Sunday, 20 February 2011

Championship Round Up by Football League Editor David Mayer

Welcome to the Saturday roundup of the Football League. This will is the first of what will hopefully be many blogs providing a roundup of the latest Football League action. We start by looking at the bottom of the Championship clash, which saw Sheffield Utd take the trip down to London to face Crystal Palace. Both teams are both at the wrong end of the table and only two points separated them at kick-off. The game saw the away side have the majority of possession, but were unable to create many chances and the home side punished their lack of creativity. The first half went by without any goals and the second half began in a similar manner that was until the introduction of Scannell, who had an immediate impact setting up Darren Ambrose who smashed a right foot strike beyond Simonsen in the Utd goal to give Palace a vital lead. They also had a chance to extend their lead at the death with Scannell once again setting up Ambrose, but his shot was spurred over the crossbar. The final score was Crystal Palace 1 – 0 Sheffield Utd and the result saw the gap widen to five points between those teams in the relegation zone and those outside.

Elsewhere in the Championship, bottom of the table, Preston North End, welcomed top of the table, QPR, to Deepdale. Things seemed to be going according to plan for Neil Warnock’s team as they went in 0 -1 up at half-time thanks to a tap-in goal from Heidar Helguson in the 37th minute. However Phil Brown galvanised his team as they got back into the game after Nicholson grabbed an equaliser from 18 yards. Sadly the game saw no more goals with both teams cancelling each other out to earn a share of the spoils with the game finishing PNE 1 – 1 QPR.

Other results include five goal thriller at the Den with Middlesborough beating Millwall 2 – 3, thanks to a 83rd minute goal from Leroy Lita. Four goals also went in at Elland Road as Leeds and Norwich shared a 2 – 2 draw, as both teams maintain their play-off positions. Another top of the table clash saw Nottingham Forrest welcome Cardiff City. Morgan gave Forrest the lead after 32 minutes. But only to be cancelled out with a Peter Whittingham penalty in the 63rd minute. Although it didn’t take Forrest long to regain the lead and win the tie 2 – 1, thanks to a 67th minute goal from Rob Earnshaw. Ipswich and Hull drew 1 – 1 in a mid-table clash, similarly, Reading and Watford drew 1 – 1 to keep both teams positioned in the middle of the table. Portsmouth gained another 3 points at home to Barnsley as they look to continue to pull away from the relegation zone, while Doncaster may have to start looking over their shoulder after a 3 – 0 defeat away at high-flying Swansea City and relegation fears continue for Scunthorpe fans as they drew 0 – 0 with Derby County, despite their impressive 1 – 0 win at home to Nottingham Forrest midweek.

 Finally there was one Friday game that saw Leicester City continue their push for the play-offs with a 2 – 1 home win against struggling Bristol City. The winning goal came in the 92nd minute thanks to an unstoppable Martyn Waghorn drive.

David Mayer

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