Tag Archives: edgar

Edgar Davids unable to save Barnet from final day heartache as Bees sink back into non-League

Davids unable to save Barnet from final day heartache as Bees sink back into non-League

Andrew Warshaw


21:38 GMT, 27 April 2013



01:54 GMT, 28 April 2013

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Edgar Davids’ first season in management ended in disappointment as Barnet fell out of the Football League after eight seasons.

Three years in succession, Barnet had somehow survived on the last day of the campaign. But this time there was no miracle as play-off qualifiers Northampton sealed their fate.

More than 1,300 visiting fans saw their team dominate for long periods but they were made to pay for poor finishing, including a couple of glaring misses, as Northampton’s Roy O’Donovan and Luke Guttridge netted twice in the space of six minutes midway through the second period.

Bitter pill: Edgar Davids contemplates his future

Bitter pill: Edgar Davids contemplates his future


League Two table

Davids’ future at Barnet is now uncertain and a new stadium seven miles outside the borough will play host to Conference football next season.

Frustratingly, a draw would have been enough to save Barnet with Dagenham losing at home, while anything but a win for AFC Wimbledon against Fleetwood would have seen the south Londoners go down.

As it was, Barnet’s tally of 51 points was the highest ever for a side to lose their league status. ‘It’s certainly a bitter pill to swallow,’ said Davids, whose 40-year-old legs could not quite push his side over the line. ‘I’m aware of the consequences but the players can look at themselves in the mirror and say they did everything. You have to take chances but Northampton were more clinical than us.’

Davids, who was not being paid by the club and was brought in partly to develop Barnet’s academy, hinted strongly he would have to move on after an illustrious playing career that included both Milan clubs, Barcelona, Juventus and Tottenham as well as Ajax.

‘I’ll have to sit down with the chairman
and evaluate a lot of things,’ said the Dutchman. ‘You have to be
realistic. I have done everything that was asked of me in terms of the
objectives set. Fifty-one points playing good football and some
promising young players — that’s what makes it so hard.’

Anxious moments: Barnet fans contemplate relegation

Anxious moments: Barnet fans contemplate relegation

Northampton manager Adie Boothroyd, whose side meet Cheltenham in this week’s play-offs, felt for the visitors.

‘It’s one of those terrible professional situations,’ he said. ‘You have to do your job and you have to win. We got a good hiding there in the corresponding game and I wanted us to finish strongly.

‘Unfortunately someone has to suffer. I’m disappointed for them but it’s a great chance now for us to try and get promoted.’

The Footballers" Football Column – Martin Allen: Balotelli is detrimental, disrespectful and unsettling, Fergie wouldn"t tolerate him……

MARTIN ALLEN: I can't believe people pay 70 for Premier League football, it's like watching chess… Balotelli is detrimental, disrespectful and unsettling, Fergie wouldn't tolerate him… Diving I did it all the time, 'course I did

/12/21/article-0-16953763000005DC-68_196x175.jpg” width=”196″ height=”175″ alt=”Martin Allen” class=”blkBorder” />

Martin Allen is the second in a series of new columns for Sportsmail titled The Footballers' Football Column. They're columns
about the game by people involved in the game. A manager of eight professional clubs, Allen, who follows Edgar Davids' column yesterday, made almost 200 appearances for West Ham and well over 100 for QPR in a marauding career which saw him earn the nickname 'Mad Dog'. He never once shied away from a tackle and here, in his first column, he doesn't shirk an issue…

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Name: Martin 'Mad Dog' Allen

Age: 47

Current job: Gillingham manager

Former clubs:

Player – QPR, West Ham, Portsmouth, Southend

Manager – Barnet, Brentford, MK Dons, Leicester, Cheltenham, Notts County.

International honours: England Under 19, 20, 21

You're probably wondering why I'm called Mad Dog. It goes back to when I was at West Ham. My central midfield partner was a guy called Ian Bishop. He was very calm, relaxed and enjoyed playing nice football. I was uptight, intimidating, I had a skinhead haircut. When I played next to him it was my job to get the ball back.

