Weekend round up - Saturday 25th January 2014
Weekend Round up.
Weekend player round up from Sophie Beresford.
Aaron Ramsey was, according to separate reports, both certain to return and definitely out. As it happened, the second one was correct, and Ramsey missed Arsenal's 4-0 home victory over Coventry City on Friday night. Aaron Phillips was an unused substitute for Coventry.
Danny Collins and David Vaughan kept their starting places for Nottingham Forest's home match against Preston North End. Given that Forest were unbeaten in ten matches in all competitions, you could forgive the League One side for shaking in their Adidases. Forest's unbeaten run did continue, but the match finished 0-0, so Preston will have another chance to finish the job back at their place - and it's worth noting that Preston's own form isn't too bad. They've lost two of their last 20.
On Saturday, Shaun MacDonald was an unused substitute in their FA Cup match against Liverpool. Visitors Liverpool went through to the fifth round with a 2-0 victory. This is the first time Liverpool have knocked Bournemouth out of the Cup without needing a replay.
Fulham target Neil Taylor was given a rare chance to impress in Swansea City's starting line-up when they visited Birmingham City. Taylor replaced Ben Davies, who dropped to the bench, but Ashley Williams kept his place in the starting line-up. David Cornell, Jazz Richards and Lee Lucas were unused substitutes for Swansea. Birmingham went ahead on 15 minutes - which didn't impress captain Williams, who made many clearances in between berating his team-mates - but Swansea scored two goals in two second-half minutes to claim a 2-1 away win.
Craig Davies made his first start for Bolton Wanderers since August. The striker, who has had multiple fitness issues, played the full 90 in Bolton's home match against Cardiff City. But Cardiff's Premier League quality showed (if only it would show more often in league games) and they won 1-0. Declan John, the only Welshman in City's squad (unless you count the eligible starter Ben Turner), was an unused substitute.
Simon Church only scored one goal in seven loan appearances for Huddersfield Town. When he visited Huddersfield with new team Charlton Athletic, he proved more clinical, scoring the only goal in Charlton's 1-0 victory. This was Church's first goal since late November. Joel Lynch was given an injection and a fitness test in the hope he would feature for Huddersfield, but he wasn't even on the bench.
Lloyd Isgrove was on the bench for Southampton for the first time since a League Cup match in November. Southampton hosted Yeovil, who were hoping to reach the fifth round for the first time since 1949, but there was only one giant-killing on Saturday and it wasn't Yeovil. Southampton scored in each half to secure a 2-0 home victory.
Freddy Eastwood was a used substitute in Southend United's emphatic victory over Millwall in the previous round, but Hull City of the Premier League proved a step too far. Southend, managed by Phil Brown, who sealed Hull's first promotion to the Premier League, lost 2-0 at home to Hull. Eastwood was again a late substitute.
Lewis Price and Jonathan Williams were both unused substitutes for Crystal Palace as they became Saturday's only victims of a giant-killing. They visited FA Cup holders Wigan Athletic, who really know what they're doing in this competition. Wigan beat the Premier League team 2-1.
Sam Wedgbury was an unused substitute for Stevenage as they faced the manager who masterminded Wigan's FA Cup win. Roberto Martinez is now at Everton and although he was wrong in his claims that home side Stevenage were favourites, there didn't seem to be too much wrong with Everton's 4-0 victory.
On Sunday, Josh Pritchard made what I believe is his first ever appearance in a Fulham first-team squad. Well, I say 'appearance', but he didn't really appear. He was an unused substitute in a 1-1 away draw against League One's not-exactly-brilliant Sheffield United, who played almost all the second half with ten men. Sheffield United are unbeaten against Fulham in the FA Cup, and considering Fulham's recent form, it's not completely impossible that this run will continue.
Adam Henley started for Blackburn Rovers in their 1-1 home draw against Derby County. After two heavy defeats, they could have done a lot worse against a team who have won eight away matches in the league this season.
David Cotterill came off the bench in the 82nd minute for Doncaster Rovers, with his team 1-0 down at Blackpool. Three minutes later, he was claiming the assist for the equaliser. However, Doncaster have won just one of their last ten away games.
Chris Gunter kept his place in Reading's starting line-up. as I imagine most of the players did following their 7-1 demolition of Bolton Wanderers, but they were back to losing ways when they visited Ipswich Town, who claimed their first win in seven in all competitions. Jake Taylor was an unused substitute for Reading.
Andy King was on Leicester City's bench for the third consecutive match and he stayed there as the league leaders beat Middlesbrough 2-0 at home. For Leicester, this marked seven wins in a row, a feat they hadn't achieved since 1993. Middlesbrough's former Wales under-21 international Rhys Williams conceded a penalty, but the spot-kick was saved.
On Friday night, Elliott Hewitt played for Gillingham in a 2-1 away defeat to Brentford, who moved back to the top of the table. Gillingham were unlucky not to snatch a point at the death, but like many teams this season, they discovered Brentford are actually quite good.
Kieron Freeman played 90 minutes for Notts County as they lost 5-1 at home to Walsall. Six seems to be Walsall's lucky number today. They won a match containing six goals, they extended their unbeaten run to six matches and they have moved into the top six.
