Tag Archives: gordon

Serbia v Scotland World Cup qualifier to go ahead despite snow

Scotland's World Cup qualifier in snowy Serbia set to go ahead as Tartan Army dig in to help clear pitch

By
Stuart Fraser

PUBLISHED:

11:40 GMT, 26 March 2013

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UPDATED:

14:04 GMT, 26 March 2013

Scotland's World Cup qualifier against Serbia is set to go ahead, despite continuing heavy snowfall.

Gordon Strachan's side are due to play tonight in the city of Novi Sad, around an hour north west of the Scots' base in Belgrade, and work to clear the Karadjordje Stadium pitch is underway.

Digging in: Members of the Tartan Army help clear the pitch in Novi Sad

Digging in: Members of the Tartan Army help clear the pitch in Novi Sad

Helping hand: Scotland fan David Wildridge clears snow from the seats in the Karadjordje Stadium

Helping hand: Scotland fan David Wildridge clears snow from the seats in the Karadjordje Stadium

The Serbia FA and the Scottish FA are continuing to monitor the situation, the latter tweeting: 'Serbia v Scotland on as it stands. Serbia FA clearing pitch of snow.'

Around 1,200 members of the Tartan Army are expected to attend the match, which would be rescheduled for Wednesday if it was postponed tonight.

Snow: The scene outside the Scotland team hotel in Belgrade this morning

Snow: The scene outside the Scotland team hotel in Belgrade this morning

Wrapped up: Strachan tries to keep warm during Scotland's training session in Belgrade last night

Wrapped up: Strachan tries to keep warm during Scotland's training session in Belgrade last night

Scotland are currently bottom of Group A with two points from five games after losing 2-1 to Wales in the snow at Hampden on Friday.

With qualification hopes for the World Cup almost certainly over, Strachan is set make a number of changes to his team tonight against Serbia, who sit fourth with four points.

Warming up: Scotland trained at the Partizan Belgrade Academy ahead of tonight's match against Serbia

Warming up: Scotland trained at the Partizan Belgrade Academy ahead of tonight's match against Serbia

Defeat: Scotland lost out in the Glasgow snow on Friday night as they were beaten 2-1 by Wales

Defeat: Scotland lost out in the Glasgow snow on Friday night as they were beaten 2-1 by Wales

England 2 Brazil 1: Martin Keown verdict

Martin Keown: I'm convinced Hart and Cesar are the best keepers in England and Wilshere played like a Brazilian!

By
Martin Keown

PUBLISHED:

00:14 GMT, 7 February 2013

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UPDATED:

12:15 GMT, 7 February 2013

There was plenty of talk ahead of the game about the outfield players but it was hard to ignore the goalkeepers once the action started. I saw Joe Hart and Julio Cesar go head to head when Manchester City visited QPR recently and was hugely impressed.

Now I am convinced that they are the two best goalkeepers in the Premier League. Hart did really well to save Ronaldinho’s penalty and then reach the rebound before the Brazilian. Cesar’s stops to defy Wayne Rooney and Gary Cahill were stunning.

The first reminded me of Gordon Banks keeping out Pele. Cesar showed his flexibility and Hart showed fantastic determination. They will be vital for their teams for the remainder of the season.

England goalkeeper Joe Hart and Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar

Joe Hart

Safe hands: Joe Hart and Julio Cesar proved themselves to be the best keepers in the Premier League

Glen kept Neymar in his pocket

Glen Johnson has looked nervy at times for England at Wembley in the past. Last night he looked more confident. He was good with and without the ball and kept Neymar quiet when confronted with him. On the opposite side, Ashley Cole looked a bit nervous as he won his 100th cap.

Kept him quiet: Glen Johnson had no trouble dealing with the threat of Brazil's Neymar

Kept him quiet: Glen Johnson had no trouble dealing with the threat of Brazil's Neymar

Blue is the colour

Six Chelsea players were involved last night — David Luiz, Ramires and Oscar for Brazil, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and Gary Cahill for England. They have enough quality to suggest Rafael Benitez’s side should be performing a lot better.

Chelsea connection: Ashley Cole (left) and Oscar were on opposite sides at Wembley

Chelsea connection: Ashley Cole (left) and Oscar were on opposite sides at Wembley

Well done, Frank

To go with some exciting young players,
England have some world-class experienced stalwarts. Frank Lampard’s
goal put him level with David Platt on 27. He’s only three shy of Tom
Finney, Nat Lofthouse and Alan Shearer on 30.

