Weekend Round up.
Weekend player round up from Sophie Beresford.
Joe Ledley played behind a lone striker for Crystal Palace in their home match against Aston Villa. Palace had the chance to go 2-0 up when they were awarded a penalty, but the referee changed his mind before the penalty could be taken. Luckily for Palace, they managed to hang on for a 1-0 win. Wayne Hennessey and Danny Gabbidon were unused substitutes for Palace.
Craig Bellamy was a minor injury concern for Cardiff City, but he came off the bench to enjoy the last three minutes of Cardiff’s second away win of the season – a 1-0 win at Southampton. Wannabe England international Ben Turner was also an injury doubt, but was fit enough for the bench, but Declan John didn’t make it. Cardiff are now three points from safety
Paul Dummett returned to Newcastle United’s starting line-up for their visit to Stoke City and gave the home side a few problems, but the Britannia is always a difficult place to win (unless you happen to be Stoke), so it wasn’t a surprise to see Stoke take the points in a 1-0 victory. Stoke’s captain, wannabe England international Ryan Shawcross, made his 200th Premier League appearance for Stoke..
West Bromwich Albion’s reserve keeper Boaz Myhill was probably watching through his fingers as visitors Tottenham Hotspur came back from 3-0 down to claim a 3-3 draw in stoppage time, despite being 3-0 down after the first 35 minutes. West Brom are now only three points ahead of the bottom three, two of whom won this weekend.
Joe Allen was a 66th-minute substitute as Liverpool got 3-2 home win against Manchester City just a few days before the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster. It was a very important win in terms of the Premier League title race, but it was an uncompleted football match against Nottingham Forest that was in Liverpool players’ and fans’ thoughts today as all matches began seven minutes past the hour, following a minute of silence.
Ben Davies and Ashley Williams, who are linked Atletico Madrid and Napoli respectively, played in defence for Swansea City in their 1-0 home defeat to Chelsea. This result leaves Swansea in a worryingly precarious position: three points above the relegation zone, having won only one of their last ten games in all competitions. Neil Taylor was an unused substitute for Swansea.
Aaron Ramsey played 113 minutes for Arsenal in their FA Cup semi-final against holders Wigan Athletic. The Premier League side needed a goal late in the second half in order to take the game to extra time. The score was still 1-1 after extra time, with Arsenal finally winning 4-2 on pens. Substitute Jack Collison took Wigan’s second penalty, which was also the second to be saved. Ramsey and his team-mates will face Hull City in the final as they try to win their first trophy for nine years.
Ben Davies was an 87th minute substitute as Sheff United faced Hull City at Wembley in the second semi-final. Sheff Utd took the lead twice, but Hull fought back to win 5-3 and reached the FA Cup final for the first time in their history. Kieron Freeman was an unused substitute for Sheff Utd, who have now lost their last five semi-finals.
David Vaughan returned to Nottingham Forest’s squad after recovering from a kneecap injury, but he was an unused substitute as Forest lost 5-2 at Queen’s Park Rangers and extended their winless run to ten matches. The score was 2-2 in the 83rd minute, but QPR got three late goals, including two in what is officially known as the last minute. Forest are now five points away from the play-offs with four matches still to play.
Lewin Nyatanga kept his place in Barnsley’s defence as his team travelled to Bolton Wanderers and lost 1-0. Barnsley had the chance to take a point when they were awarded a penalty on 84 minutes, but it struck the bar. This defeat means Barnsley are five points from safety with five games to play. Bolton’s own Welshman, Craig Davies, was signed from Barnsley in 2013, but didn’t play due to being on loan at Preston North End.
Rhoys Wiggins was part of an unhappy Charlton Athletic defence that shipped three goals without reply on a visit to Brighton & Hove Albion. Despite the defeat, Charlton stayed out of the relegation zone and have two games in hand over the teams ahead of them. Simon Church was a late substitute for Charlton; Morgan Fox stayed on the bench.
Brian Stock was an unused substitute for Burnley as they lost 1-0 at home to Middlesbrough and failed to clinch promotion. Wannabe England international David Jones was one of Burnley’s better performers, but in the absence of their two top strikers, including Sam Vokes, goals have become understandably difficult. Middlesbrough’s former Wales under-21 international Rhys Williams helped Burnley towards their first promotion to the Premier League – and he didn’t exactly stand in their way this time. The defender is out for the season with an Achilles injury.
