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Middlesbrough 1 Millwall 2 – match report

Middlesbrough 1 Millwall 2: Boro's play-off chances dealt major blow after home defeat

PUBLISHED:

19:31 GMT, 23 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

19:31 GMT, 23 February 2013

Middlesbrough's play-off hopes were dealt another crushing blow as they went down to defeat against Millwall at the Riverside Stadium.

Tony Mowbray's side slipped out of the top six for the first time since October prior to kick-off following Brighton's win over Burnley, and Boro's performance did not match that of a side striving for promotion to the Premier League.

However, Millwall, who had lost their last five in the npower Championship, did not look like a side struggling for form as they dominated throughout in a thrilling encounter.

An own goal from defender George Friend and Lions midfielder Martyn Woolford sealed a first away win for Kenny Jackett's side since November with Curtis Main pulling one back for the hosts.

Doubled: Martyn Woolford slotted home Millwall's second goal

Doubled: Martyn Woolford slotted home Millwall's second goal

MATCH FACTS

Middlesbrough: Steele, Bailey, McManus, Bikey, Friend, Dyer (Miller 46), Rhys Williams (Carayol 46), Leadbitter, McEachran, Emnes (McDonald 69), Main.

Subs Not Used: Ripley, Ledesma, Hines, Smallwood.

Goals: Main 75.

Millwall: Forde, Dunne, Shittu, Osborne, Beevers, Henry, Abdou, Wright, Woolford, Marquis, Afobe.

Subs Not Used: Maik Taylor, Trotter, Tyson, Keogh, N'Guessan, Adam Smith, Malone.

Booked: Osborne, Wright, Forde.

Goals: Friend 25 og, Woolford 40.

Att: 15,377

Ref: Michael Naylor (Sheffield).

Latest Championship table, fixtures and results

Kieron Dyer and striker Main were the
only changes to the Boro side that drew a blank at Burnley in midweek
while Jackett recalled five players including Benik Afobe, Alan Dunne
and skipper Danny Shittu following their 5-1 defeat at home to
Peterborough last time out.

The first real chance arrived on 15
minutes when Karleigh Osborne tripped Main on the edge of the box. Grant
Leadbitter took the kick and Jason Steele was struggling to get across
as it narrowly flew over the crossbar.

Main was appealing to referee Michael
Naylor again shortly after when he went down under pressure from Dunne
inside the penalty area. Naylor waved away the protests as he became
increasingly unpopular with the home supporters.

His reputation did not improve when
the Lions, virtually straight after the incident, took the lead on 25
minutes. James Henry delivered a pin-point cross from the left and an
unfortunate Friend headed into his own goal under pressure from Afobe
and John Marquis.

Friend along with his team mates felt he was fouled in the build up, only adding to the now toxic atmosphere inside the ground.

Hope: Curtis Main scored for Middlesbrough but it was too little too late

Hope: Curtis Main scored for Middlesbrough but it was too little too late

However, Boro almost replied
immediately when Main met a Leadbitter corner full only to see his
powerful header well blocked on the line by Nadjim Abdou.

The visitors looked rattled by
Middlesbrough's response and goalkeeper David Forde almost gifted them
an equaliser when he spilled a cross only for Mark Beevers to again
clear off the line.

But Kenny Jackett's side took full
control five minutes before the break when Jason Steele pushed Afobe's
original effort into the path of Woolford who enjoyed the simplest of
finishes to double the advantage.

Boro tried to rally a response after
the break following the introduction of Ishmael Miller and Mustapha
Carayol, and it was the latter who tested the reflexes of Forde on the
hour mark as the Republic of Ireland international made a smart stop at
his near post.

A goal was coming though, and Friend
went some way to making amends when he skipped into the area on 75
minutes before pulling the ball back for Main who tapped into an empty
net from six yards.

That strike clearly energised them as
Main fired a golden opportunity wide with five minutes remaining before
late drama erupted deep into stoppage time when substitute Scott
McDonald's apparent equaliser was ruled out for offside.

A melee ensued and referee Naylor was
almost caught in the middle of it before bringing the game and
Millwall's slump to an end, condemning Boro to a seventh league defeat
in their last nine outings.

FA Cup fourth round: The ultimate guide to all of this weekend"s fixtures

FA Cup fourth round: The ultimate guide to all of this weekend's fixtures

PUBLISHED:

10:32 GMT, 25 January 2013

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UPDATED:

12:05 GMT, 25 January 2013

With a huge 758 clubs entering the FA Cup this season, there are just 32 left as we head into the fourth round of the competition.

Here Sportsmail has teamed up with statistic giants Opta to bring you all the latest facts and team news ahead of ALL this weekend's fixtures.

Destination Wembley: Sixteen teams will make it through to round five

Destination Wembley: Sixteen teams will make it through to round five

Millwall v Aston Villa

Aston Villa midfielder Ashley Westwood and striker Jordan Bowery will return to the squad for Friday evening's FA Cup fourth round clash at Millwall.

Westwood and Bowery were cup-tied for the midweek Capital One Cup semi-final setback against Bradford at Villa Park after playing in the competition for Crewe and Chesterfield respectively.

But defender Nathan Baker is again ruled out with a hamstring injury and it is too soon for centre-back Richard Dunne to be considered after recovering from his groin injury.

Millwall are short of options in attack with on-loan Derby forward Nathan Tyson injured, while Darius Henderson joined Nottingham Forest on Thursday.

Martyn Woolford is cup-tied, Shane Lowry is suspended and Scott Malone is still sidelined with a back injury but Liam Feeney is fit again.

Available: Ashley Westwood (right) was cup tied midweek for the aggregate defeat to Bradford in the Capital One Cup semi-final

Available: Ashley Westwood (right) was cup tied midweek for the aggregate defeat to Bradford in the Capital One Cup semi-final

Millwall and Aston Villa have met five
times previously in the FA Cup, with Millwall progressing twice (both
after replays) and Villa going through on three occasions.

They were last drawn together in the fourth round in 1986, with Millwall progressing after a replay following a 1-1 draw at Villa Park.

The Lions have only lost two of their last 17 FA Cup games on home soil (W10 D5).

