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Weekend round up - Saturday 7th December

Weekend Round up.
Weekend player round up from Sophie Beresford.









Premier League

Declan John kept his place in Cardiff's starting line-up, but the Welsh side failed to take advantage of early chances and were beaten 2-0 by hosts Crystal Palace. Former Cardiff man Danny Gabbidon gave a good performance in Palace's defence and narrowly missed out on being selected for the ESPN Team of the Week. Lewis Price and Jonathan Williams were unused substitutes as new manager Tony Pulis led Palace to their first back-to-back Premier League wins since 2004.
 
Joe Allen gave an "excellent" performance according to Brendan Rogers as Liverpool beat West Ham 4-1 at Anfield, a match which saw no more than two scorers putting the ball into the right net. Some sources in fact say that four of the goals were own goals, crediting James Collins with Liverpool's second, though the ball seemed to be heading into the goal before Collins' intervention. Under the circumstances, perhaps it was a good thing that Jack Collison stayed on the bench.
 
Since beating Manchester United, West Brom's only victory has come at home to Crystal Palace. This is not the ideal run of form if, like Boaz Myhill, you are hoping to keep your place in goal when the first-choice keeper returns to fitness. Myhill made some good saves, but West Brom lost 2-0 at home to Norwich. 
 
On Sunday, Aaron Ramsey was unable to add to his impressive goal tally when a somewhat lacklustre Arsenal took on Everton at the Emirates. Despite only managing a 1-1 draw, table-toppers Arsenal are five points ahead of nearest rivals Liverpool and Chelsea.
 
On Monday, Ashley Williams made a pass that was some way short of his usual quality, and helped Hull City to draw 1-1 at Swansea's Liberty Stadium. To Hull, the point will be particularly welcome: their only other away points came in a win over Newcastle in September. Williams then got involved in a fracas with two Hull players - not that I'm condoning it, but it's a brave man who squares up to Tom Huddlestone. Ben Davies did his best to help Swansea out with a fine attacking move, but in the end, both teams had to settle for a point.
 
FA Cup
Richard Duffy sent Port Vale supporters' hearts into their mouths on Friday night when he slipped in the 20th minute and non-league Salisbury Town nearly took the lead, but Port Vale scored their first goal just four minutes later. Salisbury did manage to equalise in the 64th-minute, but fourteen minutes later, Vale were in front again, and by the time the final whistle blew, the score was a respectable 4-1 home win for the League One side. Callum Hart was back in Salisbury's defence for the first time since suffering an injury in early October.
 
On Saturday,  Joe Walsh was denied his fifth goal of the season by Rovers keeper Steve Mildenhall in their goalless draw at Crawley, but the 0-0 scoreline suggests he didn't neglect his defensive duties. Nicky Adams worked hard for Crawley on the right and provided plenty of chances, but it wasn't Crawley's day. Not that it was Bristol Rovers' day either. Eliot Richards found Crawley keeper Paul Jones unbeatable, and the two teams must meet again to determine who will face Birmingham in the third round. For Bristol Rovers, Ellis Harrison was an unused substitute.
 
Freddy Eastwood was back on the bench for Southend following what has been described as both a knee and hamstring injury, but the forward didn't feature. Southend and opponents Chesterfield are separated only by goal difference in the league, but Southend were 3-1 away winners when they met in the Cup.
 
Scott Neilson, who represented Wales as a schoolboy and is eligible for the full international side through grandfather Cliff Jones, put in an energetic performance for Grimsby Town as they beat 'giants' Northampton Town 2-0 at home.
 
Aaron Phillips was an unused substitute for Coventry in their 1-1 draw with Hartlepool United. Perhaps he will have more of a part to play when Coventry host the replay...though he must be worried. Coventry haven't won an away match since the beginning of November, and that was against struggling Notts County.
 
Former Wales under 21 international Lee Fowler started for Kidderminster when they faced his former side Newport. The League Two side couldn't make the most of early chances, but home side Kidderminster took advantage of theirs and the match ended 4-2 with home side Kidderminster going through to the third round. It would be nice to be able to say that Newport fielded a very weak side, but unfortunately, that's not true. Their very strong starting line-up included Andrew Hughes, while Michael Flynn, was a 67th-minute substitute. David Pipe was on the bench.
 
