Tag Archives: dagenham

On the road: Underhill back on slippery slope to the drop

On the road: Underhill back on slippery slope to the drop

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UPDATED:

21:50 GMT, 8 April 2012

While a good portion of the planet
watched Barcelona beating AC Milan at the Nou Camp last Tuesday night,
an even bigger portion ignored Barnet losing to Swindon Town at
Underhill.

There were 99,000 at the Nou Camp; it is a setting that implies greatness.

There were 2,000 at Underhill; it has a slope that suggests subsidence.

Barnet know about sliding away. Swindon's 2-0 victory left the Bees 22nd in League Two, our old fourth division.

Finish 23rd or 24th and you're relegated, which Barnet were in 2001.

The ups and downs of football: While Di Canio (left) is looking up, Sanchez (right) faces a struggle

The ups and downs of football: While Di Canio (left) is looking up, Sanchez (right) faces a struggle

The ups and downs of football: While Di Canio (left) is looking up, Sanchez (right) faces a struggle

It took them four seasons and four managers to get out of the Conference. Tuesday's loss left Barnet as one of six teams at the bottom separated by six points with six games to go.

That's a devilish mix.

/04/08/article-2126972-0049D63E00000258-466_634x411.jpg” width=”634″ height=”411″ alt=”Cleaning up: Sanchez took Wycombe to an FA Cup semi-final” class=”blkBorder” />

Cleaning up: Sanchez took Wycombe to an FA Cup semi-final

It is a curiosity to find Sanchez here in an alleged 'office', so small there is no desk.

'We don't live beyond our means,' he said.

Such circumstances breed realism. Sanchez could have requested some appreciation for his efforts last April and May but he looks at others too.

'Getting out last year was a massive achievement,' he said, 'but as well as we did, Lincoln won none of their last 11 games. That's as much why we stayed up – by a point. This season is in our own hands.

'Teams like Northampton, Bradford, Plymouth, should not be in this position. The finances they've had over the years, to be down here is a nonsense. Macclesfield, Dagenham, Hereford and ourselves – we're the four teams with the lowest wages in the division. There's the correlation, much as chairmen don't want to know it. It'll be a dogfight until the last day.'

It has taken Barnet 48 points to stay up on the last day and that is Sanchez's target again.

It will not be easy – Barnet have 39 and the worst goal difference in the bottom six.

This afternoon fourth-place Crawley go to Underhill and a trip to fifth-place Southend comes after Hereford.

Loss of League status hits hard economically.

League Two clubs receive 450,000 per season from the Football League.

That is halved after relegation, for one season. A 215,000 'solidarity payment' from the Premier League disappears.

Youth funding goes too.

So, generally, do fans and sponsors.

The overall first-season drop is accepted to be around 600,000. Pride also suffers. Next year is the club's 125th anniversary and could be the last at Underhill.

It would be 'poignant', Sanchez said, to celebrate it as a League club.

'Look at those who've gone down: Lincoln last season, Wrexham, Grimsby, Luton – there'll be half a dozen teams in the Conference bigger than Barnet – and they've found it hard to get back up. They haven't. And it hits year on year.

'Barnet would survive relegation, the chairman is quite shrewd and the club would cut their cloth accordingly. But I've been in relegation battles when I went into Fulham and Wycombe, and here, and one thing I'd say is that it's easier to stay up than to go down and come back. That's proven by teams I've just mentioned.

'I've never been relegated as a manager, I had it once as a young player at Reading. It's a stain that you do not want. Nobody benefits.'

Tension bites in Bristol

It will be squeamish at Underhill on Friday and there will be similar feelings at Ashton Gate on Monday afternoon.

Bristol City produced an unforeseen victory at Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

It leaves them one point above relegation at kick-off.

The team a point below are Coventry City, Monday's visitors.

A Bristol win would feel like a knockout blow, though only until the next match.

That's how tight it is.

Only Doncaster Rovers, bottom and eight points from safety, look incapable of staying in the Championship; even Portsmouth, two points better off, are still striving.

Failure is proving to be some motivation. In one of the last five games even Barnsley, 18th, probably need a win.