Villa were eliminated in the fourth round last year, when they faced Arsenal at the Emirates losing 3-2.

Millwall have only won two of their last seven games (L3 D2), with both victories coming at the New Den.

Aston Villa have now progressed through each of their last 10 FA Cup ties against lower ranked sides. Darren Bent has scored in four of his last five matches in the FA Cup.

Aston Villa provisional squad: Guzan, Given,
Marshall, Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Lichaj, Stevens, Bennett, Ireland,
Westwood, N'Zogbia, Bannan, Delph, Holman, Benteke, Agbonlahor, Bent,
Bowery, Weimann, Burke, Johnson, Williams, Carruthers.

Stoke v Man City

Stoke defender Andy Wilkinson's back problem is likely to keep him out of Saturday's FA Cup fourth round tie at home to Manchester City.

The full-back sustained the problem in their third round replay last week and while Ryan Shotton played 45 minutes in a midweek friendly after a hamstring injury he may not be risked.

Thomas Sorensen is set to replace Asmir Begovic in goal, as has been the policy for cup matches this season.

Stoke and Man City have been drawn together seven time before in the FA Cup, with the Citizens progressing (or winning the final) four times and the Potters progressing on three occasions.

The most memorable of these meetings was the 2011 final, where Man City secured the trophy with a 1-0 win, courtesy of a Yaya Toure goal.
When drawn at the Britannia, the Potters are unbeaten in nine FA Cup games, winning seven and drawing two.

The last time City travelled to the Britannia in the FA Cup, they were eliminated, losing 3-1 in a replay back in February 2010.

The Citizens are enjoying a five game winning streak, netting 14 goals and shipping just three in the process.

City have won just two of their last eight on the road in the FA Cup, drawing three and losing three.

Man City are unbeaten in seven against the Potters in all competitions (three home wins, one neutral win and three away 1-1 draws).

Stoke provisional squad: Sorensen, Cameron,
Shawcross, Huth, Upson, Whelan, Nzonzi, Walters, Kightly, Etherington,
Jones, Sorensen, Whitehead, Crouch, Jerome, Adam, Palacios, Owen,
Shotton, Begovic.

Bolton v Everton
Bolton have not lost to Everton in the FA Cup since 1908, winning all three ties since then including in the semi-final back in 1953.

Overall, these North West rivals have been drawn together six times before, with Bolton progressing four times and Everton twice, both following a replay.

The Toffees are unbeaten in their last six away games in the FA Cup (W4 D2).

Everton have only kept three clean sheets in their last 14 FA Cup games, and only one on the road since 2009.

The Trotters are unbeaten in four games now (1W 3D), their second-longest run without defeat this season (six games in November).

Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard netted on the last occasion these sides met, though Bolton still won 2-1 at Goodison Park.

There have been three red cards in the last five clashes between the Trotters and the Toffees in all competitions.

Brighton v Arsenal

Arsenal will be without captain Thomas Vermaelen (ankle) for Saturday's FA Cup fourth-round tie at Brighton.

Midfielders Abou Diaby (thigh) and Tomas Rosicky (calf) are set to be available again, but Mikel Arteta (calf), Francis Coquelin (hamstring) remain out.

Forward Gervinho is away at the African Nations Cup and goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski (foot) is not yet in contention.

This will be only the fourth time the clubs have met in the FA Cup and the third time in the fourth round. Arsenal have won all three previous ties without needing a replay.

Setback: Tomas Rosicky (left) has played only four times for Arsenal this term

Setback: Tomas Rosicky (left) has played only four times for Arsenal this term

Their last meeting came in the fourth round in 1988, with The Gunners claiming a 2-1 victory.

Brighton have won their last two home FA Cup ties against Premier League opposition.

Arsenal are unbeaten in 33 games against lower ranked sides in the FA Cup, not losing since a 0-1 defeat at Sheffield United in 1996.

The Gunners have won none of their last three games on the road, losing one (v Chelsea) and drawing two (v Swansea in the FA Cup and v Southampton).

Brighton and Hove Albion defeated Newcastle United in the third round of the 1983 competition as they did earlier this campaign; they went on to reach the final 30 years ago.

The Gunners have not kept a clean sheet in any of their last seven away FA Cup games, shipping 12 in total in this away run.

Arsenal provisional squad:
Szczesny, Gibbs, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Sagna, Podolski, Cazorla,
Walcott, Ramsey, Wilshere, Giroud, Mannone, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Santos,
Arshavin, Jenkinson, Diaby, Rosicky.

Derby v Blackburn
The two sides have been played each on 10 previous occasions in the FA Cup, with both sides progressing five times apiece.

The last meeting between these Championship rivals came back in 2001 at this stage, when Blackburn won 5-2 away in a replay after a 0-0 draw at Ewood Park.

Blackburn have lost their last four away games in the FA Cup.

The Rams have won five and lost none of their last six home FA Cup matches against teams from the same division.

Overall, the Rams have suffered just one defeat in their last five games, winning two and drawing two.

Blackburn have won two and lost just one of their last four trips to the home of the Rams, drawing the other 1-1 earlier this season.

Huddersfield v Leicester
Huddersfield and Leicester have never met in the FA Cup.
The Terriers have won four out of their last five home games in the cup (1L).

The Foxes have struggled of late on the road in the FA Cup, winning only once in nine games (D1 L7).

Jermaine Beckford has scored seven goals in his last five FA Cup appearances and 16 in 19 overall.

Simon Grayson’s Huddersfield side have won just one of their last 13 games (1-0 v Charlton in FA Cup), losing six and drawing six.

Leicester have won each of their last five games, netting 14 goals and conceding just one goal in the process, with that goal against coming in their 6-1 thrashing of Huddersfield on January 1st.

Hull v Barnsley
The two sides met in the third round in 1958, with the tie going to a replay after finishing 1-1. The Tigers eventually progressed to the fourth round after securing a 2-0 victory.

The Tigers have reached the fourth round 23 times, progressing 12 times, including in three of their last four at this stage.

The Tykes have won just one of their last eight fourth round games on the road outright; though they have drawn five of these and gone on to win the replay on each occasion.

