Tag Archives: deadlock

League One round-up: Oldham beat Hartlepool 3-0 in Lee Johnson"s first game in charge but Gary Johnson"s Yeovil lose 2-0 to Swindon

League One round-up: Johnson's Oldham era starts on a high… but his dad's promotion tilt with Yeovil suffers a blow

By
Graeme Yorke

PUBLISHED:

22:20 GMT, 19 March 2013

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UPDATED:

22:39 GMT, 19 March 2013

LEAGUE ONE RESULTS

Bury 2-0 Stevenage

Crewe 2-1 MK Dons

Oldham 3-0 Hartlepool

Yeovil 0-2 Swindon

New Oldham boss Lee Johnson marked the first match of his managerial career by taking the Latics out of the npower League One relegation zone with a 3-0 win at home to fellow strugglers Hartlepool on Tuesday.

The 31-year-old, the son of Yeovil boss Gary Johnson, is the youngest manager in the Football League following his appointment on Monday.

On the rise: Swindon beat Yeovil 2-0 to move into third place in the League One table

On the rise: Swindon beat Yeovil 2-0 to move into third place in the League One table

LEAGUE ONE TABLE

League One

And he saw his new side go in front
after 17 minutes through Robbie Simpson's header, with Jean Yves Mvoto
nodding home a second shortly before the half hour.

Jose Baxter finished the visitors off in the 69th minute. The win took Oldham a point above the drop zone.

Gary Johnson could not match his son's success, though, as his Yeovil side slipped to a 2-0 defeat at home to fellow promotion hopefuls Swindon.

Adam Rooney's 77th-minute penalty opened the scoring and James Collins made it two deep into stoppage time as the Robins moved to within a point of the top two, three ahead of their opponents.

Bury moved off the foot of the table, and sent Portsmouth bottom, as two late goals earned them a 2-0 win at home to Stevenage.

Steven Schumacher missed a 20th-minute penalty and it looked like that might be costly until Craig Jones broke the deadlock in the 82nd minute and Jonson Clarke-Harris made the points safe in the last minute.

Mathias Pogba scored twice as Crewe came from behind to beat MK Dons 2-1.

Patrick Bamford headed the Dons into a 31st-minute lead, but Pogba levelled nine minutes later and got the winner six minutes from time.

The Dons finished the match with 10 men thanks to Antony Kay's 86th-minute sending-off.

Home defeat: Gary Johnson's Yeovil were undone by second-half goals from Adam Rooney and James Collins

Home defeat: Gary Johnson's Yeovil were undone by second-half goals from Adam Rooney and James Collins

Football betting guide for Jan 1-2 2013

THE BETTING SLIP: Top tips and ones to watch in our gambling guide for the New Year fixtures

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UPDATED:

16:26 GMT, 31 December 2012

The Premier League produced 41 goals over two thrilling days at the weekend and if QPR had managed to make it 42 we would have finished 2012 on a high.

But they didn't. So, we didn't.

Goals Galore, as the 'both teams to score' bet is known with some bookies, was well named for punters who follow the English top flight.

Ruinous: Adel Taarabt and his team-mates failed to score

Ruinous: Adel Taarabt and his team-mates failed to score

But from over here, the Hoops drawing a
blank against Liverpool was hard to watch after Norwich, Manchester
City, Arsenal, Newcastle, Tottenham, Sunderland,

Everton and Chelsea had all scored and the Reds broke the deadlock early doors at Loftus Road.

A goal for Harry Redknapp's side would
have completed a five-timer at around 14/1 and provided a tidy wee sum
for the first assault of 2013.

The attack is still on though, and who better to lead it than the Gunners.

Arsenal have hardly put a foot wrong
since their Capital One Cup calamity against Bradford and put seven past
Newcastle on Saturday evening.

Theo Walcott helped himself to a
treble and his former club Southampton (who shared six goals with Stoke)
will not be looking forward to his return to the south coast.

Homecoming: Theo Walcott (left) is in fine fettle and Saints need to watch out

Homecoming: Theo Walcott (left) is in fine fettle and Saints need to watch out

Saints have lost all six matches against top-seven opponents and were crushed 6-1 at the Emirates earlier in the season.

