In the Championship ? Derby go top

Last updated : 23 January 2007 By Tony Scholes
Kevin Gallen - scored his first Plymouth goal
Former Burnley manager Adrian Heath has been put in temporary charge by former Burnley player Paul Fletcher at the Ricoh, but they were on their travels last night and fell to defeat at Home Park.

Heath made four changes but much of the interest was on the new strikers in the Plymouth squad. Kevin Gallen made an early impact, scoring the first goal of the game. He's moved from QPR where he played previously for Holloway. Their most recent signing, £300,000 capture from Swansea Rory Fallon, was introduced as a late substitute.

The weather helped Derby replace Birmingham at the top. Last week Brum had their home game postponed because the new pitch wasn't ready, this week it was because of falling debris from a nearby hotel at Leicester and the game was called off for safety reasons.

That meant Derby would go top should they not lose at Southend. They once again they won 1-0, a goal from Steve Howard clinching the points just after the half hour. That defeat came close to taking Southend off the bottom, but they remain there on goals scored after fellow relegation battlers Leeds were also beaten by one goal.

Leeds actually went in front against West Brom with a goal from Tore Andre Flo whilst another new signing Alan Thompson scored the last goal of the game with a free kick from outside the box. The only problem for the Yorkshire team was that West Brom scored three times in between these goals, and that included two more from Diomansy Kamara who was to be at the centre of a late incident.

He was substituted and decided to take some time leaving the field which didn't please the obnoxious Leeds boss Dennis Wise. Recently he saw his assistant Gus Poyet ordered to the stands for kicking a spare ball onto the pitch to break up an attack against his side, but Wise decided to push the player as he finally reached the touchline.

Of course he thinks he can take the law into his own hands, he always has done, but this time referee Swarbrick sent him to the stands and the manager will now rightly face an FA charge. Maybe the FA could cut costs and deal with both him and Poyet at the same time.

Carlos Edwards - clinched it with a late fourth for RK Sunderland
Sheffield Wednesday almost made the comeback of the day, but they just failed and went on to lose 4-2 against RK Sunderland. It all looked over for the Owls when David Connolly scored before the hour to give the visitors a 3-0 lead and that scored remained until eight minutes from time.

Then Wednesday came back with goals from Chris Brunt and Wade Small and they came so, so close to an equaliser as Keane's team faltered. But it wasn't to be and Carlos Edwards scored his first goal for his new club to ensure victory with a couple of minutes to go.

If that was nearly a comeback then there definitely was one at Deepdale. You set yourselves a difficult task when you go behind early at home, you set yourselves a very difficult task when it is 2-0 with only seven minutes gone.

That's how it was for Preston when Stoke scored through Liam Lawrence and Mamady Sidibe and there was no immediate response from North End, in fact the score remained at 2-0 past the hour. Then they got back into their stride, scored twice in nine minutes to draw level and then won it with a last minute goal from the £6 million striker David Nugent.

Wolves went spending yesterday, they've paid up to £850,000 for Scunthorpe's Andy Keogh. He's their sixth signing in this transfer window, although four of them had been with the club on loan. On Saturday they managed to do what no other club has done since Burnley, they lost to Cardiff.

This was the game that was played without away fans in the ground, and those responsible for that decision should be hanging their heads in shame, it really was an appalling decision and one that national supporters' organisations fought to the end.

The Cardiff fans missed their club's first win since mid-November and they also missed Michael Chopra, he who has played for Newcastle, scoring for only the second time since early November. They also missed new signing Jason Byrne from Shelbourne grab the winner with just two minutes to go in his first appearance.

Brian Howard - got the first for Barnsley at Luton
QPR and Luton are both heading ever closer to the bottom of the league and both fell to defeat at home. QPR's was probably expected half expected against Southampton but I'm not sure there would have been too much money going on Barnsley to win at Luton, even taking Luton's poor form into account.

The surprise for home fans was that the returning Matthew Spring was on the bench, and remained there for the entire game as an early goal from Brian Howard and a late second from Martin Devaney saw the Yorkshire side move within two points of them.

Some things never change, Colchester got a penalty. I think they must take their own referee with them who just stands there and points to the spot. This time it did them no good as Ipswich gained revenge for their defeat at Layer Road in September. Karl Duguid gave them an early lead but by the time Chris Iwelumo put the ball on the spot in stoppage time they were beaten.