It would be big news if it came at Blackpool.

Brian Horton returns to Macclesfield to help them beat the drop

Horton returns to Macclesfield to help them beat the drop

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UPDATED:

11:56 GMT, 19 March 2012

Macclesfield have appointed Brian Horton as their new manager until the end of the season.

The Silkmen sacked Gary Simpson on Sunday following the weekend defeat to Dagenham and a winless run of 14 games that leaves the club outside the npower League Two relegation zone on goal difference.

Former Manchester City and Port Vale boss Horton returns for a second spell at the Moss Rose having taken charge in similar circumstances in April 2004.

Back in charge: Brian Horton has returned to Moss Rose

Back in charge: Brian Horton has returned to Moss Rose

After steering Macclesfield to Football League safety he guided them to the Division Three play-offs the following season, where they came up short against Lincoln at the semi-final stage.

Horton has not managed since his departure from the club in 2006, instead serving as assistant to Phil Brown at Hull and Preston.

End of the road: Gary Simpson failed to win a league game in 2012

End of the road: Gary Simpson failed to win a league game in 2012

The first game of the 63-year-old's second spell with Macclesfield will be Tuesday night's trip to Rotherham where he will be assisted by Simpson's number two, Glyn Chamberlain.

Kenny Jackett wants Millwall to take their chance against Bolton

Time to roar! Jackett hopes his Lions take their chance against Bolton

Kenny Jackett is relishing the chance to play against Barclays Premier League opposition as his Millwall side host Bolton in the FA Cup fifth round on Saturday.

Both teams will get the chance to put their poor standings in their respective divisions to one side when they meet at the Den.

The Lions are hovering just six points and two places above the npower Championship relegation zone, while Owen Coyle's men are second bottom of the Premier League.

Focus on the job in hand: Millwall manager Kenny Jackett is relishing the chance to take on Bolton

Focus on the job in hand: Millwall manager Kenny Jackett is relishing the chance to take on Bolton

Yet Millwall made a mockery of their position when they claimed a 3-2 victory at Championship promotion-chasers Southampton to set up a clash with the Trotters.

Jackett is fully aware of the problems Bolton will cause although he hopes having home advantage will ultimately count in Millwall's favour.

'I see it as a fantastic opportunity for our players to pit their wits against Premier League players and an established Premier League side for quite a number of years,' Jackett said.

'I have a huge amount of respect for their manager Owen Coyle, who's done a fantastic job at every club he's been at.

Last time out: Danny N'Guessan celebrates Millwall's win over Southampton in the last round

Last time out: Danny N'Guessan celebrates Millwall's win over Southampton in the last round

'We know it'll be a tough game and it's one we're looking forward to.

'And if the players perform, if the players start well, if the players play with quality and passion, then the supporters will make it a fantastic atmosphere and the Den is a cracking atmosphere when there's a big game and also when we're the underdogs.'

Millwall, who required replays to get past both Dagenham and Southampton in the previous rounds, have not beaten a top-flight club in the competition since 1995.

They suffered a heavy 4-1 defeat to then-Premier League outfit Birmingham at the fourth-round stage last year and Jackett has called on his players not to fall into the same traps.

Not going to plan: Bolton lost to Wigan last weekend in the Premier League

Not going to plan: Bolton lost to Wigan last weekend in the Premier League

'We had one or two chances early on but Birmingham got the first goal and went from strength to strength,' he said.

'We have to learn from that particular game.'

The 2004 finalists go into tomorrow unbeaten in three matches in all competitions and on the back of a solid midweek performance in a 2-2 draw at play-off hopefuls Brighton, who rescued a point thanks to Kazenga LuaLua's 88th-minute strike.

Jackett has seen an improvement in his team's performances since they were beaten by Watford on January 31, and the former Swansea boss is keen to see that continue against Bolton.

Getting better: Millwall's Andrew Keogh helped earned a point against Brighton

Getting better: Millwall's Andrew Keogh helped earned a point against Brighton

'The last few games since the Watford game, we've had good performances and played very well after that poor night and we want to continue that,” he added.