The 8/11 (Ladbrokes) on an away win should be snapped up.

West Brom (21/20) also jump off the page against a Fulham side with just one win in their last 12 Premier League fixtures.

Baggies manager Steve Clarke was
fairly satisfied with the performance if not the result as his team lost
2-0 against table-topping Manchester United at Old Trafford and the
same effort again should be enough to see off the Cottagers.

Add in Crystal Palace (10/11) at home
to Wolves and Leicester (8/15) against Huddersfield and a tenner on the
four returns just over 100.

Not too bad: Although West Brom lost to United, they should beat Fulham

Not too bad: Although West Brom lost to United, they should beat Fulham

Goals galore… again

'Both teams to score' is THE popular bet in shops and online and I'm not letting QPR put me off.

Four to give you a run for your money on Tuesday and Wednesday are Swansea v Aston Villa (the Welshmen will win this but Paul Lambert's youngsters can't go another game without finding the net), West Ham v Norwich, Newcastle v Everton and St Mirren v Kilmarnock.

All four correct pays just under 8/1 with Coral.

Three is the magic number

Theo Walcott took the match ball home with him after his hat-trick downed the Magpies on Saturday and he is 33/1 (widely available) to do the same to his old employers at St Mary's.

Walcott is 11/2 with bet365 for the opener and 11/8 with most firms to score at any time.

Wes Hoolahan praised by Chris Hughton in Norwich win

Hoolahan earns praise from Hughton as Martinez bemoans 'self-inflicted' defeat

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UPDATED:

19:03 GMT, 15 December 2012

Norwich manager Chris Hughton hailed the contribution of Wes Hoolahan after the Republic of Ireland playmaker celebrated signing a new contract with the winning goal in their 2-1 Barclays Premier League victory over Wigan at Carrow Road.

The Canaries, knocked out of the Capital One Cup by Aston Villa here in midweek, made it five successive home league victories to continue their remarkable run of 10 Premier League matches unbeaten.

Heads up: Wes Hoolahan nods home Norwich's second goal to put his side in the lead

Heads up: Wes Hoolahan nods home Norwich's second goal to put his side in the lead

Good start: Anthony Pilkington celebrates after breaking the deadlock in the first half

Good start: Anthony Pilkington celebrates after breaking the deadlock in the first half

Match facts

Norwich: Bunn, Whittaker, Turner, Bassong, Garrido, Snodgrass, Tettey, Johnson, Pilkington (E Bennett 90), Hoolahan (Howson 84), Holt (Morison 90).

Subs not used: Rudd, Martin, Howson, Jackson, Morison, E Bennett, Barnett.

Booked: Bassong, Johnson, Pilkington.

Goals: Pilkington 15, Hoolahan 64.

Wigan: Al Habsi, Boyce, Lopez, Figueroa, Stam, McArthur, McCarthy (Jones 46), Beausejour, Kone, Gomez (Maloney 46), Boselli (Di Santo 72).

Subs not used: Pollitt, Jones, Di Santo, Maloney, McManaman, Fyvie, Golobart.

Booked: Lopez.

Goal: Maloney 51.

Att: 26,677.

Ref: Lee Probert (Wiltshire).

The latest Premier League table, fixtures and results

Anthony Pilkington set the home side
on their way with a well-taken effort after 15 minutes, only for Wigan
substitute Shaun Maloney to level at the start of the second half.

However, Hoolahan, who has agreed an
extension to stay at the Norfolk club until 2015, arrived on queue after
64 minutes to head past Ali Al Habsi.

'Fortunately for us Wes has signed a new deal and he has earned it, and not just for this season,' said Hughton.

'He was excellent today and to see Wes get a headed goal was worth the entrance fee alone.

'Wes capped off a really good all-round team performance.'

Norwich should have put the game
beyond the visitors, who were again hampered by injuries, but were
thwarted by a string of fine saves from the Latics stopper.

Hughton said: 'We should really have been more than the one up at half-time and when they scored, then there was a concern.