We were playing at Upton Park in front of the Chicken Run and he once looked at me and said 'you've got all froth round your mouth', this is while the game was going on. He laughed. I just looked at him with those horrible eyes I've got. It was around the time when it was all over the news that these dogs bred in America to fight were being imported over here. He laughed and said: 'you look like a mad dog'.

And that's how it happened. Instead of wiping the froth from mouth I just left it on.

Since I became a manager I'm usually brought in as a firefighter to save clubs from relegation. But at Gillingham it's the first time I've taken over a club in the right position.

I've been employed at most clubs when they've been near the bottom in trouble. They've got me in to turn things around. It's always been having to fight to stave off relegation.

I've had one play-off final at Cardiff, play-off semi-finals with Reading, a play-off semi-final with MK Dons, play-off semi-finals twice with Brentford. So we've always been there or there abouts, but haven't managed to quite get up. That's through having clubs that in the previous season had been in the relegation zone.

People would say 'why haven't you managed to do it' You could turn around and say a year ago you were fighting relegation and now you're fighting for promotion. Well since I took over Gillingham in the summer we're top by five points, been there for five months.

I've never been top of the league and the only thing I want is one promotion. I can't even imagine what it'll be like if we do it. Then from that the dream is to take a team from the Championship to the Premier League. I know I can do it, I know I can.

Still growling: Allen has lost none of his trademark bite

Still growling: Allen has lost none of his trademark bite

Premier class Watching top-flight football is like watching chess!

Premier class Watching top-flight football is like watching chess!

But you know what The Premier League ain't all it's cracked up to be. I've been to some Premier League games and sat there bored. No shots or crosses. Everyone backs off to play the counter attack.

I know friends with season tickets for Premier League clubs and they find it boring. Bloody well right they do.

They come and watch Gillingham and say what a good football match that was. They love coming here. We don't make 20 passes on the half-way line. They see our football a bit more how it used to be.

The game's changed. In the old days we lined up 4-4-2 and smashed each other to bits, go hell for leather. It ain't like that now. Now everyone drops off and it's chess football. You pay 70 quid for a ticket for that – and I ain't doing it.

The game has changed in other ways, too, players are on massive wages now. Some people moan but I think they deserve it.

I don't think players are on insane wages. I've just been to a hospital in Gillingham to see a lot of sick children who have nurses to look after them.

There was one called Anna, from Liverpool, she spoke with such enthusiasm and love for the children. The remarkable job that lady does she would probably not be earning too much money.

But footballers are entertainers. The ones at the top of the game it's not just in England they're watched, like it used to be in the old days. Everyone in Asia wants to watch the Premier League. It is growing in India and Africa.

When I was a boy my dad used to take summer schools in America and I'd go along with him. You wouldn't see a football goal anywhere, now you go there and they're everywhere.

Oh my god can you imagine what it's going to be like in another 20 years It's just going to get bigger. Do footballers earn too much money Compared to that nurse Anna in Gillingham – yes they do. But people want to watch it and pay for it and I think they should get their fair share.

He's not for me: Allen wouldn't toerate Mario Balotelli's antics - and neither would Sir Alex Ferguson, he reckons

He's not for me: Allen wouldn't toerate Mario Balotelli's antics – and neither would Sir Alex Ferguson, he reckons

I say footballers are entertainers but one of them who's taken it too far is Mario Balotelli – he's not for me. He's got amazing talent, but I'm with the Jose Mourninho school of thought who had him but washed his hands with him pretty quick. You wouldn't see him playing for Sir Alex Ferguson.

I think he'd be detrimental, disrespectful, unsettling. I saw him play at West Ham 18 months ago, he got subbed in 55th minute, hardly broke a sweat the whole game.

When he came off he walked from the centre circle down the tunnel. Never acknowledged the Man City supporters, and that's disrespectful, I don't like that.