Joel Lynch lasted just 42 minutes of Huddersfield Town’s away match against Derby County, picking up yellows for time-wasting (though why he was doing that in the 31st minute I don’t know) and a late tackle. Thirteen minutes later (ignoring half-time), Huddersfield one of Lynch’s team-mates joined him in the dressing room. Huddersfield lost 3-1 and are now winless in eight.
Jonny Williams set up Ipswich Town’s winning goal in their match against Doncaster Rovers. Home side Doncaster looked set to take a point after scoring a penalty in the 83rd minute, but three minutes later, Ipswich were back in front and won the match 2-1. David Cotterill played 80 minutes for Doncaster, who are three points ahead of the relegation zone. Ipswich are only out of the play-offs on goal difference.
Substitute Steve Morison equalised from a tight angle in the 64th minute, and it looked like he’d handed his club Millwall a 1-1 home draw against Watford. When Watford scored again on 86th minutes, Millwall seemed to be facing a very different result, but a stoppage-time equaliser gave them a 2-2 draw that probably felt a bit like a win. Jermaine Easter returned from a thigh injury as a 74th-minute substitute. Millwall are just a point from safety.
Shaun MacDonald must know a lot about Yeovil Town. As a Swansea City player, he had five loan spells there. But MacDonald was an unused substitute when he visited Yeovil with his current side Bournemouth and drew 1-1. When the two clubs were promoted together last season, no-one was expecting very much, but while Yeovil are five points adrift of safety, Bournemouth are two points from the play-offs. All the same, Bournemouth nearly lost the match: a curling shot from lively Yeovil loanee Tom Lawrence went just slightly wide.
On Monday, Chris Gunter started for Reading as they drew 1-1 at home to promoted Leicester City. Andy King was back on the bench for Leicester, but he did make an appearance in the 74th minute – a minute before Hal Robson-Kanu came off the bench for Reading. Reading only won seven games at home this season, but the draw puts them back in the play-off places at Brighton & Hove Albion’s expense..
On Friday, Nicky Adams had a few chances to score for Rotherham United and wasn’t far off, but it wasn’t Adams who scored Rotherham’s only goal in their 1-1 home draw against Bradford City. Craig Morgan also started for Rotherham, whose fans probably didn’t appreciate the result nearly as much as the Wolverhampton Wanderers fans did.
Dave Edwards scored his sixth goal in four games as Wolverhampton Wanderers sealed their return to the Championship at the first attempt. They also set new club records by keeping their 24th clean sheet (with a 2-0 away victory over Crewe Alexandra) and by reaching 93 points for the season: their highest ever. Sam Ricketts set up Edwards’ impressive strike, while Lee Evans also started. Billy Waters was a 73rd-minute substitute for Crewe; George Ray stayed on the bench.
Lloyd James was on the bench for Leyton Orient as they ended a five-match winless run with an emphatic 5-1 home victory over Gillingham. Orient’s chances of automatic promotion are probably not so much slim as anorexic, but they are now guaranteed a place in the play-offs. Elliott Hewitt started for Gillingham while Adam Birchall was a 64th-minute substitute.
Joe Walsh had a good game in defence for Crawley Town, who eased their relegation fears slightly with a 2-0 away victory over Milton Keynes Dons. Both teams began the match with a Swansea City loanee on the bench, but while James Loveridge came off the MK Dons bench early in the second half, Gwion Edwards has now spent 360 minutes (plus stoppage time) on the Crawley bench.
Gareth Roberts went straight back into Notts County’s starting line-up after recovering from an ankle injury that had kept him out since the beginning of March. His presence helped inspire Notts to their fourth win in five games – a 4-2 home victory over Port Vale - and they’re now out of the relegation zone on goal difference. Richard Duffy played 90 minutes for Port Vale.
Lloyd Isgrove was an unused substitute for Peterborough United, who took a step towards securing a play-off place with a 1-0 home win over Coventry City. Even without their points deduction, Coventry would have been to all intents and purposes out of the race for a play-off place, but as it is, they’re just six points clear of the relegation zone.
Craig Davies scored a second-half hat-trick as Preston North End beat Carlisle United 6-1 at home. If Davies’ first two goals were a scramble and a tap-in, his powerful third made up for it. Automatic promotion seems unlikely for Preston, but they’re guaranteed a play-off place and are only a point behind Leyton Orient in third.
