ANDREW VORCE - Monday, April 19, 2010
Tim Howard and Everton came back against a battling Blackburn while Eric Lichaj got his first goal for Leyton and Jon-Paul Pittman's Wycombe edged closer to survival in a full slate of English games.
Blackburn 2 - 3 Everton
Tim Howard was beaten by two wonder strikes as Blackburn made a comeback, but Everton stayed true on their course for a European spot.
Everton got off to a dream start when Ryan Nelson foolishly brought down Mikel Arteta in the area in the 15th minute. Arteta dusted himself, plucked up the ball, before smashing it into the net to swing momentum to the visitors.
All was quiet until the 70th minute when Steven N'Zonzi decided to step up to the plate. Picking up the ball 30 yards out from goal, the striker set his sights past Howard, and let an absolute rocket of a shot fly that the American goalkeeper had no chance at saving.
David Moyes pushed for the win, introducing Victor Anichebe and Yakubu Aiyegbeni and the move paid dividends in the 79th minute, when the two linked up to add one for the Toffees.
Anichebe's flicked header into the box was met by Aiyegbeni, who nodded home from close range just 22 seconds after coming on.
Blackburn would not lay down though, and hit one back to tie the game just two minutes later. Substitute Jason Roberts took a lesson from N'Zonzi, sighting up Howard from distance. The American was on his six yard line when Roberts fired from distance, beaten to his right hand side.
Aiyegbeni then used all of his wit to create the game winner for Everton, chipping the ball towards the end line with his first touch before slotting to Tim Cahill who had the easiest of tap ins deep into extra time.
Keith Andrews, MOrten Gamst Pedersen, and Roberts were booked for Blackburn, while Sylvain Distin joined Arteta in the book. Up next for Everton is a Sunday game against Fulham.
Fulham 0 - 0 Wolverhampton
Marcus Hahnemann did his job in securing a goose egg for Wolverhampton, ensuring that at least a point came to the 16th placed team on their travels.
Fulham are seldom concerned about their Premier League campaign, sitting in 10th with no fear of relegation nor a chance at a European spot. More importantly the club are deep into the Europa League, which will be their main ambition.
The game did actually create a new record in the Premier League, however, but not in the good way. Only one shot was registered, the lowest of figures since the Leagues inception, with Bobby Zamora hitting the post.
Zamora incidently was the only player to be booked in the match, a game that Clint Dempsey had to watch from the stands due to injury. Fulham face Hamburg on Thursday, as Wolverhampton take on Blackburn at home.
Birmingham 0 - 0 Hull
Jozy Altidore was given the last 15 minutes as Hull failed to claim three points at Birmingham.
Hull sit in 18th place, the last relegation spot, with 28 points. A victory could have seen them keep up with 17th place West Ham, but a draw did cause a set back with Aston Villa next up on Wednesday.
Craig Fagan had the best chance for City at the death, but Birmingham keeper Joe Hart continued to perform at his top throughout the match. The point could prove to be valuable, should the Tigers manage to claim three points in midweek.
Portsmouth 1 - 2 Aston Villa
Brad Friedel was beaten once early in the game, but Aston Villa did the business to ensure they left with all three points.
Vanden Borre did well to stay with the play deep in the Villa 18, riding out tackle after tackle before picking out George Boateng. The mifielder provided a dummy run, stepping over the ball for the onrushing Michael Brown, who side footed home to score his first goal in six years in the ninth minute.
Their lead didn't last long, with John Carew bringing matters back to equal just six minutes later. Neil Warnock's long ball forward was brought down by Carew who had beat the offsides trap, and rushed into the 18, cutting back across the face of goal before smashing home with ease.
The game was won by Villa in the 82nd minute when Nathan Delfouneso scored after five minutes on the field. Ashley Young released James Milner with a quick free kick, and his cross was nodded on by Emile Heskey. Delfouneso was unmarked five yards from goal, who volleyed with a smart touch into the open net.
No cards were issued, and Villa face Hull in midweek.
Leicester 4 - 1 Watford
Jay DeMerit was a 90 minute player for Watford who failed to capatalize on 10 man Leicester who played down for the entire second half.