The way he walked off the pitch was disrespectful to his team-mates, the sub coming on, the manager. I wouldn't tolerate it.

He needs to come and watch my development squad train and play. Sundays and Mondays they do team work, pattern of play, technical work.

Then Thursdays and Fridays they do three sessions a day, first session 9.30am in the gym with their core work, stability and weights. Second session 10.30am a working football session.

Then after lunch they go back to the training ground to do fitness work without footballs. Same again on Fridays but they go to the local parks where there are lots of hills. It's hard work.

Away win: Allen's Gillingham continue to set the pace at the top of League Two thanks to Chris Whelpdale's winning goal at Southend on New Year's Day

Away win: Allen's Gillingham continue to set the pace at the top of League Two thanks to Chris Whelpdale's winning goal at Southend on New Year's Day

We had a reserve match against Millwall recently and one of my players ended up with seven stitches and a fractured cheekbone. That was not nice. The lad's only 19. Pure accident the Millwall player headed his face instead of the ball.

It brought back horrible memories for me when I was 19 playing for QPR and had exactly the same thing, spookily the same.

I glanced a header and the Millwall centre-back headed my cheekbone and I had a depressed fracture. George Graham was my youth-team manager.

When I saw it I half-knew what to expect. The blood was just gushing from his head – that's fine but I could see the cheekbone depressed.

I rang his dad to let him know he was going to hospital but was OK.

Hammer time: Allen is a West Ham legend

Hammer time: Allen is a West Ham legend

That's all part of the game – but I'll tell you what's never going to be part of the game with my teams.

I watched Spurs play Swansea last weekend and Chico Flores went down like he'd broken his ankle or ruptured a ligament. He squealed like a pig, I could hear him from where I was.

Then he gets up two minutes later. I thought that was diabolical. I wouldn't at all be happy if one of my players had done that. I would definitely not be happy with that.

I don't like any players to feign injury. If they get tackled take it like a man and get on with it. Give it and take it the same.

I hate blatant cheating but I think that's different to diving. People complain about it but it's a skill – and I did it all the time.

From my experience of the last few years there's no diving in the lower levels.

That cements my view that the introduction of continental and South American players has changed it. It's just normal there.

Jose Mourinho's Porto played at Celtic a few years ago and Martin O'Neill refused to shake his hand.

he would never want a team to play that way. It was like Swan Lake they
were diving everywhere. But it's part of the game. You play for fouls
and penalties. It's in their culture and it's now come to our country.

and youth players on the continent get taught how to win fouls. It's
part of training. They teach them how to win fouls at Barcelona's

If you're
good technically, players want to tackle you, to destroy you and destroy
your skill. You run into a player's pathway so they foul you. That's
skilful play.

Gareth Bale
is being accused a lot – the one against Fulham was
theatrical. Then again I wouldn't know what it's like to be that fast
and to be tackled at that speed,

was certainly not like that. It's part of the change. You bring in
talented players like Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tevez, David Silva, Juan
Mata, Oscar.

In the red: Gillingham manager Martin Allen is a new hard-hitting columnist for Sportsmail

In the red: Gillingham manager Martin Allen is a new hard-hitting columnist for Sportsmail

More from The Footballers Column…

The Footballers Football Column – Edgar Davids: Players are predators that's why Benitez may struggle at Chelsea… And sometimes the best players are not the most talented – just look at Roy Keane


You bring them in, technically top drawer, they play for fouls. Get used to it 'cos it ain't going away.

I dived all
the time anyway. 'Course I did. Any opportunity to win a foul I made
sure I put my body between the ball and the player. To give us

If I could
give us a foul for a penalty I would do, definitely. I was more unique
back then, I was a bit different to everyone else. I'd do anything I
could to win.

What do I tell my players at Gillingham I don't encourage it. I don't say to them 'go into the penalty area and dive to win us a penalty'.

what happens if see player running really fast into box and if you run
in their path they're going to push you over and you'll win a penalty

don't encourage my players to dive but drawing fouls and penalties is a
skill and I don't think there's a manager in the country wouldn't want
them to do it.