Joe Walsh conceded a penalty for the second time this season in Crawley Town's 2-2 away draw at Rotherham. Both Walsh and Nicky Adams played 90 minutes for Crawley. Mark Bradley was on Rotherham United's bench for the first time since October (though he has been out of the squad altogether due to suspension and injury).
Paul Parry scored his second goal of the season for Shrewsbury Town with a powerful shot from 25 yards out. This 45th-minute strike put Shrewsbury on level terms against home side Swindon Town. Shrewsbury managed to hang on for most of the second half, but Swindon scored two in the last two minutes, inflicting a fourth consecutive defeat on Shrewsbury. Joe Jacobson started for Shrewsbury, with Tom Bradshaw an unused substitute. Louis Thompson was on the bench for Swindon.
Jake Cassidy joined Tranmere Rovers for a third loan spell and went straight into the starting line-up, but was replaced in the 71st minute due to a back problem. Tranmere were without a win in four prior to this game, but they got a 1-0 home victory over fellow strugglers Crewe Alexandra, the club where Tranmere keeper Owain Fôn Williams began his career. Ash Taylor and Jason Koumas, who picked up the assist, also started. Koumas was the only Welsh player from clubs in the top four English leagues to receive a yellow card this weekend. He received it following a foul in the 83rd minute.
Lee Evans kept his place in Wolverhampton Wanderers' starting line-up and set up the opening goal in the third minute. Wolves went on to win 3-1 against Bristol City, who were relegated alongside Wolves last season, but find themselves at the opposite end of the table. Sam Ricketts also started for Wolves, who are unbeaten in their last four home matches and two points behind the promotion places. Wayne Hennessey was an unused substitute. Wes Brown was a late substitute for Bristol City for the eighth time in the last nine matches.
Darren Jones wasn't without a club for long following his release by Shrewsbury Town. Two days later, he signed a contract with AFC Wimbledon and went straight into the starting line-up for their home match against Exeter City. It seems like a good move: after three straight defeats, Wimbledon beat Exeter 2-1. Fellow new signing Aaron Morris was an unused substitute for Wimbledon. Arron Davies made his first start for Exeter since before Christmas, but couldn't prevent them from suffering their fifth loss in six games.
Kaid Mohamed went straight into Bristol Rovers' starting line-up following his loan move for Port Vale and found himself scoring against one of his former sides, Newport County. Eliot Richards doubling Rovers' lead two minutes after the restart. The match finished 3-1 to Rovers. Ellis Harrison tried to make it four, but his rather wild shot on goal went over the bar. David Pipe started for Newport against his previous club; Andrew Hughes came off the bench in the 81st minute, with Tony James and Mike Flynn unused substitutes. Byron Anthony, who broke his leg in Newport's second match of the season, was unsurprisingly unavailable to face his former club, but he is back in training. It sounds like Newport might need him. They're now without a win in four,
Chris Maxwell sat on the bench for Fleetwood Town as they won 4-2 away at Burton Albion. Burton were unbeaten in their last ten league matches (and had knocked Fleetwood out of the FA Cup the previous month) but they didn't score a single goal in this fixture, with both Fleetwood goals coming from Fleetwood players. Two days later, Fleetwood played Scunthorpe United: details of this match are in the following paragraph.
Christian Ribeiro played his eleventh consecutive league match with Scunthorpe United, who extended their unbeaten league run to, guess what, eleven matches. They drew 3-3 at Dagenham & Redbridge and slipped to second place in the league. Just two days later, Scunthorpe were in action again: Ribeiro took a well-deserved rest on the bench in their 0-0 draw against Fleetwood Town. Scunthorpe's 12-match unbeaten run remained intact following a penalty save by Scunthorpe's keeper.
Lee Beevers was on the bench for Mansfield Town as they drew 2-2 at home to Wycombe Wanderers. They did well to come back from 2-0 down, equalising four minutes from the end, but they are without a win in eleven home matches.
Daniel Alfei played his third consecutive match for Portsmouth in a 2-2 home draw against Morecambe. Portsmouth's saved penalty helped earn them a point, but the former Premier League club are just two points outside the relegation zone.
Billy Bodin was an 88th-minute substitute for Torquay United, who have just one win from their last eight matches after losing 1-0 at Oxford United. Oxford's goal came after just six minutes, and was set up by the eligible Ryan Williams, brother of former under-21 international Rhys. Oxford are up to sixth, but Torquay are two points from safety.
Troy Brown played the full match for Cheltenham Town, who went 1-0 up at home to Plymouth Argyle early in the first half. However, Plymouth scored with a free kick six minutes from time, leaving Cheltenham 13th with a 1-1 draw. Connor Roberts was on the bench for Cheltenham.
Joe Ledley got the assist for Celtic's third goal as their unbeaten run continued in convincing fashion with a 4-0 away win over Hibernian. After this match, Celtic were fifteen points clear at the top of the league, having played two games fewer than second-placed Aberdeen. Are you sure you want to leave, Joe?
As Barnsley had nothing better to do (like in FA Cup match), they flew to Ireland for a friendly against Dundalk. Christian Dibble and Lewin Nyatanga both started for Barnsley, who won 4-1. Barnsley's 5-2 victory over Blackburn in August was the last time Barnsley won by more than two goals. Not that wins by one goal have been overly common..
Posted: Wednesday 29th January 2014