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It was almost like a school detention - 30 minutes extra time when everyone was tired, fed up (because of the cold) and ready to go home.

I'm talking about Leicester City's FA Youth Cup third round home defeat in a penalty shootout against Huddersfield.

Never was there greater evidence for ending the farce of extra time.

The penalty shootout should follow as soon as the 90 minutes ends in a draw - and as quickly as possible.

Last night's extra time was like watching two batteries run down to flat. They hadn't got a spark in em by the end, in fact they were flat 10 minutes BEFORE time.

That was when the Walkers pitch was strewn randomly with casualties, not from flying boots and reckless challenges, but stricken by that tortuous enemy, cramp.

Whether this was caused by the stoppages at the end of 90 minutes or at half-time in extra time, I don't know.

But certainly, when a player went down injured 10 minutes from final time the teams were so tired and reluctant to restart that the break lasted five full minutes.

There were no goals in extra time (how often is that the case?) and the drama of the penalty shootout again took an extraordinary amount of time to unfold.

Fans of course were left shivering in the bitter cold thoughout all of these stoppages.

And why? For a shootout that could more sensibly and just as dramatically been held after 90 minutes and avoided the risk of unnecessary injury to these young players and of prolonged suffering for those frozen fans.

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Date:Wednesday December 28 2005
Time: 2:12PM

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