That just leaves one game where the Legend of the Palace played host to his former club Hull and as at the KC Stadium earlier in the season it finished all square at 1-1. Again Hull scored an equaliser but not anything like as late as the last minute goal they had got in the previous meeting. The point was enough to take Hull to nineteenth in the table, their highest position all season.

Our re-arranged game against Stoke goes ahead tonight, there is one game being played on Saturday that would otherwise have been a week tonight and the next full round of fixtures is next midweek. They are all shown below:

The Weekend Results

Saturday 20th January

Burnley v Norwich - Postponed

Preston 3 Stoke 2

Crystal Palace 1 Hull 1

QPR 0 Southampton 2

Ipswich 3 Colchester 2

Sheffield Wed 2 RK Sunderland 4

Leeds 2 West Brom 3

Southend 0 Derby 1

Leicester v Birmingham - Postponed

Wolves 1 Cardiff 2

Luton 0 Barnsley 2

.

Monday 22nd January

Plymouth 3 Coventry 2

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The Weekend Stats

Biggest win

RK Sunderland 4-2 v Sheffield Wed (away)
Barnsley 2-0 v Luton (away)
Southampton 2-0 v QPR (away)

Total goals scored

36

Player scoring most goals

2 - Diomansy Kamara (West Brom)

Highest Attendance

29,103 - Sheffield Wed v RK Sunderland

Lowest Attendance

7,441 - Luton v Barnsley

Total Yellow Cards

29

Total Red Cards

1

Most cards in a game

Plymouth v Coventry (7Y)

The leading scorers (league only)

17

Robert Earnshaw (Norwich)
Grzegorz Rasiak (Southampton)

15

Chris Iwelumo (Colchester)

14

Diomansy Kamara (West Brom)

13

Michael Chopra (Cardiff)
Jamie Cureton (Colchester)
Gary McSheffrey (Birmingham)

12

Rowan Vine (Birmingham) - all 12 goals with Luton

11

Steve Howard (Derby)
Alan Lee (Ipswich)

10

Andy Gray (Burnley)
Barry Hayles (Plymouth)
David Nugent (Preston)
Kevin Phillips (West Brom)

9

Chris Brunt (Sheffield Wed)

8

Nicklas Bendtner (Birmingham)
Iain Hume (Leicester)

7

Dexter Blackstock (QPR)
David Connolly (RK Sunderland)
Carlos Edwards (RK Sunderland) - 6 with Luton
Freddy Eastwood (Southend)
David Healy (Leeds)
Brian Howard (Derby)
Kenwyne Jones (Southampton)
Jason Koumas (West Brom)
Marcus Tudgay (Sheffield Wed)

Hat Tricks (league only)

26th Aug

3 - Jamie Cureton - COLCHESTER v Derby

12th Sep

3 - Gifton Noel-Williams - BURNLEY v Barnsley

14th Oct

3 - Kevin Phillips - Ipswich v WEST BROM

29th Oct

3 - Alan Lee - IPSWICH v Luton

28th Nov

4 - Chris Iwelumo - COLCHESTER v Hull

9th Dec

3 - Gary McSheffrey - BIRMINGHAM v Preston

Disciplinary Record (all games)

Club

Y

R

Club

Y

R

Barnsley

48

4

Luton

40

4

Birmingham

54

5

Norwich

48

3

Burnley

48

6

Plymouth

61

3

Cardiff

42

5

Preston

47

3

Colchester

31

1

QPR

53

1

Coventry

59

1

Sheffield Wed

56

4

Crystal Palace

35

0

Southampton

39

1

Derby

63

2

Southend

45

3

Hull

59

3

Stoke

49

2

Ipswich

77

4

RK Sunderland

43

4

Leeds

64

3

West Brom

73

3

Leicester

55

3

Wolves

43

2

The Week's Fixtures

Tuesday 23rd January

Burnley v Stoke

.

Saturday 27th January

Cardiff v Leicester

.

Tuesday 30th January

Barnsley v QPR

Hull v Leeds

Birmingham v Southend

Norwich v Wolves

Colchester v Preston

Stoke v Ipswich

Coventry v Luton

RK Sunderland v Crystal Palace

Derby v Burnley

West Brom v Plymouth

Wednesday 31st January

Southampton v Sheffield Wed

.