Watford stay in 20th with 48 points, adding to a fear of relegation. Crystal Palace and Sehffield Wednesday follow, a point separating each from the other.
Martyn Waghorn got the scoring started in the 36th minute with a penalty kick. DeMerit was adjudged to have brought down Richie Wellens, and Waghorn suck his penalty.
It went from bad to worse for Watford, with Paul Gallagher smashing a stunning volley from the edge of the area just five minutes later. A glimmer of hope came for Watford as Steve Howard saw straight red for a terrible tackle on Ross Jenkins just before half time.
Even with 10 men, Leicester set the tempo with Jay Spearing scoring another in the 51st. Spearing, on loan from Liverpool, capitalized on poor Hornet defending. The back line let the ball bounce, and Spearing latched onto the end to give Leicester the impetus to go forward.
And forward they went, scoring another in the 67th minute. On loan from Everton, James Vaughan added a fourth, showing strength and composure to hold off his marker and cooly slot past Scott Loach. Martin Taylor pulled one back with 12 mintues to play, heading home Michael Bryan's corner.
Vaughan joined Howard in the book, as Watford produced too little too late. Up next for Watford is a crucial Tuesday match up against Queens Park Rangers.
Leyton Orient 2 - 0 Stockport
Eric Lichaj and Jemal Johnson were both starters for their respective clubs, with Johnson giving way in the 79th minute as Stockport continue their downward spiral.
It was a game of wasted opportunities for Stockport, when Orient grabbed a 53rd minute lead. Keeper Owain Fon Williams had anything but strong hands, parrying Sean Thornton's shot straight into the path of Ryan Jarvis who netted from inside the area.
With 10 minutes to go, Lichaj fancied his chances, advancing up from the center of defense. Surging up field after collecting from Scott McGleish, Lichaj let fly from outside the 18 to net his first goal since arriving at Leyton.
Jimmy Smith was booked for Orient, while Sam barnes, Paul Huntington and Jabo Ibehre were all booked for Stockport. Johnson next faces Huddersfield on Saturday, while Orient will be forced into a hard Saturday outing against Millwall.
Milton Keynes Dons 2 - 3 Wycombe
Jon-Paul Pittman and Wycombe continue to spur themselves towards League One survival as the Chairboy's picked up their third straight win.
Alex Revell opened the scoring in the 29th minute, with the help of Kevin Betsy. Against the run of play Betsy cut back across the Dons defense to pick out Revell, who tucked in a first time shot that left Willy Gueret stranded.
Aaron Wilbraham continued his scoring streak in League One, nodding home from close range on the stroke of half time. Mark Randall sent in a dangerous free kick, and Tom Heaton couldn't stop Wilbraham's header. Revell wasn't finished, however, putting the Chairboy's back in the lead in the 64th.
Pittman wasted an opportunity when clean in on goal, but Revell wasted little time in scoring his fourth goal in two games. Betsy again got the assist, cutting the defense wide open with a splitting pass. Revell was sent one on one with Gueret, and the striker came out on top after slotting under his opponent.
Wycombe then shot themselves in the foot in the 75th minute when Gareth Ainsworth took down Luke Chadwick in the box. Sam Baldockk's penalty was saved by Tom Heaton, but Wilbraham was first to react by tucking in the rebound.
Five minutes into added time Betsy got the goal he deserved, blasting a shot through a crowd of players with Gueret knowing little about it. Only Chadwick was booked in the remarkable game, and Wycombe will continue to push for survival when Swindon come to Adams Park.
Stuart Holden's Bolton won 2-1 at Stoke.
Frank Simek was on the bench as Sheffield Wednesday drew 1-1 at home to Sheffield United.
Kenny Cooper's Plymouth play Newcastle on Monday.
Devann Yao's Ipswich drew 1-1 at home to Doncaster.
Zak Whitbread did not travel with Norwich to Charlton, with the Canaries sealing promotion to the Champinship with a 1-0 away win.
Mike Grella stayed on the bench as Leeds failed to pick up three points at 19th placed Gillingham, falling 3-2 away from home.
Seb Harris played out the final minutes as his Northampton were beaten 1-0 by Rochdale, who secured promotion into League One.