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Midweek round up - Wednesday 1st January 2014.

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










P
remier League

Aaron Ramsey didn't have the chance to give another Man of the Match performance against his former club Cardiff City: the midfielder is sidelined with a groin injury. Arsenal won 3-0 at the Emirates, but while Cardiff have been in turmoil off the field and have won only one of their last ten matches, they didn't make things easy for the league leaders. Declan John started for Cardiff in place of the injured Andrew Taylor.
 
Another Danny Gabbidon error lead to Norwich City scoring the opening goal in their away match at Crystal Palace. Palace equalised with a penalty and the match finished 1-1, but the London club still found themselves back in the relegation zone due to Fulham's picking up all three points.. Jonathan Williams came off the bench in the 80th minute for Palace; Lewis Price was an unused substitute.
 
Jack Collison got his first West Ham start in the league since being hauled off in the 40th minute against Chelsea. He stayed on for 90 minutes this time, but the match still ended with a defeat to London-based opponents: on this occasion, Fulham. James Collins was rumoured to be in with a chance of returning from a groin injury, but he wasn't ready in time and away team West Ham, who have a shortage of fit defenders at the moment, seemed to miss him. West Ham, who lost 2-1, are three points from safety and have won only one of their last thirteen league matches.
 
Boaz Myhill was an unused substitute for West Bromwich Albion as they finally won a match - their first in ten attempts. The visitors were Newcastle United and lost 2-1 to West Ham. Newcastle have won more away games than any team outside North London, but West Brom's home form has been excellent if you only consider games played in 2014.
 
Championship
The last time Barnsley visited Birmingham, Craig Davies scored four goals in a 5-0 win. Due to a season full of niggles and the fact he doesn't play for Barnsley anymore, Davies was unable to repeat the feat and Barnsley had to be content with a 1-1 draw, which is an improvement on their previous two results. Christian Dibble and Lewin Nyatanga were unused substitutes for Barnsley.
 
Andrew Crofts could have put Brighton ahead in the first ten minutes, but he didn't, and Brighton home match against Bournemouth ended as a 1-1 draw. But let's not blame Crofts. Brighton's Amex Stadium is said to provide a great day out, and this seems particularly true for the away fans: Brighton have won there just four times this season. Shaun MacDonald failed a late fitness test on an unspecified body part, but got to watch the match from the comfort of Bournemouth's bench.
 
Sam Vokes created chances but couldn't quite find the net himself as Burnley moved back into the top two with a 3-2 home victory over Huddersfield Town. David Jones got the assist for Burnley's opening goal and was a lively presence for the home teams. It's a shame he's so set on playing for England. Apart from the fact it's never going to happen, he could be useful the next time Wales have an injury crisis. Huddersfield's Joel Lynch went off with a groin injury after 25 minutes; Brian Stock was an unused substitute for Burnley.
 
Rhoys Wiggins missed Charlton's last match due to his wife being in labour, but luckily for Charlton, he didn't request paternity leave like some overpaid players do. Wiggins very nearly scored a dramatic late equaliser for Charlton at in-form Ipswich, but he didn't have much time to rue his miss as the dramatic equaliser was scored a few minutes later when Simon Church set up Johnnie Jackson. It must have felt a bit like a win for Charlton and a defeat for Ipswich - but only one of these two are unbeaten in eight, and it isn't Charlton.
 
Andy King played 90 minutes for league leaders Leicester as they won their fourth consecutive match 3-1, with managerless Millwall their latest victims. Steve Morison started for Millwall at the Den, but although he was put through on goal, Leicester keeper Kasper Schmeichel did his best impersonation of his dad. 74th-minute substitute Jermaine Easter could also have found the net for Millwall, but he seemed to think it was located in the stand. But it's not all bad news. Millwall did manage to score a goal. They haven't done that for a while.
 
David Cotterill kept his place in Doncaster's starting line-up as they tried and failed to do the double over Queen's Park Rangers. Doncaster are now without a win in seven. QPR were without a win in three and might have had some sympathy over struggling Doncaster. But probably not very much.
 
Chris Gunter was switched to centre back for Reading as they hosted Gunter's previous club Nottingham Forest. Reading managed to end a run of three defeats which has seen them drop out of the title race and lose their unbeaten home record, but could only record a 1-1 home draw against Forest. Jake Taylor made his first appearance for Reading for three months in the 82nd minute.
 
