Reading edge closer as West Ham falter again

Last updated : 12 March 2012 By Tony Scholes

It hasn't been a brilliant week for West Ham. In midweek they dropped two home points to Watford and followed that up by doing just the same against the struggling Doncaster All Stars on Saturday.

That's enabled Southampton to move four points clear of them at the top and, in what is now becoming a three horse race for the top two positions, they've been caught up by Reading who made it eight wins out of eight with a 3-1 home win against Leicester.

Now, I know my football, so you should take note when I back teams to do well and vice versa. At the turn of the year it was Leicester who I said would make a storming run and get themselves right into the promotion race.

That belief was based on them having got rid of Sven Goran Eriksson and brought in Nigel Pearson who I just thought would get things going. It's not really happened and they are above us on goal difference with what is now surely very little hope of making the top six. Still, they'll go and spend a load more money they don't really have and give it another go.

Now, no look at the Championship can be considered complete these days without some mention of Portsmouth, so the money topic brings us nicely on to a club that are now four points adrift at the bottom of the league and a staggering eight points from safety.

Goalkeeper Stephen Henderson as well as Hayden Mullins were left out of the side on Saturday as they consider moves elsewhere, simply to reduce a wage bill that was simply obscene. I see the football authorities are now looking at improving their 'Fit and Proper Person' checks. I'd suggest it has to be have been non-existent given what's wandered through Fratton Park over the last few years.

Doncaster and Coventry City are the teams with four points more and then there is a further four point jump to Bristol City and two more to Nottingham Forest.

Forest won again and, although some would say it is hard to believe, they have scored in each of their last seven games. Points wise they are edging away from the bottom three but financially there are problems ahead at the City Ground.

Last week they issued a statement to confirm that Nigel Doughty's estate would finance them for the remainder of this season, but they would then be looking for new investment. Watch out for a real cloth cutting exercise by the banks of the River Trent.

One bit of Championship news had escaped me, that was until yesterday when the BBC coverage of the Middlesbrough v Leeds United game allowed me to spot the familiar figure of Ronnie Jepson in the Leeds technical area.

I knew he was reserve team coach at QPR but, having checked, he left by mutual consent on 22nd February and joined Leeds a day later, reuniting with Neil Warnock. I've always wondered what Stan Ternent must make of one of his right hand men in the Warnock camp.

The results are below along with the stats, the leading goalscorers, each club's disciplinary record, the highest and lowest attendances and the next fixtures.

The Week's Results
Saturday 10th March
Brighton & Hove Albion 2 Portsmouth 0 Nottingham Forest 3 Millwall 1
Bristol City 1 Cardiff City 2 Peterborough United 3 Blackpool 1
Burnley 1 Crystal Palace 1 Reading 3 Leicester City 1
Coventry City 1 Birmingham City 1 Southampton 2 Barnsley 0
Derby County 1 Watford 2 West Ham United 1 Doncaster Rovers 1
Hull City 2 Ipswich Town 2  
Sunday 11th March
Middlesbrough 0 Leeds United 2  


The Week's Stats
Biggest Win Brighton & Hove Albion 2-0 v Portsmouth (home)
Leeds United 2-0 v Middlesbrough (away)
Nottingham Forest 3-1  Millwall (home)
Peterborough United 3-1 v Blackpool (home)
Reading 3-1 v Leicester City (home)
Southampton 2-0 v Barnsley (home)
Total Goals Scored 34 (20 home - 14 away)

Player Scoring Most Goals


Adam Lallana (Southampton)
Grant Leadbitter (Ipswich Town)
Vicente Rodriguez (Brighton & Hove Albion)
Highest Attendance 34,650 - West Ham United v Doncaster Rovers
Lowest Attendance 7,540 - Peterborough United v Blackpool
Total Yellow Cards 30
Total Red Cards 3
Most Cards in a Game Bristol City v Cardiff City (5Y) Ref: Michael Oliver
Burnley v Crystal Palace (4Y 1R) Ref: Dean Whitestone


Leading Goalscorers (League Only)
21 Rickie Lambert (Southampton) - includes 7 penalties
15 Ross McCormack (Leeds United)
Jay Rodriguez (Burnley) - includes 3 penalties
14 Darius Henderson (Millwall) - includes 2 penalties
13 Michael Chopra (Ipswich Town)
David Nugent (Leicester City)

Robert Snodgrass (Leeds United) - includes 1 penalty
Ricardo Vaz Te (West Ham United) - (10 with Barnsley)