Michael Doughty scored his second goal of the season to put Stevenage 1-0 up against Colchester United in the 11th minute, Colchester had lost their last four, but they fought back to claim a 3-2 away win and move three points clear of the relegation zone. However, it’s not looking good for Stevenage, who are 4 points from safety. Sanchez Watt returned for Colchester, but is playing through the pain of a quadriceps muscle injury.
Louis Thompson scored his second goal in three games for Swindon Town after some sloppy play from promotion-chasing visitors Brentford, who lost for the first time in five matches. Swindon missed a penalty, but still managed a 1-0 home win. Swindon are seven points outside the play-offs, having won four of their last five games.
Paul Parry headed home from close range to give Shrewsbury Town an equaliser, but fellow strugglers Tranmere Rovers scored again to claim a 2-1 home victory. Jason Koumas ignored a toe injury to start for Tranmere. Owain Fôn Williams and Ash Taylor combined to provide a heart-stopping moment where the ball came far too close to ending up in their own net; Jake Cassidy’s focus, luckily, was mainly on Shrewsbury’s net. Joe Jacobson started for Tranmere; Tom Bradshaw was an unused substitute.
Wes Burns and Dave Richards were both unused substitutes as a penalty gave Bristol City a 1-0 away victory over Walsall. Walsall were themselves awarded a penalty, but were unable to take advantage of the opportunity. Bristol City, who had a poor start to the season, are now 13th after losing just one of their last nine games.
Ellis Harrison was a 55th-minute substitute for Bristol Rovers and picked up a stoppage time assist, but visitors Torquay United took all three points in a 2-1 away victory. Former Torquay man Kaid Mohamed had a few shots on goal, but the defeat means Rovers could be the team who’ll suffer if Torquay pull off the great escape: they’re only a point above the relegation zone. Billy Bodin and Nathan Craig were unused substitutes for Torquay.
Daniel Alfei returned from a hamstring injury as Portsmouth won their third consecutive match in emphatic style, thrashing hosts Dagenham & Redbridge 4-1. This result puts Portsmouth five points clear of the relegation zone whilst ensuring that the Daggers are very unlikely to get into the play-offs.
Eliot Richards played 90 minutes for Exeter City, who are just two points above the relegation zone following a 1-1 draw at home to Cheltenham Town. Troy Brown was solid in defence for Cheltenham while Arron Davies and Connor Roberts were unused substitutes for Exeter and Cheltenham respectively.
Chris Maxwell played in goal for Fleetwood Town, though an uncharacteristic hesitation gave Morecambe a soft goal. Fleetwood who are five points away from the automatic promotion places after drawing 2-2 at home to Morecambe.
Lewis Price went straight into Mansfield Town’s starting line-up after joining on an emergency loan. Price was left out of Crystal Palace’s Premier League squad following the arrival of Wayne Hennessey and was rumoured to be looking for a loan club. He seems to have settled well, keeping a clean sheet as Mansfield beat former leaders Rochdale 3-0 at home.
Darcy Blake and Mike Flynn started for Newport County as they won at home for the first time in ten games. They beat Wycombe Wanders 2-0, ensuring their opponents were kept out of the bottom two only on goal difference. Despite looking like play-off contenders at one stage, Newport are just seven points clear of the bottom two themselves. Andrew Hughes and David Pipe were unused substitutes for Newport.
Craig Jones and Daniel Nardiello both started for a Bury side who equalised in stoppage time to gain a 2-2 draw at the home of Scunthorpe United. This extended Scunthorpe’s incredible unbeaten run to 26 matches. Even a point was sufficient for Scunthorpe to replace Mansfield Town at the top of the table. Christian Ribeiro watched the match from Scunthorpe’s bench. He hasn’t played since the beginning of March.
Darren Jones and Aaron Morris played 90 minutes as Wimbledon won 1-0 away to play-off contenders Southend United. Wimbledon are up in 14th, but only six points from the drop zone. Freddy Eastwood was a 70th-minute substitute for Southend as they pushed for a share of the points. Luke Chambers stayed on the bench for Southend.
Gareth Bale scored Real Madrid’s second goal in a 4-0 home victory over Almeria. This was Bale’s 19th goal of the season and was a powerful left-foot strike..