Championship Weekend Review
All the goals from all the games in the Championship this weekend. Rangers picked up a valuable win, but here's what happened in the other games.
Blackpool 2-1 Leicester City
The opening goal of the game was fantastic in its simplicity a long free kick taken by Stephen Crainey from left back, drifted all the way over the Fox`s back line, and Gary Taylor-Fletcher was on hand to slip the ball past the oncoming Ben Alnwick. A goal that will have Ian Holloway seething at the simple nature of the build up. He must have said something at half time as the Fox`s came out looking sharper, ex-QPR defender Ian Evatt with some disastrous defending in his own area, gifting the ball to striker Steve Howard, who never misses from this range, slotting comfortably past Rachubka and a row of Tangerine defenders. It was the Tangerines who had the last laugh though, another simple long ball into the heart of the Leicester defence caused havoc and ex-Foxes striker Paul Dickov was in attendance to clip the ball home from close range for an excellent home victory.
Colchester United 2-2 Sheffield United
An exciting affair at Layer Road, epitomised by a tremendous opening goal by Luton Shelton. The striker danced his way past two United defenders before curling a wonderful effort past Dean Gerken for his first of the season, first of many on this evidence. In under a minute after half time red-hot striker Kevin Lisbie struck the ball perfectly on the bounce into the top right hand corner for the equaliser 4 in 4 for the striker. Johnnie Jackson`s deflected free kick went past the wrongfooted Paddy Kenny, the keeper went to his left, the ball went to his right, cruel on the Blades but the scoring wasn`t finished. David Carney followed his goal against Watford, with and excellent turn on the shot by the Australian who was left totally unmarked in the area, to hand both teams a point.
Coventry City 4-0 Barnsley
Leon Best carved out an excellent goal and a first half lead for the Sky Blues, a good knock down in the area by Jay Tabb, was controlled well and slammed home by once QPR loanee Best. Barnsley defence was their own worst enemy at times, and in the second period the pressure told; Best then crossed and the ball somehow evaded the whole Barnsley rearguard and Julian Gray was on hand to tap home. Dennis Souza then inexplicably left the ball from a cross as Leon Best`s effort hit the bar, no defender was on hand to stop Jay Tabb nodding home from close range. The rout was then completed by the player who was at the centre of everything, Leon Best. A fantastic touch on the right hand side of the area, which left Barnsley defenders wanting, cutting inside before placing a shot past Tony Warner, a game to forget for the goalkeeper as The Sky Blues were comfortable value for the win, that leaves Barnsley ponderous of their Championship future.
Crystal Palace 1-1 Southampton
Jamie Scowcroft put the eagles infront on the 73rd minute, when his strength was a big advantage in shrugging off his defender in the area, and drilling a shot low and hard to the keepers left and into the bottom right hand corner. It was the least Palace deserved, as Ben Watson struck the woodwork twice in close succession with Palace seemingly unable to kill off the game. It came back to haunt them as a misplaced pass from Shaun Derry, led to a clever ball being played across the box to the right hand side and it was Stern John who slid in low to give the Saints a much needed point.
Norwich City 1-0 Preston North End
Relegation candidates Norwich moved up to 13th in the table after this victory over rivals Preston. It sums up the state at the bottom of the Championship if you consider that QPR are only two points behind, only a few points separate the pack, with all to play for. Darrell Russell`s last minute wonder goal handed the Canaries a priceless win on home soil against the battle and resilience of the Lilywhites. Russell turned outside the area and lashed it past keeper Andy Lonergan, low and to the keeper`s right. A goal fit to win any game, a great win for Norwich, but yet more bad luck for Preston.
Plymouth Argyle 0-1 Hull City
A solitary strike from Dean Windass was enough to win the game for Hull, in a somewhat drab affair at Home Park. The evergreen striker bagged his 11th of the season from close range after good work down the right from Sam Ricketts. McCormick was in great form in the Argyle goal denying on-loan striker Frazier Campbell in a worrying display for the Greens.
Scunthorpe United 1-0 Charlton Athletic
The Iron scored the only goal of the game, and it was gifted to them on a plate by the Charlton rearguard. Yassin Moutaouakil had an absolute howler on the far post, looking to clear it struck the defenders standing leg, straight into the path of Martin Paterson and the forward made no mistake. He dispatched it low past the keeper for his 12th of the season. Andy Butler was sent off in the second half for a second bookable offence, but they hung on for a priceless win.
Sheffield Wednesday 1-2 Ipswich Town
Wednesday old boy Alan Quinn got one over the side he spent 6 years with, with a rifle from 25 yards, a magnificent effort that was too hot to handle for keeper Lee Grant. Wednesday though were level when a strike by on-loan midfielder Graham Kavanagh was blocked, striker Marcus Tudgay was on hand to thrash home the equaliser into the bottom left, and it appeared that the Tractor Boys winless streak would continue. But it was a laboured overhead kick but a few yards from the line which won the day for the Blues, Alan Lee was first to react in the ball and the tall striker innovated to strike the ball home, as the Tractor Boys at last won on the road.
Stoke City 2-1 Cardiff City
Roger Johnson`s own goal opened the scoring at the Britannia, the ball popping up off his shin and into the back of the net, for his second own goal in three games. The Potters doubled their advantage from the spot when Ricardo Fuller was brought down by Kevin McNaughton. Fuller dusted himself off to dispatch his thirteenth goal of the season. A consolation for the Bluebirds from Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink reacting fastest to a loose ball on the far post to slot home on the slide, following a free kick.
Watford 3-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Wolves took the FA Cup encounter in style previously 4-1 only a week previous, but it was the Hornets who took full advantage in this encounter, as an early long throw by new boy Leigh Bromby was missed by everyone apart from the alert Steve Kabba on the far post, who could hardly believe his luck to nod home unchallenged. The game continued in much the same vain with Watford dropping long bombs into the Wolves box, and eventually the pressure paid off as a corner from Sadler was flicked on by Nathan Ellington and poked home by Tommy Smith. Within minutes Smith had his second, a flowing counter-attacking move ensued as a ball was flicked on by Henderson and Smith dispatched under the keeper.
West Bromwich Albion 2-1 Burnley
The Baggies had to come from behind to defeat the clarets at the Hawthornes. Burnley took a surprise lead when ex-Baggie, James O`Connor, was first to react from a Stanislav Varga flick on to slot home past Dean Kiely. The Baggies were back on level terms when a corner given in controversial circumstances as Roman Bednar appeared to shove the aforementioned Varga out of play in the build up, the resulting corner was dispatched expertly by defender Bostjan Cesar on the volley. Albion then won the match in the second period when a good run by Robert Koren laid in Paul Robinson down the left his pin-point cross was met beautifully by Roman Bednar, the in form number 9, dispatched the ball past ex-Baggies stopper Brian Jensen. There was even time for Koren to miss a penalty, saved well low and to his left by Jensen. But it was the Baggies who hung on to remain top of the shop.
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