Barnsley are enjoying a three game unbeaten streak (W2 D1), their longest run without defeat this season.
On home soil, Hull have enjoyed just one win in their last four games, drawing two and losing one.

The last four clashes between these Championship rivals have all ended in home wins, while only one of the last eight has been won by the away side.

Macclesfield v Wigan

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez looks set to make several changes for Saturday's FA Cup fourth-round tie against Macclesfield.

Roger Espinoza and Angelo Henriquez are likely to start after making their Wigan debuts in the third-round win over Bournemouth, while Callum McManaman and Fraser Fyvie could also make rare appearances for the Latics.

Arouna Kone is unavailable as he is on African Nations Cup duty with Ivory Coast while Antolin Alcaraz (groin), Ivan Ramis (knee), Adrian Lopez (hamstring), midfielders Ben Watson (broken leg) and Albert Crusat (knee) and striker Ryo Miyaichi (ankle) are still unavailable.

Cup shock: Macclesfield players celebrate after eliminating Cardiff in round three

Cup shock: Macclesfield players celebrate after eliminating Cardiff in round three

This is the first time in Macclesfield’s history that they’ve reached the fourth round.

The Latics and the Silkmen have never met in the FA Cup before.
Wigan haven’t advanced through the fourth round since 1987, where they claimed a 1-0 victory against Norwich City.

The Silkmen have never defeated top flight opposition in the FA Cup.

Despite enduring another difficult season, Wigan are unbeaten in their last three games on the road, winning two and drawing one.

Matthew Barnes-Homer has scored six goals in his last five appearances in all competitions for the Silkmen.

Wigan have won both previous competitive meetings with Macclesfield, beating them 1-0 away and 2-0 at home in the 1998/99 division two.

Wigan provisional squad: Al
Habsi, Pollitt, Boyce, Caldwell, Ramis, Figueroa, Beausejour, Jones,
Maloney, Espinoza, McCarthy, McArthur, Stam, McManaman, Di Santo,
Henriquez, Boselli, Fyvie, Redmond, Mustoe, Orsula, Morris.

Middlesbrough v Aldershot
Boro and Aldershot will meet for the first time in the competition in this clash.

The Shots have scored eight goals in three FA Cup games so far this season, though they are yet to face a team from a higher division.

Aldershot have not won away from home against a side from a higher division since 1983, when they won 3-1 at Portsmouth.

‘Boro have won 11 of their last 15 home FA Cup ties against sides from lower divisions than them (D3 L1).

At the Riverside, ‘Boro have lost just one of their last six games, winning the other five.

Aldershot’s Danny Hylton has only scored one league goal in 19 games all season, but has netted seven times in three FA Cup appearances for the Shots.

Aldershot Town have made the fourth round of the FA Cup for the first time since 1987, when they lost to Barnsley.

Norwich v Luton

Norwich manager Chris Hughton will again rotate his squad for Saturday's FA Cup fourth-round tie with Blue Square Premier side Luton at Carrow Road.

Declan Rudd will come into goal, while the likes of fit-again midfielder Andrew Surman, playmaker David Fox and winger Elliott Bennett are likely to get a chance to impress.

Full-back Steven Whittaker (hip) has resumed full training this week, so could come back into contention, but centre-half Sebastien Bassong (calf) may be rested again while striker Steve Morison (thigh) and England goalkeeper John Ruddy (thigh) remain sidelined.

This will be the fourth meeting between the Canaries and the Hatters in the FA Cup; the Hatters the first two, including the1959 semi, before Norwich won the most recent clash.

Cupset: Non-league Luton knocked out Wolves in the third round

Cupset: Non-league Luton knocked out Wolves in the third round

The last clash between these sides in the cup also came in the fourth round and Norwich won 2-0 (1976).

It’s the first time since 2007 that Luton have made it to the fourth round. That year, they were eliminated by Blackburn Rovers.

Luton haven’t beaten a Premier League side since 1993/94, when they defeated West Ham 3-2 in sixth round replay.

Chris Hughton’s Canaries have managed just one win in their last seven games (3-0 v Peterborough in the FA Cup), losing five and drawing one.
The Canaries have won their last three against Luton in all competitions, winning both meetings in 2006/07 3-2.

Norwich provisional squad:
Rudd, Barnett, Martin, R Bennett, Tierney, Fox, Surman, Snodgrass,
Johnson, E Bennett, Jackson, Steer, Garrido, Tettey, Pilkington, Kane,
Holt, Whittaker, Hoolahan.

QPR v MK Dons
The R’s and the Dons met for the first time in any competition in the FA Cup last season, where they drew the original fixture 1-1 before QPR won 1-0 at Loftus Road, courtesy of a Danny Gabbidon strike.

The R’s have not won an FA Cup tie without the use of a replay since January 1997, when they beat Barnsley 3-2 at this stage in 1997.

MK Dons have scored 10 goals in their last four FA Cup games and they have never helped them reach the fourth round for the first time.

The Hoops have been improving under Harry Redknapp and remain unbeaten in 2013, winning two, drawing three, scoring four and shipping just two in the process.

The Dons have won two and drawn two of their last four games, shipping a total of just two goals in those four fixtures.

Milton Keynes eliminated a higher ranked side for the first time in their history in the third round of this season, beating Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 in a replay.

Reading v Sheffield United

Reading are without striker Jason Roberts (hip) for Saturday's FA Cup fourth round clash against Sheffield United.

Midfielder Jem Karacan suffered an unspecified knock in training but should be fit, while goalkeeper Alex McCarthy (shoulder) and midfielder Hope Akpan (cup-tied) are unavailable.

Striker Adam Le Fondre could start after scoring two vital goals as a substitute in the Royals' 2-1 Barclays Premier League win over Newcastle last weekend.

Royal no show: Jason Roberts (left) has been ruled out for Reading

Royal no show: Jason Roberts (left) has been ruled out for Reading

Reading’s only previous encounter against the Blades was back in 1998 and ended in a 1-0 home victory for the Sheffield side.

Reading have kept only two clean sheets in 15 home cup ties.
The Blades have only won once in their last 18 away FA Cup games to higher level opposition, drawing three and losing 14.