Jumping for joy: Frank Lampard scored England's winner against Brazil at Wembley

Jumping for joy: Frank Lampard scored England's winner against Brazil at Wembley

Game of two halves for Gary

Gary Cahill was exceptional in the first half, sniffing out danger and accomplished on the ball. He looked far better than he has in a Chelsea shirt this season. But the centre back undid that good work by overplaying for the Brazilian equaliser. He wanted to show that English defenders can play. That should be encouraged but there are moments when you can be too adventurous.

Turn for the worse: Gary Cahill was at fault for Brazil's equaliser at the start of the second half

Turn for the worse: Gary Cahill was at fault for Brazil's equaliser at the start of the second half

Jack's like a Brazilian

Jack Wilshere was the best player on the pitch. He looked so full of confidence and carried the game at times. Wilshere always wants to receive the ball, even if he’s under pressure and he is then technically gifted enough to use it in an intelligent way.

Since returning from injury, there was no doubting his ability but he is now fit enough to have the energy to match his technical prowess. The way he has come back from that lay-off to perform at such a level is impressive. We should cherish him.

Running the show: Jack Wilshere controlled the midfield on his first England start since 2011

Wilshere

Running the show: Jack Wilshere was the star of England's midfield as Brazil were overran

SIX NATIONS 2013: Brian O"Driscoll returns for Wales v Ireland

O'Driscoll, Kearney, Best and O'Brien all return to take on Wales in Ireland opener

By
Duncan Bech, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

14:20 GMT, 29 January 2013

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UPDATED:

15:12 GMT, 29 January 2013

Ireland have restored Brian O'Driscoll, Rob Kearney, Rory Best and Sean O'Brien to their XV for Saturday's RBS 6 Nations opener against Grand Slam champions Wales in Cardiff.

The experienced and influential quartet missed the entire autumn schedule through injury but return at outside centre, full back, openside and hooker respectively.

For the first time since succeeding Keith Wood as captain in 2004, O'Driscoll is relieved of the leadership duties following coach Declan Kidney's decision to appoint No 8 Jamie Heaslip skipper.

It's good to be back: Brian O'Driscoll in Ireland training at Carton House in Co. Kildare on Tuesday

It's good to be back: Brian O'Driscoll in Ireland training at Carton House in Co. Kildare on Tuesday

The 34-year-old resumes his centre partnership alongside Leinster team-mate Gordon D'Arcy for a record 48th time with Jonathan Sexton and Conor Murray selected at half-back.

Kearney forms an exciting back three that features Craig Gilroy and Simon Zebo on the wings after the inexperienced duo impressed throughout the autumn.

'It was a tight call because there's so much competition. Fergus McFadden and Keith Earls have been playing well, so it's testament to the way Craig and Simon have been playing that they're selected,' Kidney said.

Show of strength: Rob Kearney will also be back in Ireland colours at the Millennium Stadium

Show of strength: Rob Kearney will also be back in Ireland colours at the Millennium Stadium

Ireland team to face Wales at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, on Saturday, (KO 1:30pm)

R Kearney (Leinster); C Gilroy (Ulster), B O'Driscoll (Leinster), G D'Arcy (Leinster), S Zebo (Munster); J Sexton (Leinster), C Murray (Munster); C Healy (Leinster), R Best (Ulster), M Ross (Leinster), M McCarthy (Connacht), D Ryan (Munster), P O'Mahony (Munster), S O'Brien (Leinster), J Heaslip (Leinster, capt).

Replacements: S Cronin (Leinster),
D Kilcoyne (Munster), D Fitzpatrick (Ulster), D O'Callaghan (Munster), C Henry (Ulster),
E Reddan (Leinster), R O'Gara (Munster),
K Earls (Munster).

In total there are four changes in
personnel to the side that thumped Argentina 46-24 in the climax to a
mixed November, among them Chris Henry's demotion to the bench.

O'Brien was assured of a spot in the back row once he had returned to fitness, but Henry is unfortunate to have made way with Peter O'Mahony preferred at blindside.

'We felt that in terms of a mix in the back row this was the best combination, but there was certainly plenty to talk about following Chris' performances in the autumn,' Kidney said.