'We made a bit of hard work for ourselves, but I thought over the 90 minutes we thoroughly deserved it.'

Back on track: Wigan celebrate after Shaun Maloney (second right) scored their equaliser

Back on track: Wigan celebrate after Shaun Maloney (second right) scored their equaliser

Take that: Goalkeeper Mark Bunn roars with delight as Norwich regain the lead

Take that: Goalkeeper Mark Bunn roars with delight as Norwich regain the lead

Norwich's remarkable run – they have
not lost in the Premier League since defeat at Chelsea on October 6 –
has seen them climb up to seventh in the table.

Hughton, though, maintained it was
all about keeping a safe distance from any relegation dogfight, with a
trip to West Brom next weekend before Chelsea and Manchester City head
to Norfolk over the hectic festive schedule.

Hitman: Holt fires a shot towards goal, with Norwich on top of their opponents

Hitman: Holt fires a shot towards goal, with Norwich on top of their opponents

Drive: Alexander Tettey launches a strike at Ali Al-Habsi's goal

Drive: Alexander Tettey launches a strike at Ali Al-Habsi's goal

'It is not being negative, but for a
club like ourselves, it is about keeping as big as gap as you can
between us and down,' said Hughton.

'There is no shame in saying that, it is a reality for clubs like ourselves.

'But our form at the moment has deserved it.

'We are a team which has to work very hard for the points we get, so there will be no getting carried away.'

Wigan, meanwhile, have now lost five of the last seven and remain in the bottom three.

The Latics job was not made any
easier following an ankle injury to midfielder James McCarthy, who was
replaced at half-time following a crunching tackle by Bradley Johnson.

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez hit out at the Canaries midfielder.

'It was a nasty challenge, one incident off the ball,' the Spaniard said.

Tussle: Jean Beausejour (right) and Norwich City's Robert Snodgrass battle for the ball

Tussle: Jean Beausejour (right) and Norwich City's Robert Snodgrass battle for the ball

Go for it: Roberto Martinez urged his players on as they struggled

Go for it: Roberto Martinez urged his players on as they struggled

'The referee has seen it and has given Johnson a yellow card.

'It is one of those actions you don't
want to see. James McCarthy has been in good form, and they took him
out of the game, which is very disappointing.'

Martinez added: 'It is his ankle
ligaments, we will X-ray it and get the results from the scans very
shortly, but I doubt if he will be available for the next 10 days.'

Wigan have several key men missing
through injury, notably in defence, and Martinez felt his team had
simply failed to get themselves a foothold in the match.

Chris Hughton

Hoolahan

Good day: Chris Hughton (left) saw his side emerge triumphant with Hoolahan (right) in fine fettle

Hands on hips: Grant Holt watches on as ref Lee Probert blows his whistle

Hands on hips: Grant Holt watches on as ref Lee Probert blows his whistle

'Our start was sluggish and
pedestrian, we were very, very, very poor and had our goalkeeper to
thank for keeping us in the game,' he said.

'The second half was very different, we started to control the game and Norwich had to start to defend.

'We scored a beautiful goal and were
starting to build positive momentum, so our disappointment is the
smallest man on the pitch gets a free header in the six-yard box.

'I felt with our second-half performance we merited something out of the game, but it was a self-inflicted defeat.'

Peterborough 2 Middlesbrough 3: Posh denied by sub Miller

Peterborough 2 Middlesbrough 3: Posh denied by sub Miller

PUBLISHED:

17:42 GMT, 8 December 2012

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UPDATED:

17:42 GMT, 8 December 2012

Middlesbrough substitute Ishmael Miller came off the bench to snatch
the winner and deny rock-bottom Peterborough their first point from a
losing position this season.

Faris Haroun returned from the calf injury which had kept him out of
Boro's last four fixtures and soon made up for lost time with a
first-half brace.

Super sub: Ishmael Miller (R) scores the winner

Super sub: Ishmael Miller (R) scores the winner

Match facts

Peterborough: Olejnik, Little, Zakuani, Bostwick, Newell, Rowe (Ferdinand 78),Knight-Percival (Swanson 90),Thorne, Boyd,
Tomlin, Gayle. Subs Not Used: Day, Alcock, Brisley, McCann, Kearns.

