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Jamal Campbell-Ryce - his first goals in over four years
Southend must take the top honours with a 3-1 win over West Brom. The Baggies struggle away from home and new manager Tony Mowbray is yet to see them win away from the Hawthorns but this trip to Roots Hall must have been one he was expecting to collect three points from.
Not only did the Shrimpers beat them comprehensively but they did so with the unlikeliest of goal scorers. Midfielder Jamal Campbell-Ryce got the first two and it is fair to say he doesn't find the net regularly. These were his first goals since he netted for Leyton Orient in October 2002. Lewis Hunt got the other and this was his first ever league goal in well over a hundred appearances.
The win didn't lift them any closer to the two clubs directly above them as they recorded wins too. Leeds have been on an awful run but they came up against a Coventry side in desperate form and won for the first time since November. David Healy, a player who looks set for a move to the Premiership this month, scored their first and played a crucial role in the winning goal with Jonathan Douglas hitting home the rebound.
Hull were probably the most fortunate of all teams to win when they travelled to Hillsborough to take on very much in form Sheffield Wednesday. Both their goals in the win came from Nick Barmby but there was very much an element of doubt about both of them. The first looked offside whilst there appeared to be a handball from him before he netted the second.
New Hull boss Phil Brown thought the first goal was onside but his counterpart, former Claret Brian Laws said: “If Hull's first goal wasn't offside then I don't know what is. It was a ridiculous decision and I am mystified as to why it was allowed. Poor officiating left us with a mountain to climb in this game.”
Up at the top of the league the luck finally run out for Steve Bruce and Birmingham. Week after week he's gone on record saying his side had got away with it and won despite being second best but this time they didn't. It looked as though they might snatch a point after Ipswich had dominated the game against them but, just as they had done against us, the Tractor Boys scored in stoppage time, this time through Gavin Williams to win the game.
Steve Howard - his goals brought Preston's unbeaten home run to an end
Just behind them second met third when Preston hosted Derby County with their manager Billy Davies. The little man was made a meal of his afternoon back at Deepdale, provocatively dancing down the touchline applauding his home fans, and he got the last laugh by taking all three points courtesy of two Steve Howard goals.
That's the first time Preston have lost a Deepdale league game since Stoke beat them in September 2005, although they last lost at home in the vital play off game against Leeds at the end of last season, a game that proved to be Davies' last in charge.
There was a funny side to the defeat too. As we all know Preston seem to be able to win penalties at will, it doesn't seem to matter whether there has been a foul or not, they just seem to get them. So it was nice to hear them whinging about one referee Lee Probert gave against them. It does look a poor decision, that made it even better.
Ian Holloway must surely now be rueing the decision to restore Romain Larrieu to his side in goal. He brought him back to provide more experience but he's just come back and given soft goals away. Not for the first time Plymouth conceded a goal because of a poor kick from the French goalkeeper, Grzegorz Rasiak taking advantage to give Southampton the lead.
Plymouth did get back into the game with a goal form Barry Hayles. The striker they had signed from Millwall had already collected his tenth yellow card of the season by then and later in the game received his marching orders from referee Kevin Wright as Plymouth hung on for a point.
Colchester are still in the play off positions but they were away from home on Monday and that makes it a lot less likely that they will pick up points. The team with the best home form of all have won only twice on the road and once again they turned in a very disappointing performance as they went down to a Ray Jones goal at QPR.
Their only wins on the road have come at Burnley and at Crystal Palace but down at Selhurst Park they have finally found the ability to win at home. The Legend of the Palace was under pressure a few weeks ago but their comfortable 3-1 win over Norwich was their fourth home win in five.
Robert Earnshaw - his goal couldn't prevent Norwich from losing at Palace
Norwich's goal was inevitably scored by Robert Earnshaw and I can only repeat that this is a side that would be fighting for their lives but for his goals. If they sell him in this window, and it looks as though they could, then they could find themselves playing outside the top two divisions for the first time since 1960.
Wolves had an easy enough win at home to Barnsley and it should have been easier but again they missed from the penalty spot, this time it was Darren Potter. It must be good to be able to at least get some to miss.
Luton and Cardiff meanwhile fought out a goalless draw as the Welsh team's dramatic drop continues. Peter Ridsdale was talking Premiership football when he took over from Sam Hammam recently, but despite having these big names in football involved they even outside the play off positions now.
Moving on up, and towards that top six are RK Sunderland. They won 2-0 at Leicester with goals from Tobias Hysen and former Leicester striker David Connolly. It's taken them above the Clarets and they are the side who could be more involved in the transfer window than any other.