'We don't want to be inconsistent, we want to make sure we keep building up and playing well.

'Part of it is our flow and our structure as a side to make sure that we keep progressing.'

Millwall came through Tuesday's clash on the south coast unscathed, although midfielders Tamika Mkandawire (knee) and Therry Racon (ankle) are set to remain in the treatment room.

Andy Keogh and Liam Feeney both marked their promotions to the first team with goals against Brighton and are likely to retain their places against the Trotters.

Ipswich v Middlesbrough abandoned

Ipswich's clash with Middlesbrough abandoned in the first half

The cold snap has continued to wreak further havoc to the sporting calendar with Ipswich's clash with Middlesbrough abandoned midway through the first half.

Earlier on Saturday the npower Championship clash between Peterborough and West Ham was also postponed.

Posh announced their game against the table-topping Hammers had been called off to a frozen pitch to become the 13th Football League game to fail to go ahead.

To no avail: The match between Ipswich and Middlesbrough was called off

To no avail: The match between Ipswich and Middlesbrough was called off

It was the second Championship game to
fall victim to the weather after Crystal Palace's game with Doncaster
fell foul on Friday.

Eight games in League One were also
called off, including MK Dons-Bury, Brentford-Oldham,
Stevenage-Carlisle, Walsall-Colchester and Rochdale-Notts County.

Eight League Two games will also have
to be played at a later date with Accrington-Oxford, Barnet-Swindon,
Macclesfield-Plymouth, Port Vale-Crewe, AFC Wimbledon-Bradford and
Dagenham-Northampton among those to suffer.

Damien Reeves wanted by Football League clubs

Reeves in demand as Football League clubs chase Altrincham striker

League clubs are watching striker Damien Reeves, of Blue Square Bet North side Altrincham.

The former Leeds trainee, 26, has scored 32 goals this season and Dagenham, Shrewsbury and Scottish side Kilmarnock are keen.

He will be available on a free transfer in the summer.

Fan: Shrewsbury manager Graham Turner is keen on Damien ReevesFan: Shrewsbury manager Graham Turner is keen on Damien Reeves

Fan: Shrewsbury manager Graham Turner is keen on Damien Reeves

Freezing weather affects sporting programme

Freezing weather forces a number of weekend's sporting fixtures to be called off

Britain's freezing weather has played havoc with this weekend's sporting programme, with a host of football matches and other events postponed.

The Championship game between Portsmouth and Hull has been called off, along with a number of games in League One and League Two.

Race meetings at Sandown, Wetherby and Ffos Las were also postponed.

Weather woe: Many fixtures have been called off this weekend

Weather woe: Many fixtures have been called off this weekend

As much of the country was prepared for widespread snow, the message in many parts is to stay indoors.

However, a host of sporting encounters will go ahead as planned, including seven Premier League matches and a full Championship programme.

Arsenal's match against Blackburn begins at 1pm, two hours earlier than was planned due to closures on the London Underground.

There are five matches starting at 3pm, and a later match at 5.30pm between leaders Manchester City and Fulham.

The Six Nations Championship also begins this weekend, with Saturday's highlight the Calcutta Cup clash between Scotland and England at Murrayfield, which starts at 5pm. The game is expected to be played in freezing conditions.

THE FIXTURES CALLED OFF SO FAR

Football

Championship

Portsmouth v Hull

League One

Colchester v Sheffield United
Notts County v Stevenage
Oldham v Leyton Orient
Preston v Brentford

League Two

Aldershot v Bristol Rovers
Crewe v Accrington
Gillingham v Hereford
Morecambe v Dagenham
Oxford v Barnet
Rotherham v Torquay

Racing

Sandown
Wetherby
Ffos Las

Bolton v Macclesfield, QPR v MK Dons live

FA CUP LIVE: Follow all the action from Tuesday's third round replays as it happens

Follow Sportsmail's coverage of the FA Cup with four third round replays to be decided as Premier League sides Bolton and QPR aim to avoid upsets. The Hoops will be aiming to win their first game in the competition for 11 years when they host MK Dons, while the Trotters will hope to avoid a huge slip up at home to Macclesfield. Email me your thoughts on the action at [email protected] or contact me on Twitter @Ripinho.

