Leeds United hit back to earn their Spurs
LEEDS United will now face Premiership big boys Tottenham in the fourth round of the FA Cup after coming from behind for a morale-boosting 2-1 win at Birmingham.
Following a succession of poor away performances the pressure was on at half-time as United trailed 1-0 to a goal from Wade Elliott, who also scored for Birmingham at Elland Road in the original third round tie.
But a much improved second half display and a strong finish saw Leeds clinch victory with two goals in six minutes from Ross McCormack and an El Hadji Diouf penalty.
United travelled without top scorer Luciano Becchio, who was reportedly the latest victim of the virus that has swept the club and manager Neil Warnock made more changes after the 2-0 defeat at Barnsley on Saturday.
Goalkeeper Jamie Ashdown came in for Paddy Kenny, Adam Drury returned to left-back after getting over his illness and centre-backs Jason Pearce and Alan Tate were both left out in favour of a Tom Lees partnership with Lee Peltier.
In midfield Michael Brown, Paul Green and Luke Varney were recalled and there was a start for striker Ross McCormack alongside Diouf. A further change was forced within 10 minutes when Drury was injured, to be replaced by Aidan White.
Birmingham had the first chance when Elliott shot wide, but both defences coped comfortably before the hosts took the lead on 36 minutes with Elliott firing past Ashdown after being set up by Nathan Redmond.
Leeds looked to hit straight back, but once again failed to get any meaningful shots on target although Varney sent a header wide and McCormack hit a free-kick wide.
In the second half Rodolph Austin got forward from midfield to get in an effort that finally required home keeper Colin Doyle to make a decent save.
United now kept the ball better and took the game to their opponents. They were rewarded on 70 minutes when McCormack met Diouf’s cross to plant his shot into the net for his first goal since September.
Green was denied by Doyle soon after and as Leeds stayed on the attack they were awarded a penalty when former United loanee Paul Robinson blocked an Austin cross with his hand.
With usual penalty taker Becchio absent up stepped Diouf to score and celebrate his 32nd birthday with what proved the winning goal.
Green hit a shot over in the closing stages, but it did not matter as Leeds held on to win 2-1 with their hosts managing two late efforts when substitute Nikola Zigic saw a header blocked on the line and Peter Lovenkrands was denied by a fine Ashdown save.
Birmingham City 1
Leeds United 2
(McCormack 70, Diouf 76, pen)
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
FA Cup, round three replay
Birmingham: Doyle, Caddis, Caldwell, Davies, Robinson, Burke, Morrison (Lovenkrands 76), Gomis, Elliott, Redmond (Zigic 82), King.
Leeds: Ashdown, Byram, Peltier, Lees, Drury (White 10), Green, Austin, Brown, Varney, Diouf (Pearce 90), McCormack.
Referee: A Woolmer.
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Thursday 20 June 2013
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