Lloyd James played 90 minutes for Leyton Orient in a 1-0 home victory over fellow League One side Walsall. A nice tonic for his unwell manager Russell Slade, but if Orient were hoping for a 'big side' in the third round, they're probably disappointed. The League One leaders face one of the Championship strugglers: Yeovil Town.
 
Under-23 international Jack Mackreth scored a late winner from a tight angle to give Macclesfield Town a 3-2 home victory over Conference North side Brackley Town - and a place in the third round for a third consecutive year. Brackley, however, also deserve credit after fighting back valiantly from 2-0, putting two goals past Macclesfield keeper Rhys Taylor. Brackley had two former Cardiff players in their matchday squad: one of them, Curtis McDonald, started and was replaced on 87 minutes by the other one, Nat Jarvis. A third Welshman, Neil Cartwright, was an unused substitute.
 
Lee Beevers was dropped to the bench for Mansfield Town's away match against Oldham Athletic. Mansfield are now struggling in League Two following a good start to the season, but they were able to match the League One side and have the home advantage in the replay.
 
It wasn't a particularly enjoyable day for Tranmere's Owain Fn Williams, as his team lost 5-0 at Peterborough, a performance the manager described as 'embarrassing', though he doesn't seem to have singled out Fn Williams for particular blame. Jason Koumas was an unused substitute for Tranmere, and was probably glad to be out of it.
 
Mark Bradley returned to Rotherham's starting line-up, but he and Craig Morgan found themselves dumped out of the Cup by lower-league visitors Rochdale. Rotherham took an early lead, but Rochdale struck back to win 2-1 and progress to the third round for the first time since 2005.
 
Stevenage and Stourbridge faced off in the second round for the second time in three years. Former Walsall youth player Sean Geddes was at Stourbridge when they lost 3-0 at home to Stevenage in 2011, but missed the Stevenage clash due to suspension. So it wasn't really a repeat match for any of the Welshmen, but it did have almost the same result: a 4-0 home victory for Stevenage. Will Richards, who began his career with Shrewsbury Town, returned from illness to start along with Geddes. The BBC and ITV disagree about whether it was Geddes or Richards who conceded a penalty in the last minute, but it's fair to say the game was beyond Stourbridge by then. Kayelden Brown, who was released by West Brom this summer and most recently played for Market Drayton Town, was an unused substitute for Stourbridge.
Michael Doughty started for Stevenage but lasted just twelve minutes due to his manager's concern that he was heading for a second yellow card. Former under-19 international Sam Wedgbury was a 73rd minute substitute.
 
Alex Nicholson appeared in a Preston squad for the first time outside the Johnstone's Paint Trophy, but didn't leave the bench in Preston's 1-0 away victory over Wycombe Wanderers.
 
Chris Maxwell kept his place in goal for Cambridge United as they hosted Sheffield United in the second round and although they did have a number of early chances and had several shouts for a penalty, they were unable to score and it was the league side who came away with a 2-0 win. Cambridge's substitute keeper was Jason Brown, who was appearing in a matchday squad for the first time as a Cambridge player.
 
Former Fulham youngster Richard Peniket played 87 minutes for Tamworth in their match at home to Bristol City, but his FA Cup dreams failed to come true: it was the league side who triumphed in a 2-1 victory. Wes Burns was an unused substitute for Bristol City.
 
On Monday, Wrexham manager Andy Morrell brought himself off the bench in the 83rd minute, but this time he was unable to find the net. A Wrexham side including Johnny Hunt had led at half-time, but two second-half Oxford United goals in quick succession (including one from Ryan Williams, who is eligible for Wales) gave the League Two side a place in the third round. Robert Ogleby also made an appearance from the bench for Wrexham; Leon Clowes and Rob Evans were unused substitutes.
 
