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Graeme Swann winds up Australia Test man Ed Cowan

Swann strikes first blow in the phoney Ashes war by winding up Cowan

Peter Hayter


22:33 GMT, 27 April 2013



23:03 GMT, 27 April 2013

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Graeme Swann appears to have won the first skirmish in the pre-Ashes phoney war by duping Ed Cowan into believing the spinner and fellow Nottinghamshire team-mate Stuart Broad have been ordered by England not to bowl to the Aussie opener in the county's nets.

Cowan, named in the 16-man Ashes squad to face England, has begun a seven Championship-match stint for Notts, played alongside Broad against Derbyshire and will link up with Swann against Durham tomorrow when the off-spinner returns after the elbow surgery that forced him to miss England's Test series in New Zealand.

Having a laugh: Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann

Having a laugh: Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann

But Swann may have some talking to do first as Cowan seems to have fallen victim to his notorious sense of mischief.

The spinner has claimed he and Broad have been instructed by Test coach Andy Flower not to give the Aussie any chance of a sighter in the nets or in the middle, particularly as the first Ashes Test is at Nottinghamshire's Trent Bridge ground.

Discussing criticism of counties giving Aussie players the chance to acclimatise to English conditions and England bowlers using a Duke ball, Cowan said: 'I can certainly see that point, but I can also see the other side.

'The fact is that it's an Ashes year, so, sure, there is some benefit for me, but there is some benefit for Swann and Broad as they get a pretty intimate look at my batting.

'They're not allowed to bowl at me in the nets. It's a bit of a joke. We're getting on famously, but I'd have thought that knocking me over a few times in the nets might plant a few seeds…'

Asked whether he knew the source of this instruction, Cowan insisted it had come from the England management. But Notts coach Mick Newell denied any such order and revealed the whole thing was a Swann wind-up.

Cowan knows how humour can backfire, as he has still not spoken to Kevin Pietersen over the 'Puddinggate' row in the last Ashes tour Down Under.

Wound up: Ed Cowan

Wound up: Ed Cowan

In his critically acclaimed diary, In The Firing Line, Cowan recounted that South African-born Pietersen could not identify the bread-and-butter he ate during lunch in England's match against Australia A in Hobart on the last Ashes tour.

When Cowan told Pietersen he should recognise the dish as it was typically English, Pietersen responded by joking: 'I'm not f***ing English. I just work there.'

The joke turned sour when the comment was used to cast doubt on Pietersen's loyalty.

Despite trying to contact Pietersen to clear the air, Cowan has still not talked to him directly and he now admits he wishes he had not included the story in his book.

'The KP thing was said as a joke and it got blown out of proportion,' said the 30-year-old. 'I was disappointed and I'm sure he wasn't thrilled. I think it was a good line all the same.'

One thing about which Cowan is deadly serious, however, is what he calls the defining moment for him and his team, the upcoming Ashes series, which, after their 4-0 defeat in India, he claims will be the making or breaking of many careers.

Cowan was among those who expressed concerns over aspects of 'team culture' to coach Mickey Arthur before the issue came to a head with three players, including vice-captain Shane Watson, dropped for failing to do their homework. Cowan knows the consequences of failure.

'I wasn't some sort of tell-tale,' he said. 'There were about six people saying: “Right, is this where our culture should be heading”

'You lose a lot of intellectual ability when players like Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey, and even someone like Justin Langer, the batting coach, leave in pretty quick succession. It's not just batting and bowling, it's culture.

'Some things are trivial, like lateness to meetings; some aren't so trivial, like general attitudes of not going out of your way to making sure that the team is your absolute priority.

'It showed a lot of courage. It was the day the coach and captain put their heads on the block. They said: “We are going to cop some flak, but we are all in this together.”

'It was saying – if we're going to win the Ashes, we need to be solid around all these core values.

'If we lose these back-to-back Ashes series, you will see a change of personnel and management.

'But the other side is that if you can win an away Ashes series, then it is a defining moment for this team.'

League One round-up: Sheffield United go top

League One round-up: Blades top as Crawley are cut down by McMahon


18:17 GMT, 22 December 2012



18:17 GMT, 22 December 2012

Sheffield United moved top of npower League One with a 2-0 win at Crawley.

The fixture was one of just four played in the third tier due to the awful weather, and two sweetly-struck free-kicks from Tony McMahon ensured the Blades made the most of their rivals having their games postponed.

Blades of glory: McMahon bends a free kick round the Crawley wall

Blades of glory: McMahon bends a free kick round the Crawley wall

Walsall picked up their first win in
17 games as they saw off Colchester 1-0, Febian Brandy scoring the only
goal just after the hour mark.

Yeovil chalked up a big win as they eased past Oldham with a 4-1 victory at Huish Park. Jose
Baxter had given the visitors an early lead, but a Gavin Williams'
double, the first from the spot, and a James Hayter strike put the
Glovers 3-1 to the good.

Latics striker Robbie Simpson was then dismissed for his challenge on Marek Stech, and Paddy Madden completed the scoring.

The day's other game saw Preston draw
1-1 at Coventry. James Bailey put the Sky Blues ahead but Lee Holmes
earned North End a share of the spoils.

Kevin Pietersen saga: Emotions still too raw for return – Peter Hayter

Peter Hayter: Emotions are too raw at the moment to allow KP to return to England's team



21:20 GMT, 15 September 2012

Barring a dramatic turn of events at the 11th hour, Kevin Pietersen appears certain to be out of England’s squad for the tour of India when it is announced on Tuesday, just as his name was absent from the original selection made almost a week ago.

