RECAP: WEEKEND ENGLISH ACTION
Jozy Altidore was an integral part of Hull's draw against Marcus Hahnemann and Wolves, while Brad Fridel had to be alert as Villa gave Fulham a tough day at the office in a full slate of English action.
Hull 2 - 2 Wolverhampton
Jozy Altidore provided the assist for Hull's second half goal, but Marcus Hahnemann's Wolverhampton were not to be denied after coming from behind to force a share of the spoils at KC Stadium.
Just 11 minutes into the game Altidore proved that he could work with Jan Venegoor of Hesselink with both front men combining to get the opener. Tiger youngster Tom Cairney lumped it forward to Altidore who showed great strength to hold up the ball on his run from midfield. His Dutch strike partner never had a doubt when collecting Altidore's pass in space, slotting past Hahnemann who was well off his line.
Anthony Gardner was on center stage when Ronald Zubar's tame cross forced a horrendous clearance from the City defender which looped over the flailing Boaz Myhill. The goal came just four minutes after the re-start, but Hull showed determination to get themselves back into the lead just minutes later.
Zubar went from hero to zero three minutes later when Bernard Mendy's deep cross was uncleared inside the Wolves box. Altidore positioned himself between the ball and Zubar, and the Wolves man decided to go through the striker to try to regain possession, resulting in a penalty kick. Stephen Hunt stepped up and his former Reading teammate guessed right but was unable to deal with the upper corner shot.
Atlidore used his physical presence to force a quality save from Hahnemann after the striker had beaten the Wolves defense, which provided the visitors the spark needed to equalize. City failed to deal with Wolves pressure, and Matty Jarvis showed no mercy when a fortunate cross found him on the left flank. The lurking midfielder smashed home the equalizer in the 67th minute to ensure a share of the spoils.
George Boateng and Andy Dawson were the only players booked as Altidore went 69 minutes before being replaced by Amr Zaki. Hull next face Chelsea at home, while Wolves have an FA Cup replay on Tuesday with Crystal Palace.
Wigan 0 - 1 Everton
Tim Howard was a 90 minute man as Everton showed true resolve to overcome Wigan at DW Stadium in a late game goal to ensure that the Toffees left with all three points.
Fellow American Landon Donovan was once again in David Moyes' starting 11 and went the first 75 minutes before yielding his spot to Victor Anichebe.
Tim Cahill came to Everton's rescue again when the Australian was left unmarked in the Wigan area in the 84th minute. Leighton Baines sent in the corner, and the Australian lost his marker to find space and leapt into the sky to meet the cross to put it past Vladimir Stojkovic.
Leon Osman and Steven Pienaar were the only players booked in the match. Up next for Everton is a trip to bitter rivals Liverpool next weekend.
West Ham 0 - 0 Blackburn
Jonathan Spector and West Ham held on to a nervous point in their first game under new ownership, with Blackburn having the majority of the opportunities.
Morten Gamst Pedersen came agonisingly close when beating Robert Green only to find the post, with Gael Givet having a shot cleared off the line. The Hammers had a late chance through Alessandro Diamanti, but Paul Robinson made a statement save showing his quality for a potential World Cup spot this summer.
Brett Emerton collected the only yellow card for Blackburn. West Ham sit in 15th with 21 points, and take on Burnley next weekend at Turf Moor.
Fulham 0 - 2 Aston Villa
Fulham continue in a state of free fall without the injured Clint Dempsey while Brad Friedel had to be alert to allow Gabriel Agbonlahor to do his job at the other end of the field.
Friedel was blindsided early on, but was able to keep out Simon Davis' early effort. Brede Hangeland was the culprit of Villa's first after having a mental breakdown to give Villa a throw in in a dangerous area, from a seemingly innocuous pass forward.
Stillyan Petrov received the throw-in to whip in a cross towards Agbonlahor who was marked by Daniel Smalling. The 20 year old defender was shrugged off when the striker clinically headed home five minutes from half time. He doubled his tally when Hangeland again failed his defensive duties, giving Agbonlahor a goalwards path after the striker received a penetrating pass from Carlos Cuellar.
Agbonlahor still had it all to do, curling his effort just before half time past Mark Schwarzer in the 44th minute. Emile Heskey and Luke Young were both booked in the match. Fulham next face Portsmouth on Wednesday, while Villa play Tottenham over the weekend.
Southampton 2 - 0 Stockport
Jemal Johnson was a 90 minute man as Stockport were undone by Southampton to remain dead last in League One.
Stockport Owain Fon Williams was unfortunate to have a helping hand in Southampton's 63rd minute opener, punching away Joseph Mills' corner straight onto the back of Rickie Lambert for a lucky Southampton opener.
Jon Otsemobor picked out Papa Waigo six minutes later with the Senegalese frontman taking two touches to finish from close range. Mills was the only player to pick up a yellow card. Stockport next face Oldham at home.
Sheffield Wednesday 2 - 1 Plymouth
Frank Simek came on in the 66th minute to add a calming influence for Sheffield Wednesday who came from a goal down to claim all three points at home.
All three goals were scored in the first half, with Rory Fallon getting the scoring started. Alan Judge whipped in a corner from the left and the New Zealand international was left unmarked inside of the Wednesday six yard box to nod home the opener.
Tommy Spurr's long throw was flicked on by Marcus Tudgay, and sent Varney on a goal wards run free of the Plymouth defense. With only the keeper to beat, the midfielder hit in his fifth of the season to level things up. Three minutes from the end of the first half, Varney scored his second. The same three players linked up, with Tudgay's header being met by Varney to knock in three minutes before the intermission.
Lewis Buxton was shown a yellow for Wednesday while Karl Duguid and Reda Johnson picking up yellows for Plymouth. Up next for the Owls, a trip to Nottingham Forest.
Stuart Holden missed out with a thigh injury as Bolton lost 2-0 at Liverpool.
Jay DeMerit and Watford had their match against Swansea postponed due to a frozen playing surface.
Mike Grella was on the bench with a Jermaine Beckford double giving Leeds a 2-0 win over Colchester.
Ian Joyce was left off the bench when Southend came from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Swindon.
Jon-Paul Pittmann played the final minutes out as Wycombe beat Bristol Rovers 3-2.
Zak Whitbread was on the bench when Norwich came from behind to beat Hartlepool 2-1 at home.
Seb Harris did not make the bench in Northampton's 1-1 draw with Burton Albion.