Leeds United did themselves proud again late this afternoon as they came back from 1-0 down and 2-1 down, to equalize in the last minute of added time through a penalty.
Jermaine Beckford – two goals against Tottenham
And it was that man Jermaine Beckford, who looks more and more the part against top-class opposition, who scored both Leeds goals.
Spurs should have gone ahead early when Jermaine Defoe missed a penalty, with a weak effort to the goalkeeper’s left which Casper Ankergren saved nicely.
But Spurs, who were pressing most of the first half, went ahead just before half time, when Peter Crouch hit home well from 10 yards, after the Leeds keeper had blocked a shot with his feet.
But Leeds play attacking forward and they seem to want to win every game, wherever they play, and they came back to tie their game today with a tremendous opportunist effort from Beckford, who had his back to the goal, about 4 yards out, and he swung around and hit the ball low into the net, when the ball had become loose following a corner.
He reacted much more quickly than the 3 Tottenham defenders around him.
But with 71 minutes gone Redknapp brought on the seemingly exiled Russian, Roman Pavlyuchenko and Robbie Keane, and they seemed to add some urgency to the Spurs attack.
And Roman Pavlyuchenko duly obliged and scored a nice opportunist goal just 4 minutes after entering the fray – which looked to be the winner.
But to their credit Leeds, remember they are in the third division of English football right now, continued to push forward, and in the fifth and final minute of injury time, Beckford had the ball in the penalty area and invited Michael Dawson to foul him, and the Tottenham center-back duly obliged.
You talk about suckering somebody into fouling you!
And it was Jermaine himself, who coolly hit the penalty beautifully out of the reach of the diving Gomes, to give Leeds a second chance at Elland Road a week come Tuesday.
Every time we see Beckford, it seems to us he can do a job in the Premier League, and at Newcastle specifically, since he not only seems a big game player, but he’s very fast, and a goal poacher with considerable skills.
Since the 26 year-old will be a free agent in the summer – and if Newcastle are promoted in May, don’t be at all surprised if the first player we sign in the summer transfer window is Beckford.
Of course Leeds will be more than keen to keep him, and should be in the Championship next season, but the Magpies will be able to offer him good terms, which would be hard for him to turn down.
That’s only if we can get promoted this season, and that’s by far from being a certainty right now. But we think it would be good value for Newcastle.
The only worry we have is in case Sunderland snap him up before January is out.