League One
Tom Lawrence curled in a free kick for Carlisle United from 25 yards out in the 78th minute, but despite Carlisle's best efforts, home side Crewe hung on to claim a 2-1 victory. George Ray was an unused substitute for Crewe, who are now in the bottom four only due to an admittedly poor goal difference. Carlisle need to watch out: they're just three points ahead.
 
Morgan Fox helped Notts County to keep a clean sheet in a 3-0 home demolition of Bradford City. Despite their recent good form, there is still work to be done at Notts County: they are three points adrift of safety, having played more games than the teams around them. They'd better hope Derby County lets them borrow Kieron Freeman again. Bradford are without a win in six, but look relatively healthy in twelfth.
 
Aaron Wildig is technically ineligible for Wales, but the former under-16 international wanted to represent Wales after spending his childhood with Cardiff City. As players who want to represent Wales aren't quite as numerous as they should be (yes, Paul Parry and Tom Bradshaw, I probably do mean you), I hope you'll indulge my being happy for Wildig, who has just returned from injury to score Shrewsbury Town's winning goal in a 2-1 away victory over Oldham Athletic. Joe Jacobson started for Shrewsbury against his former club and Darren Jones was a stoppage-time substitute. The aforementioned Parry and Bradshaw were left on the bench.
 
Richard Duffy picked up his fourth yellow cards in five matches. He's had five altogether this season, but misses out on suspension by one day. So it was a lucky escape for Duffy, but not for Port Vale, who lost 3-2 at Preston North End, though promoted Port Vale are only two points outside the play-offs.
 
Mark Bradley returned from suspension to start Rotherham United's home match against Coventry City, but they'll be without Craig Morgan in their next match. The captain was red-carded for a foul, a decision his manager Steve Evans feels is correct, but he disagrees with the referee's decision to award a penalty as he believes the contact took place outside the box. The match finished 3-1 to Coventry, but Rotherham will rue a missed penalty in the twelfth minute of stoppage time when the score was 2-1. Aaron Phillips celebrated signing a new contract for Coventry with an 89th-minute substitute appearance that was better than it sounded because of all the stoppage time.
 
Dave Edwards scored a 55th-minute equaliser for Wolves in their match at Tranmere Rovers, which finished 1-1. In the second half, midfielder Edwards was part of a three-man defence in what had become a 10v10 game. Sam Ricketts (who could have stolen all three points) and Jake Cassidy (who had two loan spells with opponents Tranmere) also started. Wayne Hennessey and Lee Evans were unused substitutes. Owain fon Williams, Ash Taylor (who got the assist for Tranmere's goal) and Jason Koumas all started for the home side.
 
Kaid Mohamed was an unused substitute as Wimbledon travelled to Dagenham & Redbridge and lost 1-0. Mohamed signed for former club Wimbledon on loan from Port Vale, but hasn't featured in Wimbledon's last three games.
 
Daniel Nardiello could be signing permanently for loan side Bury, and he did his chances no harm when he doubled Bury's goal tally in just the twelfth minute. Craig Jones, who was returning from a groin injury, replaced him in the 62nd minute. Gareth Roberts was dropped to the bench.
 
Lee Beevers was an unused substitute as Mansfield Town draw 0-0 at home to Burton Albion, who are second in the League Two table and unbeaten in seven. Mansfield's change in fortune has come just at the right time: they're four points above the relegation zone, having looked like promotion contenders earlier in the season.
 
Billy Bodin played for Torquay as they lost their second Devon derby in a week. This time, they lost 3-0 away to Plymouth Argyle. The chairman had obviously heard the word 'nil' one too many times: they sacked manager Alan Knill after this match. Nathan Craig was an unused substitute for Torquay.
 
Christian Ribeiro had a bit of an on-pltch duel when Scunthorpe hosted Rochdale. But otherwise, it was a good day for Scunthorpe, who won 3-0 - their eighth consecutive match without defeat - and climbed to the summit of the table.
 
Freddy Eastwood was a 68th-minute substitute in this seaside derby as Southend United beat Portsmouth 2-1. Southend scored in stoppage time in both halves, but remain outside the top three on goal difference.

Scotland
Adam Matthews says he's not quite fully fit following his collarbone injury, but that didn't stop Celtic from beating Patrick Thistle 1-0 at home, with Joe Ledley scoring his fourth goal of the season. Owain Tudur Jones was a 73rd-minute substitute as Hibernian beat Hearts 2-1 at home. Gwion Edwards played 90 minutes for St Johnstone in a 4-0 thrashing at Motherwell.

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Posted: Sunday 5th January 2014
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