The Royals have won their last three games in a row, the first time they’ve managed consecutive wins this season, with Adam Le Fondre netting five goals in total in those games.

Reading have won five of their last six FA Cup games against sides from lower leagues, though they did lose their last one at home (0-1 v Stevenage last season).

The Blades are unbeaten in five against Reading in all competitions, winning four.

United have also won their last three at the Madejski Stadium, not tasting defeat there since the 2006/07 Premier League.

Reading provisional squad:
Federici, Ugwu, Taylor, Gunter, Kelly, Cummings, Pearce, Morrison,
Mariappa, Shorey, Harte, McAnuff, Carrico, Tabb, Karacan, Kebe,
McCleary, Robson-Kanu, Leigertwood, Le Fondre, Hunt, Pogrebnyak.

Manchester United v Fulham

Ashley Young and Jonny Evans will remain on the sidelines for Manchester United's FA Cup fourth round tie with Fulham at Old Trafford.

England winger Young suffered a knee injury against Liverpool a fortnight ago, whilst Evans (hamstring) has not featured since the FA Cup draw at West Ham three weeks ago.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson must decide whether to stick with David De Gea in goal or recall Anders Lindegaard, who took over for the replay win against the Hammers.

Old Trafford return: Dimitar Berbatov left Manchester United to join Fulham last summer

Old Trafford return: Dimitar Berbatov left Manchester United to join Fulham last summer

Fulham midfielder Kieran Richardson will miss the chance to take on former club Manchester United.

The 28-year-old suffered a calf injury in last weekend's defeat at Manchester City and will not be fit in time for the game at Old Trafford, although he is likely to return to training next week.

Mahamadou Diarra (knee) is not likely to play again for a month whilst Kerim Frei (pelvis) is also absent.

The two clubs have met nine times before in the FA Cup, with United progressing through the last seven after elimination in the first two (1905 and 1908).

The last time they played each other in the fourth round was in 1979, when the Red Devils won 1-0 in a home replay after drawing 1-1 in London.

United have only lost twice in their last 18 FA Cup games at home, winning 14.

Fulham have won 10 out of their last 11 FA Cup fourth round ties, though they were eliminated at this stage last season (to Everton).

Robin Van Persie has scored in each of his last six games for United (seven goals in total) and has bagged 11 in his last 11 appearances.

Martin Jol’s Whites have registered just two wins in their last nine games, losing four and drawing three.

The Red Devils have won their last 10 at home to Fulham in all competitions, not even sharing the spoils with the Whites since a 1-3 defeat in October 2003.

Manchester United provisional squad:
Lindegaard, De Gea, Amos, Smalling, Vidic, Ferdinand, Buttner, Evra,
Cleverley, Giggs, Anderson, Scholes, Carrick, Kagawa, Nani, Hernandez,
Rooney, Welbeck, Van Persie.

Fulham provisional squad:
Schwarzer, Somogyi, Etheridge, Riether, Hangeland, Hughes, Senderos,
Riise, Briggs, Dejagah, Baird, Sidwell, Karagounis, Kacaniklic, Duff,
Kasami, Ruiz, Rodallega, Berbatov, Petric, Davies.

Brentford v Chelsea
The only time the West London clubs have met in the FA Cup was in 1950, where Chelsea won 1-0 at Griffin Park.

The Blues have won 15 of their last 16 FA Cup fourth round ties, losing the other on penalties to Everton.

Chelsea have only lost one of their last 35 FA Cup games outright; 0-1 v Barnsley in March 2008 (W29 D5 L1).

The Blues have shipped just nine goals in their last 13 away FA Cup games combined, and never more than once in single match in this run.

The Bees have won just one of their last 13 FA Cup games against

Premier League sides; beating Sunderland at this stage in 2006 (W1 D3 L9).

Juan Mata has now scored four goals and assisted five in just eight FA Cup appearances for Chelsea.

Frank Lampard has been involved in 10 goals in his last nine FA Cup appearances; scoring six and assisted four.

Leeds v Tottenham
The two clubs have faced each other five times in the FA Cup before, with Leeds winning just one tie (sixth round in 1972).

The most recent meeting came back in 2010, in the fourth round, when the original tie ended 2-2. The replay saw Spurs win 3-1 at Elland Road, courtesy of a Jermain Defoe hat-trick.

Spurs have kept three clean sheets in their last four away FA Cup games, but have failed to score in three of the four themselves.

Leeds have been eliminated by North London clubs in each of the last three FA Cups, losing to Tottenham in 2010 and Arsenal in 2011 and 2012.

At Elland Road, Leeds have lost just one of their last eight games (W6 D1), although that defeat came against another Premier League side, Chelsea, 5-1 in the Capital One Cup.

AVB’s Tottenham side are now unbeaten in eight games, winning five and drawing three.

After no goals in his first 13 games in the competition, Gareth Bale has scored in three successive FA Cup games.

Oldham v Liverpool
The two clubs met last year in the third round, in a one-sided match dominated by Liverpool who won 5-1.

Oldham have lost all four matches against Liverpool in the FA Cup.
The Reds have won five and lost just two of their last nine away games in the FA Cup (D2).

Oldham have won two of their last four FA Cup games against Premier League sides, including a win against Merseysiders Everton in 2008.

The Latics have lost each of their last four games at Boundary Park, conceding exactly two goals in each of those defeats.

Brendan Rodgers’ Reds are enjoying a good run of form, winning four of their last five (losing the other one), with Luis Suarez netting six goals in total in those games.

The Reds have won their last three against Oldham in all competitions, but did lose 2-3 at Boundary Park in the Premier League back in May 1993.

Richard Dunne is set to make the transfer from Aston Villa to New York Red Bulls

Dunne deal! New York Red Bulls hoping to wrap up signing of Villa defender

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UPDATED:

10:35 GMT, 30 December 2012

Richard Dunne looks set to join New York Red Bulls in the new year, provided he can overcome his ongoing groin injury.

The MLS side have said that they want the Republic of Ireland international’s transfer from Aston Villa wrapped up by the end of January, report the Sunday People.

Dunne has been out of action for Ireland since their last Euro 2012 game against Italy, and underwent a third operation on his groin in Philadelphia last week.

