Monday, April 2, 2012
Blackpool rock Saints, Preston betrayed
Welcome to The Trawler, your weekly submersion through the teeming waters of life in the Championship, League One and League Two. You might be surprised what you find down there.
Saints rocked at Blackpool
Championship leaders Southampton were beaten 3-0 by play-off chasing Blackpool on Saturday in what was their heaviest defeat of the season; Nigel Adkins' team missed out on the chance to go five points clear of Reading at the top of the table.
Billy Sharp had an early penalty saved for the Saints, before Blackpool's Stephen Dobbie showed him the way from 12 yards soon after. Dobbie was making his first start after returning from a loan spell at Swansea and duly snaffled up a second before half-time to make for a dream second debut at Bloomfield Road.
Southampton were without their leading scorer Rickie Lambert, but Adkins refused to make excuses. "We've won matches without him (Lambert), so you have to give Blackpool credit," he said. "They played well. We didn't show our usual composure."
Preston manager Graham Westley was shocked to learn some of his players had leaked his starting line-up to Sheffield Wednesday staff prior to their 2-0 defeat at Hillsborough in League One.
"We are where we are because the club's got a lot of losing ways installed in the playing squad and there's no better example than when their bench said to me during the second half: 'four Preston players told us your team yesterday,'" he said.
"When you've got that level of commitment to the cause it's going to be difficult to win all your points."
What Warnock wants
Leeds United were beaten 2-0 at home by Watford on Saturday, and with Neil Warnock's team having taken just a point from their last four games at Elland Road, Warnock has called on chairman Ken Bates to get out the company credit card.
"It showed why I got the job," Warnock said. "A major overhaul is needed and I don't think the 7-3 defeat against Forest was as bad as this performance. We will have to invest. The chairman knows what I think and I will talk to him when he comes over at Easter.
"It needs major surgery. This is as big a job and challenge as I have ever had. I learned more about some players today than I did against Forest. A few of them went missing. It hurts me that over 20,000 people have paid good money to see that."
Taylor eyes top flight
Kasper Schmeichel saved his third penalty in a row for Leicester on Saturday, but he couldn't deny Paul Taylor as Peterborough earned what could prove a crucial 1-0 victory in their battle for Championship survival.
Taylor got the winner for Darren Ferguson's side, but his manager admitted afterwards the striker is unlikely to remain at the club next season. "Paul has been offered a contract better than anyone else but he has decided not to sign it," Ferguson said. "He sees his future being in the Premier League and we have to respect that decision."
Pole in the goals for Forest
Radoslaw Majewski hadn't scored for six months when he took to the field for Nottingham Forest at Crystal Palace. Ninety minutes later the Polish midfielder was holding the match ball and basking in the glory of a match-winning hat-trick, which moved Forest six points clear of the drop zone.
Majewski dared to dream afterwards that he might yet make the Poland squad for Euro 2012. "If the Polish coach sees my hat-trick, hopefully he will be giving me a call," the 25-year-old said.
Crawley brawlers apologise
Crawley Town players Pablo Mills and Claude Davis have issued apologies for their parts in the brawl that followed their 2-1 victory against Bradford City last Tuesday.
Defenders Mills and Davis were both sent off following the skirmishes, along with three City players, in events that have prompted the FA to bring charges against both clubs.
"My actions were wholly unacceptable and inexcusable and it is something I deeply regret," Mills said.
"My retaliatory action fell way below my personal standards," Davis added.
Back to reality for Chesterfield
Chesterfield's Johnstone's Paint Trophy triumph at Wembley last week was all too easily forgotten by the club's fans, who booed their team off after a 4-1 loss to Scunthorpe left them rooted to the bottom of League One.
"I'll hold my hands up because when you see a performance like that I totally understand everyone's reaction," Chesterfield manager John Sheridan conceded.
Di Canio Corner
How quickly things change in football. Last week Paolo Di Canio branded his Swindon players "weak", after they were comfortably beaten by Chesterfield in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final at Wembley.
Six days' later a 0-0 draw with Bristol Rovers completely changed his mind. "We had 11 lions out there with discipline and desire," Di Canio said after the game, which saw Alan Connell miss a glorious chance to win it for the Robins when he hit the bar from close-range.
Swindon's lead at the top of League Two is now just two points, after Torquay won 1-0 at Barnet on Friday night to close the gap.