Category Archives: Championship

EDITOR’S INSIGHT – 19th June 2014.

Image   Story by Robin Popley One week in to Brazil 2014 and it has already proven to be as good as the hype that preceded it. By my mathematics, there is an average of 3 goals per game which means we are well on track for almost 200 goals by the end of the tournament and by the way some teams are attacking, that prediction may well be met. Holland have been scoring as freely as Niagara Falls flows and Spain’s defence has been as absent as a Dingle’s school attendance: which is probably why they have been eliminated after only one week of their title defence. Continue reading EDITOR’S INSIGHT – 19th June 2014.

Championship: Weekly Round Up 06/10

Story by Richard Curtis

It was reported earlier today Owen Coyle has been sacked as Bolton manager after a string of disappointing results including last weekend’s 2-1 defeat to strugglers Millwall leaving the trotters straggling in 18th position in the league. Darius Henderson scored a 90th minute winner on top of his earlier 17th minute strike to move Millwall three points above the relegation zone, Eagles had earlier equalised for Bolton when his free kick somehow found its way through a Millwall wall. Millwall could have almost guaranteed all 3 points earlier in the game but Danny Shittu’s header was controversially disallowed for a push on Adam Bogdan.

Bottom of the table Peterborough Towns woes increased with a 1-0 home defeat to Nottingham Forest.  Andy Reid’s strike gave Nottingham Forest a first away win and left Peterborough as the only Football League club without a home point. Following the game Peterborough manager Darren Ferguson stated that he does not like working with the club’s director of football Barry Fry and goes as far to claim that he is forcing him towards resignation.  Two other managers are also under pressure. Birmingham City fans were livid after their sides defeat against newly promoted Huddersfield Town, thanks to a goal from new signing Jermaine Beckford, this poor result came just 2 weeks after the 6-0 home drubbing by Barnsley. The pressure is really on Blues manager Lee Clark; he has reacted this week by signing midfielder Diop from West Ham on loan.The pressure is also mounting on Ipswich Town manager Paul Jewell following his sides defeat to Cardiff City, although he has been given a temporary stay of execution. Cardiff sit top of the table after the 2-1 victory thanks to goals from Heidar Helguson, New Ipswich signing DJ Campbell scored on his debut.

The weekend’s big movers were Leicester City which will be music to our editor’s ears!  The Foxes are now up to second place following a 2-0 win against Bristol City in which in-form striker David Nugent scored one and forced an own-goal. The question everyone is asking is can the foxes keep up their current form to the end of the season, I believe so but only time will tell!  Also in the East Midlands Derby played out a goalless draw against Brighton at Pride Park a game at which I was in attendance, despite sounding a boring game there was plenty of action, both goalkeepers Ledgkins and Kuszach made a number of saves. Both Brighton and Derby are hoping to push towards the play-off positions this season, and on evidence from this game it’s a real possibility.

Game of the day was Selhurst Park where Crystal Palace edged out Burnley in a seven goal thriller, winning 4-3. Burnleys Chris McCann and Martin Paterson put the visitors 2-0 up, but 19 year old Palace forward Zaha responded with strikes either side of the break. Damien Delaney and Glenn Murray put Palace out of sight, although there was time for a late Charlie Austin consolation for Burnley. The Eagles are now unbeaten in seven Championship games and have taken 19 points in that period and have moved upto 4th place in the league. The win ensured a fourth successive league victory for the first time since December 2007 and capped off a fantastic week for both Palace and 19-year-old winger Zaha, who scored both of his side’s goals in their 2-1 win against Wolves on Tuesday.

Elsewhere Leeds defeated Barnsley 1-0 in a Yorkshire derby thanks to a Luciano Becchio first-half penalty; Charlton Athletic defeated Blackpool 2-0 thanks to goals from Leon Cort and Chris Sully.  Middlesbrough won 2-1 away at Watford thanks to goals from Emnes and McDonald and Hull City moved up to 10th with a 1-0 win against Sheffield Wednesday thanks to a goal from substitute Aaron Mclean.

Games to look out for after the International Break…

Fri 19th October :  Sheffield Wednesday  Vs Leeds (Yorkshire Derby)  7.45pm.

Sat 20th October: Derby vs Blackburn (possible new Blackburn manager?) 3pm.

Sat 20th October: Birmingham City Vs Leicester (Will the blues respond to last weekend) 3pm.

Sat 20th October:  Crystal Palace Vs Millwall (London Derby?!) 3pm.

Sat 20th October: Bolton vs Bristol City (Life after Owen Coyle for the trotters!) 3pm.

Championship: Weekly Round Up 30/09

Story by Robin Popley

Key Match – Nottingham Forest 0 – 1 Derby County

In a typically heated encounter, it was Derby County who emerged victorious in this Brian Clough Cup Match, one of few league games that can boast a trophy to the winner. From the off-set, referee Robert Madley had to calm the tempers of both Forest, and The Rams. The first yellow card of the game was the first real highlight of any description and this was awarded to Andy Reid following a lunging challenge on Derby defender, Craig Bryson, who would turn out to be the hero on the day. Between him (Bryson) and Dextor Blackstock – who was eventually sent off immediately into the second half – there were more fouls exchange hands than words spoken on the pitch between either player. Victory mattered. The fans, as ever, knew that too.