Richard Dunne is set to move to New York Red Bulls

Free transfer: There is a 50,000-a-week salary on offer when the defender's contract with Aston Villa expires

Richard Dunne is set to move to New York Red Bulls

Injured: The 33-year-old underwent a third operation on his groin last week

It is thought he will be back to full fitness within six weeks and will rejoin Ireland as they face Sweden and Austria in March.

With a 50,000-a-week salary on offer, the Villa defender is keen to cross the Atlantic and settle in the Big Apple.

His contract with Villa Park set to
expire and the 33-year-old will be available to the American club on a
free transfer, meaning the deal could be nailed down within two weeks.

Aston Villa 0 Wigan 3 – match report

Aston Villa 0 Wigan 3: Lambert's hapless youngsters wiped out yet again by rampant Latics

|

UPDATED:

17:25 GMT, 29 December 2012

Crisis club Aston Villa alarmingly dropped deeper into a Premier League relegation battle with another abject performance against Wigan.

The visitors, meanwhile, moved out of the bottom three with a conclusive victory to record their first win in seven matches which highlighted Villa's dramatic shortcomings.

Villa, watched by club owner Randy Lerner, never recovered from a disastrous start when Ivan Ramis gave the Latics a morale-boosting lead after only three minutes.

Opener: Ivan Ramis (right) celebrates his goal which got proceedings underway

Opener: Ivan Ramis (right) celebrates his goal which got proceedings underway

It's raining goals: But sadly for Paul Lambert they're all going against his hapless Villa side

It's raining goals: But sadly for Paul Lambert they're all going against his hapless Villa side

MATCH FACTS

Aston Villa: Guzan, Herd, Clark, Lichaj (Albrighton 64), Lowton, Ireland (El Ahmadi 63), Holman (Bowery 63), Bannan, Bennett, Weimann, Benteke.

Subs not used: Given, Westwood, Stevens, Carruthers.

Booked: Bannan, Lowton, Weimann.

Wigan: Al Habsi, Ramis, Caldwell, Figueroa, Boyce, McCarthy, Jones (McArthur 65), Beausejour (Gomez 79), Kone (McManaman 87), Di Santo, Maloney.

Subs: Pollitt, Boselli, Stam, Golobart.

Booked: Boyce, Maloney.

Goals: Ramos 3, Boyce 52, Kone 56.

Att: 33,374.

Ref: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire).

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Two goals in the space of four minutes
early in the second half from Emmerson Boyce and Arouna Kone sealed
Villa's fate as their confidence visibly evaporated. They have now
shipped 15 goals in three games.

In the continued absence of such
players as Darren Bent, Richard Dunne, Gabriel Agbonlahor, Charles
N'Zogbia and Nathan Baker, the options open to under-pressure manager
Paul Lambert are very limited as illustrated in this latest defeat.

Just how much a lightweight Villa are
missing the commanding presence of Dunne was highlighted as early as the
third minute when Wigan took a shock lead.

Villa's inability to defend set-pieces
was blatantly exposed in the third minute after the ball ran out for a
corner as Matthew Lowton appeared to handle.

Jean Beausejour's accurate corner was
perfectly placed for the unmarked Ivan Ramis to mark his return to
action after missing six games with a powerful header past the
transfixed Brad

It was the 13th goal conceded by Guzan
and Villa in three games and once again gave the West Midlands club a
steep hill to climb.

Penalty decisions have gone against
Wigan this season and on this occasion they were again out of favour
when Stephen Ireland appeared to foul Shaun Maloney.

Seconds later Maloney had a wild shot
from the edge of the area with a gaping goal at his mercy when Villa
were again on the wrong foot.

Villa battled hard to retrieve the situation but they lacked a cutting edge.

Christian Benteke was extremely
subdued and it was left to the industrious Andress Weimann to pressurise
Wigan's defence in which Ramis and skipper Gary Caldwell were rock
solid.

Leap: Ramis nodded home to get another day of misery for Villa underway

Leap: Ramis nodded home to get another day of misery for Villa underway

Pulling the strings for the visitors
was Shaun Maloney. The Scottish international formerly played for Villa
but was allowed to return north of the border because he was homesick,
before joining Wigan last year.

Benteke finally found a route through
Wigan's defence in the 36th minute with a rasping shot only for the goal
to be disallowed with Weimann in an offside position.

After Emmerson Boyce and Maloney were
booked for reckless tackles Villa's best chance of an equaliser fell to
Brett Holman two minutes before the break when the Australian grazed the
crossbar with an angled shot.

All these efforts in search of an
equaliser were to no avail as seven minutes into the second half Wigan
consolidated their lead.

Boyce raced through despite the
attention of three Villa defenders and took a return pass from Arouna
Kone to fire his low shot past Guzan.

Early bird: Ramis headed home a corner after just three minutes against Villa's hapless defence

Early bird: Ramis headed home a corner after just three minutes against Villa's hapless defence

In the 56th minute Kone himself got in
on the goalscoring as he took a through pass from Di Santo as he sliced
his way through Villa's dithering defence to score from a tight angle
despite a challenge from Guzan.

Villa made a triple substitution sending on El Ahmadi, Bowery and Albrighton for Ireland, Holman and Lichaj.

The changes resulted in more attacking play but the damage had been done as Wigan were content to absorb the pressure.

It was the 13th goal conceded by Guzan
and Villa in three games and once again gave the West Midlands club a
steep hill to climb.

Penalty decisions have gone against
Wigan this season and on this occasion they were again out of favour
when Stephen Ireland appeared to foul Shaun Maloney.

Seconds later Maloney had a wild shot
from the edge of the area with a gaping goal at his mercy when Villa
were again on the wrong foot.

Despair: Stephen Ireland and Chris Herd look miserable during their defeat

Despair: Stephen Ireland and Chris Herd look miserable during their defeat

In the money: Emmerson Boyce popped up to double Wigan's lead

In the money: Emmerson Boyce popped up to double Wigan's lead

Villa battled hard to retrieve the situation but they lacked a cutting edge.

