Beckford's bonanza earns Leeds return on £2m gamble

Tottenham Hotspur 2 Leeds United 2

The FA Cup's standing with some clubs and a lot of fans may have withered in the past decade, but it can still produce a game that leaves you engrossed throughout. At White Hart Lane on Saturday, Leeds were under siege and by the 10th minute, Casper Ankergren had made three excellent saves, including a penalty from Jermain Defoe. It was five minutes into stoppage time when Jermain Beckford, Leeds' version of the England international striker, showed him how to convert from 12 yards, thus ensuring a replay at Elland Road next week.

Beckford is 26 and was a latecomer to professional football, only joining the Yorkshire club in the summer of 2005 having played in the non-league with Wealdstone. He has only known tough times with Leeds, missing out on their glory years in the Champions League, instead observing their collapse into financial problems and relegation into League One. Playing like this under their manager Simon Grayson, however, they should reach the Championship in May and possibly the Premier League in 2011. Beckford is likely to get there a little bit sooner.

In the space of three weeks, Beckford has scored the winning goal, in the third round, at Old Trafford against Manchester United, and scored both goals against Spurs. In between, he has put in a transfer request, retracted it, and has reportedly been lined up to join Everton on a free transfer in the summer, when he is out of contract. You could say it has been an eventful month for the Londoner.

That means he should be around for the replay as well as the rest of the season to help Leeds win promotion from League One, where they are second only on goal difference behind Norwich City, having played two games fewer than the Canaries. However, Grayson did admit that a "ridiculous" offer could still prise the striker away. He said: "There is just over a week to go before the [transfer] window shuts and we are not looking to let him go. If someone offers me £10m then maybe we would want to do something."

By persuading Beckford to retract his transfer request, Leeds turned down the chance of earning something close to £2m for their player, in turn hoping he responds with the goals that take them to promotion. It is a gamble, but on this evidence one worth taking. His first strike, equalising Peter Crouch's tap-in before the break, was a classic poacher's effort, reacting quickest to squeeze the ball under Heurelho Gomes from six yards while his penalty was confidence personified. He was clearly not bothered by the pressure of the situation or that the penalty had been unjustly given. Michael Dawson had got the ball first when he tackled Beckford but referee Alan Wiley saw it differently. His earlier decision to give a penalty for Michael Doyle's challenge on Danny Rose was a fair one, even if Defoe could only hit his effort tamely to Ankergren's left.

Briefly it looked as if the Cup had thrown Roman Pavlyuchenko a lifeline at Tottenham, when he cleverly stepped over the ball and ran on to a first-time pass from Defoe to score only his fourth goal of the season. Harry Redknapp, the Spurs manager, says there is still a future for him in north London, although few believe him.

He said: "Roman can start games if he comes in every day to work, train, shows a good attitude." Selling the player bought from Zenit St Petersburg in August 2008 may have to wait until this summer. "I think he's sure to be here at the end of January. No one's spending any money and there's nothing happening really. It's pretty quiet," he added. Not in Beckford's life it isn't.

Tottenham (4-4-2): Gomes; Hutton, Dawson, Bassong, Bale; Kranjcar (Keane, 71), Modric, Jenas, Rose (Palacios, 57); Crouch (Pavlyuchenko, 71), Defoe. Substitutes not used: Alnwick (gk), Naughton, O'Hara, Dervite.

Leeds United (4-4-1-1): Ankergren; Crowe, Bromby, Kisnorbo, Hughes; Howson, Kilkenny, Doyle (Becchio, 81), Johnson (White, 88); Snodgrass; Beckford. Substitutes not used: Martin (gk), Prutton, Grella, Michalik, Robinson

Referee: A Wiley (Staffordshire).

Booked: Tottenham Hutton; Leeds United Crowe, Kisnorbo, Doyle, Bromby, Kilkenny, Johnson

Man of the match: Ankergren.

Attendance: 35,750.

News
Actor Burt Reynolds last year
peopleBurt Reynolds, once among the most bankable actors in Hollywood, is set to auction his memorabilia
News
Gordon and Tana Ramsay arrive at the High Court, London
newsTV chef gives evidence against his father-in-law in court case
News
people

Watch the spoof Thanksgiving segment filmed for Live!
News
The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
i100Mike Stuchbery, a teacher in Great Yarmouth, said he received abuse
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The starship in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of JJ Abrams' new film has been released online
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of The Guest Cat – expect to see it everywhere
books
News
i100 Charity collates series of videos that show acts of kindness to animals
Arts and Entertainment
One of the installations in the Reiner Ruthenbeck exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery
artCritics defend Reiner Ruthenbeck's 'Overturned Furniture'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game