Booked: Tomlin.

Goals: Gayle 37, 52.

Middlesbrough: Steele, Halliday, Parnaby, Woodgate, Bikey,
Leadbitter, Haroun (Smallwood 69), McEachran (Thomson 78), Ledesma, Emnes (Miller 73), McDonald. Subs Not Used: Leutwiler, Bailey, Hines, Jutkiewicz.

Goals: Haroun 9,20,Miller 76.

Att: 6,612

Ref: Carl Berry (Surrey).

The latest Championship table, results and fixtures

His first goal came after nine minutes when he provided a cool finish to a blistering counter-attack which left Posh stunned.

Any home supporters privy to the knowledge Peterborough had not taken a single point after going behind would not have been surprised to see Haroun head home the second shortly afterwards.

However, Peterborough staged an unlikely comeback when on-loan striker Dwight Gayle struck either side of half-time to turn the game on its head.

Both sides pushed hard for a winner but Miller's speculative effort surprised Posh stopper Robert Olejnik to extend Darren Ferguson's side's winless run to eight games.

Peterborough could scarcely have imagined how their first spell of sustained pressure would end as Middlesbrough executed a devastating counter-attack to break the deadlock.

Scott McDonald dispatched a diagonal ball right into Haroun's path and the Belgian midfielder strode forward with purpose before slotting past Olejnik.

Their wait for that second goal did not last long as Haroun made it 2-0 inside 20 minutes.

Stuart Parnaby delivered from the right and Haroun proved he was the hungriest man inside the box by running across his marker to meet the cross and nod home.

Tommy Rowe snatched at a chance as Peterborough looked to get themselves back in the contest, but Boro were looking comfortable until Gayle's thumping finish seven minutes prior to the break.

The striker, who grabbed the first goal of his loan spell from Dagenham last week against Blackpool, feigned one way then shuffled the ball on to his right foot before rifling into the top corner.

Gayle's moment of magic rocked Tony Mowbray's men and Peterborough almost reached half-time all square but George Thorne's sweetly-struck strike fell narrowly wide.

The London Road faithful were taking a shine to Gayle's work ethic and he endeared himself to them even more with the leveller seven minutes into the second period.

The 22-year-old won the corner himself, drawing Jason Steele into a smart stop from a tight angle, before he prodded home Lee Tomlin's set-piece delivery.

Gayle was inspiring those around him too and a break similar to the one which led to Boro's opener almost nudged the hosts in front for the first time.

Tomlin released the overlapping Rowe and his drilled effort just missed the target.
Gayle just missed out on an inviting cross in his quest for a hat-trick but it was the visitors who were to provide the killer blow 14 minutes from time.

Miller, who had been on the pitch for only three minutes, tried his luck from the edge of the penalty area and Olejnik was beaten by a shot which lacked any great deal of power or pace.

Darren Bent dropped: Paul Lambert defends decision

Lambert defends decision to leave Bent off the bench as Benteke earns him victory

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UPDATED:

23:54 GMT, 27 November 2012


Good work: Gabriel Agbonlahor congratulates Christian Benteke after his goal

Good work: Gabriel Agbonlahor congratulates Christian Benteke after his goal

Paul Lambert again defended his decision to exclude Aston Villa's record signing Darren Bent from his matchday plans as his side gained a crucial 1-0 home win over Reading.

A late header from Christian Benteke, who has replaced Bent as the number one striker, moved Villa out of the Barclays Premier League relegation zone.

But there was no place again for 18million signing Bent even amongst the substitutes with rookie striker Jordan Bowery preferred.

Lambert denied there was any fallout with Bent or that the striker had left the stadium before kick-off after his exclusion from his plans.

Lambert said: 'Darren was in the squad, it was the same on Saturday. I just picked the same group. I do what think is best for Aston Villa.

'But honestly, I don't have a problem with Darren Bent and I do rate him as a player.

'I've no problem with his attitude in training, none whatsoever.

'Did he storm off No, not a thing. I would tell you. I thought he was fine. I read the team out. The most important thing is Aston Villa.