Christian Benteke was extremely
subdued and it was left to the industrious Andress Weimann to pressurise
Wigan's defence in which Ramis and skipper Gary Caldwell were rock
solid.

Pulling the strings for the visitors
was Shaun Maloney. The Scottish international formerly played for Villa
but was allowed to return north of the border because he was homesick,
before joining Wigan last year.

Benteke finally found a route through
Wigan's defence in the 36th minute with a rasping shot only for the goal
to be disallowed with Weimann in an offside position.

After Emmerson Boyce and Maloney were
booked for reckless tackles Villa's best chance of an equaliser fell to
Brett Holman two minutes before the break when the Australian grazed the
crossbar with an angled shot.

All these efforts in search of an
equaliser were to no avail as seven minutes into the second half Wigan
consolidated their lead.

Crunch: Franco Di Santo (right) goes in on Villa's Joe Bennett

Crunch: Franco Di Santo (right) goes in on Villa's Joe Bennett

Three and easy: Arouna Kone rounds Brad Guzan and tucks in the third

Three and easy: Arouna Kone rounds Brad Guzan and tucks in the third

Boyce raced through despite the
attention of three Villa defenders and took a return pass from Arouna
Kone to fire his low shot past Guzan.

In the 56th minute Kone himself got in
on the goalscoring as he took a through pass from Di Santo as he sliced
his way through Villa's dithering defence to score from a tight angle
despite a challenge from Guzan.

Villa made a triple substitution sending on El Ahmadi, Bowery and Albrighton for Ireland, Holman and Lichaj.

The changes resulted in more attacking play but the damage had been done as Wigan were content to absorb the pressure.

Laughing matter: Roberto Martinez saw his side bang in the goals for their first win in five

Laughing matter: Roberto Martinez saw his side bang in the goals for their first win in five

Shake on it: Martinez greets Villa mascot Hercules the Lion

Shake on it: Martinez greets Villa mascot Hercules the Lion

Millwall 1 Barnsley 2 – match report: Marcus Tudgay hits late winner

Millwall 1 Barnsley 2: Tudgay's late winner gives Tykes some seasonal cheer

PUBLISHED:

17:47 GMT, 22 December 2012

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UPDATED:

17:47 GMT, 22 December 2012

Marcus Tudgay's late goal condemned Millwall to a surprise defeat as Barnsley gave their npower Championship survival bid a welcome boost.

Tudgay struck in injury time after Chris Wood appeared to have salvaged a point for the Lions, who had lost just once in their previous 16 matches.
Barnsley led through a first-half goal from Stephen Dawson, shortly after Millwall's Darius Henderson had missed a penalty.

To make matters worse, the hosts had defender Adam Smith sent off for a rash challenge early in the second half.

Winner: Marcus Tudgay chips the advancing David Forde to give Barnsley all three points

Winner: Marcus Tudgay chips the advancing David Forde to give Barnsley all three points

Match facts

Millwall: Forde, Adam Smith, Shittu, Beevers, Lowry, Henry, Wright, Trotter, Feeney (Jack Smith 64), Wood, Henderson (N'Guessan 69). Subs not used: Maik Taylor, Dunne, Batt, Osborne, Malone.
Sent Off: Adam Smith (54).

Booked: Feeney, Beevers.

Goals: Wood 80.

Barnsley: Steele, Stones, Foster, Cranie (Wiseman 20), Golbourne, Dawson, Hassell, O'Brien (Harewood 73), Perkins (Done 84), Tudgay, Dagnall. Subs not used: Alnwick, Cywka, Greening, Rose.
Booked: Tudgay, Wiseman, Foster, O'Brien.

Goals: Dawson 31, Tudgay 90.

Attendance: 10,118.

Referee: Trevor Kettle.

Latest Championship results, fixtures and table

Wood tucked in his third goal in two
matches, and his 11th of the season, 10 minutes from time but Tudgay had
the last word as Millwall slipped out of the play-off places.

Millwall were surprisingly lacklustre
for a team in such fine form, unbeaten at home in their previous seven
games, and it was Barnsley who made the brighter start with two good
chances falling to Tudgay in the first 10 minutes.

First Lions goalkeeper David Forde
did well to tip Tudgay's shot round the post, then a mix-up in the
Millwall defence saw the ball fall to Tudgay again, but this time the
striker blazed his shot over the crossbar.

The hosts should have taken the lead in the 25th minute after Henderson was fouled in the area by Scott Wiseman.

But Henderson, back in the Millwall side after a spell out with a hamstring injury, blazed the spot-kick over the crossbar.

And the Lions were made to pay five minutes later when Barnsley broke at the other end through Tudgay.

The ball eventually fell to Jim
O'Brien, whose shot was well saved by Forde, but Dawson was on hand to
tuck away the rebound for his third goal of the season to give the
visitors the lead.

Millwall attempted to hit straight back and midfielder Liam Trotter shot narrowly wide from just inside the box.

On target: Stephen Dawson fires Barnsley into a first-half lead

On target: Stephen Dawson fires Barnsley into a first-half lead

Tykes goalkeeper Luke Steele was then called into action to make saves from Henderson and Shane Lowry.

Barnsley had chances to add to their
lead before half-time but Forde saved John Stones' effort and O'Brien
crashed a shot into the side-netting.

Millwall's task got more difficult 10 minutes after the interval when Smith was sent off after he lunged in on David Perkins.

It looked like a 50-50 challenge but referee Trevor Kettle deemed it to be two-footed and produced a straight red card.

Barnsley sensed the chance of a rare win and Perkins drove the ball goalwards but his effort was kept out by Forde.

Perkins then crossed for Tudgay but
his ambitious header from the edge of the area flew wide, before Chris
Dagnall missed the target from close range and Stephen Foster fired over
the top.

Barnsley were caught out 10 minutes
from time when Wood latched onto Dany N'Guessan's ball over the top and
coolly finished past Steele.

But all Millwall's hard work was undone when Tudgay rifled the winner past Forde in the 93rd minute.

The goal lifted the Tykes to the same
points tally as Tudgay's former side Sheffield Wednesday, although they
remain in the bottom three on goals scored.

