Sunday, 16 March 2008

Vale grab late equaliser as United squander lead

New loan striker, Dougie Freedman, making his first start for Leeds United, grabbed a brace of goals in the Potteries and Rui Marques got one but it was not enough in the end as bottom of the table Port Vale grabbed a late equaliser in the third minute of extra time.

Over 3500 United fans, which made up almost half the Vale Park crowd, were celebrating at half-time when the team went in 2-0 ahead.

Leeds should have had a penalty in the 38th minute but were awarded a corner instead. The corner, taken by Bradley Johnson, was converted by Marques from inside the box, 0-1.

Three minutes later Freedman slammed in his first goal for United to make it a perfect end to the first-half.

In the 62nd minute the referee awarded Vale a penalty after it appeared that Andy Hughes had handled the ball. Video evidence later showed that the ball had hit his head. Hughes desperately tried to explain this to the official as he pointed to the penalty spot. Vale's Paul Harsley converted from the spot and almost immediately afterwards Danny Whitaker put Vale on level terms, 2-2.

Freedman put United back in the lead with four minutes to go when he headed in a free-kick taken by Seb Carole, 2-3.

It looked like the mighty Whites were all set to return to Leeds with a well earned three points but in the third minute of extra-time Vale went level again when Luke Rogers tapped in a dramatic equaliser, 3-3.

As a result of United's shaky defence the team went from being one minute away from a play-off position down to 10th spot in the league and with only nine games left to play every point counts from now on.

Attendance 7908.

Port Vale 3 Leeds United 3

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