League Two round-up: Port Vale top after 3-2 win at Dagenham and Redbridge

League Two round-up: Port Vale hit summit after 3-2 win over the Daggers


20:16 GMT, 29 December 2012



20:16 GMT, 29 December 2012

Port Vale won 3-2 at Dagenham & Redbridge to move to the top of npower League Two.

With Gillingham's fixture against Northampton falling foul of the weather, Vale took full advantage thanks to goals from Tom Pope, Jennison Myrie-Williams and Louis Dodds. A Sam Williams penalty and Scott Doe found the net for the hosts.

Southend missed out on the chance to move into the top three as they suffered a 2-0 defeat at Burton.

Top dogs: Tom Pope celebrates scoring the opening goal for Port Vale

Top dogs: Tom Pope celebrates scoring the opening goal for Port Vale

Goals from Calvin Zola and Lee Bell gave Albion, who had Nathan Stanton sent off, a win which moves them into the play-off spots.

Oxford United claimed a comfortable 3-0 win over bottom side Wimbledon thanks to goals from Sean Rigg, Alfie Potter and Tom Craddock, although they also had James Constable sent off late on.

Rochdale claimed a 4-2 win at Bradford with all the goals coming in the first half.

Terry Gornell put Dale ahead but Alan Connell struck from the spot to equalise.

Missed out: Southend could've moved into the top three but they lost at Burton

Missed out: Southend could've moved into the top three but they lost at Burton

Andrew Tutte put the visitors back ahead and Ashley Grimes extended their advantage, before Connell's second penalty made it 3-2. But Gornell netted his second to complete the scoring.

Conor Townsend scored his first goal for Chesterfield but was later sent off in their 1-1 draw with Morecambe.

Christopher McCready put Morecambe ahead but Townsend levelled before being dismissed for using his elbow.

Andy Iro struck in the eighth minute of stoppage time to rescue a point for Barnet as they drew 2-2 at Exeter in Edgar Davids' first game in sole charge.

Gaffer: Barnet drew 2-2 in Edgar Davids's first game in sole charge

Gaffer: Barnet drew 2-2 in Edgar Davids's first game in sole charge

Danny Coles and Scot Bennett looked to have set Exeter on their way to the three points, but Jonathan Nurse pulled one back before Iro's dramatic leveller.

Matt McClure got the only goal as Wycombe won 1-0 at Plymouth, while Fleetwood and York played out a goalless draw.

Rotherham beat Accrington 4-1 thanks to a brace from substitute Daniel Nardiello.

Tom Eckersley's own goal put the Millers a goal to the good, only for Craig Lindfield to level.

But Nardiello's double and a Michael O'Connor strike sealed Rotherham's victory,

The fixtures between Cheltenham and Bristol Rovers and Aldershot and Torquay were also postponed due to waterlogged pitches.

Edgar Davids in sole charge of Barnet after Mark Robson is sacked

Over to you, Edgar: Holland legend Davids in sole charge of Barnet after Robson is axed



15:41 GMT, 28 December 2012

Edgar Davids has been handed control of League Two Barnet after Mark Robson was sacked by the club today.

The former Holland international remains the club's Head Coach, and is now in sole charge of first team affairs.

The 39-year-old former Champions League winner was given the number 38 shirt after joining Underhill in October and replaces Robson who only arrived at the club in June this year.

I'm in charge: Davids will be responsible for all first-team matters after Robson was sacked

I'm in charge: Davids will be responsible for all first-team matters after Robson was sacked

A club statement read: 'Barnet FC can today confirm that Mark Robson has left his duties as Joint Head Coach at the club.

'It was felt that clarification was
required regarding the coaching responsibilities at the club and to this
end it was agreed that Mark should leave with immediate effect.

'Edgar Davids will continue in his role as Head Coach and will take full responsibility for all first team footballing matters.

