Leeds fight on as Wigan survive County scare
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Last Updated: Sunday, January 24, 2010, 10:56
  
London: Leeds United's thrilling FA Cup adventure goes on after a penalty equaliser in the sixth minute of injury time ensured Simon Grayson's side took Tottenham to a fourth round replay.

Jermaine Beckford, Leeds' match-winner in their third round victory over Manchester United, was the hero again, coolly converting the spot-kick yesterday to earn the League One (third division) side a 2-2 draw and a second chance of reaching the last 16.

Notts County also lived to fight another day after coming within seven minutes of a classic giant-killing act before being forced to settle for a 2-2 draw with Premier League club Wigan.

Holders Chelsea eased into the fifth round at the expense of Preston while Reading followed up their elimination of Liverpool in the last round by accounting for another Premier League side, Burnley.

But there was no doubt that the biggest drama of the day came at White Hart Lane, where Leeds looked dead and buried until Michael Dawson was adjudged to have brought down Beckford deep into injury time.

The striker had cancelled out Peter Crouch's opener for Spurs early in the second half but Leeds had appeared to be on their way out after Roman Pavlyuchenko came off the bench to restore the hosts' lead a quarter of an hour from the end.

In the end though Spurs were left to rue their failure to capitalise on their dominance in an opening spell in which Jermain Defoe failed to convert a penalty of his own.

Notts County, who are threatened with bankruptcy because of an unpaid tax bill, were on track for a famous win over Wigan after opening up a two-goal first-half lead through former West Brom striker Lee Hughes and Ben Davies.

But the League Two (fourth division) side allowed Wigan back into the contest through Jason Scotland and Ben Watson's 83rd-minute equaliser sent the tie to a replay.

County's caretaker manager, Dave Kevan, said: "I thought the lads were fantastic, but when we look at it again in the cold light of day, we'll have mixed feelings. They know they've had a great opportunity to cause an upset, and sadly that hasn't quite developed."

County's League Two counterparts Accrington Stanley, the lowest-ranked club left in the tournament, went down to a 3-1 defeat by Fulham after having Darran Kempson sent off just before half-time.

At that stage, the tiny Lancashire club were matching their Premier League guests with Michael Symes having cancelled out Erik Nevland's opener for Fulham.

But the home side tired after the break and Damien Duff and Zoltan Gera sent the Londoners through.

"They made life very difficult for us," Fulham boss Roy Hodgson admitted. "But in the second half we showed them more of our qualities and ended up winning the game relatively comfortably."

Nicolas Anelka and Daniel Sturridge struck either side of half-time as Chelsea advanced to the last 16 with a 2-0 win over struggling Championship side Preston North End.

Reading ensured they joined them in Sunday's fifth round draw when Icelandic midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson scored an 87th-minute winner against Burnley.

Birmingham extended their unbeaten run to 15 matches with a 2-1 win at Everton. Christian Benitez and Barry Ferguson gave Alex McLeish's on-form side a first-half lead and despite pulling a goal back through Leon Osman, Everton were unable to conjure up an equaliser.

Portsmouth gained some relief from their on and off-the-field woes by coming from behind to beat Sunderland 2-1.

Darren Bent had given Sunderland the lead and the match was briefly interrupted by protesting fans running on to the pitch.

But a double from Nigerian striker John Utaka ensured the Pompey supporters departed Fratton Park in better spirits.

Aston Villa followed up their advance to the League Cup final with a 3-2 defeat of Gus Poyet's Brighton. Nathan Delfouneso, Ashley Young and Fabian Delph were on the scoresheet for Martin O'Neill's men.

Bolton registered their first win under Owen Coyle by beating Sheffield United 2-0 at the Reebok.

But Wolves must replay with Crystal Palace after being held to 2-2 draw at home to the on-form Championship side.

West Brom beat Championship promotion rivals Newcastle 4-2 in an entertaining clash at the Hawthorns while Cardiff City beat Leicester by the same scoreline.

Derby edged Doncaster 1-0 and Roy Keane's Ipswich went down to a 2-1 defeat at League One Southampton.

Arsenal face a potentially awkward fourth round tie at Stoke on Sunday, which also sees Manchester City travel to Scunthorpe.

Bureau Report


First Published: Sunday, January 24, 2010, 10:56


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