'Will I listen to offers in January Honestly my main concern is winning games for this club, nothing else.

'Can Bent play again for us Yes, never rule anything out. But I pick a team to win, I never pick one I think will lose.'

Lambert is aware of the significance of Villa's third win of the season.

Rise and fall: Benteke leaps above the defender to break the deadlock

Rise and fall: Benteke leaps above the defender to break the deadlock

He said: 'It was a big result because we knew the Arsenal game at the weekend would take a lot out of us.

'Reading had also played well against Wigan so knew it would be a tough game. But I don't know about it being a six-pointer. Never look at things now, look in May.'

Reading boss Brian McDermott was left to bemoan his side's defending when Benteke headed home an Ashley Westwood corner 10 minutes from time.

It was another late and crucial goal conceded by the Royals who lost 3-2 at Wigan.

He said: 'I thought we were going to get a point. I knew the first goal was going to be crucial.

'I thought the shape of the team was good but to lose the goal from a set piece was disappointing.

'I thought we had solved the late goal problem. But it's not a six-pointer. It's a game of football and we've got a game of football to look forward to against Manchester United at the weekend.'

Gabriel Agbonlahor is pleased to see strike partner Benteke becoming a hit with the Villa fans.

Agbonlahor, captain for the night, told Sky Sports 2: 'You can tell by the fans' reaction how much they've taken to him.

'He's still only 21 but he doing great for us. He's helped us with the goal tonight and all credit to him.'

Benteke's
header was a rare highlight in an uninspiring 90 minutes but Agbonlahor
said: 'It was a scrappy game but we'll take the three points and move
on.'

Kept in reserve: Darren Bent was not even on the subs bench

Kept in reserve: Darren Bent was not even on the subs bench

That feeling was
shared by midfielder Barry Bannan, who said: 'There's less expectation
against the big clubs and it was hard to come out tonight and win the
game but we dug in and got the three points.

'It's massive. We need to win games
and it's big relief for us. There's been a lot of people talking about
us being in the bottom three and it's hard to take.

'We've
got to keep doing what we're doing and hopefully it's good enough.
We've got a great team spirit here, we're all young lads and we're
learning every day.'

Chelsea 0 Manchester City 0: Graham Chadwick"s pictures from the game

Sportsmail's photographer showcases his brilliant pictures from Chelsea's draw with Man City

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UPDATED:

09:12 GMT, 26 November 2012

Sportsmail's photographer Graham Chadwick was at Stamford Bridge this afternoon to watch Chelsea welcome Manchester City.

Rafael Benitez endured a frosty reception from his own fans in his first game in charge.

Neither of the title challengers could break the deadlock, but Sportsmail's snapper documented the match's notable incidents, from pulsating action shots to a dejected Fernando Torres.

Watch the amazing video to see his best from today's match!

VIDEO: WATCH GRAHAM CHADWICK'S AMAZING SLIDESHOW OF HIS BEST PICTURES FROM THE BIG GAME

DM.has('rcpv1989279261001','BCVideo');

Millwall 1 Leeds 0: Match report

Millwall 1 Leeds 0: Wood heads winner at Den after Varney sees red for Warnock's visitors

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UPDATED:

15:44 GMT, 18 November 2012

Chris Wood's 85th-minute header finally broke down 10-man Leeds as in-form Millwall extended their unbeaten run to 10 games in the npower Championship.

Visiting winger Luke Varney saw red just three minutes into the second half for an elbow, albeit not malicious, which struck Adam Smith in the face.

Millwall, who had enjoyed the better of a largely lacklustre first half, subsequently took the game to the visitors and went close on more than one occasion.