They have already been involved in five deals with Keane suggesting there are more to come. Two of those deals have seen their leading lights of the film world leave the club. Goalkeeper Ben Alnwick has gone to Spurs, whilst Liam Lawrence has made his move to Stoke a permanent one.
They have replaced Alnwick with Marton Fulop who moved in the opposite direction from White Hart Lane whilst filling the gap left by Lawrence's departure cost £1.5 million with the capture of Luton's Trinidad & Tobago international Carlos Edwards. Today they have completed the loan signing of Manchester United's Jonny Evans on loan until the end of the season.
Not even RK Sunderland were as quick as the Clarets though, we stunned everyone by making the first signing on New Year's Day with Ade Akinbiyi returning from Sheffield United in a £750,000 deal.
Most of the other deals have, as was the case with Lawrence, been players making loan moves permanent, such as David Jones (Derby), Luke Chadwick (Norwich) and Grant McCann (Barnsley).
The same can be said of Tresor Kandol, the Barnet striker who has moved to Leeds but the Elland Road club have also moved today to bring Tore Andre Flo back to England as well as signing defender Armando Sa from Espanyol. Just another 27 days to go before the window closes, and then we'll have the loan window until March.
It's a while since we included the average attendances in the division but they are shown below with the Clarets moving up two places, above both QPR and Barnsley, since we last published them. They show no fewer than twelve clubs with averages above 20,000 and that is a sharp increase from the numbers with those sort of figures just a few years ago following our promotion.
The next set of league fixtures are also shown although they are still over a week ago as all the Championship clubs enter the FA Cup this weekend for the third round.
The New Year's Day Results
Monday 1st January
Burnley v Stoke - Postponed
Plymouth 1 Southampton 1
Crystal Palace 3 Norwich 1
Preston 1 Derby 2
Ipswich 1 Birmingham 0
QPR 1 Colchester 0
Leeds 2 Coventry 1
Sheffield Wed 1 Hull 2
Leicester 0 RK Sunderland 2
Southend 3 West Brom 1
Luton 0 Cardiff 0
Wolves 2 Barnsley 0
The New Year's Day Stats
Crystal Palace 3-1 v Norwich (home)
Southend 3-1 v West Brom (home)
RK Sunderland 2-0 v Leicester (away)
Wolves 2-0 v Barnsley (home)
Total goals scored
Player scoring most goals
Nick Barmby (Hull)
Jamel Campbell-Ryce (Southend)
Steve Howard (Derby)
28,600 - Sheffield Wed v Hull
8,004 - Luton v Cardiff
Total Yellow Cards
Total Red Cards
Most cards in a game
Plymouth v Southampton (6Y 1R)
Preston v Derby (7Y)
Southend v West Brom (7Y)
The leading scorers (league only)
|Robert Earnshaw (Norwich)|
|Grzegorz Rasiak (Southampton)|
|Jamie Cureton (Colchester)|
Chris Iwelumo (Colchester)
Gary McSheffrey (Birmingham)
|Michael Chopra (Cardiff)|
Diomansy Kamara (West Brom)
Rowan Vine (Luton)
|Andy Gray (Burnley)|
Steve Howard (Derby)
Alan Lee (Ipswich)
|David Nugent (Preston)|
|Nicklas Bendtner (Birmingham)|
Chris Brunt (Sheffield Wed)
Barry Hayles (Plymouth)
Kevin Phillips (West Brom)
|Freddy Eastwood (Southend)|
David Healy (Leeds)
Iain Hume (Leicester)
Kenwyne Jones (Southampton)
Marcus Tudgay (Sheffield Wed)
Hat Tricks (league only)
|3 - Jamie Cureton - COLCHESTER v Derby|
|3 - Gifton Noel-Williams - BURNLEY v Barnsley|
|3 - Kevin Phillips - Ipswich v WEST BROM|
|3 - Alan Lee - IPSWICH v Luton|
|4 - Chris Iwelumo - COLCHESTER v Hull|
|3 - Gary McSheffrey - BIRMINGHAM v Preston|
Disciplinary Record (all games)
Average Attendances (league only)
The Next Fixtures
Friday 12th January
West Brom v Luton
Saturday 13th January
Barnsley v Preston
Hull v QPR
Birmingham v Leeds
Norwich v Plymouth
Cardiff v Southend
Southampton v Burnley
Colchester v Leicester
Stoke v Wolves
Coventry v Crystal Palace
RK Sunderland v Ipswich
Derby v Sheffield Wed