Leeds started their FA Cup with dowdy 1-1 draw to Northampton Town. In considering the match, more shocking the the ineptitude that Gary McAllister accepts on the pitch was the cavernous Elland Road. Announced at 9,000 it seemed like far less and was at-times difficult to watch as a reminder of the great clubs fall from grace. For clubs in the higher ranks, presently going through troubled times, this match was a haunting tale of what can happen should you crash into the lower leagues.
To summarize the match simply, it was a case of Leeds consistently playing to the speed of their opposition and a very telling weakness of why many players don't make the jump to the next level. The core of Fabian Delph, Robert Snodgrass and Luciano Becchio were waiting for others to attack instead of letting the opposition re-group and wait for the next rousing school-yard smash at the ball. This is Leeds weakness; a dowdy attack that sadly a number of fine players must be told to one-touch the ball-on and stop waiting to decide what to do. Should they continue to play as such I can assure you they will not be promoted and then need to deal with the exodus of young talent.
Returning to the match although Leeds was controlling the run of play, Scott McGleish got the visitors on the score-sheet first converting on a perfect cross by Ryan Gilligan. However after a bumbling yellow-card two minutes into the match, Giles Coke received his second at the twenty-seven minute mark and Northampton played the balance of the match a man down. Leeds continued to control possession of the ball but once it got in the attacking end it slowed for a standard fair of bashing a cross into the box. Eight minutes before the half Mark Hughes was adjudged to fouling Jonny Howson in the box with a resulting penalty awarded. Unfortunately it was a miserably embarrassing dive by Jonny and somewhat easy to spot as he took a step then swanned onto the ground. Andy Robinson tucked the ball into the net to bring the match level but Leeds couldn't find the winner in a horrible display.
The replay is set for Sixfields next Tuesday