The “FA Cup minnows” once again threw a spanner in the works at White Hart Lane coming from behind twice against a strong Tottenham Hotspur side to setup a replay at Elland Road.

Jermaine Beckford was the man of the hour once again, scoring both of Leeds United’s goals including a dramatic 96th minute equaliser from the penalty spot, after a silly challenge on him late on from Michael Dawson.

Penalty drama was ripe throughout the tie. Casper Ankergren saved Jermaine Defoe’s effort from the spot early on and both teams had good shouts for another penalty each. The one Leeds did get was also a bit hard to call as Dawson may have got something on the ball first. However, Spurs should be questioning why he threw himself so clumsily at a Leeds United player inside the box with just seconds to go.

Leeds United once again played brilliantly against Premier League opposition. Harry Redknapp was under no illusions of what to expect after seeing the Manchester United game and took no chances with his starting selection, but Leeds battled hard throughout. Casper Ankergren had a much busier game than the opposition keeper, but came up with several great saves to keep the tie alive, leaving the Leeds fans wondering if this was the same team that we’d just seen drop valuable league points against Exeter and Wycombe.

Grayson had dropped Luciano Becchio for the tie, playing Robert Snodgrass behind Jermaine Beckford. The changed proved a valuable one from Grayson with the extra man in midfield helping Leeds United to battle well in the centre of the park.

No one had forgotten Manchester United throughout this great FA Cup tie with chants of “Are you watching Manchester?” aimed at those who branded us FA Cup minnows. In a roundabout way, a League One side, no matter how big really should be considered minnows in the FA Cup, but Leeds United have almost single-handedly restored some magic to the competition this season and made it exciting and unpredictable once more.

Whilst I’m immensely proud of the lads efforts once more and relishing the replay at Elland Road, the extended run continues to leave a bittersweet taste in my mouth. If our form in the league is going to suffer as these runs continue, I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking it’s not really worth it. At 2-1 last night, I was actually happy to bow out of the competition with dignity, even though the Roy of the Rovers ending was incredible.

The most concerning thing is that whilst Leeds have been busy shaking the Premier League teams up a bit, Norwich have quietly continued to pick up the points and have now replaced us at the top of the league. Sure, it’s only on goal difference and we have two games in hand, but in the second half of the season, I can’t help but feel our minds have been a little elsewhere lately, evident from the poor form in the league.

What we’ve learnt from Tottenham

  • We can score penalties! When was the last time one of those went in for us?
  • Casper Ankergren is immense in the big games.  (Even if his handling does terrify us at times)
  • We really can compete with anyone on our day. Shame our days aren’t coming often enough in League One at the minute.
  • Premier League fans are getting quieter. Sure, the Spurs fans had their moments, but much like Man United there was large portions of the game where they didn’t make a peep and sat quietly munching on their prawn sandwiches.
  • Jermaine Beckford can play in the Prem. That’s three goals against two Premier League clubs now. Still doubting he can make it in the Prem? (You are aren’t you? “Takes him six chances etc… etc…”)
  • Danny Rose isn’t bad. The ex-Leeds academy star had a pretty good game, putting himself about the pitch well.

TSS man of the match: Casper Ankergren.

  • Grumpy Older Man

    Yes I am.

    • TSS

      Beckford I take it?

      That was quick by the way. Only just published it.

      • Grumpy Older Man

        As an aside the press coverage of yesterday is already grating, all focus on Beckford at the expense of the 96 minute heroes of Casper and the whole back 4, with Grayson’s somewhat misplaced commnets fueling that hyperbole!

  • Terry

    I really don’t understand this antipathy to Beckford. OK, I’ve found him annoying at times with his sulky attitude and whinging, but this guy has that ability that is all too rare in football, he can stick the ball in the back of the net. Yes he needs a lot of chances to do it and yes his first touch is sometimes appalling but he works hard to get in the situations where he can miss the chances, no matter how many he misses he never hides and gets in there to have another go and, under Grayson, his all round ability and team play has improved no end. He can be a bit greedy at times, but which striker isn’t? Sniffer would often have a go when he maybe should have passed, it’s what good strikers do. Without his goals we would be nowhere and I’m glad he’s staying to the end of the season when I’ll say thanks for the memories and good luck in the future.

  • Yorkshrman

    Beckford is like many strikers ….. doesn’t look as though he could hit a barn door one minute (Carlisle), can’t stop scoring the next. My frustration – like many, I guess – is that he could actually contribute so much more than he does, and become a much better striker. And that’s one of the things that distinguishes a great striker from a journeyman.

    I don’t think his three goals against Man U and Spurs proves that he’ll be a success in the Prem, just as his “failure” in the two Millwall games last year doesn’t prove he can’t play in big games. That’ll only come when he gets his chance to play regularly at that level …..

    • TheReaper08

      Partially agree with your sentiment about strikers but I’m afraid it’s goals that go down in the history books not how hard someone runs around or tracks back.

  • OneTonyCurrie

    Completely agree with Terry and it’s about time we stopped the public Beckford debate before it becoms damaging. The man is banging in the goals for us and has been doing so for 120 games – get off his back, celebrate what he does well and acept that football is our passion and his job.

