HomeMatch Reports2005-2006 - Wigan Athletic 1 Leeds United 1

FA Cup Third Round - Saturday 7th January 2006

Wigan Athletic
David Connolly 47
Wigan Athletic
Leeds United
Leeds United
Rob Hulse 88
Kick-off: 13:00
Venue: JJB Stadium
Referee: Graham Poll (Tring)
Attendance: 10,980

Report by: John Patrick Heeley

Rob Hulse left it late to cancel out David Connolly's 48th minute strike to earn Championship side Leeds a FA Cup Third Round Replay at Elland Road. Wigan appeared to be home and dry but were forced to play out the final 15 minutes or so of the game reduced to ten men - allowing Leeds a way back.

Rob Hulse kept Leeds' FA Cup hopes alive with a late equaliser to continue Wigan's woeful run in the competition as they were held to a 1-1 draw.

David Connolly looked to have fired the Latics into the fourth round for the first time in 19 years with his third goal of the season two minutes into the second half.

But with Paul Jewell's side down to 10 men, after Ryan Taylor went off injured and all three substitutes were used, Hulse pounced in the 88th minute with a close-range drive for his 10th goal this term.

With Jewell carrying out his threat to make changes, showing seven from the team disappointingly beaten 2-0 at Birmingham on Monday, Connolly was one of the main beneficiaries.

The Republic of Ireland international stepped in for Henri Camara, now on African Nations Cup duty with Senegal, and he appeared as if he was going to be the hero.

But United came into the game on the back of eight wins from their last 10 games, maintaining their push for at least a play-off place, and their confidence eventually came through in the closing stages.

On the evidence of the overall performance, though, manager Kevin Blackwell will significantly have to strengthen his squad if Leeds do return to the Premiership in May.

Their moments of quality were rare, with the most incisive early on arriving in the ninth minute, initiated by Stephen Crainey's low left-wing cross.

Hulse, in for Richard Cresswell in the only change from Monday's 3-0 win at Plymouth, played a delightful flick into the path of Jonathon Douglas.

However, an alert John Filan - playing his first game since November 19 - was quick off his line to block well at the feet of the on-loan Blackburn midfielder.

Within a minute Leeds again pushed forward, with Robbie Blake finding Liam Miller, who had managed to get round the back of Steve McMillan.

Miller, who has extended his loan from Manchester United through to the end of the season, picked out Douglas in the heart of the area that resulted in a deflected shot and a corner that came to nothing.

The majority of the sporadic attacks that followed from either side also petered out, with Wigan's forays crisper and neater, but often breaking down on the edge of the area.

Their only clear opportunity in the first period came on the half-hour, with Lee McCulloch rising to meet an Alan Mahon cross from the left, albeit directing a header directly at an untroubled Neil Sullivan.

After the virtually chanceless opening 45 minutes, the visitors should have taken the lead 45 seconds after the restart.

A smart move down the left wing culminated in Eddie Lewis delivering a cross that found Blake for a 14-yard right-foot drive, only for McMillan to get his body in the way.

Instead, it was Wigan who made the breakthrough just 75 seconds later, with Connolly stabbing home from close in after McMillan had drilled a low cross into the six-yard box.

After Francis had rifled a shot over the bar from 20 yards, Wigan almost had a second goal in the 54th minute, only for Andreas Johansson's header to be cleared off the line by Lewis.

Wigan were looking relatively untroubled until disaster struck when Taylor hobbled off with an injury to his right foot with all three subs on the pitch.

Connolly, though, twice went close as the 10 men looked poised to strike again, until Hulse was on hand to set up a replay at Elland Road on January 17.

  • Leeds United
  • Neil Sullivan
  • Gary Kelly
  • Paul Butler
  • Matthew Kilgallon
  • Stephen Crainey
  • Liam Miller
  • Shaun Derry
  • Jonathan Douglas 79
  • Eddie Lewis
  • Rob Hulse
  • Robbie Blake 68
  • Ian Bennett
  • Simon Walton
  • Danny Pugh
  • David Healy 68
  • Richard Cresswell 79
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