Live scores

FA Cup third round replays

Bolton 1-0 Macclesfield (8pm)

Leicester 1-0 Nottingham Forest (7.30pm)

Millwall 1-0 Dag & Red (7.45pm)

QPR 0-0 MK Dons (8pm)

All the latest from League One

20.02: GOAL! BOLTON 1-0 Macclesfield

20.01: And now underway…

20.00: Teams are out for the 8pm kick-offs.

19.58: From InfostradaLive:

Macclesfield Town have never progressed beyond #FACup 3rd round and have never beaten a club from the top flight in the competition. #Bolton

19.55: This Forest side look completely out of sorts. It's been a while since I've seen a team displaying as little confidence as the visitors. No one seems to want to take responsibility. This can't all be Steve McClaren's doing

19.52: GOAL! MILLWALL 1-0 Dagenham & Redbridge

It's been mostly Dagenham in the early stages but wouldn't you know it, the hosts score with their first attack.

Harry Kane tees up Darius Henderson who finds the back of the net from the edge of the box.

19.49: InfostradLive sum up Forest in front of goal:

FA Cup 3rd round replay: Leicester-Nottingham 1-0 (OG Boateng). Forest have failed to score in 9 of last 10 matches in all competitions.

19.46: Oh my word, what a miss! Greg Cunningham delivers a cross from the left, but after Kasper Schmeichel makes a complete mess of it, Robbie Findley defies the laws of physics by shooting over from two yards.

19.45: And we are underway at The Den.

19.42: GOAL! LEICESTER 1-0 Nottingham Forest

After bragging to my colleagues that Forest will win this, they deservedly fall behind.

A cross comes in from the left and George Boateng directs the ball into his own goal from inside the six-yard box. Fast start from the hosts.

19.41: Full line-ups from the Reebok Stadium:

Bolton v Macclesfield
Bolton: Bogdan, Riley, Wheater, Boyata, Ricketts, Sanli, Mark Davies, Reo-Coker, Petrov, Kevin Davies, Klasnic. Subs: Lynch, Robinson, Knight, Blake, Pratley, Ngog, O'Halloran.

Macclesfield: Veiga, Bateson, Brown, Brisley, Tremarco, Wedgbury, Mendy, Hamshaw, Daniel, Hewitt, Diagne. Subs: Collis, Kay, Morgan, Mukendi, Fairhurst, Fisher, Whiteoak.

Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland)

19.38: Full line-ups from Loftus Road:

QPR v Milton Keynes Dons
QPR: Kenny, Young, Ferdinand, Gabbidon, Hill, Mackie, Buzsaky, Derry, Wright-Phillips, Macheda, Bothroyd. Subs: Cerny, Orr, Hall, Campbell, Smith, Helguson, Ephraim.

Milton Keynes Dons: Martin, Smith, Doumbe, Shaun Williams, Lewington, Gleeson, Potter, Chadwick, Bowditch, MacDonald, Ibehre. Subs: McLoughlin, Flanagan, Daniel Powell, Baldock, O'Shea, McNamee, George Williams.

Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire)

19.37: Leicester nearly go ahead in the first minute through Neil Danns, but his rocket shot from inside the box is headed clear off the line.

19.36: Finally we are underway at the King Power Stadium.

19.33: QPR manager Mark Hughes names a strong line-up for tonight's FA Cup third-round replay against MK Dons.

The recently-appointed Rs boss makes just one change to the side defeated 1-0 at Newcastle on Sunday, with Federico Macheda replacing Heidar Helguson in the starting XI.

Charlie MacDonald features for MK Dons having missed the previous encounter with QPR due to a knee injury, while Mathias Doumbe is included in defence.

19.30: Out they come at the King Power Stadium then.

Two teams from a bygone Premier League era of course. For that (pointless) and nostalgic reason I'm backing this to be a good game.

19.27: Not too warm out there tonight and I have to say I'm not that surprised there isn't too many in attendance as the teams prepare to make their way out at Leicester.

