. always going to have some poor games over a 46-game season. That one worried me as soon as I heard the “best performance of the season” comments from Grayson, after Brighton!

      On Sunday I thought we controlled much of the game, but were unlucky – hit the woodwork twice, a couple of good saves from their keeper, a mad goal-mouth scramble, and a couple of other really good chances that we just couldn’t finish off. On another day we’d have had 5. Personally I’d have taken the draw (or even a loss) against Kettering in exchange for the win over Orient.

      Also, we can’t overlook the fact that we started on Sunday without six “first choice” players, including 4 of the back 5. Higgs has only played around half of our games this season, Naylor even less; and Parker only once. And while we’ve got a big squad, those are big losses.

      • TSS

        I didn’t think we were poor as such against Orient, but certainly not at our best. The result is all that matters there though and once again we never gave up – which is VERY good to see!

        Agree that even the biggest squad will miss as many as we are. Be good to see them all fit and healthy again. If we’re six clear with half a team, imagine how easy it’ll be when they’re all back! (Not that I’m getting carried away you understand! Haha)

  • Yorkshrman

    Biggest disappointment for me was Snoddy ….. lots of good work from him, as usual, but spoiled by some truly awful balls into the box. He never looks as convincing playing on the left ….. hope that Johnson is back soon!!

    • TSS

      I thought the same, but hard to criticise when he puts in so much effort. Ultimately, it was him who kept us in the FA Cup, but agree it’ll be good to see Johnson back.

      • Leeds through & through

        i agree that it was casper’s fault totally, been a keeper myself i know that communication is vital if a keeper shouts ‘ my ball ‘ then the defender should not be going for the header, casper clearly shouted for the ball in which lubo ducked away and casper completely missed the ball, if you ask me bring on the day higgs is fit again!!!

  • Hopefully the red devils will pull it through today in the match against milan, to bad about the new owner and the glazer family casting a shadow over the great club, but that still don’t ruin the fun.