Ireland, the bookmakers' third favourites to win the Six Nations, have lost their last three matches to Wales, including a 23-21 loss on the opening day of the championship last year.

But while the injury-hit Welsh enter the tournament as champions, they have endured seven successive defeats including a whitewash during a troubled autumn.

Gary Neville backed by Sky and FA after Richard Keys attack

FA and Sky back Neville after former host Keys accuses pundit of having an agenda

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England expects: Neville is part of Roy Hodgson's staff, and was at Euro 2012

He faced criticism yesterday from England goalkeeping legend Gordon Banks, who said: 'I was very upset to hear Gary Neville talking about how the players were disgusted with him (De Gea), how they were looking at him after he hadn't punched the ball quite clear. I thought, “Hang on a minute, everybody makes mistakes in matches”.

'I found it a bit strange that he (Neville) was saying they'd go back in the dressing room and give De Gea a telling-off.'

Lord Herman Ouseley steps down from Football Association

Kick It Out chairman Ouseley quits post at FA claiming football is going backwards over racism

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UPDATED:

16:12 GMT, 14 December 2012

Lord Herman Ouseley stepped down from his position on the FA’s council this morning because he believes football is going backwards in tackling racism.

But he will continue as chairman of the game’s equality and inclusion campaign Kick It Out.

The 67-year-old said that black players have lost faith in the FA’s ability to deal with racism and that his position on the council had become ‘untenable’.

Backwards: Lord Herman Ouseley believes football is moving in the wrong direction when it comes to race cases

Backwards: Lord Herman Ouseley believes football is moving in the wrong direction when it comes to race cases

Stepping down: Lord Herman Ouseley

Stepping down: Lord Herman Ouseley

Lord Ouseley criticised the national game’s governing body for ‘allowing its own processes to be undermined in the way it handled the Terry and Suarez cases’ and that there has been ‘almost a complacency that’s been creeping in that we’ve achieved quite a bit and can move on. The sporting ethic seems to be lost in parts of game.’

And when asked on Radio 4 if football is going backwards in terms of racism he replied: ‘Yes, it clearly is.’ Ouseley wants football matches to be stopped if racist chanting is heard in the crowd and for people who run football clubs to show moral leadership adding ‘everyone just protects their own interests’.

The move is confirmation of comments he made earlier in the week. On Tuesday he hinted that he would be quitting in ‘a matter of days’.

And he added: ‘I believe there has been a collective failure on the part of people running the game. They have to come forward very soon with a plan to show that what happened in the last year will not happen again.

‘We need to see some dynamic leadership from David Bernstein [Football Association], Richard Scudamore [Premier League] and Gordon Taylor [Professional Footballers’ Association].

'These are good, committed people but they need to recognise that we’re now in a new climate. Vile chanting and abusive behaviour is out there and we are in very dangerous times with the increase of right-wing activity and intolerance.'

Untenable: John Terry was banned for four matches after racially abusing Anton Ferdinand

Untenable: John Terry was banned for four matches after racially abusing Anton Ferdinand

PFA back FA proposal for five-match bans for racism

PFA to back FA proposal for five-match bans to be imposed for racist abuse

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UPDATED:

16:00 GMT, 12 December 2012

The Professional Footballers’ Association will back the FA’s new proposal of a minimum five-match ban for racist abuse.

Chelsea skipper John Terry was given only a four-match ban for racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand while Liverpool’s Luis Suarez received an eight-match suspension for his abuse of Patrice Evra.

The range of punishment in such cases have seen the FA heavily criticised, and a set punishment is one way to ensure everyone is subject to the same minimum disciplinary action.

Four-game ban: Terry (right) was charged by the FA in October

Four-game ban: Terry (right) was charged by the FA in October

The sanction is one of a number of proposals being discussed by the game’s ruling bodies, but has yet to be agreed.

PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor said: 'It has not gone through yet but we are not opposed to it. We want there to be some consistency and to illustrate the seriousness of our approach to this issue.'

The PFA also want all players and managers coming to England from overseas to have 'cultural lessons' to make them aware of rules on discrimination under proposals to tackle racism. Until now only apprentices have been given such courses.

Meanwhile, FA independent director Heather Rabbatts insists the game must to respond to damning criticism of the handling of the Terry and Suarez cases.

