Latics spot on to see off Leeds
By Rob Lancaster
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Wigan defeated Leeds 4-2 in a penalty shoot-out to reach the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Wigan reached reached the fourth round of the FA Cup for the first time in 19 years as they held their nerve to win a penalty shoot-out 4-2 at Elland Road.
The visitors will feel justice was done in the end after they had taken the lead three times during the 120 minutes of action, only for Leeds to peg them back on each occasion.
David Healy's double cancelled out goals from Andreas Johansson and Jason Roberts as 90 minutes was not enough to find a winner in the replay.
Roberts' second of the night appeared to have clinched it for Wigan in the first period of extra time until Gary Kelly's long-range rocket four minutes from the end forced penalties.
Graham Kavanagh converted the winning kick to send The Latics through after David Healy and Rob Hulse had both blazed their attempts over the bar for the hosts.
Extra time will have been the last thing Wigan manager Paul Jewell wanted, particularly as Josip Skoko limped off the field to add to his injury concerns.
However his depleted side still managed to come out on top thanks mainly to the efforts of star-man Roberts, who scored twice and set up Johansson to begin the scoring on 24 minutes with a perfectly-weighted ball over the top.
The goal was no more than Wigan deserved after a lively start that had also seen Gary Teale rattle the bar from the edge of the box.
The midfielder was causing Leeds, and in particular Stephen Crainey, major problems and his only mistake on the night was when he went for goal from a tight angle instead of squaring the ball to Roberts to double the lead.
A 2-0 scoreline would have probably killed the tie off and Wigan's wastefulness proved costly just before the break when the hosts levelled.
A succession of corners eventually produced some reward for Leeds when Healy was in the perfect place to turn in a loose ball after Hulse's header had been stopped on the line.
The second half followed a similar pattern to the first as Wigan once again started the stronger of the two sides.
An excellent effort from Roberts restored their advantage five minutes after the re-start as he beautifully rolled past a defender on the edge of the area before firing into the bottom left corner.
Their lead lasted for just 14 minutes this time though, as Matt Jackson handled a corner from the right to allow Healy to grab his second of the night from the penalty spot.
Jackson's generosity lifted Leeds as they finally began to show the kind of form that has seen them push their way to the top of the Championship.
Eddie Lewis and Liam Miller both saw shots strike the bar as Wigan, playing for the second time in three days after losing 1-0 to West Brom on Sunday, began to wilt as time wore on.
However, they dug deep to grab the lead again through Roberts as he headed home Kavanagh's chip into the area.
The forward's 11th goal of the campaign looked to be the winner until Kelly's fourth goal in 493 appearances in a Leeds shirt meant a shoot-out would be needed to decide who would be travelling to Manchester City.
In the end it was Leeds, Healy and Hulse in particular, that failed to hold their nerve as Wigan converted all four of their attempts to make sure they got beyond the third round of the competition for only the fourth time in their history.
|Leeds United||Team Statistics||Wigan Athletic|
|4||Shots on Target||7|
|6||Shots off Target||13|