The first chance of the game came through Chris Cohen for Forest, with the midfielder firing a relatively easy shot at Frank Fielding in the Derby net, saved accordingly by the goalkeeper. As tempers flared, free kicks soon followed, with Lewis McGuagan wasting a brilliant opportunity to test Fielding moments later. However, it was almost apt that in a half they were on the back foot for much of, Derby would create the best chance with Conor Sammon – a recent £1 million acquisition from Wigan – firing narrowly over Lee Camp’s goal before Simon Cox returned the favour moments later for Forest with the same outcome. Wide but only just!

Then the boiling point was finally reached. Dexter Blackstock was sent off inside 60 seconds of the restart, following a challenge to Richard Keogh’s face, although replays do suggest that by contrast to earlier challenges the striker made this was the least harmful. Nevertheless, whoever it was, a sending off was always on the cards. If this was the precursor the game had needed then we need a protagonist.  Up step Bryson who tapped in on the 55th minute to send the Derby fans wild. Forest were silenced.

That is how it would remain despite an extremely good effort from Simon Gillett near the end. His rebound was superbly saved by Fielding, further adding to why he has been on the England team fringes, before and since his move to Pride Park last summer.


Cardiff joined Brighton at the top of the table with 16 points, following a comprehensive 3 – 0 home victory over fellow promotion rivals, Blackpool. Leicester City continued their fine form by extending their unbeaten run to three with their first away points and win at Middlesborough, Lloyd Dyer clinching the win late on in the day, to push the Foxes into the Play-offs for the first time since Opening Day. Peterborough surprised the entire division, by taking full points on the road against Hull City, Emile Sinclair with a hat trick. Crystal Palace also sent shockwaves through the league as they further added to Owen Coyle’s problems at Bolton with a slender 1-0 victory at the Reebok. In the highscoring game at Ashton Gate between Bristol City and Leeds United, it was Leeds who game out on top, with a 3-2 win. Wolves continued their fine recent form by winning yet again at home to Sheffield Wednesday by a goal to nil. Another shock was seen at Huddersfield as they were on the reverse of 3 – 2 scoreline against Watford. The hornets toppling the other joint leaders of the Championship (as things stood ahead of this weekend). Leaders Brighton were beaten by Lee Clark’s inconsistant Birmingham City 1 – 0 and there were draws in the games at Barnsley – where they were held 1 all by Ipswich – and at Turf Moor where Burnley and Milwall played out a 2 all draw.

The other draw of the weekend was between newly promoted Charlton and Blackburn. Steve Kean wasn’t present however, as following pressure leading up to this game, gave his resignation into the Venky’s thus beginning the search for a new Rovers manager. The 11 team watch with curiosity who will take over at the helm!

League Cup: Third Round 25/09

Story By Ryan Howden

Chelsea 6-0 Wolves

Chelsea put in a very classy performance to coast past Wolves. Three goals within-side 16 minutes from Cahill, Bertrand and Mata had already put the game beyond doubt before Romeu scored from the spot. Torres and Moses added goals in the second half to complete the rout.

Marc Albrighton (left) and Charles N'Zogbia

Manchester City 2-4 Aston Villa After Extra Time

The biggest shock of the night came from the Etihad where Aston Villa shocked the league champions with a 4-2 win.

City opened the scoring with a shot from Mario Balotelli before Gareth Barry put the ball into his own net to level things up. A free-kick from Aleksandar Kolarov restored City’s lead, but Villa responded quickly with a goal from Gabriel Agbonlahor. This is how the match stood on 90 minutes and in extra-time goals from N’Zogbia and Agbonlahor sealed a shock win and Villa’s place in the last 16.

Leeds United 2-1 Everton

Leeds produced a battling performance to dump Everton out of the third round. Aidan White gave Leeds the lead early on before Rodolph Austin added another 20 minutes from time. Sylvian Distin pulled one back for Everton with a powerful header, but it was not enough.

West Ham 1-4 Wigan

West Ham crashed out of the League Cup in a heavy defeat to Wigan. The Hammer’s opened the scoring with a goal from Modibo Maiga before a brace from Mauro Boselli and a powerful 20-yard strike from Ivan Ramis switched the game in Wigan’s favour. The result was sealed when Jordi Gomez converted from the spot.

Bradford 3-2 Burton Albion After Extra Time

Stephen Darby’s extra-time goal proved the difference in a hard fought game to take the Bantams through to the last 16. Burton were two up within half-an-hour through goals from Billy Kee and Aaron Webster. But a late smash and grab from Bradford saw then at 2-2 going into extra-time after a brace from Nahki Wells.

Swansea players mob match-winner Garry Monk

League One Crawley came very close to causing an upset against Premier League Swansea, Garry Monks injury time header saved the visitors after goals from Michu, Simpson, Akpan and Graham. 10-man Sunderland ran out a convincing win at MK Dons, Lee Cattermole was sent off in the first half for a dangerous challange on Adam Chicksen. But second half goals from Craig Gardner and James McClean saw the Premier League side safely through to the next round.

