In the Championship ? Not looking good

Last updated : 03 October 2005 By Tony Scholes
Barry Hayles - scored for Millwall at Hillsborough
The club that can pull in the highest crowds of all in this division are now the only side below the Clarets in this league and then only on goal difference although there always had to be one of the two sides who met at Hillsborough on Saturday still below us.

It is Wednesday with Millwall, a crisis club a week ago, winning two away games in four days and this was a crucial win for them that saw them off the bottom for the first time this season and ironically the two Millwall goals were scored by former Sheffield United strikers Barry Hayles and Carl Asaba.

Norwich too were winners, winning the East Anglian derby at Ipswich but it was made easier for them with the early dismissal of Ipswich’s Castro Sito who got his second red card in successive weekends.

The only goal of the game at Portman Road came in the second half from substitute Darren Huckerby. It was Hucerkby's first goal of the season in what was for Norwich their first league win of the season.

So the results have left just Wednesday below us and for the Yorkshire club it is doubly worse when they see their local rivals Sheffield United still riding high at the top. Their lead is still four points but it could have been all so different at Adrian Boothroyd’s upwardly looking Watford.

The home side had gone two up just eight minutes into the second half with both goals coming from Darius Henderson who had come on early in the game for Marlon King, but just as it looked as though they would be closing the gap at the top to one point they hit the self destruct button and turned certain victory into defeat.

Phil Jagielka pulled one back and then Paul Ifill was allowed the room to grab a second. To make matters worse Malky Mackay was sent off for ridiculously kicking out at an opponent and as they pressed hard on that button it took an own goal from Clarke Carlisle to win it for the Blades.

Ivar Ingimarsson - scored Reading's controversial winner
That left Reading in second spot after their controversial win over Crewe. The only goal of the game was headed in by Ivar Ingimarsson from a John Oster cross but TV evidence does suggest that the ball might not have crossed the line. Dario G was none too happy about it but the goal stood to push Reading into that second place.

It is hard to say who was man of the match in the televised game between Derby and Southampton but referee Nigel Miller was in sparkling form. On another weekend of cards he proceeded to issue no less than ten yellow cards and one red card and even found time to send off ‘Arry Redknapp who at least could get into the stand and keep his eye on Clive Woodward who many believe will be taking over soon.

Even the television commentary team were scathing of Miller’s performance, and that is rare, and we forgot to mention that he allowed a penalty to be retaken and also allowed a last minute equaliser for Southampton when goalkeeper Lee Camp was clearly fouled.

Mind you it was a hell of a goal from Ricardo Fuller who half volleyed it into an admittedly empty net from at least thirty five yards.

Hull and Luton treated us to our Saturday lunchtime pub football on the way to Plymouth and the main reason for the fact that there was just one goal was the form of the two goalkeepers Marlon Beresford of Luton and in particular Hull’s Boaz Myhill who made some outstanding stops.

Myhill had no chance with the winner but it came about after another save from him that was knocked back in for Steve Howard to hammer home for his first goal since the opening day of the season.

It was enough for Luton to go fourth, just ahead of Stoke who won 1-0 at Preston on Friday with a second winning goal this week from Paul Gallagher, on loan from Blackburn. Manager Billy Davies and his look-a-like dog are struggling to find Preston any home form, they are still to win at Deepdale this season.

Andy Johnson - missing for Palace
Crystal Palace were without the injured Andy Johnson for the first time and guess what, they didn’t score. They went down 1-0 at Cardiff where the home side picked up maximum points for the second time this week and again it was courtesy of a second winning goal in a week from a loan striker, in this case Michael Ricketts.

Ricketts is a Leeds player but they have enough strikers, in fact so many that they could go to QPR and not even include Robbie Blake in the sixteen. They did have Ian Moore on the bench for the first time this season, although he didn’t get on, whilst the strikers on the pitch all made names for themselves.

Rob Hulse scored the only goal of the game, David Healy was sent off for reacting to a challenge from Marc Bircham, and substitute Richard Cresswell should have been sent off for a very poor challenge.

