RECAP: MIDWEEK ENGLISH ACTION
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ANDREW VORCE - Thursday, January 21, 2010
Brad Guzan let in four goals in a thrilling 10 goal League Cup game at Villa Park while Mike Grella and Jemal Johnson were unable to secure wins in their appearances.

Aston Villa 6 - 4 Blackburn

Brad Guzan went 90 minutes against Blackburn in the match of the tournament with ten goals scored at Villa Park, with penalty kicks, own goals, and red cards making it a thrilling affair.

Aston Villa came into the game with a 1-0 victory at Blackburn, but Nikola Kalinic threw that all out of the window with just 10 minutes played. Brad Guzan failed to attack an inswinging corner, and Kalinic powered home a header after a deflection off of Stephen Warnock.

With 26 minutes played Blackburn took the lead in the series through Kalinic again. Morten Gamst Pedersen was given space down the left wing and picked out Martin Olsson who's snap header was parried by Guzan but Kalinic was running in to net the rebound.

Villa got back into the game four minutes later, but it was shrouded in controversy as Gabriel Agbonlahor pushed Ryan Nelsen to the ground when Ashley Young's cross came into the Blackburn area. With Nelsen out of the way, Warnock was able to smash home from close range.

Martin Atkinson was at the center of attention again, when Agbonlahor was brought down by Christopher Samba inside of the area when he was trying to get on the end of a Young through ball. Samba was shown a straight red for the challenge, and James Milner converted from the spot five minutes before half time.

After 53 minutes, Villa were in firm control when Nzozi turned in a corner into his own net. Carlos Cuellar flicked on a stewart Downing corner, and Richard Dunne forced Nzonzi to make a play that ended up in his own net. Just three minutes later Milner stepped up to put the game nearly out of reach for Villa, with Agbonlahor getting the final touch after a deflection off of his chest.

Emile Heskey got his name on the scoresheet in the 62nd, when he beat the offside trap and rounded Paul Robinson to slot home. Olsson got one back with an amazing scissor kick from a Gael Givet cross, making the score 5-3.

Brett Emerton helped get Blackburn back into the fold when his volley crept under Guzan with six minutes on the clock. Young ended the scoring in injury time when he curled his shot wide of Robinson into the corner.

Milner and heskey were booked for Villa, while Givet joined Samba in Atkinson's book. Up next for Villa is a visit from Brighton in the FA Cup on Saturday.

Leeds 1 - 2 Carlisle

Mike Grella went 83 minutes in the first leg of the Northern Area Final in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy, with the League One leaders unable to get the upper hand.

Carlisle got off to an early start when Richard Keogh headed down Evan Horwood's cross Graham Kavanagh to score the goal of the game. From 10 yards out the Republic of Ireland international smashed home a volley after just 21 minutes played.

Grella had a shot blocked in the 33rd minute, but Leeds didn't get their goal until the 56th minute. Jason Crowe was on hand to nod home Andrew Hughes' cross to cap off a strong opening in the second half.

With the game looking like a tie at Elland Road, Joe Anyinsah came on in the 68th minute to shake things up. With just six minutes on the clock, Ian Harte, a former Leeds player, picked out the substitute who had beat his marker to nod home the game winning goal.

Leeds will have it all to do in the second leg of the series at Brunton Park, but must tackle Tottenham in the FA Cup over the weekend first.

Stockport 0 - 1 Swindon

Jemal Johnson went 90 minutes and nearly had Stockport ahead on his debut for the club, but his first game was spoiled by a late penalty.

Just five minutes into the second half Stockport put the Swindon goal under siege, with Johnson forcing a save out of David Lucas with a snap header. The goal finally came from Swindon in the 73rd minute.

Danny Pilkington brought down Kevin Amankwaah inside the area, with Pilkington being booked for dissent after arguing the call. Billy Paynter stepped up and made no mistake from the spot, shooting high and to the left to settle the affair.

The yellow cards al went to the hosts, with Michael Rose and Danny Swailes joining Pilkington in the book. Johnson will have a chance to put the Hatters season back on track when they travel to Carlisle United on Saturday.

Notes:

Frank Simek was on the bench when Sheffield Wednesday picked up all three points at Blackpool.
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A big question for U.S. fans heading into the World Cup is surely on Jozy Altidore and just what is plaguing the young striker at Sunderland.
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