19.24: Bolton boss Owen Coyle makes five changes to his starting line-up for this evening's FA Cup third-round replay against Macclesfield at the Reebok Stadium.

Coyle, who on Monday saw Gary Cahill finally complete his move to Chelsea, shuffles things from Saturday's 3-0 Barclays Premier League defeat at Manchester United by bringing Joe Riley, Dedryck Boyata, Tuncay Sanli, Kevin Davies and Ivan Klasnic into the Wanderers side.

For the visitors – currently 15th in npower League Two – defender Elliott Hewitt is promoted to the first XI, with striker George Donnelly missing out due to a groin problem.

19.21: If I was a betting man (which I can be) I have to admit backing the home sides would really appeal tonight.

Somehow, this being the FA Cup, I can't see it being quite as simple as that – there surely is going to be a shock somewhere.

19.18: Full line-ups from The Den:

Millwall v Dag & Red
Millwall: Forde, Smith, Ward, Robinson, Barron, Feeney, Abdou, Trotter, Bouazza, Henderson, Kane. Subs: Mildenhall, Craig, McQuoid, Batt, Henry, N'Guessan, Wright.

Dag & Red: Lewington, Ogogo, Doe, Spillane, Ilesanmi, Bingham, Abdulla, Rose, Danny Green, Nurse, Dominic Green. Subs: Hogan, McCrory, Arber, Edmans, Elito, Reed, Wearen.

Referee: Scott Mathieson (Cheshire)

Starting: Jermaine Beckford will lead Leicester's attack against Nottingham Forest

Starting: Jermaine Beckford will lead Leicester's attack against Nottingham Forest

19.15: There was of course originally five games this evening, but Wrexham v Brighton has been postponed until tomorrow night after heavy frost and freezing temperatures caused the game to be postponed.

The clubs and the Football Association have agreed to switch the match to a 7.15pm kick-off tomorrow at the Racecourse Ground, following a 1-1 draw in the first meeting, with a fourth-round showdown against Newcastle up for grabs.

19.12: From the King Power Stadium:

Leicester v Nottingham Forest
Leicester: Schmeichel, Peltier, Konchesky, Mills, Gallagher, Dyer, St. Ledger, Wellens, Beckford, Danns, Nugent. Subs: Howard, Weale, Abe, Kennedy, Tunchev, Taft.

Nottm Forest: Camp, Cunningham, Boateng, Anderson, Reid, Greening, Gunter, Harewood, Moussi, Findley, Lynch. Subs: Derbyshire, McGugan, McCleary, McGoldrick, Smith, Blackstock, Majewski.

Referee: Craig Pawson (South Yorkshire)

19.10: Never mind though QPR fans because here is one record from InfostradaLive you won't be breaking tonight:

The longest non-winning streak by any club in the FA Cup proper is a 22 match streak by Weymouth between 1968 and 1981.

19.09: Bolton starting XI:

Bogdan, Riley, Wheater, K Davies, Tuncay, Petrov, Klasnic, M Davies, Ricketts, Reo-Coker, Boyata

19.06: QPR starting XI:

Kenny, Hill, Derry, Gabbidon, Bothroyd, Mackie, Buzsaky, Young, Wright-Phillips, Macheda, Ferdinand.

19.03: Here it is in black and white folks from InfostradaLive:

Queens Park Rangers have failed to win any of their last 16 FA Cup matches, equal worst record by a league club with Leeds Utd (1952-1962).

19.00: Ladies and gentleman, history will be made tonight. To be more specific, it will be at Loftus Road.

You see something has to give. QPR will either have to win their first FA Cup game since 2001 or MK Dons will have to reach the fourth round for the first time.

The physical world nearly exploded when a result was nearly forced at the stadium:mk last time, so I'm almost certain this one will go to penalties (then the toss of a coin) tonight.

And that's before we get to our other three action packed games.Team news on the way.

