RECAP: MIDWEEK ENGLISH ACTION
Clint Demsey hit two goals, and Jozy Altidore joined in the fun with an assist as both finished on winning teams in midweek English Premier League action leaving Tim Howard as the only Yank to taste defeat.
Hull City 3 - 2 Everton
Jozy Altidore played 75 minutes notching up an assist and Tim Howard went the full distance in an exciting encounter at the Kingston Communications Stadium.
The home team opened the scoring in the ninth minute as Stephen Hunt found the top-left of the goal from inside the area for his third of the season. The winger's cross from the left was struck powerfully by Altidore, and was parried brilliantly by Howard, but the Irishman reacted quickly to beat the keeper with the rebound.
The Tigers were two up in the 20th minute with a great goal from defender Andy Dawson. He took a free kick following a Joseph Yobo foul on Brazilian midfielder Geovanni, and smashed the ball over the defensive wall and into the top-right corner from 25 yards.
The third goal for the hosts arrived soon after in the 28th minute, scored by Dean Marney, but first helped by a deflection off Toffees defender Tim Cahill. Hunt crossed from the left, and the ball was hit by Marney from just inside the penalty area, the deflection leaving Howard stranded.
Head Coach David Moyes likely delivered an inspirational half-time team talk, as the Merseysiders came out from the break looking like a different team.
The visitors were gifted a lifeline in the 49th minute thanks to an own-goal by Kamil Zayatte. Johnny Heitinga sent in a right wing cross, and the defender managed to slice his attempted clearance over home keeper Matt Duke from 12 yards.
Zayatte was again the culprit as Everton further cut the deficit in the 65th minute. He clumsily fouled Louis Saha in the penalty area, and the forward stepped up to take the penalty, sending the goalie the wrong way with his left-footed strike.
The Humbersiders had to withstand extreme pressure for the remainder of the half, but ultimately held on for the victory to move up to 15th in the standings. They will next travel to big-spending Manchester City on Saturday.
Everton remain stuck in 14th, and will next host Liverpool in the Merseyside derby on Sunday.
Fulham 3 - 0 Blackburn Rovers
Red-hot Clint Dempsey went the distance and brought his goal tally to five in as many games as Fulham, while Eddie Johnson did not make the bench.
The match was a tight affair, and Fulham took the lead somewhat against the run of play when Erik Nevland scored in the 43rd minute of the game. The Norwegian exchanged passes with Bobby Zamora and Damien Duff before hitting a shot from the right side of the area that beat goalie Paul Robinson at his near post.
Dempsey was moved forward after a second-half substitution, and scored his first of the game in the 67th minute. Duff ran at Pascal Chimbonda down the right, and shot after cutting inside, the slight deflection falling to the American, who tapped in to the center of the goal from six yards.
The Cottagers scored their third of the night when Dempsey scored from a left wing cross from Simon Davies. He beat his marker, Keith Andrews by turning at the near post, and shot past Robinson into the bottom-left of goal.
The win moves Fulham up to tenth place, and the team will host struggling Bolton Wanderers on Saturday.
Milton Keynes Dons 3 - 4 Carlisle United
Jemal Johnson saw the last eleven minutes of action as he continues his recovery from injury and illness, and was part of a thriller that saw a third successive loss for the Dons.
The visitors took an early lead as Kevan Hurst scored in the fifth minute of the game, which was marred by terrible conditions as wind and rain swept around Stadium MK.
Defender Evan Keogh found Graham Kavanagh on the right wing, who cut inside before squaring the ball to the unmarked midfielder; Hurst then beating Luke Howell before shooting past Willy Gueret from nine yards into the bottom-right of the goal.
It wasn't too long before the Cumbrians doubled their lead with a goal in the 17th minute from Vincent Pericard. Mathias Dumbe fouled Matt Robson on the left wing, and Kavanagh whipped in the resulting free-kick, which was headed by Pericard the near post from eight yards.
A second Pericard goal saw United fly to an apparently unassailable lead in the 20th minute. Danny Swailes fouled Pericard down the right, and from the resulting free kick, Kavanagh again found the head of the French forward, who
beat the keeper from ten yards.
The Dons came back with a vengeance and scored in the 35th minute from a fine Luke Chadwick goal. Martin Devaney's shot was partially cleared, but fell to the winger just outside of the area and he quickly took his shot from twenty yards, beating Adam Collin at his near post.
The hosts quickly put themselves right back in the game with another goal from Chadwick from four yards in the 37th minute. The visitors' defense was unable to cope with a Devaney right wing cross, and the ball was stabbed home into the bottom-right corner following a Sam Baldock header.
When the home team scored in the 47th minute through Baldock completing their comeback, there only looked to be one inevitable winner. Dean Lewington played a clever ball behind the defenders, and the England under-19 forward raced through to score into the lower-left side of the goal for his fourth in as many games.
When the game winner came, however, it was scored in the 67th minute by Carlisle substitute Joe Ansiyah. A right wing corner from Kavanagh was headed on by Pericard, and the ball was turned into the home net from three yards.
Milton Keynes huffed and puffed for the remainder of the game, but could not blow the visitors' defensive door down.
They fell to sixth in the rankings with the loss, and host Exeter City in the FA Cup, before a tricky League One visit to Millwall on Tuesday.
Rotherham United 2 - 0 Lincoln City
Eric Lichaj returned after suspension, and played the full 90 minutes as Lincoln unsuccessfully looked to win their first League Two game in their last five attempts.
The first goal came in the 37th minute of the game, and was scored by Adam Le Fondre whilst the impressive Lichaj was off the field receiving treatment. The United forward chased a long ball out of defense, and ran clear of the visiting players before hitting a rising drive into the roof of the net from 15 yards.
It was Le Fondre who put the game beyond doubt in the 82nd minute after intense pressure by the visitors had failed to produce an equalizer. Tom Pope crossed from the right, and the Millers' forward scored his 14th goal in 17 games with a lovely overhead bicycle kick.
Rotherham moved to third place in the League Two standings, and will next host Luton Town in the FA Cup. Lincoln City are 18th ranked, and will travel to non-league Northwich Victoria in the FA Cup.
Mike Grella played the last nine minutes as Leeds United beat Leyton Orient 1-0.
Ian Joyce did not make the bench as Southend United lost 2-0 at Tranmere Rovers.
Zak Whitbread missed the game through injury as Millwall played a 1-1 draw at Exeter City.
Jon-Paul Pittman failed a late fitness test as Wycombe wanderers won 1-0 against Brentford.
Seb Harris was not in the squad as Northampton Town lost 2-1 at Aldershot Town.