Eight-game ban: Suarez (centre) was dealt with more harshly than Terry

Eight-game ban: Suarez (centre) was dealt with more harshly than Terry

Kick It Out chairman Lord Herman Ouseley has claimed there is 'very little morality' at the top clubs and a lack of leadership and 'a moral vacuum' in the game.

Rabbatts, appointed as an independent board member earlier this year and a potential candidate to be the next FA chairman, said Ouseley had raised important issues.

She said: 'The issues that Herman Ouseley is raising are hugely important issues for the whole game and it has to respond to these challenges.

'There are a number of members from different parts of the game being consulted and we all have to rise to the current challenge.

'Despite the huge progress that has been made in tackling discrimination there is a need for renewed energy.'

Santi Cazorla dive: We should use technology, says Gordon Taylor

Time for technology, says Players' Union chief Taylor after Cazorla dive

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UPDATED:

15:06 GMT, 10 December 2012

Players' union boss Gordon Taylor has called for technology to be used in the fight against diving in the wake of the Santi Cazorla controversy.

Simulation has once again become a talking point after Arsenal playmaker Cazorla won a first-half penalty in Saturday's 2-0 victory over West Brom after going to ground following a challenge by Steven Reid.

Replays showed there had been no contact between the players and Baggies boss Steve Clarke condemned referee Mike Jones for missing what he viewed as a blatant dive.

Going down: Cazorla dived to gain Arsenal a penalty

Going down: Cazorla dived to gain Arsenal a penalty against West Brom

Gunners team-mate Mikel Arteta defended Cazorla, and while Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Taylor did not wish to comment on this specific case he believed the use of technology would help referees make the right calls.

'This has been a non-stop subject for a long time now – how we best deal with it given the pace of the game and the difficulties for referees and the assistant referees to judge,' Taylor told Sky Sports News.

'I think it's going to be inevitable that if technology comes in for goalline decisions and penalty decisions, then it will help in these situations.

Accusation: West Brom players make their feelings clear

Accusation: West Brom players make their feelings clear to ref Mike Jones

'Other sports move on and use technology and do all they can to be as successful as football, so we've got to keep at that cutting edge.

'I'm not saying change for change's sake but change if it makes the game better and there's more justice done.

'Also for a long time we've been talking about a panel of former players, referees, former managers, to look at such incidents with a view to recommending to the FA whether action should be taken if there is a player who blatantly looked to claim a free-kick or a penalty when there's no possibility of an offence being committed.'

In an interview given to the Daily Telegraph two months ago, Cazorla revealed that he views diving as 'not something that should be a big controversy'.

The Spaniard is set to be omitted from Arsenal's squad for Tuesday's Capital One Cup quarter-final at Bradford with manager Arsene Wenger expected to rely on his fringe players, but his actions have highlighted a problem that Taylor agrees must be addressed.

'I don't want to personalise it because he wouldn't be the first player accused of diving and he won't be the last, but it's an issue that we all need to address,' Taylor said.

'Management, coaching staff, players and supporters have all got to buy into this and condemn it.

'We must make sure the game is played according to the spirit of the game and the letter of the law.

'We've got to give the referee and his assistants every possible opportunity to get their decisions right because virtually every Sunday and Monday morning now we have decisions complained about.

'We must also look at matches reflectively and take later action, rather than just say “leave it how it was from the referee and we all move on”.'

Meanwhile, Baggies boss Clarke is taking steps to prevent his players demonstrating the same unsportsmanlike conduct as Cazorla.

Albion defender Liam Ridgewell was accusing of going to ground easily to earn a penalty in the 4-2 win against Sunderland a few weeks ago, as he fell down under minimal contact from Adam Johnson.

And The Baggies boss revealed that he has spoken to Ridgewell about the incident, saying: 'I’ve spoken to Liam on a number of occasions this season, yes.

'We spoke about a number of different incidents. He (Cazorla) is not one of my players and I don’t speak about players from other clubs.

'But if one of my players goes down with something similar to that, then we’ll talk about it.'

Hillsborough must be remembered as football considers using nets after Rio Ferdinand coin incident

Remember Hillsborough! As football considers using nets to stop yobs, relatives of victims killed in tragedy issue warning

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UPDATED:

01:51 GMT, 11 December 2012

Relatives of Hillsborough victims have warned that erecting netting to protect players from missiles could eventually lead to the return of the fences that killed their loved ones.

Players' union chief Gordon Taylor said on Monday that mesh nets would have saved Rio Ferdinand from the coin that struck him above the eye in the last minute of Sunday's Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium.

