In the Championship ? Dj vu

Last updated : 23 January 2006 By Tony Scholes
Gary McSheffrey - same as last season, two goals as Coventry hit Derby for six
Back in April, as the Sky Blues ended their long association with the old ground, Derby were the fall guys and two goals each from Stern John and Gary McSheffrey (including one from the penalty spot) saw them to a 6-2 win against George Burley’s team who were heading for the play offs. One of the other two goals was scored by Dele Adebola.

This time it was going to be different in the new surroundings and Derby were soon in front with a goal from Mr Karren Brady, coinicidentally he had scored one of the goals in the 6-2 defeat.

That’s as good as it got for the visitors who crashed this time to a 6-1 defeat but the list of Coventry goalscorers really takes some believing. Incredibly John, who was recently at Derby on loan, scored twice, so did McSheffrey (including one from the penalty spot) and Adebola also netted and Coventry went on to win 6-1.

When you are in a poor run of form you need to take your chances in front of goal, but that’s just what Stoke couldn’t do as they twice failed to scored from the penalty spot as they went down to Hull.

Stoke’s defeat at the Turf on Boxing Day signalled the start of a dreadful run for the club where infighting has become something of a tradition. Before Saturday they had picked up just one point from five games and only just scraped through in the FA Cup, beating Tamworth on penalties.

Penalties: yes that’s how they won in midweek but back at home, where they have now lost eight times in the league this season, they were far from capable of scoring from the spot. They fell behind to a comical own goal as a clearance off the line hit defender Darel Russell and went in, but Paul Gallagher spurned the chance to equalise with a poor penalty that was easily saved by Boaz Myhill.

By the time they got the ball on the spot again they were two down, and this time up stepped Luke Chadwick, he who bottled the penalty shoot out at Chesterfield two seasons ago. His penalty was worse, and the keeper saved with some ease, and that left Hull to stroll to a 3-0 win against the Potters.

Down at the bottom of the league, the three clubs in the relegation places were all at home on Saturday but between them they managed just the one point. That went Millwall’s way in a no score draw against draw specialists Wolves.

Matty Fryatt - scored for Leicester but they were beaten again
They remain next to bottom, but only on goal difference now from Leicester who were beaten by Cardiff. Matty Fryatt got his first goal for the Foxes but it wasn’t enough with Jason Koumas hitting home the winner for Cardiff with a free kick.

The fans are getting restless at the Crisp Bowl and although they were not able to muster up anything like the demonstration against Souness at Newcastle they are beginning to make their feelings pretty clear about manager Craig Levein.

The former Cowdenbeath and Herts manager is having a difficult time, and it there have been suggestions that only the cup win against Spurs has kept him there this long.

As for Crewe, this really does look to be the season that sees them return to the lower leagues. Another defeat, this time against Plymouth for whom Paul Wotton got both goals.

They have at least had a boost with the news that Dean Ashton is on his way to West Ham from Norwich for £7.25 million. They’ll get around £800,000 of that as part of a sell on clause in the deal that saw him go to Carrow Road a year ago.

Will they spend the money on players? They didn’t last year when they sold him, it went on a new all weather pitch for them.

That takes us onto Norwich and there run of good form has come to an end now. Saturday saw their third league game without a win and this despite having twice been in front at home against Watford.

It was a last minute winner from Matthew Spring that gave Watford all three points after Darius Henderson had twice equalised. For much of this season I have waited for the expected collapse of Watford’s promotion challenge, it hasn’t happened though, maybe Aidy Boothroyd is looking up after all.

None of the top six lost, the only two to drop points were Crystal Palace and Reading who fought out a 1-1 draw at Selhurst Park on Friday. Just for a few seconds it looked as though Reading could lose this one when Andy Johnson gave Palace the lead from the penalty spot, but they were level within 90 seconds with an excellent goal from James Harper.

That is 29 league games without defeat for Reading and that leaves them just one game short of Burnley’s Football League record of 30 games without defeat in one season, It was beaten by Arsenal a couple of years ago but still remains a record in the Football League. It looks as though it will be lost very soon.

Richard Cresswell - two goals for Leeds
Right behind them the two Yorkshire clubs both won. Leeds saw off Sheffield Wednesday with a 3-0 win at Elland Road in front of the biggest crowd of the day. Wednesday held them until the last twenty minutes but then had no answer with Richard Cresswell scoring twice.