Aston Villa aim to ruin Harry Redknapp"s Loftus Road welcome party

Lambert ready to act the Villain for Harry's Loftus Road welcome party

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UPDATED:

20:51 GMT, 30 November 2012

Paul Lambert has warned Harry Redknapp that his Aston Villa side are happy to play party-poopers, saying: ‘We want to keep QPR down there.’

A narrow win over Reading on Tuesday has lifted a little pressure from the Scot’s own shoulders as the Birmingham club jumped out of the bottom three this week.

Three more points will lift Villa to within sight of mid-table and Lambert said that while he knows QPR will be boosted by Redknapp’s arrival, he has no intention of joining in the merriment.

Preparations: Gabriel Agbonlahor and Aston Villa in training at Bodymoor Heath on Friday

Preparations: Gabriel Agbonlahor and Aston Villa in training at Bodymoor Heath on Friday

‘Harry going in there will automatically give them a lift, as he is a brilliant manager,’ said Lambert. ‘It’s an extremely tough game for us. But we would be happy to win and keep them down there.’

He revealed Richard Dunne may have played his last game for Villa, given his mystery groin and hip problem. He is out of contract in the summer, so may move on in January.

Talking tactics: Harry Redknapp (left) at QPR training on Friday morning

Talking tactics: Harry Redknapp (left) at QPR training on Friday morning

I should have taken Seamus Coleman to Euro 2012 finals, admits Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni

I should have taken Coleman to Euro 2012 finals, admits Ireland boss Trapattoni

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UPDATED:

18:42 GMT, 15 November 2012

Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni admits he was wrong to leave Everton's Seamus Coleman out of his squad for last summer's European Championships finals.

The former Sligo Rovers defender was
omitted from Ireland's disastrous Euro 2012 campaign and Trapattoni
turned instead to Hull City's Paul McShane as potential cover for
Richard Dunne, Sean St Ledger and John O'Shea.

Impressive: Republic of Ireland's Seamus Coleman, left,

Impressive: Republic of Ireland's Seamus Coleman (left)

But after an outstanding start to Ireland's latest World Cup campaign, and his man of the match performance against Greece in Dublin on Wednesday night, Trapattoni says Everton full-back Coleman has earned the right to be among the starters for the resumption of qualifiers next year.

And the Ireland manager says he may have been wrong to leave the 24-year-old Donegal-born utility man who won his ninth cap against the Greeks this week.

Trapattoni said: 'We deserved to qualify for the Euros and the team was very well in every position. I had a heavy job with Paul McShane and had to disappoint Kevin Foley.

'Coleman was not ready for this group but we followed him and he has played in forward positions for his club and also as a defender.

Mistake: Giovanni Trapattoni

Mistake: Giovanni Trapattoni

'Now he is good for us and we have trust
in him. He has confirmed his personality, quality, strength and
attitude and plays offensive football without fear and that was
important. He plays every game with his club and in every game he
grows.'

Meanwhile, Trapattoni is hoping to have Richard Dunne back in the squad for the crucial double header against Sweden and Austria in March.

The Aston Villa defender, who has not played this season due to a groin injury picked up with Ireland, is back in training, although he has been told he can leave Villa Park by manager Paul Lambert.

Trapattoni said: 'I am frequently in touch with him and his injury is not easy. He said he will start training in 15 days, and I hope we have two months. He has to play for his club and if he is ready, sure he will play.

'For us it's important he comes back. But also Ciaran Clark's performance was very positive against Greece and with Darren O'Dea and Sean St Ledger, we have good options at centre back.'

Richard Dunne back in training in November

Boost for struggling Aston Villa with Dunne set to return to training this month

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UPDATED:

08:23 GMT, 2 November 2012

Crocked: Dunne has had a groin problem

Crocked: Dunne has had a groin problem

Aston Villa central defender Richard Dunne has set his sights on a return to training in two weeks after undergoing a second operation on his long-term groin problem.

Dunne has been sidelined since initially suffering the setback with the Republic of Ireland during their Euro 2012 campaign and has not played since.

But the 33-year-old, who is in the final year of his contract, is finally hoping there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Dunne told the Birmingham Mail: 'The last operation I had seems to have really worked so I'm hopeful that I'll be back soon.

'I've set a few targets but I keep missing them.

'It's frustrating when I can do all the running and the rehab but not the final bit.

'But I'm hoping – fingers crossed – that I can start training in a couple of weeks.

Long lay-off: Dunne last played at Euro 2012

Long lay-off: Dunne last played at Euro 2012

'I've got to see the doctor and from there, hopefully it will be the all clear.'

Dunne has endured a frustrating period with injuries during 2012 after suffering a broken collarbone which caused him to miss the final part of last season.

He said: 'I've been lucky not to have too many injuries during my career but it's been almost seven months where I've not been fit.'

Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni backs young guns to fire against Germany

Ireland boss Trapattoni backs young guns to fire against Germany

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UPDATED:

21:51 GMT, 11 October 2012

Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni
Trapattoni has urged his young guns to seize their moment in the game he
has earmarked as the most crucial in the World Cup 2014 qualifying
campaign.

Ireland go into a competitive match
without one of Shay Given, Robbie Keane, Richard Dunne and Damien Duff
for the first time in 15 years.

Given was on the bench for the dead
rubber against Romania on October 11 1997, but this will be the first
time the golden quartet, who were stalwarts of the squads which reached
the 2002 World Cup Finals, and last summer's European Championships,
have not featured in a qualifier.

Injury nightmare: Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni

Injury nightmare: Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni

Match details

Ireland (4-3-3): Westwood; Coleman, O’Shea, O’Dea, Ward; Fahey, McCarthy, Andrews; McGeady, Walters, Cox.

Germany (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Boateng, Badstuber, Mertesacker, Schmelzer; Khedira, Schweinsteiger; Ozil, Mueller, Reus; Klose.

Referee: Nicola Rizzoli (Italy).

And on Friday night at the Aviva Stadium, Trapattoni's new-look Irish team, still reeling from their Euro 2012 disaster, will be facing the might of FIFA's second-ranked team Germany, who are unbeaten in nearly five years in qualifying matches.