Out to impress: Federico Macheda will hope to shine after joining QPR on loan from Manchester United

Out to impress: Federico Macheda will hope to shine after joining QPR on loan from Manchester United

Boxing Day football review

Grand old game”s in a league of its own… Boxing Day puts smiles back on fans” faces

It wasn”t as stellar as the famous goal-rush of 1963, but this Boxing Day was not without its dramas.

If you like your football laced with devilment, the morning began with Jose Mourinho telling guest presenter Lord Coe on Radio 4’s Today programme to ‘get me a club in a couple of years…my next job will be in England’.

Those who enjoy their sport a little more current would have recognised the bottom two in the old Division Four giving their supporters some festive cheer: a last-minute winner by Ashley Hemmings earned Plymouth a 3-2 win at Bristol Rovers while Dagenham and Redbridge scored three without reply against Barnet.

Party time: Wigan fans dressed up for their match against Manchester United

Party time: Wigan fans dressed up for their match against Manchester United

Top marks: Blackburn

Top marks: Blackburn”s Mark Bunn put in a top class performance to help his side to a point against Liverpool

Though sport’s biggest Star was a horse called Kauto, the Barclays Premier League had its share of headline makers. Mark Bunn had a match-saving day in goal for Blackburn at Anfield and shared centre stage with Manchester United’s 30million striker Dimitar Berbatov, who scored a hat-trick.

Chelsea were held by Fulham, whose scorer Clint Dempsey was described by the BBC’s Mark Bright as ‘the bestAmerican outfield player to have played in the Premier League’. No argument here.

American hero: Clint Dempsey makes it 1-1 in the west London derby between Chelsea and Fulham

American hero: Clint Dempsey makes it 1-1 in the west London derby between Chelsea and Fulham

West Bromwich, who had lost all five of the previous Premier League fixtures they had played on December 26, became the first team to stop Manchester City scoring this season.

The excellent Radio 5 Live chose City rather than rivals United for their main game. A mistake, you may argue, although any football commentary in the company of Jimmy Armfield is worth listening to. Jimmy is 76 and teaches you something new about a game he first played in 1954.

Shut out: Ben Foster and West Brom became the first team to keep a clean sheet against Manchester City this season

Shut out: Ben Foster and West Brom became the first team to keep a clean sheet against Manchester City this season

Jimmy was a Blackpool player at the time of that record-breaking Boxing Day of 48 years ago when a pre-Venky’s Blackburn ruled the roost, scoring eight at West Ham. Manchester United lost 6-1 at Burnley and Roger Hunt of Liverpool and Graham Leggat each scored four.

Hunt went on to become a World Cup winner, Fulham’s Leggat, who struck a three-minute hat-trick in a 10-1 win against Ipswich, later became Canada’s leading sports broadcaster and was inducted into their hall of fame in 2001.

Five star performance: Dimitar Berbatov kept the match ball after scoring a hat-trick in Manchester United

Five star performance: Dimitar Berbatov kept the match ball after scoring a hat-trick in Manchester United”s 5-0 win over Wigan

A Boxing Day performance of note can do that for you.

There were no such stand-out efforts this time, although free-scoring Championship leaders Southampton won (again), while the best attendance outside the Premier League was at Derby, where more than 33,000 went to Pride Park to watch the home side defeat Leeds.

Middlesbrough beat Hull in front of 27,794 fans — truly a bumper crowd for a region of mass unemployment in the post-Ravanelli, post- Gascoigne, post-Merson era.

Talking of Paul Merson, he was appearing on Sky Sports, where he claimed, somewhat contentiously, that Aston Villa are a bigger club than Newcastle. ‘How many European Cups have Newcastle won then, Jeff’ he asked his host.

Saints march on: Southampton beat Crystal Palace to stay top of The Championship

Saints march on: Southampton beat Crystal Palace to stay top of The Championship

Not all European Cup winners can consider themselves big clubs, Mers. Nottingham Forest haven’t scored for six matches, with a record of: 0-1, 0-4, 0-1, 0-1, 0-0, 0-1. They lost again on Monday.

