Football: Leeds and Ipswich suffer ignominy

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IT MAY be only 'half-time' - as beaten managers are fond of saying - but the first legs of last night's Coca-Cola Cup second-round ties produced plenty of surprises.

Top of the bill were Mansfield Town, who took an early lead at Leeds United and held on to it to embarrass the Yorkshire aristocrats. Simon Ireland, who cost the Stags pounds 65,000 from Blackburn in the summer, did the damage in the 18th minute with a goal that silenced the home fans among a meagre crowd of 7,844.

A poor back-pass by Nigel Worthington forced John Lukic to concede a corner. Kevin Noteman, a former Leeds player, took it, both Brendon Aspinall and Stuart Hadley headed the ball on to leave the unmarked Ireland with an easy chance to nod past Lukic.

Mansfield, 83 places below Leeds in the League, continued to keep Lukic busy as the home side were unable to raise their game. Brian Deane and Lucas Radebe came off the bench, but to no avail.

After a home Premiership defeat by Norwich on Monday, Ipswich suffered further distress when Bolton left Portman Road with a convincing

3-0 win. Jason McAteer, the Republic of Ireland World Cup midfielder, gave Wanderers an early lead, sweeping in a knock-down by the Finn, Mixu Paatelainen.

With Alan Thompson prominent on the wing for Bolton, the Suffolk side were forced to do a lot of defending. David Linighan headed against a post when Ipswich mounted a late assault but, on the break, John McGinlay converted a cross from David Lee and Thompson added a third to complete the rout.

Kurt Nogan reinforced his reputation as the most coveted forward in the Second Division with the only goal in Brighton's 1-0 win over Leicester at the Goldstone Ground. Manchester City and Liverpool have been linked with the former Luton player, whose 10th goal in 11 games, from close range 13 minutes from time, gained Liam Brady's side a deserved victory against Premiership opposition.

Aston Villa gave their Ghanaian international, Nii Lamptey, a debut at home to Wigan and he celebrated with the fourth goal in a 5-0 win. The 19-year-old ran from the half-way line to the six-yard box to score a brilliant individual effort. Another team to score five were Arsenal, with Ian Wright on target twice in a 5-0 success at managerless Hartlepool.

In the Scottish version of the Coca-Cola Cup, Celtic reached the last four with a 1-0 win over Dundee United. John Collins curled in a superb 86th-minute shot to decide the tie. The other teams in today's semi-final draw are Aberdeen, Raith Rovers and Airdrie.