Get in: Chris Wood (right) celebrated scoring the only goal of the game

Get in: Chris Wood (right) celebrated scoring the only goal of the game

Off: Luke Varney was sent off for Leeds after half-time, leaving Neil Warnock's side down to 10 men

Off: Luke Varney was sent off for Leeds after half-time, leaving Neil Warnock's side down to 10 men

MATCH FACTS

Millwall: Forde, Shittu, Lowry, Beevers, Smith, Wright, Trotter, Feeney (Henry 59), C Taylor (N'Guessan 82), Keogh, Wood

Subs not used: M Taylor, Smith, Osborne, Malone, Racon

Booked: Henry, Beevers, C Taylor

Goal: Wood 85

Leeds United: Kenny, Peltier, Drury, Lees, Green, Varney, Tonge, /11/18/article-2234778-161810B7000005DC-409_634x455.jpg” width=”634″ height=”455″ alt=”Battle: Shane Lowry (back) and Ryan Hall fight for possession ” class=”blkBorder” />

Battle: Shane Lowry (back) and Ryan Hall fight for possession

Clash: Neil Warnock was hoping to earn a hard-fought win at Millwall

Job done: Kenny Jackett watched his side take victory

Clash: Neil Warnock (left) and Kenny Jackett (right) went head-to-head in the npower Championship match

It was certainly an end-to-end encounter but a distinct lack of class was missing in either final third.

Liam Trotter fired an effort narrowly wide for the Lions before Mark Beevers saw a header cleared off the line by Tom Lees.

Andy Keogh's near-post effort brought a save out of Kenny, the first of either keeper, in the 41st minute.

Keogh arguably came the closest to
breaking the deadlock in the first half just three minutes later as his
fine right-footed effort from the left channel flew past Kenny and wide
of the target.

But an ordinary first half was soon
forgotten within three minutes of the restart as Varney saw red, his
flailing arm finding the face of Smith as he backed into the Lions
defender.

The red card immediately cranked up the atmosphere in the stands and upped Millwall's tempo on the pitch.

Wood fired over when he really should
have passed with team-mates well placed before Leeds defender Lee
Peltier headed off the line.

The home side were turning the screw
and Chris Taylor and substitute James Henry fired just wide in quick
succession after the hour mark.

However, the initial burst of
goalmouth action was succeeded by very little until Wood's 85th-minute
winner as Leeds appeared set for a creditable point.

Millwall wasted a couple of chances to
add a second late on, Henry and Wood – on an afternoon of wayward
shooting – failing to find the target.

Norwich 1 Stoke 0 – match report

Norwich 1 Stoke 0: Johnson rises highest to send Potters home empty handed

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UPDATED:

17:06 GMT, 3 November 2012

Bradley Johnson headed in the only goal as Norwich continued their revival with a hard-earned win over Stoke at Carrow Road.

The Canaries are unbeaten in four games across all competitions following the international break, having reached the quarter-finals of the Capital One Cup with victory over Tottenham in midweek.

Stoke, though, were unfortunate not to have taken something from the match when they produced a much-improved second-half display after falling behind to Johnson's effort just before the break.

Opener: Bradley Johnson (right) celebrates breaking the deadlock

Opener: Bradley Johnson (right) celebrates breaking the deadlock

Match facts

Norwich: Ruddy, Whittaker, Bassong, Turner (R Bennett 54), Garrido (Barnett 69), Snodgrass, Tettey, Johnson, Pilkington, Hoolahan (Morison 87), Holt.

Subs: Bunn, Howson, Jackson, E Bennett.

Booked: Tettey.

Goal: Johnson 44.

Stoke: Begovic, Cameron, Huth, Shawcross, Wilkinson (Whelan 85), Whitehead, Adam, Nzonzi, Kightly (Etherington 61), Crouch, Walters (Jones 69).

Subs: Sorensen, Palacios, Upson, Jerome.

Booked: Shawcross, Wilkinson, Adam, Whitehead, Etherington.

Attn: 26,072.

Ref: Marriner.

Latest Premier League table and results

Norwich recalled captain Grant Holt
and England goalkeeper John Ruddy into the starting XI as manager Chris
Hughton again utilised his full squad.

Stoke, who had drawn six of their nine
league games before today, brought in full-back Andy Wilkinson after
Marc Wilson fractured a bone in his calf against Sunderland.

Following a positive start by the
hosts, it was the visitors who created the first real opening after
eight minutes when midfielder Charlie Adam curled a low shot wide from
the edge of the penalty area.