In League One, where they may end up, the closing exchanges brought a significant shift for the top two. Sheffield Wednesday were leading 1-0 at Walsall, but then conceded twice in stoppage time. Leaders Charlton had been behind twice at Yeovil but scored a winner through Danny Green to take it 3-2 and extend the gap to eight points.

Others who hit the heights include Stevenage, who scored six at Colchester, Blackpool’s hat-trick hero Matt Phillips and Gillingham, who won at League Two leaders Crawley.

Leaving it late: League One leaders Charlton came from behind to beat Yeovil in stoppage time in a five-goal thriller

Leaving it late: League One leaders Charlton came from behind to beat Yeovil in stoppage time in a five-goal thriller

The first Boxing Day fixture on record was in 1860 between Sheffield FC and Hallam at Sandygate Road, Sheffield — the oldest ground in the world. Hallam are still there and have ex-Premier League referee Uriah Rennie as club president.

Another ex-Premier League referee, Andy D’Urso, best remembered for being chased about by an eye-popping Roy Keane, took charge of AFC Wimbledon’s game against Oxford yesterday. Being pursued by Manchester United players can do that for your career.

At the New Bucks Head Stadium, kick-off was delayed because of crowd congestion as Blue Square Bet Premier leaders Wrexham went to AFC Telford.

There were few traditional derby games on offer, but Grimsby won 2-1 at Lincoln in front of 5,506 fans. The losers will get their chance to respond in the reverse fixture on Sunday.

Stalemate: There were no goals at The Britannia as Stoke and Aston Villa earned a point each

Stalemate: There were no goals at The Britannia as Stoke and Aston Villa earned a point each

It’s not the first time ‘double-headers’ have been played at this time of the year. In 1963, United, West Ham and Ipswich all exacted revenge in the reverse games played two days later.

Readers of the Birmingham Mail were asked last week: Should Boxing Day football be banned The answer was Yes: 14.8% No: 85.2%.

It would be interesting to see if the result would be different after their local team were held by West Ham in a game that took the goals tally to 100 for the day, shortly before Stoke played Aston Villa.

Nothing compared with the 157 scored on that day in 1963. But then Robin van Persie doesn’t play until Tuesday. Hardly a fair contest.

A look at all the Boxing Day action in the Premier League and Football League

Grand old game”s in a league of its own: Sportsmail takes a look at all the goals and bumper gates on the day football put smiles back on supporters” faces

It wasn”t as stellar as the famous goal-rush of 1963, but this Boxing Day was not without its dramas.

If you like your football laced with devilment, the morning began with Jose Mourinho telling guest presenter Lord Coe on Radio 4’s Today programme to ‘get me a club in a couple of years…my next job will be in England’.

Those who enjoy their sport a little more current would have recognised the bottom two in the old Division Four giving their supporters some festive cheer: a last-minute winner by Ashley Hemmings earned Plymouth a 3-2 win at Bristol Rovers while Dagenham and Redbridge scored three without reply against Barnet.

Top marks: Blackburn

Top marks: Blackburn”s Mark Bunn put in a top class performance to help his side to a point against Liverpool

Though sport’s biggest Star was a horse called Kauto, the Barclays Premier League had its share of headline makers. Mark Bunn had a match-saving day in goal for Blackburn at Anfield and shared centre stage with Manchester United’s 30million striker Dimitar Berbatov, who scored a hat-trick.

Chelsea were held by Fulham, whose scorer Clint Dempsey was described by the BBC’s Mark Bright as ‘the bestAmerican outfield player to have played in the Premier League’. No argument here.

American hero: Clint Dempsey makes it 1-1 in the west London derby between Chelsea and Fulham

American hero: Clint Dempsey makes it 1-1 in the west London derby between Chelsea and Fulham

West Bromwich, who had lost all five of the previous Premier League fixtures they had played on December 26, became the first team to stop Manchester City scoring this season.

The excellent Radio 5 Live chose City rather than rivals United for their main game. A mistake, you may argue, although any football commentary in the company of Jimmy Armfield is worth listening to. Jimmy is 76 and teaches you something new about a game he first played in 1954.

