Hartlepool 2 Leeds United 2: Leeds forced to settle for point

LEEDS United manager Simon Grayson is hopeful top scorer Jermaine Beckford will recover from a slight hamstring strain to play in the club's Johnstone's Paint Trophy decider at Carlisle United tomorrow night.

Beckford was substituted as a precaution during the interval at Hartlepool United with the visitors leading through Luciano Becchio's 23rd-minute header.

With Leeds needing to overcome a 2-1 first-leg deficit tomorrow to reach Wembley, Grayson said: "We are hopeful he will be able to play although if there is any doubt, he won't."

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Grayson did not feel Beckford's withdrawal or his side's exertions in their FA Cup defeat by Spurs had contributed towards Hartlepool's unexpected fightback.

Grayson added: "Scott Flinders has made some fine saves and at 1-0 you are always vulnerable.

"It was positive to get a result after a big game on Wednesday and the players have given everything both physically and mentally."

Leeds's midfield, however, did appear to tire after a comfortable opening period. Becchio's finish from 24-goal Beckford's precise cross rewarded the visitors' dominance and the Argentine forward was only denied a hat-trick of first-half headers by fine saves from Rotherham-born Flinders. Hartlepool finally threatened after substitute Ritchie Jones's 57th-minute arrival and Casper Ankergren foiled Adam Boyd just after the hour before the home striker blasted a 71st-minute equaliser from the edge of the box.

Flinders flapped at a 78th-minute corner and Becchio poked home from close range after Richard Naylor's lob hit a post.

But the home side rallied again and Antony Sweeney headed a stoppage-time equaliser.

With neither leaders Norwich or third-placed Charlton winning, Grayson said: "We have still taken a point away from a difficult ground, and other results have gone for us."

Hartlepool United: Flinders, Austin, Collins, Liddle, Hartley, Gamble, Humphreys (Jones 57), Sweeney, Monkhouse, Larkin (Behan 46), Boyd. Unused substitutes: Cook, McSweeney, Clark, Bjornsson, Fredriksen.

Leeds United: Ankergren, Bromby, Michalik, Naylor, Lowry, Gradel, Howson, Doyle, McSheffrey (Johnson 86), Becchio, Beckford (Snodgrass 46). Unused substitutes: David Martin, Crowe, Grella, Hughes, White.

Referee: Scott Mathieson (Cheshire).

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