'The club would like to thank Mark for all his efforts and hard work and wish him the very best for the future.'

Everton v Cheltenham: FA Cup scouting report

Cheltenham scouting report: What Everton must be wary of in the FA Cup



18:37 GMT, 12 December 2012

David Moyes made the long trip to Hereford on Tuesday night to watch Everton's prospective opponents in the FA Cup Third Round.

As the night turned out, it was a neat near-post header by Cheltenham substitute Kaid Mohamed that settled it in the Robins' favour.

But here are five mental notes that Moyes certainly will have made following his cold night out at Edgar Street.

1. Jermaine McGlashan

The winger was given a torrid time after referee Dean Whitestone adjudged that he had been dragged over by Andy Gallinagh in first-half injury-time.

Speed demon: Jermaine McGlashan could cause Everton problems

Speed demon: Jermaine McGlashan could cause Everton problems

But he has a serious turn of pace and, although the end product does not always match the approach, he only needs to get lucky once – as he did at Edgar Street.

2. Cheltenham weren't bullied

Martin Foyle has some big lads in his Hereford team – midfielders Harry Pell and Will Evans stand well over six feet tall and the Robins stood up well to their challenge. It is particularly apt if Marouane Fellaini is chosen for the trip to Gloucestershire.

3. No kick and rush

I liked the look of midfielder Russ Penn. In the best traditions of central midfielders he keeps things ticking over. He was the victim of a horrible challenge which ruined his evening but before then he had been the fulcrum of a team that was trying to play on a difficult circumstance.

Winner: Kaid Mohamed (right) send Cheltenham through

Winner: Kaid Mohamed (right) send Cheltenham through

4. Confidence

Although Mark Yates is battling with a smallish squad, there is nothing that acts as a greater aid to confidence than winning matches regularly. League Two clubs have a busy schedule over the holiday period but if the Robins can defeat fellow high-fliers Port Vale on Saturday, they could be on the cusp of just the type of run that sends them into their plum tie on the crest of a wave.

5. Past experience

It won't have gone un-noticed on Merseyside that this season marks the tenth anniversary of an FA Cup exit at the same stage of the season at Moyes' expense.

Upset: Shrewsbury's Nigel Jemson scored the winner against Everton

Upset: Shrewsbury's Nigel Jemson scored the winner against Everton

It may not have been the primary reason for the Scot getting into his car and making the long journey south, but memories of a painful 2-1 defeat by Shrewsbury, managed by former favourite Kevin Ratcliffe, may be what has led Everton's boss into leaving no stone unturned.

Edgar Davids set for Barnet debut against Northampton

Dutch legend Davids set to make debut for League Two strugglers Barnet against Northampton



12:05 GMT, 19 October 2012

Former Holland international Edgar Davids could make his debut for Barnet tonight after the League Two club's new joint heaad coach was registered to play in the home fixture against Northampton.

The 39-year-old former Champions League winner has been given the number 38 shirt as he dusts down his boots to return to first-team action in the less than glamorous surroundings of Underhill.

Dutch of class: Edgar Davids is set to make his debut for League Two strugglers Barnet

Dutch of class: Edgar Davids is set to make his debut for League Two strugglers Barnet

Football League blog

Davids had been out of football since a brief stint at Championship side Crystal Palace in 2010, until joining Mark Robson in the Barnet dug-out last week.

His arrival at the club failed to spark a revival of fortunes for the Bees, as they lost 4-1 to Plymouth last weekend to remain as the bottom team in the Football League.

On standby: Davids watched from the stands as Barnet went down to Plymouth last weekend

On standby: Davids watched from the stands as Barnet went down to Plymouth last weekend

London 2012 Olympics: Dwain Chambers finishes sixth in Puerto Rico

Drugs cheat Chambers flops on return to track after struggling to sixth in Puerto Rico



07:20 GMT, 13 May 2012

Dwain Chambers finished a disappointing sixth at the Ponce Grand Prix in Puerto Rico on Saturday in his first 100 metres race since being cleared to compete at this summer's London Olympics.