Norwich were soon on the offensive,
with their pressure leading to several corners which were
unceremoniously hacked cleared by the Stoke defence.

After 23 minutes, Wes Hoolahan cut
into the Stoke penalty area and pulled the ball back for Anthony
Pilkington, but the winger could only drive his shot straight at
goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.

Reach: Asmir Begovic can't keep out Johnson's goal

Reach: Asmir Begovic can't keep out Johnson's goal

Delight: Norwich needed a good result

Delight: Norwich needed a good result

Adam was shown a yellow card by
referee Andre Marriner after falling over under pressure from Javier
Garrido, but replays showed there was contact from the Norwich defender.

Neither side was able to make the most of their possession, with some poor choice of passes in the final third.

Wilkinson tripped Robert Snodgrass as
he got away down the left channel, conceding a free-kick in a dangerous
position just before half-time.

It proved a costly foul as the
delivery from the Scotland international was first class – with Johnson
flicking the ball on into the top corner to head Norwich ahead after 44
minutes.

Acrobatics: Alexander Tettey stretches for the ball

Acrobatics: Alexander Tettey stretches for the ball

Referee Andre Marriner

Peter Crouch

Blowing the whistle: Andre Marriner booked five Stoke players although Peter Crouch (right) was not one

Norwich then almost went 2-0 up when Snodgrass just failed to connect with Pilkington's cross through the six-yard box.

Stoke had a good chance to level at the start of the second half.

Norwich defender Michael Turner fell
over as he tried to clear Adam's flick and Jonathan Walters got ahead of
Sebastien Bassong to drill a low shot goalwards, which Ruddy did well
to parry away at point-blank range.

Turner hobbled off and was replaced by England Under-21 international Ryan Bennett, the former Peterborough centre-half.

Stoke continued to press, winning more
of the ball in midfield and looking to hit striker Peter Crouch, who
once had a productive loan spell at Carrow Road, at every opportunity.

Scrap: Andy Wilkinson fights for the ball with Tettey

Scrap: Andy Wilkinson fights for the ball with Tettey

Keep it up: Chris Hughton looked on as Norwich tried to hold on to the lead

Keep it up: Chris Hughton looked on as Norwich tried to hold on to the lead

As the hour mark approached, Potters
boss Tony Pulis made a change when Matthew Etherington replaced fellow
winger Michael Kightly.

Norwich continued to be pressed backwards, but were dangerous on the counter-attack.

After 63 minutes, Snodgrass carried
the ball away down the left for Alexander Tettey to release Holt. The
striker floated an intelligent cross-field ball to the back post where
Pilkington arrived at pace, but could not keep his shot down.

Stoke switched things around again as
Kenwyne Jones came on for Walters, while Norwich made another forced
defensive change as Leon Barnett replaced Garrido, who looked to have
picked up an injury.

Rising high: Johnson strikes to delight Canaries fans

Rising high: Johnson strikes to delight Canaries fans

Come on: John Ruddy was looking to keep it tight at the back

Come on: John Ruddy was looking to keep it tight at the back

Jones met a free-kick into the Norwich penalty area with a downward header, which Ruddy stooped to gather.

Stoke striker Jones was then
unfortunate to see his shot drag wide of the far post after collecting
another dangerous ball on his chest and creating space in the six-yard
box.

With five minutes left, Stoke captain
Ryan Shawcross hauled back Holt as the Norwich captain turned to break
into the penalty area – but was shown only a yellow card.

Despite four minutes of stoppage time,
Stoke were unable to force the equaliser as Norwich closed out their
second successive home Premier League win.

Andre Villas-Boas hails Iago Falque after Europa League draw

AVB untroubled by Spurs' Maribor draw as he hails impact of young star Falque

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UPDATED:

21:38 GMT, 25 October 2012

Andre Villas-Boas believes Tottenham's Europa League campaign remains on track despite the disappointing draw with Maribor in Slovenia.

The Vijolicasti came into the match with a record of just two wins their previous 15 European games on home soil, but broke the deadlock three minutes from the end of the first half courtesy of Robert Beric.

