Leeds United were embarrassed by League Two Rochdale as they went out of the FA Cup with a 2-0 third round defeat at Spotland.
Despite fielding their strongest possible side they went behind in first half injury-time and conceded a second late on to stretch their run of games without a win to five.
United manager Brian McDermott made two changes to his starting line-up with Scott Wootton back in defence and Lee Peltier at wing-back. Noel Hunt was back on the bench after his long injury absence..
The Whites were pegged back early on as Rochdale signalled they were up for the challenge against opponents from two divisions higher. Joe Bunney put the ball into the net only to be judged offside while Paddy Kenny was forced to make a good save to deny Scott Hogan in the 16th minute.
United’s first chance saw Matt Smith get to a free-kick, but his header was cleared off the line for a corner. The resulting flag kick was then met by Marius Zaliukas only for his header to be blocked and cleared.
Wootton blazed over following further Leeds pressure before the home side had a great chance on the half-hour, Hogan going through only to be denied again by the onrushing Kenny. The United keeper then saved again from Ian Henderson.
Rochdale did go in front just before the break, however, when Hogan headed home from Peter Vincenti’s cross.
Leeds were forced to chase the game after the break and initially they looked set to hit back as Smith had a header cleared off the line.
But for all their attacking intentions they struggled to create clear chances and Rochdale remained in front with the minutes ticking by.
Both teams had opportunities in the 69th minute with Henderson shrugging off Marius Zaliukas to race clear only for Kenny to come out to clear. The ball went straight up the other end and fell to Ross McCormack, but his well struck shot from the edge of the box flashed inches wide.
Another chance for United fell to Pugh, but he was denied by keeper Josh Lillis while the hosts were still dangerous with Vincenti shooting wide then bringing another save out of Kenny.
With United pushing forward their defence was wide open now and Rochdale took full advantage to make it 2-0 when Henderson volleyed home.
There was no reply from Leeds and manager Brian McDermott was left apologising to fans after a sorry cup exit and a poor display, describing this as one of his worst days in football.
(Hogan 45+2, Henderson 84)
Leeds United 0
Saturday. January 5, 2013
FA Cup, round three
Rochdale: Lillis; Bennett, Cavanagh, Lancashire, Vincenti; Hogan, Lund, Done, O’Connell; Bunney (Cummins 71), Henderson.
Leeds: Kenny; Zaliukas, Wootton (Hunt 76), Pearce; Peltier (Poleon 85), Pugh, Murphy, Austin, Byram; McCormack, Smith.
Referee: M Jones