Hammers down the Reds with a fine counter-attacking display
Counter attack was the key as West Ham defeated Liverpool at Upton Park in the early game. Despite much possession Liverpool created almost nothing throughout. West Ham took the lead after Michail Antonio went end to end, stopping Alberto Moreno in his own half to start a moved that went the full length of the field ending with Anotonio rising above Nathanial Clyne to head home Enner Valencia’s cross to head the Hammers into the lead.
Emre Chan hit the cross bar for Liverpool and that was the closest they came. A typical Andy Carroll header from a cross from the excellent Mark Noble made it two, and Noble stopped Liverpool getting back into the game clearing a Lucas Leiva header from a corner off the line. In the later stages West Ham could have had more on the break, but fully deserve their 2-0 win against a toothless Liverpool side who have failed to deliver yet again.
Foxes held by gutsy Borunemouth
Leicester City have failed to score in three games in a row for the first time this season after being held 0-0 by Bournemouth. The Foxes controlled most of the game with Jamie Vardy hitting the post in the first half and Riyad Mahrez had a penalty saved after Bournemouth captain Simon Francis was sent off for bringing down Vardy. Leicester stay second but are 2 points behind Arsenal after their 1-0 at home to Newcastle.
Two quick goals down the Rams at the Riverside
The top of the table clash at the Riverside Stadium went Middlesbrough’s way with two late goals. With the game at stalemate Grant Leadbetter produced a bit of magic to send Albert Adomah through to chip the keeper to give Boro the lead with eight minutes to go. Within a minute David Nugent set up George Friend to make it two. It end the Rams recent unbeaten run and put Middlesbrough four points ahead of Derby at the top with a game in hand.
Forest throw away another lead at Charlton
Nottingham Forest will not be happy to have thrown away another lead at Charlton. Ryan Mendes set up Ben Osborn to give the reds the lead just before half-time after Charlton failed to clear a corner. Charlton leveled with twenty minutes to go when Simon Makienok converted Callum Harriot’s low cross. Forest had a man advantage for the last 20 minutes after Tarieq Homes-Dennis was sent off for Charlton, Nelson Oliveira forced two saves from the keeper but Forest could not find the winner and have now had three draws in a row, blowing a lead on all three occasions.
Burton go top with win over Blackpool
Burton Albion are top of League 1 after a deserved 1-0 win at home to Blackpool. The winning goal came on 63 minutes with Stuart Beavon teeing up Mark Duffy for the only goal of the game. Burton should have scored more but the three points put them top while Blackpool are back in the bottom four after today’s results.
Stags lose ground after Accrington defeat
Mansfield’s play-off hopes took a big blow at Field Mill after defeat against Accrington Stanley. Piero Mingola’s early strike stunned the home side but in form Matt Green had the home side level on 26 minutes with a left foot strike. Mansfield had the better of the early second half exchanges but Billy Kee struck for the visitors with 20 minutes to go against the run of play. Terry Gornell added a third before Chris Clements gave Mansfield late hope getting one back with two minutes left. Accrington held out to take the points and move themselves into the play-off spots, Mansfield are four points behind.
Three late Oxford goals see Mapgies slip to home defeat
Notts County looked set for an excellent win against high flying Oxford at Meadow Lane with a 2-1 lead with 15 minutes left only to be blown away by a late surge. Jon Stead has equalised Liam Sercombe’s early penalty and Notts appeared to have momentum when Stead then set up Curtis Thompson to give the Magpies the lead. Alexander MacDonald however had Oxford level within three minutes and Oxford then took control with further goals from Callum O’Dowda and Kemar Roofe. The win puts Oxford third, and County still struggling at the wrong end of the table.
Tranmere disappoint at home again
Tranmere’s chances of going straight back up to the Football League look further and further away after another poor performance at Prenton Park led to a 1-0 defeat at home to Macclesfield. The game was won on the half hour when Jack Sampson scored from close range following a low cross from Chris Holyroyd. Cole Stockton’s header six minutes from time was the closest Tranmere came leaving Rovers six points off play-off contention.
Seasiders great form continues with win over Wrexham
Southport’s remarkable turnaround continued with a win against Wrexham at Haig Avenue. Mark Carrington set up Wes York to give the Welsh side the lead but Louis Almond’s deflected strike from range had Southport going in level at half-time. Luke Foster headed in Paul Rutherford’s cross after the break to give Southport a 2-1 lead but it was cancelled out by James Gray after a goalmouth scramble.With six minutes left Jamal Fyfield brought down Almond who stepped up to score the penalty and give Southport their sixth win in a row. 11 points off the play-offs it would take a monumental effort to get back in the race, but on this form, maybe Southport can still dream yet.
Hannah scores again but Chester held to a point
Chester’s Ross Hannah scored his fourteenth goal of the season at the Deva Stadium today but on keeping with their season, they were held to a draw at home to Altrincham. Hannah was put in by Danny Hattersley to give Chester the lead but a Michael Rankine header following a Jordan Sinnott cross brought Altrincham level. The draw is typical of Chester’s ‘nothing to play for’ season, they are comfortably away from relegation but well out of the play off places and this draw just confirms all that further.
Doonhammers back in play-off hunt after much needed win
Queen Of The South have started the New Year with a much needed win at struggling Livingston. Queens dominated the game and broke the deadlock on 64 minutes after good work from Gary Oliver set up Derek Lyle to open the scoring. Mark Millar put Iain Russell in six minutes later to make it 2-0. Queens are now two points behind Raith Rovers in the race for the one remaining play-off spot that is open, given Rangers, Hibernian and Falkirk have a healthy lead over the rest.
MOON OF LIBERTY SOCCER SCOREBOARD
West Ham United (1) 2 (Antonio, Carroll) Liverpool (0) 0 – At Upton Park, Newham, London
Leicester City (0) 0 Bournemouth (0) 0 – At The King Power Stadium, Leicester
Middlesbrough (0) 2 (Adomah, Friend) Derby County (0) 0 – At The Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough
Charlton Athletic (0) 1 (Makienok) Nottingham Forest (1) 1 (Osborn) – At The Valley, Greenwich, London
Burton Albion (0) 1 (Duffy) Blackpool (0) 0 – At The Pirelli Stadium, Burton On Trent
Mansfield Town (1) 2 (Green, Clements) Accrington Stanley (1) 3 (Mingola, Kee, Gornell) – At Field Mill, Mansfield
Notts County (0) 2 (Stead, Thompson) Oxford United (1) 4 (Sercombe, McDonald, O’Dowda, Roofe) – At Meadow Lane, Nottingham
Chester City (1) 1 (Hannah) Altrincham (0) 1 (Rankine) – At The Deva Stadium, Chester
Southport (1) 3 (Almond 2, Foster) Wrexham (1) 2 (York, Gray) – At Haig Avenue, Southport
Tranmere Rovers (0) 0 Macclesfield Town (1) 1 (Sampson) – At Prenton Park, Birkenhead
Livingston (0) 0 Queen Of The South (0) 2 (Lyle, Russell) – At Almondvale Stadium, Livingston
MOON OF LIBERTY STAR MAN – Louis Almond (Southport)