Date:Sunday January 23 2011
Portsmouth and Leeds had to share the points in an entertaining 2-2 draw at Fratton Park where the game was also twice interrupted through a floodlight failure.
The two sides shared a six-goal thriller at Elland Road just over three weeks earlier and once again it was a game full of incident.
Luciano Becchio was back for Leeds after overcoming the back injury that forced him to miss the Arsenal game in midweek and George McCartney returned in defence in place of Ben Parker.
The home side had a great chance in the opening minutes but John Utaka somehow managed to miss a cross from the right.
Leeds first effort fell to Max Gradel and his long-range effort was pushed away by Ashdown in the Portsmouth goal.
The home side were enjoying the bulk of the play in the half and creating most of the chances.
Greg Halford twice went close from corners with one effort hitting the top of the crossbar.
David Nugent fired high over the bar as the home side continued to press.
Portsmouth were denied a clear penalty when George McCartney handled in the area but the referee waved away the appeals (it happened right in front of me in the away end and it was a clear handball).
The home side eventually took the lead on 26 minutes when Paul Connolly went missing and Lawrence played the ball back to WARD on the edge of the area who fired past Schmeichel.
Kasper Schmeichel then had to produce an excellent save to deny Utaka who cut in from the left and unleashed a fierce strike.
Leeds looked like they were suffering a hangover from the midweek cup tie with Arsenal and it was past the half hour before they got close to the Portsmouth goal.
Good work between Watt and Gradel eventually found Howson on the edge of the area but his shot went harmlessly wide.
Portsmouth went in at the break deservedly in front against a disjointed Leeds.
Leeds started the second half brightly and won a free kick 35 yards out.
Snodgrass whipped the free kick into the back post and Howson knocked the ball back into the middle for BECCHIO to tap in and get Leeds back on level terms.
It was a totally different looking Leeds side in the second half and Watt scuffed a shot that left him holding his hamstring.
Johnson then fired a free kick into row Z (back to normal) as Leeds searched for a second goal.
Howson then saw his shot well saved by Ashdown as Leeds were in control of the game.
The home side wnt back in front when an hopeful ball forward should have been dealt with by Connolly and Bruce, but their mix up allowed UTAKA to pounce and he beat Schmeichel from close range.
Leeds immediately made a change with SOMMA replacing the struggling Watt and it was the South African, who quickly levelled for Leeds when a great touch and left foot shot from the edge of the area gave Ashdown no chance.
Leeds were once again enjoying the bulk of the game and Somma and Gradel both had chances in quick succession.
Snodgrass was giving Dickinson a hard time down the Leeds right and it took a block from the former Leeds loan defender to deny Snodgrass.
There was then the first of two floodlight failures and the game was held up for ten minutes as the home officials searched frantically for another 50p for the meter.
The break had halted Leeds as they were in control of the game and looking the most likely side to go on and win the game.
The stop in play seemed to regroup the home side and Sonko went close for the hosts when he headed wide.
Becchio was then body checked by Rocha as he looked to get in behind the Portsmouth defence with the defender picking up a yellow card.
Howson headed wide from the free kick as Leeds started to take hold of the game once again.
It looked like it was only a matter of time before Leeds found a third and Ashdown pulled off a fantastic save to deny Howson from the edge of the area.
Gradel and Snodgrass then both fired wide as Leeds searched for a winner.
The floodlights then went out for a second time to halt Leeds progress and once again, the Portsmouth officials frantically looked for more money for the meter as 10p doesn`t get you very long.
The game eventually restarted with the pa announcer stating that there was three minutes left to play.
The game soon finished with players, staff and fans wondering where the final three minutes had gone.
Leeds will feel disappointed not to have come away with the three points in the end but after a lacklustre first half performance a draw was probably a fair result.
Ashdown, Halford, Sonko, De Laet (Rocha 54), Dickinson, Ward, Mullins, Nugent, Kanu, Lawrence, Utaka
Subs not used
Flahavan, Hreidarsson, Kilbey, Ciftci
Schmeichel, Connolly, Bruce, Bromby, McCartney, Howson, Gradel, Snodgrass, Johnson, Becchio, Watt (Somma 61)
Subs not used
Higgs, Collins, Parker, McCormack, Sam, Paynter
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Date:Sunday January 23 2011
|15. Leeds Utd||35||12||8||15||-8||44|
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