Under-fire manager Trapattoni, who has named Sunderland defender John O'Shea as his captain after Robbie Keane failed his fitness test, says he is looking to the new generation to pull off a major shock against Joachim Low's slick outfit who bring a 12-game winning run to Dublin.

The 73-year-old Italian said: 'We are missing a lot of players but this is a great opportunity for the younger players to show us what they can do.

'They have quality, they have the possibility to grow and help us look to the future and the new campaign. We have to see if they can change the page and look at this new energy. I am an optimist.

'This is the most important match in our pool and this is one of those matches that personally I would love to play in myself.

'I am very excited about this game. I
have very beautiful memories of Germany and I know also their players. I
will be proud if we can beat or draw with them. We don't have players
like Moller, Ozil, Klose, Gomez, Goetze, and Podolski but we have our
quality.'

Former
Manchester United defender O'Shea will wear the captain's armband for
the first time in his 82nd international with few other options
available to Trapattoni who has suffered the worst injury crisis of his
51-game reign this week.

Ruled out: Robbie Keane

Ruled out: Robbie Keane

Keane, whose Achilles injury suffered at the hands of Paul McShane in training, has remained with the squad in the hope of being fit for Tuesday's trip to Faroes Islands.

But the stand-in skipper has acknowledged there are significant boots to fill for players like Seamus Coleman who will be making his competitive debut.

O'Shea added: 'Obviously it will be a bit strange not having the four of them there but Robbie still has a chance for the game on Tuesday and I am sure he will be around.

'He will be important figure, with his experience at relaxing people before the game, talking and making sure everyone is focussed on their jobs.

'But the new blood has to get a
chance. And what a team to do it against, the cream of Europe, the cream
of the world. They are ranked second and have some of the best young
players in the world who have shown it at their clubs already this
season and in the Champions League.

'So it is a massive test for us but one that the players and
management and the fans are looking forward to. We have to grab hold of
it and really take our chance.

'Your first couple of games for Ireland are really special, they all
are, but this really counts because there is qualification at the end of
it.

'All the lads have
impressed in training and friendlies and shown it at club level too so
they are picked on merit. Look at Seamus Coleman. He was playing on
right side of midfield and then he has gone back to full back and he has
done fantastically.

Threat: Germany's Lukas Podolski

Threat: Germany's Lukas Podolski

'There is a bit more pressure to it but he has shown in his attitude and ability that he will be able to overcome that. He has done brilliantly at Everton who have had a great start to the season. He has shown he is ready for this test.

'Four players from the Euros will be starting the game and the rest are, shall we say younger, and the experience is missing but people have been calling for these players to be given a chance . Now they have a massive chance and what a way to do it against Germany.

'Obviously it will be a bit strange without the four but Robbie still has a chance for the game on Tuesday and I am sure he will be around. He will be important figure, with his experience at relaxing people before the game, talking and making sure everyone is focussed on their jobs.

'Yes there are some familiar faces missing but the new blood has to get a chance. And what a team to do it against, the cream of Europe, the cream of the world. They are ranked second and have some of the best young players in the world who have shown it at their clubs already this season and in the Champions League.

'So it is a massive test for us but one that the players and management and the fans are looking forward to. You look forward to playing an occasion like this and playing against the best in the world is something you dream of. We have to grab hold of it and really take our chance.'

Meanwhile Germany coach Low warned his players not to underestimate their hosts and believes this could be the toughest test they will face in the 2014 campaign.

He said: 'The Irish never gave up and always fought back, even when they were behind. They were so proud to play for their country.

'That impressed me. I expect there to be a fantastic atmosphere tomorrow and I expect the Irish to play at a very high tempo and with a high level of intensity, and we are going to have to resist. We must not think at any time that the Irish will accept defeat.'

Joe Dunne appointed new Colchester manager

It's a Dunne deal as Joe is appointed Colchester boss

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UPDATED:

08:32 GMT, 27 September 2012


Local hero: New Colchester United manager Joe Dunne during his playing days

Local hero: New Colchester United manager Joe Dunne during his playing days

Joe Dunne has been appointed manager of Colchester United on a permanent basis following the sacking of John Ward on Monday.

Dunne, 39, had taken temporary charge following Ward's exit but the club's board has wasted little time in giving him a long-term deal.

The Irishman is a legend at Colchester, having made 193 appearances in two spells at the club between 1996 and 2003.

Dunne, who also played for the Republic of Ireland at Under-21 level, had a four-match spell in temporary charge in 2009 after the resignation of Paul Lambert.

His first match in charge will be the home fixture with Hartlepool United on Saturday, as the U's bid for their first win of the season.

Chairman Robbie Cowling issued a statement on the club's website: 'I am sure you will all join me in wishing Joe all the best in his new job.

'It was not an easy decision to part company with John Ward because he had worked so hard to achieve so much for Colchester United Football Club.

'However, it was an easy choice when it came to selecting John's successor.

'Joe has been with Colchester United for sixteen years as a player, youth team manager, reserve manager, assistant manager, caretaker manager and now he is first team manager.

'Joe takes charge of Colchester United when the club's long term prospects are the best they have ever been but at a time when the short term future is one of its most challenging.

'In the short term, the club has to adjust to the new salary capping rules that have forced us to drastically reduce our playing budget and no manager can be expected to improve its first team squad with significantly less money to spend on players.

'However, the long-term future is much brighter.

'The investments we have made in our facilities and in the youth set up will pay dividends in the not to distant future and the land that the club owns in Tiptree could, if planning permission is granted, provide funds to put the club on a stable financial footing and allow it to continue those types of investments into the foreseeable future.

'Therefore, I ask each and every one of you to get behind Joe and the team and to give them your full support.'

Dunne first joined Colchester from Gillingham in 1996, having spent six years and made 115 league appearances at Priestfield.

His time at Colchester was punctuated by a brief stint at Dover and he won many plaudits at Layer Road for his uncompromising approach to defending.

When a knee injury brought his career to a premature end in 2003, Dunne fell back on the coaching qualifications gained during his playing career to become Colchester's Under-17 and youth team coach.

In 2007, he moved up to looking after the reserve team, as well as various first-team coaching duties under Lambert.

Most recently, Dunne was assistant to Ward during his two-year spell as manager.