Saturday 24 March 2018

Wolves battle for Villa draw

Mick McCarthy is not getting carried away with Wolves' flying start to their Premier League campaign after they kept up their unbeaten run with a 0-0 draw at Aston Villa.

Wolves produced a solid defensive performance, which has earned them seven points from three games.

McCarthy said he was content with a point after surviving a Villa onslaught early in the second period. "Would I have taken a point before the game with Bent, Heskey, N'Zogbia and Agbonlahor? Too right I would," he said.

Di Santo too hot for QPR

QPR new boy Joey Barton watched from the stands as former Chelsea striker Franco di Santo served up a stark warning of the size of the task ahead for the former Magpie with a winning double in a 2-0 home win for Wigan.

Di Santo opened the scoring with a superb right-foot finish five minutes before the break. He added his second after 66 minutes when he looped a deflected shot over Ireland's Paddy Kenny.

"Franco has always been influential for the team, but for a striker there is nothing better than hitting the back of the net," Wigan manager Roberto Martinez said.

"Technically, his display was superb.Franco knows he must work very hard to fulfil his potential. He has a long way to go but he has got absolutely everything."

QPR manager Neil Warnock said he hoped Barton and new signing Luke Young from Aston Villa would be among "five or six" additions before the transfer window closes on Wednesday.

Blackburn pay

the penalty

Mikel Arteta scored an injury-time penalty as Blackburn were made to pay for missing two second-half spot-kicks at Ewood Park.

The home side's Junior Hoilett saw his penalty saved by Tim Howard a minute after half-time before Mauro Formica shot against the post in the 77th minute.

Arteta then delivered the killer blow in injury-time, after Christopher Samba climbed on the back of Marouane Fellaini to hand Everton their first win and leave Rovers pointless.

Blackburn manager Steve Kean was critical of referee Lee Mason after he awarded Everton's injury-time penalty. "I've seen it in real time, slow motion and I can't see how it can be that decision," Kean said, but he rued his side's missed chances. "You have to stick your penalties away," he added. "I don't think there's been too many times here in the past couple of years that we've controlled a game like that."

Everton boss David Moyes' had a different point of view. "I think the two penalties Blackburn got are both dives and I think ours is a penalty kick," he said. "I say it as I see it and I'm telling you the boy Formica goes down too easy for the penalty kicks."

Swansea lack

killer instinct

Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers insisted it is only a matter of time before his side start turning draws into wins -- after seeing them held to a second consecutive goalless stalemate against Sunderland. "We are ready to compete at this level and if you can't win the game it is important you don't lose," Rodgers said.

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce was disappointed after the result came on the back of the Carling Cup exit against Brighton and a derby defeat against Newcastle.

Bruce -- who saw former Manchester United defender John O'Shea make his Black Cats' debut -- admitted it had been a tough week. "In the three games we have created enough to win a football match, that's for sure."

Bohs rally to last-eight spot

Bohemians came from behind to book their place in the quarter-finals of the FAI Cup with a fine 3-1 win away to First Division side Longford Town.

Craig Walsh opened the scoring for the home side in the 13th minute getting onto the end of Cathal Brady's cross. But Aidan Downes drew Bohs level in the 34th minute.

In the 52nd minute Bohs took the lead through a Chris Deans own-goal and Killian Brennan wrapped it up nine minutes from time.

Longford Town: Rouse, Dowling, Deans, Hope, Cronin, Brady, Hyland, Salmon, Walsh (Lee 64), Crawley (Skelly 49) Cowan (Purdy 75).

Bohemians: Sexton, Heary, Cronin (Buckley 85), Burns, Cahill, Ger O'Brien, Price (Rossiter ht), Hurley, Brennan, Flood, Downes (Fagan 74).

Referee: R Winter.

Sligo held in fiery face-off

Holders Sligo Rovers and Monaghan United face an FAI Ford Cup replay on Tuesday after a Showgrounds draw that featured no goals but two sendings-off last night.

Rovers keeper Brendan Clarke was first to go for a last-man tackle on Michael Isichei after the hour mark. And Monaghan midfielder Keith Quinn saw red after clashing off the ball with Rovers captain Richie Ryan 15 minutes later.

Sligo: Clarke, Cretaro, Peers, McGuinness, Davoren, Russell (Kelly 63), Ryan (Dillon 76), Ventre, Ndo, Greene (Blinkhorn 68), Doyle.

Monaghan: Sava, A Collins, Byrne, Grimes, Reilly, R Brennan, Foley, Quinn, S Brennan (Byrne 90+4), Marks, Isichei.

Referee: P Tuite.

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