 
Championship
Following a stunning midweek goal against Birmingham, David Cotterill was given a place in the starting line-up, but he couldn't repeat his heroics - and to be fair, he'd have needed to repeat them four times in order to beat Bolton, who earned a solid 3-0 home victory.
 
Andy King was back in Leicester's starting line-up and was on the scoresheet when he headed the ball into the net following a free kick. However, Brighton have scored in every home game so far this season, and this one was no exception: they won 3-1. Andrew Crofts came close to his sixth of the season for Brighton, only for his shot to be turned around the post.
 
Brian Stock hasn't seen much action this season, but he started his second consecutive match for Burnley as they beat Barnsley 1-0 at home. Sam Vokes had a couple of early chances to get onto the scoresheet for Burnley, but found Barnsley goalkeeper Jack Butland impossible to beat. Luckily, it didn't matter, and Burnley returned to the top of the league.
 
Joel Lynch conceded a debatable free kick for Huddersfield, which lead to a winning goal for Ipswich, but manager Mark Robins feels Huddersfield should have put the game to bed before then. Although Huddersfield missed a first-half penalty, they took the lead ten minutes later and had chances to increase the scoreline. However, Ipswich are very experienced at coming from behind to win matches, and they struck back in the second half to win 2-1 at home, bringing Huddersfield's three-match winning run to an end.
 
Steve Morison started his second consecutive match for Millwall, and it took him just three minutes to show this was a very good idea on the manager's part: he got the decisive touch in a goalmouth scramble. Jermaine Easter was a second-half substitute and needed only four minutes to take advantage of a counter attack and get his name on the scoresheet too. Millwall beat Wigan 2-1, and are now unbeaten at home in seven matches.
 
Adam Henley made his first Blackburn appearance of the season when he started in place of the suspended Todd Kane. A visit to QPR isn't the most pleasant away trip in the league, but defender Henley did his job well: the match finished as a 0-0 draw.
 
Chris Gunter returned from suspension and took his place in Reading's starting line-up alongside Hal Robson-Kanu. Reading were yet to lose at home this season, but by half-time, things were already looking hairy. Reading were losing 2-0 to Bournemouth, and Gunter was halfway to another red card following a late challenge. Reading did get a goal back in the second half, but Bournemouth held onto their lead and took the points. Shaun MacDonald made an appearance from Bournemouth's bench in the second minute of stoppage time.
 
Simon Church played for Charlton against Yeovil Town, a team for whom he played on loan in 2008, and was very unlucky not to score - his overhead kick was only kept out due to an excellent save by Yeovil keeper Chris Dunn. Rhoys Wiggins played in defence for Charlton, and helped them to earn a 2-2 draw, despite losing a man in the closing stages. Charlton therefore maintained their record of never having lost to Yeovil in the league, but they've also won just one of their last six.
 
League One
Morgan Fox started his first match for Notts County alongside fellow loanee Kieron Freeman. Both showed their prowess in attack as well as in defence, with Freeman setting up the second goal and Fox causing carnage with a free kick. Visiting team Gillingham appeared to take the lead early in the second half, but the goal was ruled out and Notts went on to win 3-1: their first victory in eight games.
 
League Two
Defender Troy Brown scored his first goal for Cheltenham Town - a dramatic 90th-minute goal to give his team a 1-0 win at Morecambe. It was a tap-in at close range, but they can be easy to miss in the stress of the moment, as I believe a certain Gareth Bale can testify. Goalkeeper Connor Roberts was on Cheltenham's bench.
 
Scotland
You know you're having a good week when you win 5-0 away and that's two goals fewer than your last match. Joe Ledley came close with a header, but wasn't among the goals in Celtic's demolition of Motherwell at Fir Park.
 
Also in Scotland, Owain Tudur Jones played 90 minutes for Hibernian in a 1-1 home draw against Partick Thistle; Swansea loanee Gwion Edwards couldn't make the most of a good chance to score for St Johnstone in a 2-0 away defeat to Aberdeen; and Kyle Letheren's Dundee moved to the top of the Scottish Championship on goal difference following a 2-1 away victory over Greenock Morton.

round by SophieB.

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Posted: Tuesday 10th December 2013
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