Such nets are used across Europe, while Manchester United have one behind the goals at Old Trafford to stop disabled supporters being hit by the ball.

Target: Supporters hurled coins at the United players as they celebrated their last-gasp victory over City on Sunday

Target: Supporters hurled coins at the United players as they celebrated their last-gasp victory over City

But last night Steve Kelly of the Hillsborough Justice Campaign said: 'I don't think nets would bring safety. The next thing would be wire mesh and then fencing, and we all know what that has meant.

'Preventing missiles is a society thing. With all the money the clubs have to pay players the wages they are getting, there should be better ways to identify fans in the crowd who throw things.

'They should be making real examples of these people, not trying to fence groups of fans in. It should be more than a 50 slap on the wrist and a temporary ban.'

Tragedy: Ninety-six Liverpool supporters lost their lives in the Hillsborough tragedy

Tragedy: Ninety-six Liverpool supporters lost their lives in the Hillsborough tragedy

The controversy came on the day Attorney General Dominic Grieve sought to have the Hillsborough inquest verdicts of accidental death quashed. Mr Grieve said there was a 'good' case to hold new hearings into the deaths of the 96 Liverpool fans in 1989.

City officials and Greater Manchester Police were still trawling through CCTV footage in an attempt to identify the thug who threw the coin at Ferdinand after United's winning goal. It is understood the process could last into the new year.

PFA chief executive Taylor had said earlier in the day: 'I think you've got to give consideration to some netting in vulnerable areas, be it behind the goals and round the corner flags.'

Confrontation: City have banned supporter Matthew Slott for life after he ran on to the pitch

Confrontation: City have banned supporter Matthew Slott for life after he ran on to the pitch

It is understood City are not giving too much thought to putting up netting and will only do so if ordered to by the FA, which is unlikely.

City are reviewing their procedures in the wake of Sunday – as they would after any big game – and are determined to find the offender and work out how another fan was able to evade stewards and run on to the field in the direction of Ferdinand. Matthew Stott, 21, was yesterday charged with pitch encroachment and will be banned for life by City.

Last night FA chairman David Bernstein said: 'It is deplorable to see those incidents. To see Rio Ferdinand with blood on his face is absolutely terrible. It's disturbing to see a recurrence of these things. We've had racial abuse issues, the odd pitch incursion, things being thrown at players. 'It has to be dealt with severely.'

Bloody mess: Ferdinand was struck by a 2p coin as he celebrated United's late victory

Bloody mess: Ferdinand was struck by a 2p coin as he celebrated United's late victory

City have previously given consideration to moving visiting supporters to less visible areas of the Etihad Stadium to stop players celebrating provocatively. It will be considered again when they eventually expand their stadium.

Former United midfielder Paddy Crerand yesterday denied Ferdinand was to blame for what happened. During a passionate interview on Radio 5 Live, Crerand said: 'I was at the game yesterday and that is absolute rubbish. Who suggested that, and where did that come from It's absolute garbage.'

On Monday night the story took another twist when Ashley Cole’s mother angrily denied posting an insulting message about the attack on Ferdinand after a Facebook page purporting to belong to her younger son Matty appeared to revel in the defender’s injury.

Sue Cole insisted she was not the author of a post that said: ‘Give the fan that threw it (the coin) a medal.’

Craig Gordon, the 9m goalkeeper who is available on a free transfer

Good Gord! He once cost Sunderland boss Roy Keane 9m… but the keeper is STILL available on a free going into December

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UPDATED:

14:07 GMT, 27 November 2012

Craig Gordon, remember him

The most expensive British goalkeeper, Scotland international and credited with one of the greatest saves ever.

And currently without a club and available on a free transfer.

For hire: Scotland keeper Craig Gordon is a free agent

For hire: Scotland keeper Craig Gordon is a free agent

Available for hire… other free transfers

Ricardo Gardner (Bolton)

Darius Vassell (Aston Villa, Manchester City, England)

Delroy Facey (Bolton, Hull, West Brom)

Salif Diao (Monaco, Liverpool, Stoke)

Owen Hargreaves (Bayern Munich, Manchester United, Manchester City)

The 29-year-old was released by Sunderland at the end of last season after a succession of injuries.

It marked a remarkable fall from grace for Gordon, who was one hailed as 'untouchable' by former Sunderland boss Roy Keane.

