In the Championship ? Getting worse for Crewe

Last updated : 16 January 2006 By Tony Scholes
Inigo Idiakez - scored Derby's last goal against Crewe
They didn’t have the best of preparation for their game at Derby, with the training ground having been closed following the news that goalkeeper Ben Foster was suspected to be suffering from viral meningitis.

And things didn’t improve much as they defended just as badly as they did on the Turf a couple of months ago, making it as easy as it possibly could have been for Derby. The first four goals were all poor goals to give away, the fifth was down solely to a poor decision by referee Deadman.

He ruled an interception as a back pass but and awarded Derby a free kick about ten yards out but then it was down to the ability of Inigo Idiakez. With all eleven Crewe players on the line, the Spaniard was still able to find a space to hammer the ball home.

Deadman wasn’t the only referee catching the eye this weekend. Michael Jones was in charge of our cup tie at Derby last week but he turned in a somewhat controversial performance at Loftus Road in the QPR v Southampton game which was decided by penalties.

Jones awarded one to each side, neither looked clear cut, but after Richard Langley had converted his to give the home side the lead, former QPR player Nigel Quashie saw his saved. As he took it QPR’s Danny Shittu was so far inside the box that when the ball rebounded from the keeper towards Quashie, he was in to make a tackle before the Southampton player could react.

There was another debateable spot kick at the Withdean which was converted by Robbie Blake for Leeds. It didn’t matter though as the home side went on to win the game and climb out of the bottom three which meant Leicester being dumped down there with Crewe and Millwall.

It’s no surprise, Leicester look a very poor team to me and they will need to make some changes to their squad or they are going to be right in a fight down at the bottom for the rest of the season. It is incredible to believe that they beat Spurs in the cup last week.

Leicester actually took the lead at Sheffield Wednesday with an overhead kick from full back Richard Stearman on a pitch that hardly looked ready for football. But Wednesday coped on it and scored one of the goals of the day from Chris Brunt to equalise before going on and winning it.

Chris Brunt - goal of the day equaliser for Wednesday
What a turn round for the Owls who have now won their last three league games and are a few points clear of that bottom three. This was an important win for them.

There was never much chance of Millwall moving up, they weren’t expected to get anything at Deepdale and didn’t. They were outplayed by Preston from start to finish and that means the nearest Championship club to us will be on their way to the Turf next Saturday defending an unbeaten run that stretches back seventeen league games.

They have also strengthened their squad again this week with the signing of Brian Stock from Bournemouth. It will be like a Dorset reunion next week with our three and Stock.

Preston’s last defeat was at Luton in September but that’s nothing compared to league leaders Reading who have not lost since the opening day of the season. The latest win came against Coventry with two goals from Dave Kitson. He’s now the leading scorer in the league and no surprise, he’s netted nine times in the last eight league games.

They are now on 72 points with 17 games still to go and cannot be stopped. They even pulled further ahead of both second and third place. Following Leeds’ defeat they are now 21 points clear of third whilst they have also extended their lead over Sheffield United to nine points after they could only draw at Ipswich.

The Blades were back to full strength after resting a number of players in the cup last week but fell behind to a superb free kick from Jimmy Juan early in the second half but fought back with Danny Webber getting an equaliser.

One of the players who had played in the cup tie was Lilian Nalis , his previous appearances had been for Coventry whilst on loan, and yesterday he lined up for new club Plymouth. It really should have been a winning start for him.

They went in front from a Simon Charlton own goal and had chances to take the game beyond Norwich only for Darren Huckerby to equalise just after half time with a superb solo goal.

Darren Ward - found the net for Palace
The three remaining games saw three teams currently in the play offs all win. Wolves beat Luton on Friday night but it looked as though the Hatters had got a point when Steve Howard equalised with ten minutes to go.

However Paul Ince, whose last goal came last season against the Clarets, hit home from some twenty yards in the closing minutes to give Wolves all three points.