Andy Williams

Middlesbrough made 11 changes to the side that beat Blackburn on friday. Emmanuel Ledesma and Merouane Zemmama scored in the first 20 minutes to put Middlesbrough in a powerful position. Jack King pulled one back for the hosts before Richard Smallwood put the game beyond doubt. A brace from Jay Rodriguez saw Southampton through against Sheffield Wednesday. Swindon saw off Burnley to progress to the last 16, veteran striker Paul Benson opened the scoring for Swindon before Andy Williams made it 2-0. Burnley pulled one back through Charlie Austin, but Troy Archibald-Henville (Great name btw!) put the game to bed.

Championship: Weekly Round Up 23/09

Story by Richard Curtis

This weekend twenty two of the division’s sides were in action. This week’s report focuses on the teams whose names begin with the letter ‘B’.

Brighton are the division’s early leaders and moved two points clear on Saturday thanks to a 2-1 win away at Millwall. In a lively encounter both goalkeepers were forced into early saves but Brighton deservedly broke the deadlock when Will Buckley’s cut back fell to Ashley Barnes to fire in.  Adam El-Abd soon made it two with an incisive close range finish after a corner was not properly cleared. Millwall pilled on the pressure late on and despite substitute Chris Taylor being dismissed for a careless lunge they managed to get themselves back in the game through a Chris Wood drive. Unfortunately for Millwall, Brighton shut up shop and held on to the ball well in the closing minutes preventing an equaliser.

Second placed Blackburn lost ground on the leaders and their unbeaten record in Friday night’s 2-1 defeat at home to Middlesbrough. Striker Lukas Jutkiewicz marked his first start of the campaign following a summer knee operation with both his sides’ goals.  Jutkiewicz drove in an early opener and guided in a header from Mustapha Carayol’s cross to ensure Boro’s first away league win of the campaign. Rovers midfielder Grant Hanley headed in a consolation goal for Blackburn late on, before Jordan Rhodes had a penalty appeal rejected, leaving manager Steve Kean fuming. Incredibly despite his sides’ league position Kean faced more chants demanding his departure from angry and in my opinion deluded fans!  Third placed Blackpool who already have a goal difference of +11 will hope to leapfrog Blackburn in Monday night’s game against Huddersfield.

Glenn Murray scores Palace’s third from the penalty spot.

This weekend’s surprise result came from St. Andrews where Barnsley recorded one of their biggest ever away victories in their 5-0 demolition of Birmingham City. All the goals came in 19 second half minutes, and four of them were from striker Craig Davies. The Tykes claimed their first clean sheet in 24 away games and their first win in five league matches on the road. Infuriated Birmingham manager Lee Clark’s analysis summed his sides performance up well “It was a totally flat performance in every aspect. Barnsley played through us. It’s an awful performance. There were lots of mistakes but everything we did was so flat. There was no urgency and it was lifeless.”

Bolton continued their recently improved form with a 2-1 win away to Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough. The visitors went ahead on the stroke of half-time through Marcos Alonso, before on-loan Everton midfielder Ross Barkley equalised for the Owls with a penalty after Anthony Gardner was fouled in the box.  Mark Davies was the match winner, netting  after a mazy run in which he beat three players before smashing a shot into the top corner of the net claiming Bolton’s first away league win of the season. Burnley also achieved their first away win of the season with a 2-1 win against Derby at Pride Park, thanks to two goals including a last gasp winner from inform striker Charlie Austin. The game was notable for defender Jason Shackell’s return to Derby following his controversial move to Burnley this summer. Bristol City snatched a late equaliser through striker Steve Davies in the 2-2 draw against Watford who ended a run of four straight defeats. A David Wilson own goal and Vydra header had given the hosts the lead before Marvin Elliott and Davies replied.

Dom Poleon

Elsewhere Glenn Murray scored a second-half hat-trick for Crystal Palace as 6th placed Cardiff City surrendered a two-goal lead in a thrilling game at Selhurst Park. Wolves moved up to 5th position with a 2-0 win away to Peterborough (who are yet to pick up a point this season) thanks to goals from Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Bjorn Sigurdarson. Leicester City moved to within 1 point of the playoffs following a 3-1 win at the King Power Stadium against 4th placed Hull City thanks to a wonderful hat-trick from striker David Nugent. Ipswich’s torrid start to the season continued with a 2-1 defeat at home to newly promoted Charlton for whom Ricardo Fuller scored his first goal following his summer move from Stoke City and Nottingham Forest saw their unbeaten league record come to an end as Leeds avenged last season’s famous 7-3 defeat with a 2-1 victory thanks to goals from Becchio and Poleon.

Upcoming games to look out for:-  

Mon 24th  Huddersfield Town Vs Blackpool.

Sat 29th Brighton & Hove Albion Vs Birmingham City.

Sat 29th  Cardiff City Vs Blackpool.

Sun 30th Nottingham Forest Vs Derby County.