Trinidad & Tobago's Keston Bledman claimed victory in 10.12 seconds, with Jamaica's Nickel Ashmeade second in 10.15secs and American Trell Kimmons third (10.18).

Missing out: Dwain Chambers (centre) struggled on his return to the track

Missing out: Dwain Chambers (centre) struggled on his return to the track

Chambers, 34, was well back in 10.52 – also beaten by fellow Briton Tyrone Edgar, who was fourth in 10.42.

Chambers, who was banned for two years in 2004 after testing positive for a banned steroid, was prevented from participating at the Beijing Games but is eligible for selection for London after the British Olympic Association's lifetime ban for drugs cheats was last month ruled non-compliant by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Doncaster 1 Burnley 2: Charlie Austin"s penalty seals win

Doncaster 1 Burnley 2: Rock bottom Rovers on the brink of drop after Austin's penalty



16:19 GMT, 9 April 2012

Charlie Austin's second-half penalty all but confirmed Doncaster's relegation from the npower Championship as Burnley collected their third win in four matches.

Eddie Howe's youthful side are finishing the season with a flourish after a late winter slump saw them slip out of play-off contention.

Josh McQuoid opened his Burnley account in fine style and the on-loan Millwall winger's 30-yard volley was the difference between the teams at half-time.

Delight: Josh McQuoid (right) celebrates his opening goal

Delight: Josh McQuoid (right) celebrates his opening goal

Match facts

Doncaster: Gary Woods, O'Connor, Lockwood, Hird, Friend, Bennett (Coppinger 46), Stock (Barnes 22), Gillett, Robert (Oster 87), Hayter, Brown.
Subs Not Used: Sullivan, Bagayoko.
Booked: Lockwood.
Goals: Brown 56.

Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Duff, Edgar, Wallace, Stanislas (McCartan 89), Marney, McCann, Ings, Austin, McQuoid.
Subs Not Used: Jensen, Lafferty, Howieson, Hewitt.
Booked: Austin, McCann.
Goals: McQuoid 36,Austin 76 pen.
Att: 8,350
Ref: Nigel Miller (Durham).

The introduction of James Coppinger for injured winger Kyle Bennett at the interval brought about a Rovers revival and the substitute's cross was headed home by Chris Brown to bring the hosts level.

Despite pushing for the victory they desperately needed, Doncaster were caught out by Junior Stanislas' clever through ball in the 76th minute and Adam Lockwood bundled Danny Ings to the ground in the area.

Austin sent Gary Woods the wrong way to condemn Rovers to their ninth game without a win and leave Dean Saunders' men 11 points from safety at the foot of the table with four matches remaining.

Doncaster goalkeeper Carl Ikeme paid for a dreadful error in Saturday's 4-0 defeat at Leicester with his place, as Woods started between the posts in one of nine changes made by Saunders.

Dean Marney replaced hamstring victim Marvin Bartley in the Burnley midfield – Howe's only change.

Ross Wallace was inches away from a spectacular early opener for the Clarets when his sweetly-struck 30 yard effort swerved narrowly wide.

As both sides looked to show attacking intent, Burnley settled into a smooth passing rhythm and at the end of one well-constructed move centre-back David Edgar found himself in the Rovers area to head wide a good chance from Marney's right-wing cross.

In the 21st minute Doncaster midfielder Simon Gillet exchanged passes with Brown and drew a fine save from Clarets goalkeeper Lee Grant with a stinging low effort.

Fabien Robert burst into the Burnley area from the right to send a dipping volley over 10 minute before the interval, but seconds later Rovers were behind.

McQuoid was first to the bouncing ball when Grant's subsequent goal-kick was flicked on and he rifled an unstoppable effort into the top corner.

Stanislas should have doubled Burnley's lead moments after the restart when James O'Connor's slip allowed him to retrieve Austin's cut-back, but the former West Ham winger hesitated and Coppinger got back to tackle.

