Leeds United: Five FA Cup fifth round classics

A CUP fifth-round weekend '“ the watershed moment when cup progress can metamorphose into something substantive and memorable, many would venture.

Friday, 19th February 2016, 11:00 am
Leeds United's Alan Smith battles with Crystal Palace's Darren Powell during their FA Cup fifth round match in 2003.

For Leeds United, a draw or a victory at Vicarage Road tomorrow would at least keep their competitive fires burning in 2015-16 – and ensure their place in the hat for the quarter-final draw. No mean feat.

For all those of a Whites persuasion, here’s five choice round-five victories to get you in the mood ahead of the weekend test at Watford. Just don’t mention Colchester United or Bristol City...

Crystal Palace 1 Leeds United 2, February 16, 2003.

Sign up to our Leeds United newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Harry Kewell broke Palace hearts as Leeds booked their place in the last eight for the first time since 1998.

Kewell, fresh from tormenting England in a shock victory for Australia at Upton Park - completed the perfect week with a spectacular winner to sink Palace.

But the game was no without controversy, with a mistake by referee Dermot Gallagher and his assistants steering Leeds towards the quarter-finals.

The moment arrived in the 39th minute when the officials failed to see that a shot by Tommy Black, which would have put Palace 2-1 up, had crossed the line, and they did not detect either that it had also struck Michael Duberry’s arm before Danny Mills cleared.

Earlier, Julian Gray had cancelled out Gary Kelly’s opener. But the afternoon belonged to Leeds, with ex-Eagles chief Terry Venables afforded a sweet win after a hostile reception back at Selhurst Park.

Leeds United 2 QPR 1, February 21, 1987.

An 85th-minute header from captain Brendan Ormsby earned Leeds an uplifting victory over top-flight QPR - and a rewind to better times and halcyon cup days at Elland Road.

Watched by a partisan crowd of 31,234, Billy Bremner was afforded arguably the greatest day of his Whites reign, with Ormsby almost lifting the roof of the Kop with a late winner, with his celebrations going down in club folklore.

Both United goals were made by lanky striker John Pearson, who set up Ian Baird for the hosts’ opener on 18 minutes after knocking down Micky Adams’ centre - with Baird netting his 13th of the season.

A sliced David Rennie clearance presented the R’s with a lifeline on 64 minutes, with his effort flying past Mervyn Day and into his own net.

But a text-book header following a neat set-piece from Ormsby sent Leeds fans into raptures five minutes from time.

Leeds United 1 Manchester City 0, February 26, 1977.

A dramatic late goal from an unlikely source in Trevor Cherry saw the Whites progress at the expense of their Roses rivals.

Cherry’s tenacity drove him to get up from the penalty area mudbath when tackled by Mike Doyle to toe-end a shot past Joe Corrigan four minutes from time in front of a huge crowd of 47,731.

Corrigan has earlier denied Allan Clarke with a remarkable acrobatic save.

Derby County 0 Leeds United 1, February 18, 1975.

A David Nish own goal scuppered the Rams’ hopes of a league and a cup double with old nemesis Leeds piling on the pain at the Baseball Ground.

The 1974-75 season was a truly memorable one for Dave Mackay’s side, culminating in them lifting the Division One title and becoming Leeds’s successors.

Much of that was based on the bedrock of outstanding home form, with Derby losing just three times.

The Rams lost just four games in all competitions from New Year’s Day 1975, with one of them being to Leeds, a team that Derby fans just loved to hate.

Cardiff City 0 Leeds United 2, February 26, 1972.

A remarkable capacity all-ticket crowd of 50,000 descended on rain-lashed Ninian Park as cup favourites Leeds disposed of the challenge of second-tier Cardiff, thanks to a goal in each half from Johnny Giles.

Having disposed of Liverpool in the previous round and fresh from a 5-1 beating of arch-rivals Manchester United, Leeds were in a rich vein of form - while mindful of shock defeat to Colchester United at the same stage of the competition 12 months earlier.

But United ensured a safe passage through against the Welshman, who memorably came to Elland Road in three consecutive seasons in the 1950s to dump United out of the Cup at the third Round stage by 2-1 on each occasion.