Wolves are going back to last season’s form and drawing too many games. Leicester went to Molineux and shut up shop but it worked and they got themselves a point from a goalless draw whilst finally Brighton and Coventry shared the spoils at the Withdean in a somewhat more exciting 2-2 draw.

The home side were twice behind but hit back with goals from Leon Knight and their Coca-Cola competition prize Colin Kazim-Richards.

The loan market has been busy again and nowhere busier than at Derby. On Thursday we reported that they had signed Khalilou Fadiga on loan from Bolton and they have followed that up by signing Pete Whittingham our former loan player from Aston Villa, striker Stern John from Coventry and Spurs pair Mounir El Hamdaoui and Johnnie Jackson.

With Andrew Davies there on long term loan they were not allowed to include all their loan players yesterday – the league allows for no more than five in any squad – and Jackson missed out.

Watford have taken West Ham’s former Bournemouth midfielder Carl Fletcher on loan and have also signed Les Ferdinand permanently whilst Coventry have made two permanent signings in Andy Impey and Paul Watson and finally Brighton have again taken goalkeeper Alan Blayney from Southampton. There are obviously a lot of emergencies in the Football League.

It is Carling Cup week this week with some of the Championship clubs in action and then next weekend it is back to league fixtures as shown below.

The Weekend Results

Friday 16th September

Preston 0 Stoke 1

.

Saturday 17th September

Brighton 2 Coventry 2

Reading 1 Crewe 0

Cardiff 1 Crystal Palace 0

Sheffield Wed 1 Millwall 2

Hull 0 Luton 1

Watford 2 Sheffield Utd 3

Plymouth 1 Burnley 0

Wolves 0 Leicester 0

QPR 0 Leeds 1

.

Sunday 18th September

Derby 2 Southampton 2

Ipswich 0 Norwich 1

The Weekend Stats

Biggest win

all wins were by one goal

Total goals scored

23

Player scoring most goals

2 - Darius Henderson (Watford)

Highest Attendance

29,184 - Ipswich v Norwich

Lowest Attendance

6,529 - Brighton v Coventry

Total Yellow Cards

48

Total Red Cards

4

Most cards in a game

Derby v Southampton (10Y 1R)

The leading scorers (league only)

6

Carl Cort (Wolves)
Andy Johnson (Crystal Palace)
Steve Kabba (Sheffield Utd)
Marlon King (Watford)

5

Ade Akinbiyi (Burnley)
Cameron Jerome (Cardiff)
Leroy Lita (Reading)

4

Dele Adebola (Coventry)
Dean Ashton (Norwich)
Morten Bisgaard (Derby)
David Connolly (Leicester)
David Healy (Leeds)
Darius Henderson (Watford)
Inigo Idiakez (Derby)
Dave Nugent (Preston)
Ashley Young (Watford)

3

Ahmet Brkovic (Luton)
Mark de Vries (Leicester)
Kevin Doyle (Reading)
Mickey Evans (Plymouth)
Rob Hulse (Leeds)
Leon Knight (Brighton)
Kevin Nicholls (Luton)
Mark Rivers (Crewe)
Neil Shipperley (Sheffield Utd)

Disciplinary Record (all games)

Club

Y

R

Club

Y

R

Brighton

18

0

Millwall

19

2

Burnley

16

2

Norwich

17

1

Cardiff

16

0

Plymouth

18

0

Coventry

23

2

Preston

18

0

Crewe

9

0

QPR

21

3

Crystal Palace

23

0

Reading

12

0

Derby

24

2

Sheffield Utd

12

0

Hull

9

1

Sheffield Wed

12

1

Ipswich

15

3

Southampton

22

2

Leeds

13

1

Stoke

15

3

Leicester

18

0

Watford

14

1

Luton

14

1

Wolves

14

0

The Weekend Fixtures

Friday 23rd September

Luton v Sheffield Wed

.

Saturday 24th September

Burnley v Brighton

Millwall v Cardiff

Crystal Palace v Preston

Norwich v Reading

Coventry v Hull

Sheffield Utd v Derby

Crewe v Watford

Southampton v Plymouth

Leeds v Ipswich

Stoke v Wolves

Leicester v QPR

.