Championship Weekend Review
Rangers managed to pick up a point in this weekends home encounter against Sheffield United, here`s how the other Championship teams fared in this weekends round of fixtures.
Blackpool 5-3 Charlton Athletic
The Tangerines took an unlikely lead at Bloomfield Road when Stephen McPhee was first to capitalise on a save from Claus Jorgensen`s shot, McPhee was on hand to smash the ball home right footed from the edge of the area. Kaspars Gorkss added to the home tally when a scramble in the area wasn`t cleared correctly, Gorkss was on hand on the left edge of the six yard box to slam the ball home on the volley. A Darren Ambrose brace brought the scores level, first finishing the ball off after a good low cross from the left from Grant Bassey, then lashing home from close range following another goalmouth scramble. Into the second half and Gary Taylor-Fletcher scored his first of the encounter after pouncing on a good save from Nicky Weaver. Paul Dickov had a goal to his name, when a big mistake by Greg Halford let in the evergreen striker to stab the ball home from close range. Taylor-Fletcher then finished off the opposition with an audacious lob from the right hand side. There was enough time for Jonathan Fortune to claim a consolation striking low into the right hand corner, which wasn`t good enough for promotion chasing Athletic.
Colchester United 1-2 Bristol City
Clive Platt took full advantage of an Adriano Basso fumble to put the U`s infront, dispatching a close range effort with ease, having Colchester dreaming of victory against the promotion outfit. That looked in doubt when Dele Adebola met a perfectly weigted cross by Jamie McAllister from the left to nod the ball into the bottom right hand corner past the despairing dive of Dean Gerken. The U`s were then caught napping as Michael McIndoe was allowed to roam with the ball after a quick free kick, his drilled effort flew over the keeper and into the back of the net to seal a win for the Robins. Bradley Orr got his marching orders for a second yellow card after kicking the ball away late on.
Coventry City 2-0 Leicester City
Chris Coleman`s first game in charge yielded a win for Coventry and a sign of better things to come at the Ricoh. Stephen Hughes` early injury to his jaw had the Sky Blues worried. But when Gareth McCauley brought down Leon Best with a shirt pull, Elliot Ward dispatched the penalty. Best completed the goalscoring in the second half finishing off the ball low and in the left hand corner to send the Sky Blues fans away happy, and Leicester fans bemoaning lack of chances and a poor style of play under Holloway.
Crystal Palace 0-2 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Shefki Kuqi, who today has been fined two weeks wages and transfer listed following gestures to the crowd, must have been ruing his own poor performance, adding to a disappointing defeat for his side. Michael Gray cut inside from the right to decide a dull encounter at Selhurst, his left footed beauty bent into the top left hand corner handing Julian Speroni no chance whatsoever, Wayne Hennessey was replaced with an injury but it was Kevin Kyle who finished off a Palace side without a win in 6 now, when he drilled a right footed effort past the hapless Speroni.
Norwich City 1-0 Barnsley
Norwich have hit a purple patch of late, they have succumbed to only 1 defeat in the last 15 league games, and more importantly haven`t lost at home since November. Jamie Cureton, kept that statistic rolling on when he latched onto a cross from Lee Croft to smash the ball past FA Cup hero Lee Steele. Macken came close to claiming a point at the end, but was thwarted by Norwich keeper Marshall. Another great result for the Canaries who continue to go from strength to strength.
Plymouth Argyle 3-1 Burnley
Argyle made it 4 straight wins and received a big boost and a one up in the race for the playoffs. Lillian Nalis` effort was woefully fumbled by Brian Jensen in a rare mistake the keeper let the ball slip through his grasp to put the Greens infront. James O`Connor drew the game level after getting on the end of a knockdown from a cross from Kyle Lafferty, the midfielder was first on hand to nod home from close range at the near post. Peter Halmosi took the game beyond the Clarets in style. His first effort was a sloppy goal to concede, bundling his was in from the left to flick the ball home from close range, his second was a lot better, some more terrible defending from Burnley ensured that Halmosi had the ball at his feet on the right hand side of the area, the Hungarian lashed the ball home with his favoured left foot. A goal that may well cement Argyle as a challenger in the playoff hunt this season.
Scunthorpe United 1-1 Southampton
Scunthorpe had the lead in this tight encounter when Jhon Viafara fouled Martin Paterson in the box and Andy Crosby had his penalty saved, put the rebound in past Kelvin Davis. The Iron were reducted to ten men when Matt Sparrow was sent off for a two footed lunge, not quite in the Martin Taylor bracket, but nevertheless deemed worthy of a red. A controversial late penalty compounded Scunthorpe`s recent misery, it was given for an off the ball incident involving Bradley Wright-Phillips, Gregory Vignal slammed home the penalty to give the Saints a vital point under new boss Nigel Pearson, and left Nigel Adkins fuming.
Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 Cardiff City
Wednesday climbed out the relegation zone with a priceless 3 points over FA Cup Quarter Finalists Cardiff City. Aaron Ramsey hit the inside of the post for the visitors, who looked the most likely to break the deadlock at Hillsborough. But it was the Owls who secured the 3 points when a tremendous knockdown from Enoch Showunmi gave Marcus Tudgay the chance to score against the run of play, he easily slid the ball home, and it was that goal that decided the game. Cardiff continue a run of four games without a win.
Stoke City 1-0 Ipswich Town
Liam Lawrence continued a fantastic goalscoring run to keep leaders Stoke in pole position. Lawrence scored his twelfth goal in the league, and more recently 4 goals in four games following his brace against Scunthorpe. Ipswich threatened early on with Alan Lee hitting a rasping drive just past the left-hand post, to have Stoke hearts in mouths. But enter Liam Lawrence his howitzer of a strike from the right, saw the effort fly into the top left-hand corner. A goal to grace any league. Jim Magilton was sent off late on for the Tractor Boys, who now have a perilous away record they need to resolve to attain a playoff place.
Watford 0-0 Preston North End
Stalemate ensued at Vicarage Road with neither team able to break the deadlock in a spirited affair in Watford. Paul McKenna thumped the ball against the upright in a lively opening for the visitors, but it was Watford who began to assert some pressure, with Henderson hitting the side netting after rounding
Keeper Andy Lonergan. The keeper was in inspired form to keep out Jobi McAnuff, before Dan Shittu`s effort hit the post. A lively affair where Watford lost pace with the leaders.
West Bromwich Albion 1-2 Hull City
Frazier Campbell stunned the home crowd from 25 yards, when his right footed effort bent past keeper Dean Kiely. The Manchester United loanee celebrated a truly magnificent goal. Roman Bednar equalised for the Baggies when an excellently weighted cross from Kevin Phillips on the right, was finished off well by the on loan striker, who nodded it low and to the keepers left. Dean Kiely went wandering out of his area, and Folan flicked the ball onto Frazier Campbell with the goal at his mercy, volleyed powerfully, but the drive was blocked impeccably by Leon Barnett. The Baggies introduced forward duo Luke Moore and Ishmael Miller but to no avail. It was Caleb Folan 82 minutes, with a stunning individual effort, cutting in from the left flank, and drilling the ball past Kiely into the far corner, it was all too easy for City and West Brom dropped vital points in the promotion race, a chorus of boo`s met the final whistle at the Hawthornes.
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