For 200 minutes of play, Leeds made hard work of Kettering Town. In a sequence of events that could only happen in the FA Cup, over two legs Leeds dominated the tie, having endless chances saved by the Kettering keeper come manager and being thwarted by the wordwork numerous times.

Last night seemed as though it was all going to plan when returning striker Luciano Becchio converted Robert Snodgrass’ shot after twenty minutes, but Leeds couldn’t kill the Conference side off in normal time. Their keeper had another great game, issuing orders from the box whilst pulling off numerous saves to keep his club in the tie. Much like the first leg, the woodwork also played it’s part in keeping Leeds United back and as the tie continued to remain 1-0 on the night, you just felt Kettering might have a chance yet.

By no surprise whatsoever, it was former Leeds man Anthony Elding that scored the equaliser setting up another half hour of missed Leeds chances and nerves in Elland Road. With the scores remaining level at full-time, the tie went in to extra time. Kettering by this point will have been happy to take a penalty shoot-out, and given their keepers heroics so far, you wouldn’t have bet against them to win it.

Grayson made a change of formation leaving Kandol, Grella and Beckford upfront in search of goals. As half time in extra time passed, a penalty shootout beckoned. Leeds’ lack of success from the penalty spot didn’t fill any of the 10,000 supporters with any confidence, so it came as a relief when substitute Mike Grella smashed a shot home from close range to make it 2-1. Unlike the rest of the team that had seemingly run out of ideas and began shooting from anywhere, without taking any time to line their shot up, Grella was patient, controlled the ball and fired home with venom.

With less than fifteen minutes remaining, the floodgates opened. By now, Leeds’ superior fitness was playing it’s part and Kettering were undoubtedly disheartened from conceding so late. Kandol added a third within a minute, before Grella got a second with a beautiful curling shot from the edge of the area and Jermaine Beckford finished off the show, finally managing to hit the back of the net after a frustrating night. His celebration showed the relief for him in scoring.

A crazy night inside Elland Road. A game that should have been all too easy for the Whites proved to be massively frustrating and Kettering did themselves proud once more. Whether the scoreline reflects the game or not is debatable. Leeds must have had fifty chances, so in that respect, I guess it does, but considering how well Kettering kept us out, maybe it doesn’t.

Beckford had a frustrating night, but Lucciano Becchio showed why he’d been missed. Elsewhere, we dominated throughout although the defence looked a little shaky at times, especially when Capaldi was brought on to try and lose us the game. Such is the mans hopelessness, I’m actually starting to think Ridsdale sent him here to mess with us. Aidy White had a good game at left-back, but had to be taken off through injury, whilst Grella will deservedly grab the headlines.

I have a theory on the late goal blitz. Our third round opponents were playing away in Europe last night in a match with the same kick-off time. Clearly, the Scum fans will have been watching that game on TV, so Leeds held off ’til it finished in order to put the frighteners in them with our four goal flurry at the end. If Scum’s defensive problems aren’t resolved before we visit Sold Trafford, I reckon we could actually get something from there.

Bates has already had his calculator out and reckons the next match will net Leeds United around £750,000. Whilst that kind of money would probably only buy one player for the Whites, it would have kept a team like Kettering in business for years. Unsurprisingly, the next round will once again be shown live on ITV. The match will take place on Sunday the 3rd of January at 1pm and Leeds United will be accepting ticket applications from 10am tomorrow.

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