Shut out: Ben Foster and West Brom became the first team to keep a clean sheet against Manchester City this season

Shut out: Ben Foster and West Brom became the first team to keep a clean sheet against Manchester City this season

Jimmy was a Blackpool player at the time of that record-breaking Boxing Day of 48 years ago when a pre-Venky’s Blackburn ruled the roost, scoring eight at West Ham. Manchester United lost 6-1 at Burnley and Roger Hunt of Liverpool and Graham Leggat each scored four.

Hunt went on to become a World Cup winner, Fulham’s Leggat, who struck a three-minute hat-trick in a 10-1 win against Ipswich, later became Canada’s leading sports broadcaster and was inducted into their hall of fame in 2001.

Five star performance: Dimitar Berbatov kept the match ball after scoring a hat-trick in Manchester United

Five star performance: Dimitar Berbatov kept the match ball after scoring a hat-trick in Manchester United”s 5-0 win over Wigan

A Boxing Day performance of note can do that for you.

There were no such stand-out efforts this time, although free-scoring Championship leaders Southampton won (again), while the best attendance outside the Premier League was at Derby, where more than 33,000 went to Pride Park to watch the home side defeat Leeds.

Middlesbrough beat Hull in front of 27,794 fans — truly a bumper crowd for a region of mass unemployment in the post-Ravanelli, post- Gascoigne, post-Merson era.

Talking of Paul Merson, he was appearing on Sky Sports, where he claimed, somewhat contentiously, that Aston Villa are a bigger club than Newcastle. ‘How many European Cups have Newcastle won then, Jeff’ he asked his host.

Saints march on: Southampton beat Crystal Palace to stay top of The Championship

Saints march on: Southampton beat Crystal Palace to stay top of The Championship

Not all European Cup winners can consider themselves big clubs, Mers. Nottingham Forest haven’t scored for six matches, with a record of: 0-1, 0-4, 0-1, 0-1, 0-0, 0-1. They lost again on Monday.

In League One, where they may end up, the closing exchanges brought a significant shift for the top two. Sheffield Wednesday were leading 1-0 at Walsall, but then conceded twice in stoppage time. Leaders Charlton had been behind twice at Yeovil but scored a winner through Danny Green to take it 3-2 and extend the gap to eight points.

Others who hit the heights include Stevenage, who scored six at Colchester, Blackpool’s hat-trick hero Matt Phillips and Gillingham, who won at League Two leaders Crawley.

Leaving it late: League One leaders came from behind to beat Yeovil in stoppage time in a five-goal thriller

Leaving it late: League One leaders came from behind to beat Yeovil in stoppage time in a five-goal thriller

The first Boxing Day fixture on record was in 1860 between Sheffield FC and Hallam at Sandygate Road, Sheffield — the oldest ground in the world. Hallam are still there and have ex-Premier League referee Uriah Rennie as club president.

Another ex-Premier League referee, Andy D’Urso, best remembered for being chased about by an eye-popping Roy Keane, took charge of AFC Wimbledon’s game against Oxford yesterday. Being pursued by Manchester United players can do that for your career.

At the New Bucks Head Stadium, kick-off was delayed because of crowd congestion as Blue Square Bet Premier leaders Wrexham went to AFC Telford.

There were few traditional derby games on offer, but Grimsby won 2-1 at Lincoln in front of 5,506 fans. The losers will get their chance to respond in the reverse fixture on Sunday.

Stalemate: There were no goals at The Britannia as Stoke and Aston Villa earned a point each

Stalemate: There were no goals at The Britannia as Stoke and Aston Villa earned a point each

It’s not the first time ‘double-headers’ have been played at this time of the year. In 1963, United, West Ham and Ipswich all exacted revenge in the reverse games played two days later.

Readers of the Birmingham Mail were asked last week: Should Boxing Day football be banned The answer was Yes: 14.8% No: 85.2%.

It would be interesting to see if the result would be different after their local team were held by West Ham in a game that took the goals tally to 100 for the day, shortly before Stoke played Aston Villa.

Nothing compared with the 157 scored on that day in 1963. But then Robin van Persie doesn’t play until Tuesday. Hardly a fair contest.