  • TheReaper08

    Apparently Beckford is a big moment/big game bottler.

    Now my guess is most Premier League sides would take a striker that has a crap first touch and is lazy but scores 1.5 goals per game at the highest level,however at Leeds that’s simply not good enough,go figure….

  • The cup run is too much of a distraction for me, even though it makes you so proud to see a Leeds side battling like they did at Spurs. Can’t help feeling that it’s going to cost us. Those 6 bookings alone will come back and bite us later in the season. Got to get out of this god forsaken league, Just got to.

    • Dje

      Come on! I was snugly content to be a proud 2-1 losser by the 95th minute, before Dawson gifted us a spot-kick, but did you really want Beckford to miss that penalty?!

      • TheReaper08

        Great point. At 2-1 I had been prepared to play the plucky courageous loser card and count my blessings that we could now focus more on the league.

        When the penalty was awarded I couldn’t help but will it intothe back of the net, even knowing that a replay was possibly the worst outcome.

        • Craig

          I confess to thinking exactly the same as the penalty was awarded – and that had nothing to do having placed a bet on Spurs before the match began – I figured that If Leeds won, nothing could wipe out the elation but if Spurs won at least I’d have the consolation of a few extra quid. Damn the draw – that wasn’t included in the plan!

  • Barry

    A pretty good account of the game i thought, As a Spurs fan, I thought Leeds showed great attitude yesterday & over the 90 minutes probably just about deserved a replay, first 25 minutes apart i thought they were always in the game, but having said that if Spurs had taken all those chances in the first 25 minutes then i think the tie would of been out of sight for Leeds, But if you dont score you dont win games, so credit to Leeds for sticking in there, They got a second wind in the second half & it was a fairly even half, when it went 2-1 to spurs, i thought fitness if nothing else would tell, but sorry to say i thought the Leeds penalty was very Harsh, I though Dawson got the ball then the man, But thats my opinion, Anyways, looking forward to the return at Elland Road, Should be a more open game & i’ll plump for a Spurs 3-1 win.

    • Dje

      Not that I really want to start an argument of was-it-wasn’t-it-a-penalty – but if Dawson did get a nudge on the ball, he did then also scissor Beckford’s leg in doing this. As Dawson only prodded the ball on a little towards the goal-line and was left prone on the floor in doing so – and no longer in position to challenge Beckford – he didn’t connect enough to put it out for a throw or a corner. By taking out Beckford’s legs he stopped Beckford running on to keep the ball in play and presumably crossing it for Becchio at the far post – which may or may not have resulted in a goal. Why Dawson reckoned he needed to make the actual tackle , only he knows. He must have been rattled or some’ut.

  • Jimbob

    Does anyone know what Beckford’s chance conversion rate is? I guess its pretty low. That said i’m in full agreement with the sentiments above…I mean, to get the chances you’ve got to get into the right positions!

    As for taking the headlines…if it means that no one talks about the likes of Snoddy and Paddy, then let them talk all they want about Beckford!!

    • Craig

      According to the last Football League newsletter it put Beckford’s shots on target as around 50/90 over the season so far. The number scored is, of course, easy to add up.

  • JOHN ADAM

    I have been a staunch supporter of Spurs all my life but I begin to ask questions such as “Where is their battling and winning mentality?” “What is wrong with the team for squandering so many opportunities?” ” Is it a case of mental weakness or lack of tactical play?” For instance, a team of that calibre should know that when you are winning with less than a minute to go, you try to keep the ball or kill time. “What is the mystery that shrouds them?”

  • TheReaper08

    Lifted from the BBC report….

    “Despite being a tall man – at 6ft 2in – he is not a naturally gifted hold-up player, and his first touch could certainly use work.

    But while these skills can be acquired with time and experience, he has the one ability that professionals still call the “hardest part of the game” and that is sticking the ball in the net.

    His first goal at White Hart Lane was all about opportunism as he pounced on Jermaine Jenas’s poor attempt to clear a corner before spinning and squeezing the ball under keeper Heurelho Gomes from all of a yard.

    The second displayed another vital trait if he is to succeed at a higher level – character.

    To score a penalty 96 minutes into a game to earn your side a replay requires no little skill and considerable mental strength, and Beckford showed it all as he slammed it home”

    And what a pen it was too.

    • Dje

      To be honest I didn’t expect Beckford to have had the character to step up and score that penalty, and was cringing when I saw him at the penalty spot hyperventilating like an asthmatic.

      Respect though.

      • Craig

        Respect indeed – especially with all the previous penalty misses embedded deep in his memory.

  • timm

    Kasper & Hughes were immense! I agree though that there was a large part of me that would have been more than happy with the 2-1. Having heard Kaspers comments after the game though, it seems that the players are aware that the dip has been caused by the cup & aim to put it right. Swindon game will tell us a lot.

    • Craig

      It will. And Swindon had a free weekend.

  • I’m tiring of reading about Spurs fans saying how Dawson got the ball and that it wasn’t a penalty.

