Knights puts Leeds to the sword

SCHOOLBOY star Darryl Knights' late clincher sent Ipswich into the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup after defeating Leeds 2-1 after extra time.The Chantry High pupil headed home with just two minutes of extra time remaining after Aidan Collins' sixth minute opener had been cancelled out by a Kevin Smith equaliser midway through the second half.

SCHOOLBOY star Darryl Knights' late clincher sent Ipswich into the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup after defeating Leeds 2-1 after extra time.

The Chantry High pupil headed home with just two minutes of extra time remaining after Aidan Collins' sixth minute opener had been cancelled out by a Kevin Smith equaliser midway through the second half.

England Under-16 international Knights had come on for Scott Barron in the 70th minute, little realising he was destined to be Town's hero.

This defeat was another heavy blow for a club occupying bottom slot in the Premiership and thought to be on the brink of administration as they struggle to overcome crippling debts of more than £80 million.


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They were looking to their youngsters to provide a rare ray of sunshine through the dark clouds hanging over Elland Road, but they were instead upstaged by their Ipswich counterparts.

Leeds may have appeared the stronger of the two sides, but their physical advantage counted for little as the Town boys stuck to their footballing principles and deserved to progress to the next stage.

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Central defender Collins, who has already had first team experience, knocked the ball in as he arrived late to meet Adem Atay's corner while some of the 1,244 spectators were still settling into their seats.

Ipswich dominated the first period and were close to extending their lead on a couple of occasions, Dean Bowditch first being denied by a fine save from Scott Carson and then being crudely grounded when clean through.

Aaron Lennon, the youngest-ever Premiership player after coming off the bench against Tottenham at White Hart Lane in August 2003 for his senior debut at 16 years and 129 days old, was given a stern ticking-off when he piled into Ipswich defender Michael Synnott.

He escaped without being shown a card by referee Alan Parker, but four home players were not so lucky later on as the official took action.

Leeds emerged from the dressing room at half-time clearly determined to level and they duly did so through Smith, who had struck a post just two minutes earlier.

Town keeper Shane Supple came for a high ball but couldn't hold it and it was eventually played out to Smith, on the right of the area, who rifled low past Supple to make the score 1-1.

The same player came close to giving United the lead when Lennon fired the ball across the face of goal and Smith was just inches away from connecting to turn it into the net.

Ipswich were next to be denied by the woodwork as Dean Bowditch slipped the ball past Carson, but only on to the foot of the post and it bounced away to safety.

Chris Jones was denied just before full-time by Supple, before opposite number Carson did well to deny Knights right at the death.

Ipswich were laughing, however, when Knights headed in from five yards to earn his side a place in the last 32 of a competition the club won in both 1973 and 1975.

Coach Ian Smith was delighted with his players' performance and said: "They had to show a lot of character to win a very difficult game. But they deserved to come through.

"We played very well in the first half but in the second we lost our way a little bit by thinking we could hang on to our one-goal advantage.

"Leeds got back into it and both teams had chances to clinch it in the 90 minutes. But in extra time we settled down well and passed the ball, and we got our reward."

Leeds: Carson, Parker, McDaid, Constable, Walton (Morris 47), Leister, Keogh (Bowler 85), Jones (Reeves 102), Smith, Woods, Lennon. Subs not used: Wilberforce, McKeown.

Ipswich: Supple, Atay, Krause, Mitchell, Collins, Synnott, Flack, Barron (Knights 70), Bowditch, Reid (Manning 90), Craig. Subs not used: Croll, Beveridge, Lordan.

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