ANDREW VORCE - Monday, April 18, 2011
Zak Whitbread and Norwich moved one step closer to promotion while Tim Howard posted a shutout over Jermaine Jones' Blackburn in England this weekend
Everton 2 - 0 Blackburn
Tim Howard and Everton were able to claim all three points in front of their home faithful over Jermaine Jones' Blackburn Rovers.
Everton opened the scoring in the 54th minute after Blackburn failed to close down the short corner. Leon Osman cut past Ruben Rochina with ease before blasting a shot through the crowd from the edge of the area. His shot hit the far side netting leaving Paul Robinson absolutely no chance.
Everton sealed the victory when Seamus Coleman was taken down in the box. Leighton Baines stepped up and slotted home the penalty, shooting to the upper right hand side. Baines was the only Everton player carded in the outing.
Blackburn saw David Dunn, Phil Jones, and Rochina all booked. Rovers next face Manchester City at home while Everton travel to Manchester United on Saturday.
West Ham 1 - 2 Aston Villa
Aston Villa were forced to come back from an early deficit but Brad Friedel and co. were able to push through.
West Ham opened the scoring just two minutes in as Ashley Young was slow to come off of the back post after a cleared corner leaving Robbie Keane onsides. The Hammers pushed the ball back into the box and Keane did the rest, smartly turning and quickly firing past the stunned Friedel.
Aston Villa thought they had the equalizer through Darren Bent as the striker out leapt Lars Jacobsen but the referee called the gaol back adjudging Bent to have used his arms to hold his defender at bay. Bent did get on the score sheet soon after, losing his marker in the box to head home a cross in from Luke Young.
Villa continued to push and were given justice in the 90th minute as second half sub Gabriel Agbonlahor nodded in the game winner. Ashley Young waltzed past the West Ham defense before cross in for his English teammate to finish with a clinical snapping header.
Michael Bradley was not named to the Aston Villa squad while Jonathan Spector was on the bench for West Ham. Up next for Villa is a home game against Stoke City while West Ham travel to Chelsea.
Norwich City 2-1 Nottingham Forest
Zak Whitbread and Norwich City won a crucial game over Nottingham Forest in the Championship.
Whitbread started and went the distance for the Canaries.
Nottingham opened the scoring early with a goal they will not forget. Norwich goalie John Ruddy attempted to clear a loose ball in the box, only to have the ball hit Nathan Tyson and go into the net, giving Forest the lead in the third minute.
Just minutes later though, the Canaries struck back after Grant Holt finished a David Fox cross.
The 37th minute saw Norwich take the commanding lead, when Andrew Surman finished a Holt through ball.
The Canaries stay just one point away from Cardiff for the last automatic promotion spot.
Paul Konchesky received the only yellow card in the game for Forest.
Leeds United 2-2 Watford
Eric Lichaj and Leeds United tied Watford in Championship play.
Lichaj started and went the distance for United. Fellow American Mike Grella did not feature.
Leeds opened the scoring in the 72nd minute, when Barry Bannan found Luciano Becchio for the header from close range.
Minutes later, the equalizer came for Watford after Don Cowie sent in a cross that found Lee Hodson for the easy score.
Andreas Weimann then put Watford up in the 86th minute after a scrum in the box lead to his opportunistic strike.
With only minutes left in the game, Troy Deeney sent a ball into his own net, giving Leeds the lucky equalizer.
Bradley Johnson received the only yellow card of the game for Leeds.
United hold on to the last playoff spot with a two point cushion over Nottingham Forest.
Preston North End 3-1 Sheffield United
Eddie Johnson and Preston North End beat Sheffield United in a relegation zone battle.
Johnson started and played 72 minutes for North End.
After a quiet first half, Keith Treacy opened the scoring in the 55th minute with a long range shot to give Preston the lead.
Only moments later, Treacy again sent the home fans into frenzy when he struck from 18-yards out to double North End's lead.
Sheffield though got a goal back when Jordan Slew scored from the edge of the box, giving Blades' fans hope.
Nathan Ellington though gave Preston an insurance goal late in the game with an impressive shot from the top of the box.
Darren Carter and Paul Coutts received yellow cards for Preston while Michael Doyle, Harry Maguire, and Stephen Quinn were booked for Sheffield.
Preston is now four points from safety and will need to continue this momentum for the rest of the season.
Carlisle United 4-1 Colchester
Frank Simek and Carlisle United beat Colchester in League One action this weekend.
Simek started and went the distance for the Cumbrians.
Carlisle opened the scoring when James Berrett scored off of an impressive 35-yard shot.
In the 26th minute, Carlisle displayed great teamwork, which lead to a Francois Zoko through pass that found Craig Curran who calmly chipped past goalie Ben Williams.
Five minutes later, another Curran shot was blocked but the subsequent rebound was knocked in by Liam Noble, giving the Cumbrians a commanding first half lead.
The 62nd minute saw Carlisle notch a fourth goal, when Curran headed home a Matty Robson cross.
Steven Gillespie was able to get a goal back for Colchester in the 72nd minute, but it was too little too late for the visiting team.
Plymouth Argyle 1-2 Peterborough United
Anton Peterlin and Plymouth Argyle went down to Peterborough United in a League One battle.
Peterlin started and played 87 minutes for the Pilgrims.
Plymouth opened the scoring when Simon Walton's free-kick found Carl Fletcher who gave Argyle the first half lead.
Grant McCann then sent an impressive cross into the area for Posh in 55th minute that saw Ryan Bennet head home the equalizer.
Peterborough then took the lead with a Craig Mackail-Smith goal that went under goalie David Button in the 70th minute.
In the dying moments of the game, Peterborough's goalie Joe Lewis came up with a heroic penalty kick save on Luke Summerfield, preserving the win for Posh.
Karl Arnason was the only player booked in the game for Plymouth.
Wycombe Wanderers 2-2 Northampton
Jon-Paul Pittman and Wycombe tied Northampton in League Two play.
Pittman started and went the distance for the Wanderers.
Shaun Harrad opened the scoring in the 20th minute with a penalty kick goal, giving Northampton the early lead.
Guillem Bauza then doubled the lead for the Cobblers in the 37th minute when he finished an impressive counter attack.
Scott Donnelly then got one back for the Chairboys with a near-post shot in the 50th minute.
With only minutes left, Leon Johnson headed home the equalizer on a corner, giving Wycombe the tie.
Bauza, Josh Walker, Steven Collis, and Seth Ofori-Twumasi all received yellow cards for Northampton.
Stuart Holden watched as a spectator as Bolton collapsed in the FA Cup Semi-Final against Stoke City, losing 5-0 at Wembley.