And Coppinger made his efforts count in the 56th minute when his well-flighted cross was nodded home at the far post by Brown.

Doncaster were revitalised and Giles Barnes – a first-half replacement for injured midfielder Brian Stock – headed straight at Grant from Coppinger's free-kick after Burnley full-back Kieran Trippier earned a booking for bundling Robert to the floor.

A Burnley response was slow in arriving, but Austin tested Woods twice in a matter of minutes midway through the half – the second save a fine parry to the goalkeeper's right after Trippier's cross was headed goalwards.

The home side's comparatively fresher legs made them look the more likely victors, but when Ings got goalside of Lockwood and was brought down referee Nigel Miller had no option to point to the spot, from where Austin calmly converted his fifth goal in four games.

Full-back George Friend almost found a second equaliser, with Grant at full stretch to touch his rising stoppage-time drive over the bar.

Ipswich 1 Burnley 0: Chopra strikes to maintain Town"s march up table

Ipswich 1 Burnley 0: Chopra strikes to maintain Town's march up table



22:12 GMT, 21 March 2012

Michael Chopra fired his 14th goal of the season as Ipswich maintained their march up the npower Championship table with a fifth straight home win against Burnley.

Ipswich, one of the form teams in the second tier, dominated from start to finish, with striker Chopra lashing home the only goal from a rebound early in the second half to secure his side a seventh win in their last 10 league matches.

Burnley's play-off hopes have receded in recent weeks and they have surely waved goodbye to any faint hopes they retained of mounting a late challenge as they have now won only won of their last eight games.

Chop'd down: It was a sole strike which sealed the points for the hosts

Chop'd down: It was a sole strike which sealed the points for the hosts

Match facts

Ipswich: McCarthy, Edwards, Smith, Delaney, Cresswell, Emmanuel-Thomas, Leadbitter, Bowyer, Murphy, Martin, Chopra (Sonko 90).

Subs not used: Lee-Barrett, Stevenson, Drury, Carson.

Sent Off: Leadbitter (90).

Booked: Bowyer,Leadbitter.

Goals: Chopra 54.

Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Duff, Edgar, Lafferty (Mee 53), McCann,
Marney (Wallace 58), Bartley, Austin (Paterson 59), Stanislas,

Subs not used: Jensen,McQuoid.

Attendance: 16,564

Referee: James Linington (Isle of Wight).

The narrow scoreline hardly did
justice to Paul Jewell's side, who had Grant Leadbitter sent off late on
for a second bookable offence.

Burnley goalkeeper Lee Grant made
several outstanding saves to keep out Ipswich, while Leadbitter and Jay
Emmanuel-Thomas in particular went close to adding their names to the

Lee Bowyer returned to Ipswich's
midfield, while Burnley boss Eddie Howe made three changes, recalling
strikers Jay Rodriguez and Charlie Austin, plus midfielder Marvin

Ipswich were first to threaten when
Leadbitter's shot was charged down by Burnley defender David Edgar and
midway through the first half Bowyer skewed his shot wide from inside
the penalty area.

Burnley then spurned a golden chance
to snatch the lead. Full-back Kieran Trippier swung over a fine
free-kick and defender Danny Lafferty headed just wide of Ipswich
goalkeeper Alex McCarthy's right-hand post.

Bowyer was in the thick of the action
again towards the end of the first half when he forced Burnley
goalkeeper Grant into a smart save with a header following good work out
wide from Martin.

The second period began in much the same vein as Ipswich pressed for the breakthrough.

Grant made a superb sprawling save to
catch Leadbitter's thumping 30-yard drive and midfielder
Emmanuel-Thomas pulled his low shot wide when well placed inside the

But Ipswich got the goal they
deserved in the 54th minute. Burnley skipper Chris McCann was robbed in
midfield after dallying on the ball and Martin raced through on goal.

