In the Championship ? Stirring at the bottom

Last updated : 05 January 2005 By Tony Scholes
Graham kavanagh - scored Cardiff's third against disgraceful Forest
Cardiff v Forest was the first match to kick off and it was something of a lunchtime nightmare for Forest in South Wales. They somehow managed to stay level in the first half but conceded an early penalty in the second which was converted by Peter Thorne.

Two late goals, another from Thorne and one from Graham Kavanagh, took it to 3-0 but the final scoreline didn’t flatter Cardiff and Forest’s acting manager Mick Harford described it as a disgraceful performance. They didn’t create a single chance and Harford said, “From start to finish this was an atrocious performance – disgraceful. It was embarrassing at times.” He then promised that some of his players would be out of work at the end of the season.

Gillingham are still in the bottom three but pulled a further point away from Forest with a 1-1 draw at Sunderland. They took the lead through Darius Henderson, a player who was on loan at Swindon early in the season, only for Chris Brown to quickly equalise.

Gills’ boss Stan Ternent was delighted with the result before calling for a break during the holiday period rather than playing four matches. And after congratulating his players the Sunderland supporting manager said he hoped the north east club would be back in the Premiership next season.

And what about the fan’s run club at Rotherham, a second successive away win, this time at Millwall. They went a goal down too before coming back to win 2-1 and although they are still rooted to the bottom of the league it hasn’t been a bad couple of weeks for the Millers.

Yesterday they unveiled their new Board of Directors, a new Chairman, revised plans for a new stand and a restructuring of the finances. Staying in this league might just be a problem for them though.

Up at the top and the points Sunderland dropped allowed the top two to pull away from them again. Ipswich won at Plymouth with recent signing Darren Currie getting both goals in the 2-1 victory, the first of them from the penalty spot.

Still no win for Wolves boss Glenn Hoddle
There was a penalty too for second place Wigan at home to Wolves which was converted by Nathan Ellington. He scored both in a 2-0 win for the Latics in front of just over 10,000 (how did they cope with such a big crowd?) and it leaves Glenn Hoddle still looking for his first win as Wolves boss.

After a fantastic win at Ipswich two days earlier West Ham came crashing back down to earth and were beaten 2-0 at home by Sheffield United. Tomas Repka put through his own goal and Leigh Bromby got the second.

Former Hammer Julian Dicks was somewhat critical of the current West Ham team and accused many of the players of going through the motions and having neither passion nor commitment. Surely not with the likes of Luke Chadwick in the side.

Crewe have been beaten at last and by the Christmas and New Year form team Preston who have collected ten points out of twelve. Chris Sedgwick scored his first Preston goal, Brian O’Neil doubled the lead and was then sent off before Richard Walker pulled one back for Dario G’s boys.

The defeat for Crewe ended a run of nine games without defeat whilst Preston have been unbeaten in five since their 2-0 Turf Moor defeat last month.

Reading played at home and the game was shown live on Sky, nothing new there then, However this time they were beaten by Derby when Tommy Smith scored the only goal of the game right on half time. The Royals would have gone third had they won.

QPR boss Ian Holloway left Leicester an unhappy man after seeing his side dominate the game but lose 1-0 to an early David Connolly penalty. His main concern was the fact that QPR had two goals disallowed and all he would say on that was that the referee (Phil Dowd) handled it as he saw fit.

Leeds won their third game in the last four with a 2-1 win against their former boss Peter Reid at Coventry. Nathan Blake scored his first goal for them since his loan move from Leicester and David Healy added a second. Gary McSheffrey's goal was nothing more than a late consolation.

Leon Knight - scored the winner for Brighton
Finally to he Withdean where Brighton came back from 1-0 down to beat Watford 2-1 with the winner coming from Leon Knight. The Hornets are struggling and sliding down the table, their fans must be delighted then to hear manager Ray Lewington claim that he is at a loss to explain it.

There have been reports over the last two days of possibly UFOs in the Potteries area but this has now been explained. Tony Pulis has had his team in for extra training and they have been practicing hitting balls towards the front men. Air traffic control at Manchester will be delighted that’s been cleared up.

There’s been nothing much in the way of transfers although of course we have lost Robbie Blake. I would have loved to have been the one tasked with letting Paul Jewell know.

Plymouth too have lost a forward with Stevie Crawford returning to the real Scotland and signing for the Arabs of Dundee United.

This weekend sees the third round of the FA Cup and that means all of the Championship clubs will be involved meaning no league fixtures.

The next games in the Championship will be played over the weekend of 14th to 16th January and those fixtures are shown below after the stats.

The Bank Holiday Results

Monday 3rd January

Brighton 2 Watford 1

Plymouth 1 Ipswich 2

Cardiff 3 Nott'm Forest 0

Reading 0 Derby 1

Coventry 1 Leeds 2

Stoke 0 Burnley 1

Crewe 1 Preston 2

Sunderland 1 Gillingham 1

Leicester 1 QPR 0

West Ham 0 Sheffield Utd 2

Millwall 1 Rotherham 2

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Tuesday 4th January

Wigan 2 Wolves 0

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The Bank Holiday Stats

Biggest win

Cardiff 3-0 v Nott'm Forest (home)

Total goals scored

27

Player scoring most goals
2

Darren Currie (Ipswich)
Nathan Ellington (Wigan)
Peter Thorne (Cardiff)

Highest Attendance

27,424 -West Ham v Sheffield Utd

Lowest Attendance

6,335 - Brighton v Watford

Total Yellow Cards

35

Total Red Cards

3

Most cards in a game

Brighton v Watford (6Y)
Coventry v Leeds (1R 5Y)

The leading scorers (league only)

18

Dean Ashton (Crewe)

17

Nathan Ellington (Wigan)

14

Paul Furlong (QPR)

12

Darren Bent (Ipswich)
Dave Kitson (Reading)
Shefki Kuqi (Ipswich)
Jason Roberts (Wigan)

11

Richard Cresswell (Preston)
David Healy (Leeds) - 5 with Preston
Teddy Sheringham (West Ham)

10

Robbie Blake (Burnley)
Stephen Elliott (Sunderland)
Marlon Harewood (West Ham)
Heidar Helguson (Watford)
Kenny Miller (Wolves)

9

Grzegorz Rasiak (Derby)
Danny Webber (Watford)

8

Andy Gray (Sheffield Utd)
Lee McCulloch (Wigan)
Paul Shaw (Sheffield Utd) - 2 with Rotherham
Tommy Smith (Derby)
Peter Thorne (Cardiff)

7

Ade Akinbiyi (Stoke)
Carl Cort (Wolves)
Barry Hayles (Millwall)
Mark Rivers (Crewe)
Marcus Stewart (Sunderland)
Paul Wotton (Plymouth)

Next Week's Fixtures

Friday 14th January

QPR v Stoke

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Saturday 15th January

Burnley v Reading

Preston v Leicester

Gillingham v Plymouth

Rotherham v Wigan

Ipswich v Coventry

Sheffield Utd v Brighton

Leeds v Cardiff

Watford v Crewe

Nott'm Forest v Millwall

Wolves v West Ham

Sunday 16th January

Derby v Sunderland

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