FA Cup second round replay
previous round and let’s face it that would take some beating. To be fair to Leeds the Cup is obviously not top priority and they had hosted Huddersfield only three days previously. The lower tier of the away stand was full, though. “You’re not famous any more!” we sang before launching in to “Stand up if you hate Diamonds!” (Took me a few renditions to make that one out).
Leeds took the lead on 20 mins with a Becchio header from a cross. It triggered a one-man pitch invasion from our end by a bloke who was grounded just as he was hurdling the advertising hoarding which must have hurt. Purple jackets this time: ‘Response team’, they call themselves. Somehow Kettering managed to go in at half-time with no greater deficit. They went from lucky to plucky in the second half and enjoyed a most unexpected purple patch culiminating in a goal. Heslop burst through the Leeds defence down the middle, pushed the ball out wide to Richie Partridge (fab name) who crossed to provide Elding with an unmissable header. “We” went potty. My ears were literally ringing with the racket. The Kettering support was brilliant.
And so to extra time – and yet more Leeds dominance. Time and time again we turned our heads to the giant video screen to see in disbelief exactly how Leeds had failed to score at the far end. Finally, at the start of the second period of extra time they got a breakthrough when Grella blasted in from six yards. The until now mute Leeds fans didn’t so much cheer as let out a huge gasp of collective relief. The killer third goal followed a minute later and by the final whistle it was five. A cruel end to the tie perhaps but any other outcome would’ve been a travesty.
So for Leeds it’s off to Man U as, indeed, it is for the zeitgeist of the whole competition. I shall leave it there.
Some more extra-time:
- Tonight I saw the Poppies and I’ve previously seen the Lambs and the Daisies. But even these can’t compete with the nickname of Market Drayton Town: the Gingerbreadmen. And I point all this out as a fan of the ertswhile Biscuitmen ...
- The more I write this blog the more I’m reminded of the BBC’s slogan for its coverage a few seasons ago: ‘One cup, a thousand stories’. Sums it up so well.
- Click here for a clipping from the Guardian about the longest ever FA Cup tie – which went to six matches. It was a fourth qualifying tie in 1971. Ah, those were t’ days.
- Check out this "miss of the century" from the aforementioned Rocky Baptiste. Click here.
- And finally for now, here’s a picture of a windmill beside a football ground in Milton Keynes. Nowt to do with the Cup but somehow pleasing all the same. I’ve pinched it from this recommended blog.