McCarthy did well to keep out
Martin's fierce low drive, but Chopra followed up to lash home the
rebound high into the net from six yards.

Burnley boss Howe made a double
substitution in the 58th minute, sending on Ross Wallace and Martin
Paterson for Dean Marney and Austin respectively.

But Ipswich almost doubled their lead
soon after as Emmanuel-Thomas headed agonisingly wide from a corner and
the same player arrowed an unstoppable shot just wide after cutting

Burnley could do little to stop the
home side's charge. Leadbitter and Martin both had goalbound shots
blocked, while in a rare foray forward the visitors went close to
grabbing an equaliser through Edgar, whose 20-yard effort flashed past
the post.

Grant pulled off two more super saves
to keep out Leadbitter's blockbuster and a curling effort from
Emmanuel-Thomas before Leadbitter was sent off in stoppage time for a
foul on Bartley.

Southampton 2 Burnley 0: Saints rediscover home form to pile pressure on Hammers

Southampton 2 Burnley 0: Saints rediscover home form to pile pressure on Hammers

Adam Lallana set Southampton on their way as they roared back to within a point of the top of the npower Championship.

Nigel Adkins' side secured only their second victory since Boxing Day to close the gap on leaders West Ham, whose game at Peterborough fell foul of the wintry weather.

Lallana opened the scoring with his ninth goal of the season and Billy Sharp was credited with the second, although Burnley defender Ben Mee got the final touch.

Well on the way: Southampton celebrate Billy Sharp's goal

Well on the way: Southampton celebrate Billy Sharp's goal


Southampton: Davis, Richardson, Fonte, Hooiveld, Fox, Do Prado (Hammond 78), Schneiderlin, Cork, Lallana, Lambert (Lee 90), Sharp (Connolly 64).

Subs Not Used: Martin, Puncheon.

Goals: Lallana 8,Sharp 33.

Burnley: Grant,Trippier,Mee (Hines 74), Duff, Edgar, Marney (Bartley 46), McCann, Wallace, Treacy (McQuoid 46), Austin,

Subs Not Used: Jensen, Easton.

Att: 24,099

Ref: Trevor Kettle (Rutland).

And a deserved win sets up a mouthwatering clash top-of-the-table clash against West Ham at Upton Park on Tuesday night.

Burnley arrived at St Mary's having won five of their last six away games while Saints' recent wobble has seen them without a win in four at home, including Tuesday's FA Cup defeat by Millwall.

But it took the hosts just eight minutes to take the lead when full-back Frazer Richardson overlapped down the right and stood up an inviting cross. Lallana looped in a glancing header at the near post for his second goal in a week.

Three minutes later, with Burnley reeling, former Claret Danny Fox crossed for Rickie Lambert whose shot was fingertipped wide by Lee Grant and from the corner, Lambert's header was cleared off the line by David Edgar.

Sharp, making his full debut since moving to Southampton from Doncaster, got his first sight of goal when he was played in by Jack Cork but his angled effort was deflected wide by Michael Duff.

Keeping track: Jay Rodriguez of Burnley runs at Jos Hooiveld

Keeping track: Jay Rodriguez of Burnley runs at Jos Hooiveld

And in the 33rd minute Saints got the second goal their dominance deserved.

Lambert swung in a cross towards Sharp but as Mee challenged the striker the ball cannoned off his knee, bounced past Grant and into his own net.

Burnley manager Eddie Howe made a double substitution at the break, throwing Josh McQuoid and Marvin Bartley into the action.

But Saints were still in control and could, and probably should, have added to their tally in the second half.

Cork's superb pass sent Lambert charging towards the Burnley area and his cross just eluded substitute David Connolly.

Grant also kept out Lallana's close-range shot before Connolly thought he had snaffled a third after the Burnley goalkeeper spilled a long-range effort from Lambert, but an offside flag curtailed his celebrations.

Nevertheless, Southampton were rarely troubled as they registered a first home win of 2012 as well as the perfect preparation for Tuesday's trip to east London.