Saturday, 12 January 2013

Bolton 1-1 Millwall

Millwall boss Kenny Jackett declared himself pleased with his side's performance as they held Bolton to a 1-1 draw at the Reebok. Lions striker Andy Keogh won a penalty and delicately placed the ball past Adam Bogdan, but Keith Andrews managed to equalise from another spot-kick later in the first half. He said: "We had a bit of a threat on the break but overall we have got four points out of six against Bolton which is great against a team that have come down from the Premier League. "The first half we played well and caused Bolton problems. In the second half it was a rear-guard action from us and we defended well for long periods. "In terms of the table and where it leaves us we are still in there with a shout." It was also Republic of Ireland international Keogh's first game since he broke his toe and Jackett was delighted with his return and he was also impressed with debutant Martyn Woolford's performance. He said "I think Andy is a key player for us and I thought he played very well today. "Him and Danny N'Guessan up front gives us a lot of pace on the counter, which you need to take advantage of when you play a team which try to get on top of you like Bolton do." He added: "I was pleased with Walford's first game because he gave us balance on the left hand side and he had a great strike in the first half where he nearly scored as well."

Cardiff City 0-0 Ipswich Town

Cardiff boss Malky Mackay was in positive mood despite the 0-0 draw against Ipswich, which was the first time they've failed to score this season. Their opponents were well organised and could have snatched a win through Guirane N'Daw's curling effort that hit the woodwork. Despite that, Cardiff stretched their lead at the top of the Championship to eight points. Mackay said: "We were playing against a team who are right at the top of the form table with a new manager and some new players coming in. They'd only lost two in 10 so if we had not worked as hard as them then we'd have been beaten. "For us to come out with another clean sheet, our fourth in five games, on the back of 13 points out of 15 I'm delighted. "I think you can always hope you can create more chances. We created 20 attempts on their goal but it is the clinical nature of that final pass that was missing. "The conditions were pretty poor in terms of the wind and the rain and I think both sides struggled with that at times." It took Cardiff 27 minutes to create a real chance, Mark Hudson missing the first of two first-half headers in a match short on quality. Craig Bellamy and Aron Gunnarsson both had second-half chances to extend Cardiff's lead at the top of the table but couldn't find a way through.

Bristol City 0-4 Leicester

Chris Wood fired in a first-half hat-trick as Leicester secured an easy 4-0 win at Ashton Gate to send Bristol City to the foot of the npower Championship. The former Robins loanee made it nine from his last five games and six in three since joining the Foxes from West Brom. Most of the damage was done before the break, inflicted by a combination of Ben Marshall, home goalkeeper Dean Gerken and the unstoppable Wood. Marshall provided the ammunition for the first two goals, though Gerken will have to shoulder the blame for the second as he flapped at an 18th-minute corner. And Gerken looked culpable again when Wood's long-range shot crept under his body four minutes before the interval, taking the striker's tally for the season to 17. Matty James added the fourth to compound the woes of Derek McInnes, whose side now prop up the pile following Barnsley's victory over Leeds. It took just 11 minutes for the visitors to get off the mark. Marshall played a precise pass down the left flank, Wood controlled, cut inside and drove home. The visitors forced a corner seven minutes later and capitalised on some poor goalkeeping from Gerken, who tried to punch it clear but failed to make sufficient contact, and Wood tapped in the loose ball. McInnes' shellshocked side struggled to muster any meaningful response as Pearson's men continued to control proceedings. And they were rewarded with a third goal just before half-time. Wood unleashed a shot from 20 yards and though Gerken got across his goal to cover it, the ball squirmed under his body. Things got even worse for the hosts early in the second half. They sloppily conceded possession inside their own half, James took full advantage, advancing to within striking distance to pick out the bottom-right corner for his first goal since August.

Burnley 1-0 Crystal Palace

Burnley boss Sean Dyche hailed his side's "excellent" play as they edged past Crystal Palace 1-0 at Turf Moor. Junior Stanislas marked his first start since November by scoring the only goal of the game with a brilliant strike into the top corner from outside the box with nine minutes to go. The Clarets survived a late scare as Lee Grant got down brilliantly to turn the ball away after Jason Shackell had diverted Jonathan Parr's cross towards his own goal and Mile Jedinak hit the crossbar in stoppage time, but Dyche's side held on. He said: "I thought our football was excellent but it was a tight game and we did well to win it. "We asked the players to give a lot in their performances and they did that once again. "I am sure Ian Holloway will argue that Palace should have got something from the game and if you isolate the second half maybe he is right, but over the 90 minutes I think we deserved to win. "We scored a fantastic goal and I am delighted for Junior, but the whole team worked hard for it. "Football is swings and roundabouts and I think we have been hard done by at times but when we apply ourselves then we don't have to worry about silly decisions and we can challenge anyone in the league. "We need to improve our consistency now and see if we can get more wins on the board. If we can do that then who knows where it could take us."

Middlesbrough 1-2 Watford

Scott McDonald's injury-time goal was not enough for Middlesbrough as they slumped to a 2-1 defeat against Watford. Czech Republic striker Matej Vydra, signed on loan by Gianfranco Zola from Italian side Udinese in the summer, fired home in time added on at the end of the first half and struck his second in the 83rd minute. Scott McDonald headed home a consolation for Boro in the third minute of stoppage time but it wasn't enough to prevent Tony Mowbray's side from losing for only the second time in their last 10 outings at the Riverside. Defenders Seb Hines and George Friend, midfielders Josh McEachran and Faris Haroun, plus strikers Scott McDonald, Emmanuel Ledesma and Lukas Jutkiewicz all returned to Middlesbrough's starting line-up, and as a result, Boro took time to adjust, despite making all the running. Ledesma's 30-yard effort in the second minute warmed Almunia's hands and Jutkiewicz's shot from inside the penalty area was blocked by Watford defender Joel Ekstrand. Friend then blasted the subsequent corner over the bar. Hines then blazed his shot from six yards off target from Grant Leadbitter's corner as Boro did everything bar score in the opening half an hour. But Watford scored with their first shot on target. Vydra pounced on a loose ball in first-half injury time before firing a drilled left-footed shot into the bottom corner. Reach (twice), Ledesma and Faroun all tried their luck from outside the area, the latter's superbly held by Almunia before Boro boss Mowbray sent on Ishmael Miller for Jutkiewicz in the 69th minute. But Watford doubled their advantage when Vydra steered home his second in the 83rd minute, taking Abdi's cross from the left in his stride to bury another finish into the bottom corner. McDonald headed home Reach's cross in the 93rd minute, but it was a mere consolation.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Kelly completes Bristol City move

Liam Kelly has joined Bristol City for an undisclosed fee after passing a medical. Kilmarnock accepted an undisclosed bid for the midfielder on Thursday and Kelly passed a medical later that day, meaning the move is now only subject to international clearance. The 22-year-old has made over 100 appearances for Killie and won the Scottish League Cup there. Manager Derek McInnes told the Robins' official website: "He has accumulated quite a lot of games and experience in the Scottish Premier League and has been a key player for Kilmarnock over the last few seasons. "He has amassed quite a lot of Under-21 games for Scotland and is now involved in the full senior squad as well. "Liam is someone we think will only get better. He gets around the pitch, utilises the ball well and takes responsibility for his position." Kelly added: "I'm pleased to be signing for a fantastic club. "I've been in England before with MK Dons, served my apprenticeship and then moved to Kilmarnock for four seasons. "It's a big step to take (to come to Bristol City) but one I'm looking forward to. I can't wait to get going now and get training with the lads."