    Yes, Dawson did get a bit of the ball, but it rolled all of a foot and was still in play. His tackle took Beckford down illegally, he wrapped his legs around Jermaine, preventing him from regaining posession of the ball. It’s plain to see for everyone!!

    • Dje

      Lol. May be I should have read your posted before replying to that Spur’s fan above!

  • JOHN ADAM

    Spurs should now brace themselves to win the replay match at Elland Road which I think they can. If Lennon can be fit for the match it will make it still easier for them to win. I have but praise, though, for Leeds’ impressive performance at WHL. I still think of them in their heyday when I supported them. They had great players like Billy Bremmer, Peter Lorimer, Trevor Cherry, Jackie Charlton, among others, and Gary Sprake, an outstanding goalkeeper. Could Leeds United be now slowly returning to the Premier League and have a taste of their former glory? I hope Spurs does it first.

  • Matt bb

    I’m sold on any exercise that brings in 3m of additional revenue, lets hope bates spends some.. Good job lads, and good job beckford, he’s ours until may so stop criticising him and get behind him and the rest of the team, only leeds fans could whinge about this, in the automatic promotion places, knocked man united out of the fa cup… FFS

    • Dje

      It’s a good point about the additional revenue. I know both the Man Utd and the Spurs games were about a great Leeds team performance, but I think that without Beckford being on the pitch and scoring we’d not have been in the fourth round, and most-definitely we’d not be heading towards a replay with Spurs without him yesterday. I don’t know if that really equates to £3m or not – but I fancy he’s brought in about as much as we’d have taken from Newcastle for him a week or so ago. We’ve got the money, we’ve still got the player: win-win.

      • macadamia_man

        Spotter’s badge, there. KB always knew Newcastle were taking the mick hoping we were still desperate, stupid and skint. Looks like we may not be any of the above any more.

  • Iain Povey

    Great debate! I must say I am still in two minds over Beckford! Yes, he has all those negatives, but ultimatel he does score the goals. Would he get in those positions if he was more selfless, I doubt it! I’m starting to wonder if maybe he can cut at PL level!….and I agree worst possible result but superb nontheless :)

  • Matt bb

    Man u, was worth £1m, spurs, £0.75m, with replay and tv and merchandise i reckon at least £2.5m, we need that if we are getting promoted, if nowt else to replace beckford..

    • Dje

      Still, better to have £2.5m, Beckford for the remainder of the season, and letting him wander off to Fulham or West Ham on a free in the Summer, than for us to ‘cash in’ Beckford for £1.5-2m from Newcastle now, and have to find an instant replacement striker who’s going to bag 10-15 goals for the rest of our hard-pushed promotion battle, no?

  • Kelly_Holbeck

    Shame the draw put us/yids against Bolton Over the hills we go!

    • Kelly_Holbeck

      Oh and as far as the revenue debate go’s The money that it will bring to Leeds city as a whole will be worth millions this year The fans that come here spend and the economy is far better for it
      I have always said that a prosperous city has a top flight club.

  • Matt bb

    Definitely better to have that money right now, 2.5m or 3 will go a long long way to getting ourselves back where we need to be, i see we’ve finally agreed a fee for gradel, has ken finally remembered where he left his cheque book..

  • I think Ken was away on his jollies Matt, up to the 20th. For some reason, and I can’t explain why, I have a sneaking suspicion JB might be here a little longer than we all anticipate. I might be wrong but I could see him signing another contract, not for 4/5 years but a couple. He might come round to the idea that the ‘grass is not always greener’. And by signing for a couple of years he can see how we perform in the CCC, if we get there, instead of warming the bench at some mid/lower prem side. Let’s face it a mid/lower prem team would still be a step down in club. I’m not talking in terms of league here, I’m talkin size/stature of club. Could be way off the mark but live in hope…..

    • TheReaper08

      But Everton are a Europa league team so that’s the upper part of the Prem. Emotions to one side what would you do if it was your job ? Stay and work at a lower level with less pay or double your pay and take your chance at the top table ?

      He may end up a bench warmer, who knows ? Beckford won’t be thinking that though, he will be thinking he can go there and do a job.

      On recent evidence who are we to dispute that.

    • Dje

      I reckon it is more likely to go the other way and some Premiership team coming in for him in the next six days. They’ve seen what he can do against Premiership defenses. Fat Ashley must be kicking himself that he didn’t cough up that extra £500k when it was all on favourites that he’d be heading north.

      Besides, that’s three goals in two games against top Premiership sides, where his performances have been a cut above his usual League One ones in regards of effort, hunger, tracking back, and even tackling, so I reckon he relishes pitting his wits against the top-sides and less so those in lower leagues (and who can blame him). So he’s had a taste, he’s excelled, his ego’s been massaged in all the headlines – and next up for him … away to Swindon.

      Mmm, could be a hell of a Six-Day War for us to keep him beyond January.

    • Craig

      No way. He’s waiting to pocket a higher signing on fee.

  • Craig

    It is interesting to note how few criticisms of Andrew Hughes we read on here these days. Whilst I would love to see Aidy White make that position his own due to his attacking flair it can’t be argued that Hughes has become a hugely reliable left back – far better than Crowe on the other side.