Chris Eagles is back with Watford, moving their on loan after ending a loan spell at Sheffield Wednesday. And he celebrated with the only goal in their win against Stoke at Vicarage Road. That’s just one point from five games for the Potters.

And Crystal Palace continued their run of good form with an away victory over Hull. They were soon two up through Darren Ward and a Leon Cort own goal but Hull immediately responded with a goal from debutant Jon Parkin.

Parkin signed from Macclesfield this week in a move that could well have saved the Silkmen from going into administration but his debut goal was not enough to get any points from the game.

There are no midweek games this coming week but a full fixture list next weekend, they are shown below:

The Weekend Results

Friday 13th January

Wolves 2 Luton 1

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Saturday 14th January

Brighton 2 Leeds 1

Preston 2 Millwall 0

Cardiff 3 Burnley 0

QPR 1 Southampton 0

Derby 5 Crewe 1

Reading 2 Coventry 0

Hull 1 Crystal Palace 2

Sheffield Wed 2 Leicester 1

Ipswich 1 Sheffield Utd 1

Watford 1 Stoke 0

Plymouth 1 Norwich 1

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The Weekend Stats

Biggest win

Derby 5-1 v Crewe (home)

Total goals scored

31

Player scoring most goals
2

Dave Kitson (Reading)
Tommy Smith (Derby)
Steve Thompson (Cardiff)

Highest Attendance

25,398 - Sheffield Wed v Leicester

Lowest Attendance

7,415 - Brighton v Leeds

Total Yellow Cards

29

Total Red Cards

0

Most cards in a game

Brighton v Leeds (4Y)
Preston v Milwall (4Y)

The leading scorers (league only)

13

Dave Kitson (Reading)

12

Ade Akinbiyi (Burnley)
Cameron Jerome (Cardiff)
Marlon King (Watford)

11

Kevin Doyle (Reading)

10

Dean Ashton (Norwich)

9

Carl Cort (Wolves)
Steve Howard (Luton)
Rob Hulse (Leeds)
Andy Johnson (Crystal Palace)
Steven Kabba (Sheffield Utd)
Neil Shipperley (Sheffield Utd)
Ashley Young (Watford)

8

Sammy Bangoura (Stoke)
David Healy (Leeds)
Inigo Idiakez (Derby)
Jason Koumas (Cardiff)
Gary McSheffrey (Coventry)
Clinton Morrison (Crystal Palace)
Danny Webber (Sheffield Utd)

7

Dele Adebola (Coventry)
Robbie Blake (Leeds)
Paul Gallagher (Stoke)
Darius Henderson (Watford)
Garreth O'Connor (Burnley)

6

Dexter Blackstock (Southampton) - 3 with Derby
Ahmet Brkovic (Luton)
Chris Brunt (Sheffield Wed)
Mark de Vries (Leicester)
Warren Feeney (Luton)
Joey Gudjonsson (Leicester)
Phil Jagielka (Sheffield Utd)
Leroy Lita (Reading)
Dave Nugent (Preston)
Steve Sidwell (Reading)

Disciplinary Record (all games)

Club

Y

R

Club

Y

R

Brighton

54

2

Millwall

63

11

Burnley

46

3

Norwich

50

2

Cardiff

49

2

Plymouth

44

0

Coventry

59

4

Preston

47

2

Crewe

28

1

QPR

58

6

Crystal Palace

60

2

Reading

31

0

Derby

46

4

Sheffield Utd

50

1

Hull

29

3

Sheffield Wed

35

1

Ipswich

38

4

Southampton

50

4

Leeds

49

2

Stoke

51

6

Leicester

60

4

Watford

44

3

Luton

36

3

Wolves

37

1

The Next Fixtures

Friday 20th January

Crystal Palace v Reading

.

Saturday 21st January

Burnley v Preston

Millwall v Wolves

Coventry v Derby

Norwich v Watford

Crewe v Plymouth

Sheffield Utd v Brighton

Leeds v Sheffield Wed

Southampton v Ipswich

Leicester v Cardiff

Stoke v Hull

Luton v QPR

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