ANDREW VORCE - Thursday, December 10, 2009
Mike Grella helped Leeds United secure a mouth-watering FA Cup third-round duel with their old foes while Frank Simek could only watch as Wednesday stayed on the edge of the drop zone.
Leeds 5 - 1 Kettering
Mike Grella came off the bench in the 106th minute for Leeds, providing the attacking impetus to spur the Whites into the FA Cup third round past Kettering Town.
Luciano Becchio and Jermaine Beckford were picked to start off up top, with Simon Grayson being vindicated after 20 minutes played. Becchio picked up his first start since early October, and made no mistake as Robert Snodgrass' inch perfect pass was headed home by the front man into the bottom corner.
After a little over an hour played, Kettering's Richie Patridge showed patience on the ball, picking out Anthony Elding unmarked on the edge of the area to head past Casper Ankergren.
With the game even, mainly because of the heroics of Lee Harper in the Kettering goal, the match headed into extra time. The first half produced no goals, and Grayson opted to throw Grella on in the second half of extra time, a move which paid dividends.
Snodgrass showed real determination to push inwards at the Kettering Town byline, riding tackle after tackle, with the ball falling favorably to Grella in the end. After only moments on the field, Grella wasted no time by bagging the go ahead goal from two yards out with a rocket shot.
Snodgrass again proved his worth to the Leeds attacking line up, terrorizing the Kettering Town right side. The midfielder took the ball down the left flank, before crossing beyond everyone where Tresor Kandol was unmarked at the back post in the 109th minute.
Grella wasn't finished, however, after picking up a loose ball 30 yards out seven minute later. The American dribbled with confidence at the Kettering back four, performing a double-scissor before cutting the ball to his right and picking out the top right corner for the goal of the game.
Beckford rounded out the second half rout in the 119th minute as all of Leeds' attacking players got into the action. Grella picked up the ball on the edge of the area, and again dribbled at the defenders. Instead of shooting, the striker laid the ball off to Kandol, who's shot was turned home by the outstretched Beckford.
Snodgrass was booked for United, while John Dempster was booked for Kettering. The win for Grella and company means that Leeds will face historical rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford in January's third round.
Frank Simek was on the bench as Sheffield Wednesday fell 1-0 to Doncaster to remain out of the drop zone only on goal differential.
Zak Whitbread was in the stands as Millwall strolled past Staines Town into the third round with a 4-0 result, setting up a January duel with Derby County.