Craig Davies (Barnsley) - includes 1 penalty
Marvin Emnes (Middlesbrough)
Matty Fryatt (Hull City) - includes 1 penalty
Marlon King (Birmingham City) - includes 2 penalties
Kevin Phillips (Blackpool)
Billy Sharp (Southampton) - includes 1 penalty - (10 with Doncaster Rovers)

10 Charlie Austin (Burnley)
Guly Do Prado (Southampton)
Lukas Jutkiewicz (Middllesbrough) - includes 1 penalty - (9 with Coventry City)
Robert Koren (Hull City)
Adam Lallana (Southampton)
Pete Whittingham (Cardiff City) - includes 3 penalties
Chris Wood (Bristol City) - (9 with Birmingham City)


Hat Tricks
 Date Player & Game
20/08/11 3: Lee Tomlin - PETERBOROUGH UNITED v Ipswich Town
10/09/11 3: Rickie Lambert - SOUTHAMPTON v Nottingham Forest
11/09/11 3: Chris Wood - BIRMINGHAM CITY v Millwall
12/10/11 3: Darius Henderson - Leicester City v MILLWALL
02/11/11 3: Jonjo Shelvey - Leeds United v BLACKPOOL
19/11/11 3: Rickie Lambert - SOUTHAMPTON v Brighton & Hove Albion
26/12/11 3: Matthew Phillips - Barnsley v BLACKPOOL
31/12/11 3: Ricardo Vaz Te - BARNSLEY v Leeds United
21/01/12 3: Darius Henderson - Barnsley v MILLWALL
31/01/12 4: Nikola Zigic - Leeds United v BIRMINGHAM CITY
26/02/12 3: Rickie Lambert - Watford v SOUTHAMPTON


Disciplinary Record (League and Cup)
Club Y R Y R Club Y R Y R
  League   Total   League  Total 
Barnsley 46 1 49 1 Ipswich Town 47 4 48 4
Birmingham City 45 2 50 2 Leeds United 57 5 63 5
Blackpool 44 1 47 2 Leicester City 50 8 58 8
Brighton and Hove Albion 76 6 90 6 Middlesbrough 61 7 64 7
Bristol City 66 4 68 4 Millwall 61 2 68 2
Burnley 50 2 58 2 Nottingham Forest 46 3 51 3
Cardiff City 44 0 60 0 Peterborough United 42 2 45 2
Coventry City 46 2 48 2 Portsmouth 59 4 66 4
Crystal Palace 45 2 49 3 Reading 48 0 51 0
Derby County 46 1 46 1 Southampton 44 4 47 4
Doncaster Rovers 54 2 56 2 Watford 50 2 52 2
Hull City 55 1 59 1 West Ham United 53 6 56 7


Highest and Lowest Attendances
Highest Lowest
Att Fixture Att Fixture
34,936 West Ham United v Coventry City (02/01) 6,351 Peterborough United v Cardiff City (18/10)
34,900 West Ham United v Crystal Palace (25/02) 6,392 Peterborough United v Millwall (06/03)
34,749 West Ham United v Barnsley (17/12) 7,004 Peterborough United v Bristol City (18/02)
34,650 West Ham United v Doncaster Rovers (10/03) 7,540 Peterborough United v Blackpool (10/03)
33,465 West Ham United v Portsmouth (10/09) 7,555 Peterborough United v Portsmouth (28/01)
33,010 Derby County v Southampton (15/10) 7,650 Doncaster Rovers v Watford (26/11)
33,010 Derby County v Leeds United (26/12) 7,778 Doncaster Rovers v Bristol City (27/08)
32,875 West Ham United v Southampton (14/02) 7,901 Peterborough United v Burnley (17/09)
32,150 Southampton v West Ham United (18/10) 7,928 Peterborough United v Ipswich Town (20/08)
31,812 Southampton v Brighton & Hove Albion (19/11) 8,062 Peterborough United v Coventry City (17/12)


The Next Fixtures
Tuesday 13th March
Cardiff City v Hull City Doncaster Rovers v Reading
Derby County v Nottingham Forest Leicester City v Birmingham City
Saturday 17th March
Barnsley v Reading Ipswich Town v Peterborough United
Birmingham City v Middlesbrough Leeds United v West Ham United
Blackpool v Brighton & Hove Albion Millwall v Southampton
Crystal Palace v Hull City Portsmouth v Bristol City
Doncaster Rovers v Derby County Watford v Coventry City
Sunday 18th March
Cardiff City v Burnley