After sealing his 9million switch from Hearts, Keane likened it to when Brian Clough signed England legend Peter Shilton for Nottingham Forest.

But Gordon's impact at Sunderland was restricted by injury.

Safe hands: Gordon is Britain's most expensive keeper

Safe hands: Gordon is Britain's most expensive keeper

A knee injury midway through his second season with the Black Cats left him sidelined for several months.

And, only four months into the following season, a broken arm kept him out for another three months.

Further injury woes struck when Gordon broke the same arm in pre-season training in 2010.

He returned to produce the save of the season against Bolton when he denied Zat Knight from point-blank range.

But in April 2011, Gordon underwent knee surgery which kept him out for another eight months.

Gordon's great save

Everton are among a host of clubs who could offer Gordon way back into the game.

But he wants to prove his fitness before relaunching his career.

'I'm just trying to get back fully fit with that before I start looking for a club,' he told BBC Scotland's Sportscene.

'I've still had a few niggling problems with my knee injury, which I've had on and off for quite some time now.'

Northampton 23 London Welsh 16: Saints dig deep to get back on track

Northampton 23 London Welsh 16: Saints dig deep to get back on track

PUBLISHED:

18:19 GMT, 24 November 2012

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UPDATED:

18:19 GMT, 24 November 2012

Northampton moved into the play-off positions in the Aviva
Premiership for at least 24 hours with a hard-fought win over London
Welsh amongst the rain and mud at Franklin's Gardens.

After three successive league defeats it was a welcome four points for
Northampton, who saw backs coach Paul Grayson leave in the week.

In atrocious conditions it was always going to boil down to a forward
battle with Northampton's tries coming through a penalty try and Ken
Pisi, though it was London Welsh's pack who made the first impression
with a penalty try.

Major Tom: Northampton's May holds off five players

Major Tom: Northampton's May holds off five players

The visitors' maul trundled 25 metres from a lineout before it was hauled down under the posts. Referee David Rose awarded a penalty and sent Saints number GJ Van Velze to the sin-bin. Gordon Ross added the extras to make it 7-0 in as many minutes.

Ryan Lamb hit back with a calmly taken drop goal four minutes later after the home side nicked a Welsh lineout, but the visitors' maul was proving a handful even for Northampton's much-vaunted pack.

Another London Welsh lineout drive drew a penalty and from 45m Ross restored their seven point lead. Ross missed with another long range effort before Van Velze returned to the field.

At the second scrum of the game the Northampton pack had a huge drive that drew a penalty, with Phil Dowson – among the ensuing scuffle – making sure the London Welsh front row knew they were back in the game.

Slippy: Tom May of Northampton Saints and Tyson Keats of London Welsh battle for the ball

Slippy: Tom May of Northampton Saints and Tyson Keats of London Welsh battle for the ball

Suddenly the crowd and Saints were alive. From the lineout the home pack hit back with a retaliatory drive that almost galloped into the London Welsh 22 before Franck Montanella brought it down and was sin-binned.

With a forward down for a scrum on their five-metre line the visitors succumbed to the inevitable as they conceded a penalty try and Lamb drew Northampton level with the conversion after 27 minutes.

London Welsh were hanging on and a series of penalties saw them back defending another five-metre scrum. This time they had a full complement of forwards with Montanella back at loosehead and they drove a penalty out of Saints.

But the visitors had 15 players for barely a minute when they had a second player binned after Dan Caprice took out Jamie Elliott as the Northampton wing caught a high, hanging kick.

On the charge: Ed Jackson of London Welsh is tackled

On the charge: Ed Jackson of London Welsh is tackled

Saints took advantage with Lamb's vision giving them a second try. With advantage being played, Lamb's crossfield kick bounced perfectly into the arms of Pisi to score in the corner. Lamb converted to give Saints a 17-10 lead two minutes before half-time.

Lamb added three more points five minutes into what proved to be a dire second half. Ross wiped that out on 55 minutes after Saints' lineout, which malfunctioned all afternoon, lost another throw on the visitors' 10m line and a sweeping move needed Elliott to sprint across to kick the ball out just a metre from his tryline.

After Welsh started the game with a huge maul, Saints ended it with one of their own, with the visitors lucky to concede just three points after a 20m lineout drive.

With seven minutes to go Ross landed a 35m penalty to give the visitors a deserved losing bonus point.