A few miles south down the M1, Sheffield United were maintaining the twelve point gap with a comfortable win over Brighton. All the goals came in the second half and with the striker crisis at Bramall Lane they even introduced Brian Deane who was making his first appearance for the Blades in just over eight years.

George Burley has got off to a cracking start as Southampton manager. Saturday saw the Saints lose for the sixth time in seven games, this time going down to at home to Ipswich. Both goals came from former Burnley striker Alan Lee, his first goals for Ipswich, and this is the first time he has bagged two in a game since Rotherham won 6-2 on the Turf in a throw one in game.

That leaves Luton and QPR and the Hatters climbed above us after their two win at Kenilworth Road. It is their home form that is keeping them in the top half of the league, they have lost ten of their away games, and these were their first points for four games.

The transfer window is well and truly open and by the time you read this Dean Ashton is likely to be a West Ham player after being involved in the biggest transfer yet. A year ago Ashton moved from Crewe into the Premiership and he’s on his way back there.

Whether there will be any other million pound plus deals remains to be seen – much could depend on Neil Warnock. And just imagine if we ended up wanting them to go up because there was extra money coming our way.

We’ve no league fixtures next weekend, it’s cup week, but we are back in action a week tomorrow when we play in that wonderful setting known as the Withdean Stadium.

The Weekend Results

Friday 20th January

Crystal Palace 1 Reading 1

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Saturday 21st January

Burnley 0 Preston 2

Millwall 0 Wolves 0

Coventry 6 Derby 1

Norwich 2 Watford 3

Crewe 1 Plymouth 2

Sheffield Utd 3 Brighton 1

Leeds 3 Sheffield Wed 0

Southampton 0 Ipswich 2

Leicester 1 Cardiff 2

Stoke 0 Hull 3

Luton 2 QPR 0

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The Weekend Stats

Biggest win

Coventry 6-1 v Derby (home)

Total goals scored

36

Player scoring most goals
2

Richard Cresswell (Leeds)
Darius Henderson (Watford)
Stern John (Coventry)
Alan Lee (Ipswich)
Gary McSheffrey (Coventry)
Paul Wotton (Plymouth)

Highest Attendance

27,843 - Leeds v Sheffield Wed

Lowest Attendance

5,984 - Crewe v Plymouth

Total Yellow Cards

36

Total Red Cards

0

Most cards in a game

Stoke v Hull (7Y)

The leading scorers (league only)

13

Cameron Jerome (Cardiff)
Dave Kitson (Reading)

12

Ade Akinbiyi (Burnley)
Marlon King (Watford)

11

Kevin Doyle (Reading)

10

Dean Ashton (Norwich)
Steve Howard (Luton)
Andy Johnson (Crystal Palace)
Gary McSheffrey (Coventry)

9

Carl Cort (Wolves)
Darius Henderson (Watford)
Rob Hulse (Leeds)
Steven Kabba (Sheffield Utd)
Jason Koumas (Cardiff)
Neil Shipperley (Sheffield Utd)
Ashley Young (Watford)

8

Dele Adebola (Coventry)
Sammy Bangoura (Stoke)
David Healy (Leeds)
Inigo Idiakez (Derby)
Clinton Morrison (Crystal Palace)
Danny Webber (Sheffield Utd)

7

Robbie Blake (Leeds)
Paul Gallagher (Stoke)
Phil Jagielka (Sheffield Utd)
Dave Nugent (Preston)
Garreth O'Connor (Burnley)

Disciplinary Record (all games)

Club

Y

R

Club

Y

R

Brighton

55

2

Millwall

65

11

Burnley

48

3

Norwich

50

2

Cardiff

50

2

Plymouth

45

0

Coventry

62

4

Preston

49

2

Crewe

29

1

QPR

60

6

Crystal Palace

62

2

Reading

31

0

Derby

47

4

Sheffield Utd

51

1

Hull

33

3

Sheffield Wed

37

1

Ipswich

42

4

Southampton

52

4

Leeds

50

2

Stoke

54

6

Leicester

60

4

Watford

44

3

Luton

37

3

Wolves

37

1

The Next Fixtures

Tuesday 31st January

Brighton v Burnley

QPR v Leicester

Cardiff v Millwall

Reading v Norwich

Hull v Coventry

Sheffield Wed v Luton

Ipswich v Leeds

Watford v Crewe

Plymouth v Southampton

Wolves v Stoke

Preston v Crystal Palace

.

Wednesday 1st February

Derby v Sheffield Utd

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