Leeds progressed into the FA Cup fifth round with goals from Jack Harrison, Junior Firpo and Luis Sinisterra in a 3-1 victory over League One side Accrington.
The scoreline doesn’t tell the whole story after the hosts still drew the better of the first half when Harrison headed home from the edge of the box.
Accrington rallied again after the break but began to fade away as Leeds’ Premier League quality came to an end with two goals in the space of two minutes. Patrick Bamford set up Firpo with a fine skip to put the left back on fire and then Harrison pulled the ball back for Sinisterra to tap home a simple goal from close range.
Stanley finally found the net late on to finish off the goal, when 18-year-old substitute Leslie Adekoya scored with a first-touch pass from Sebastian Quirk.
How Leeds avoided an FA Cup upset
The opening exchanges were fast and furious. Accrington skipper Sean McConville beat Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier’s palms with a 25-yard drive and Shaun Whalley denied Max Wober’s tackle.
Leeds record signing Georginio Rutter almost made a dream start in his first appearance for the club, dragging a low left-footed shot fingers wide with his first real touch.
Accrington made the visitors uncomfortable. McConville fired another rocket and Whalley threatened to the next post, as both jobs were held by Meslier.
But Leeds took a 23-minute lead with the game’s first moment of real quality when Harrison drove home into the bottom corner after some neat build-up.
Stanley answered well. Brentford loanee Aaron Pressley’s angled shot was saved by Meslier, who headed Whalley’s dangerous ball into the box soon after.
Leeds almost doubled their lead through Sinister, whose long-range effort on the crossbar – the rebound fell, Toby Savin pulled his fingers – but Jesse Marsch Meslier’s side had thanks to put them in front when Ethan Hamilton’s shot was saved.
Accrington spurned a golden chance to equalize moments after the restart when Harvey Rodgers – a vital Leeds fan – headed his shot on target in the far post following McConville’s free-kick. Rodgers put another chance wide after Meslier spilled a long shot past Doug Tharme.
Leeds wasted two of their chances in quick succession just after the hour mark as Bamford and Sinister fired over the target.
But Leeds then put the tie to bed with two goals in as many minutes. Bamford brilliantly drilled Firpo home to score his first goal for the club and finished off another flurry of moves with Sinister’s attack.
Savinus denied Leeds a fourth when he replaced Rodrigo’s shot, watching as Leeds threatened to run through their own teams.
But John Coleman’s side came down fighting and deservedly reduced the deficit in the 81st minute when Adekoya grabbed home Quirk’s pass from six yards.
Accrington’s the next game is in League One, with Lincoln visiting Wham Stadium on Saturday; kick off at 3pm.
John Coleman then traveled to Valley Park as above Farewell Port on Tuesday the 7th of February; kick-off 7.45pm.
Leeds are next in action in the Premier League, with a trip to Nottingham Forest on Sunday, February 5, live You are playing heaven; kick-off 2pm.
Sunday 5th February 1:00 pm
Kick off at 2:00 pm
Jesse Marsch’s side then face a Premier League double header against Juventuswith a trip to Old Trafford on Wednesday February 8 – kick-off 8pm – before taking on their rivals at Elland Road on Sunday February 12. You are playing heaven; kick-off 2pm.