Gylfi Sigurdsson lashed home in the 58th minute to ensure the north Londoners would not leave the Stadion Ljudski vrt empty-handed, but the goal could not hide what was a disappointing display by Spurs.

Points to prove: Andre Villas-Boas insists he has much to play for in Europe

Points to prove: Andre Villas-Boas insists he has much to play for in Europe

Asked if he was happier with the result than the performance, Spurs boss Villas-Boas said: 'Certainly on the running of the first half. The second half was extremely good, the first half was not so good.

'We came back into the game, which is pleasant to see again and it is good for us to bounce back.

'It is obviously not the full result we wanted bearing in mind the draw between Lazio and Panathinaikos, but certainly we will take a point.

'The group is completely open. What we face now is two games at home and I think we are in a good position in the group.

'We are in third position. We have three games to play, there are nine points to play for. You see the group – it is very tight. It is not a group where the leader has run off with points.'

Saving the day: Gylfi Sigurdsson

Saving the day: Gylfi Sigurdsson

Villas-Boas, whose side are just two points behind Group J leaders Lazio, will be hoping for an improved performance when they return to Premier League action on Sunday.

Struggling new boys Southampton are the opponents and the Portuguese will be hoping to iron out some of the negative aspects his side displayed tonight and in last weekend 4-2 home defeat to Chelsea.

'The first half was poor in terms of possession,' Villas-Boas said. 'It is what we spoke about at the end of the Chelsea game. I think we committed the same mistakes.

'We kept on giving the ball away instead of being a little bit more calm and keeping the ball. The opponent was closing down the spaces well and we can't rush everything.

'We need to be a bit more patient in possession to find the right space to break through and I think we did it much better in the second half than the first half.'

A rare highlight for Spurs this evening was the performance of substitute Iago Falque, whose introduction at half-time had the desired effect.

Just 13 minutes after coming on, the Spaniard made a telling impact by providing the cross that allowed Sigurdsson to score during a penalty-box melee.

'He had an extremely good game,' Villas-Boas said of Falque. 'He had his first game against Carlisle.

'This is his second game against stronger opposition this season. He did extremely well.

'His performance made the link-up player better for us. He is a certainly someone we can count on.'

Theo Walcott could be offloaded by Arsenal in January

No new contract offer for Walcott… and Arsenal could offload forward in January

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UPDATED:

22:34 GMT, 24 October 2012

Theo Walcott's future has been plunged into deeper uncertainty after he was excluded from a contract renewal drive.

And the Gunners are preparing to offload the forward in January if a resolution to his contract dispute cannot be found.

Arsenal chiefs have started a concentrated effort to sign a number of their first-team stars to new deals.

Out in the cold: Theo Walcott

Out in the cold: Theo Walcott

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Kieran Gibbs and Emmanuel Frimpong are all in line for improved contracts, having held recent talks with the club.

But another round of formal talks over fresh terms for Walcott have not begun – casting a huge shadow over his future in north London.

Walcott, whose contract expires at the end of the season, rejected a five-year deal worth 75,000-per-week in August.

And the club were preparing to sell the England international before the summer transfer deadline, before a training ground summit between manager Arsene Wenger and Walcott ended with the forward committing his short-term future to the club.

Fresh-faced: Arsene Wenger brought Walcott to Arsenal in 2006

Fresh-faced: Arsene Wenger brought Walcott to Arsenal in 2006

Walcott told Wenger he wanted to stay at the Emirates Stadium, but was not prepared to sign the contract offered to him – wanting a pay deal worth closer to 100,000-per-week.

However, it is understood Arsenal chiefs are unwilling to stretch any further, with discussions now at deadlock.

Wenger is still hopeful of tying Walcott down to a new deal, but is in agreement the club should not increase their offer.

But the club are ready to sell Walcott in January to ensure they do not lose him for nothing next summer if he does not sign.

The Gunners manager already feels he has a ready-made replacement for Walcott in highly-rated youngster Serge Gnarby, while he is also interested in Crystal Palace teenager Wilfried Zaha.

Walcott is wanted by Liverpool and Chelsea, while Juventus – who could sign the ex-Southampton man on a pre-contract at the start of next year – are also interested.