RECAP: WEEKEND ENGLISH ACTION
Brad Friedel was chosen ahead of Brad Guzan, as the ever reliable shot stopper had a rare off day with Villa barely scrapping through to an FA Cup replay in limited weekend action.
Crystal Palace 2 - 2 Aston Villa
Brad Friedel was chosen ahead of Brad Guzan as Aston Villa found life difficult at Selhurt Park in the FA Cup.
The stadium erupted when the home team opened the scoring when Johannes Ertl struck his first goal for the Eagles. Darren Ambrose was at the center of everything right for Palace, and his corner set the journeyman up for his opening header.
Aston Villa responded after 35 minutes played as another corner saw the scores draw level. Stewart Downing's corner ten minutes from time saw James Collins rise highest to head home in emphatic fashion.
Ambrose capped off a quality evening that left ever-steady Friedel looking like a debutant goalkeeper. With 70 minutes played, the midfielder blasted in a stunning 25-yard free kick, worthy of winning any FA Cup game.
But Villa's class showed through the tough the hardships when Stiliyan Petrov earned the Premier League squad a replay at Villa Park. Again Palace were susceptible from the set piece as Downing's corner found Petrov who nodded past Julian Speroni.
Stockport Country 2 - 2 Colchester
Jemal Johnson went 75 minutes but it was his fellow MK Dons loanee Jabo Ibehre who earned all the acclaim when Stockport earned a shock draw against high flying Colchester.
The visitors got off to a two goal lead within the first 20 minutes with David Prutton scoring ten minutes in when he sent in an innocuous free kick with County goalkeeper Owain fon Williams completely missing the mark and letting the shot roll into the net after fluffing the catch.
George Donnolley hit the post before Colchester doubled their lead through Anthony Wordsworth. After miscueing the first attempt, Williams had little chance at stopping Wordsworth's angled shot.
Ibehre made it a game just two minutes later after pouncing on a Donnolly rebound. Ben Williams made the initial save, with the on-loan striker tapping home the deflection. Stockport stuck with it and were rewarded when Ibehre latched on to a Paul Huntington long ball, smashing home from 15 yards out to earn a share of the spoils.
The cards all went to the home team, with Ibehre , Huntington, Johnny Mullins, Danny Swailes, and Paul Turnbull all receiving yellow cards.
Up next for Johnson and Stockport is Exeter City on Saturday.
Leyton Orient 1 - 1 Leeds
Mike Grella played the final 15 minutes for Leeds United after his showing in the Football League Trophy, as Leeds struggle to turn good performances into victories.
The visitors enjoyed most of the possession for the first hour, with Orient's Jamie Jones keeping the Leeds strike force at bay. With six minutes left in the game, looming defender Tamika Mkandawire rose above the rest to nod in Leyton's unlikely advantage.
Leeds were spared the upset thanks to Orient's Charlie Daviels who unfortunately gifted the draw to Leeds. Luciano Becchio's shot goalwards wasn't enough, and Daniels was on hand to turn it past Jones to see Leeds come away with a point.
Orient's Jonathan Tehoue was the only player booked in the encounter. Grella's next chance at minutes comes in midweek action against Walsall at Elland Road.
Stuart Holden suited up for his first game in England, but did not come off the bench as Bolton drew 1-1 against Tottenham.
Clint Dempsey was out injured as Fulham demolished Notts County 4-0 at Craven Cottage.
Kenny Cooper was an unused substitute in Plymouth's 3-1 win At Barnsley.
Zak Whitbread picked up a calf injury before the match and was dropped from the squad as Norwich won 2-1 at Brighton.
Seb Harris was not selected as 10 man Northampton fell 3-0 to Aldershot at home.
Jon-Paul Pittman saw the final minutes in Wycombes 1-1 draw at Brentford.
Ian Joyce was dropped from the team as Southend United drew at home against Tranmere Rovers 1-1.