Time is certainly running out for Pietersen and the England camp to strike a last-minute deal to enable him to travel on the first leg of the winter Test tours.

The signs are that a series of meetings, described as amicable in nature, have produced some progress towards a resolution of the issues that led to Pietersen being dropped for the final Test against South Africa at Lord’s and missing out on an England central contract.

Isolated figure: Pietersen is unlikely to travel to India with England's Test squad

Isolated figure: Pietersen is unlikely to travel to India with England's Test squad

Yet it appears the fall-out from the revelation that he sent text messages to ‘close friends’ in the South African dressing room containing offensive remarks about Andrew Strauss is still too great and feelings within the England camp still too raw for Pietersen to be welcomed back.

Opinion is split in the game over Pietersen’s future, as revealed by a poll of former captains and team-mates by The Mail on Sunday. But at least one former team-mate, Paul Collingwood, believes Pietersen should stay at home this winter.

‘Emotions are still very raw,’ he said. ‘I do believe Kevin will play for England again but the one thing England will make sure of is that the decision they make is not just for a short fix but for the next few years.

‘There is a need for the emotions to die down and for both sides to be clear he will be back in when the time is right and not just because we are going to India and it is the hardest challenge.

‘A happy camp usually plays better than a disgruntled one and going to India, with his Indian Premier League contacts, will not help. India is a place which can test team spirit at the best of times. You’ve definitely got to be very together in a place like that because it can be tough, not just on the field but off it as well.’

Back to the day job: Pietersen has been in form for Surrey

Back to the day job: Pietersen has been in form for Surrey

When England announced last week that
they were delaying the announcement of the squad, some believed the door
was being kept open for final talks which could yet swing the decision
in Pietersen’s favour.

It was claimed that Strauss’s successor Alastair Cook and coach Andy Flower may be prepared to countenance his return, having taken soundings over whether Pietersen could be accommodated within the dressing room without damaging team spirit. Without him, England would be taking an inexperienced top six to India.

The contrary view was that England were sticking to their guns but wanted an extension on two grounds. First, they needed to make sure any legal niceties regarding a possible case for constructive dismissal had been covered. Second, they wanted Flower and his England World T20 squad to be in Colombo before showing their hand.

A fresher view was that Pietersen had been asked to travel to India and also commit himself to England for the whole of their Test tour of New Zealand but had asked for more time to respond. Or that he had turned the offer down.

It has been said that Pietersen has sought to explain why he has not been able to engage with the team as they would have liked. He has felt it difficult, or even inappropriate, to express himself in a dressing room run by one man who replaced him as captain – Strauss – and another he wanted removed as assistant coach when he demanded the sacking of Peter Moores.

Decisions to make: Andy Flower (right) and Alastair Cook (left) will not want to disrupt team harmony

Decisions to make: Andy Flower (right) and Alastair Cook (left) will not want to disrupt team harmony

Whatever Piers Morgan may have broadcast on Twitter, both sides also appear to agree that alleged links between Graeme Swann, Stuart Broad and James Anderson and the now defunct KP Genius parody twitter account were not as much of an issue to the player as it seems to have been to his celebrity supporter.

Morgan last week accused the trio of conspiring to wreck Pietersen’s career and Anderson of being an ‘egocentric berk’. Swann is the only one to have responded publicly by tweeting: ‘Sorry to disappoint all you Piers Morgan fans but KP’s parody had nothing to do with me. I suggest a warm cocoa and an early night.’

More central to the discussions, it has been said, have been Pietersen’s long-term and unconditional commitment to the England cause and the full and frank disclosure of the exact content of the text messages.

Pietersen’s main opponents in the dressing room have not altered their belief that his behaviour towards Strauss was reprehensible and probably unforgivable.

For an accommodation to happen, Pietersen would have to convince the England players that his commitment to their cause is not merely pragmatic and that they would have no more trouble from him in future.

In the end, however, it appears Pietersen has run out of time.

Bumble at the Test: No Gayle, Sarwan, Dwayne Bravo or Taylor… it"s a crying shame

Bumble at the Test: No Gayle, Sarwan, Dwayne Bravo or Taylor… it's a crying shame



20:57 GMT, 18 May 2012

Absent friends
West Indies' Jerome Taylor

The toast on Friday was to absent friends. No Chris Gayle, Ramnaresh Sarwan or Dwayne Bravo here and also no Jerome Taylor (right), who bowled West Indies to victory over England in Jamaica three years ago but has disappeared from the scene. It's a crying shame…

Van's the man for us

Happy to say that my football club, Accrington Stanley, are in good hands after my London meeting with new chairman Peter Marsden. I can reveal we might make a bid for Arsenal's Dutch striker Robin van Persie and can offer him a good package – as many pies as he can eat and a weekly ticket to the local Odeon.

My tweet hell

Plenty of abuse on Twitter from India – and all because of my support for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL! It's not my fault they haven't reached the final! Some of these keyboard warriors would be candidates for A&E if they met me face to face…

Fashion victims

Lots of fashion statements among the West Indies players. Opening bowler Fidel Edwards has stars shaved into his hair, while his new-ball partner Kemar Roach has some serious gold round his neck. Lots of ear-rings, too, but I'm old-school on these sorts of things. They should only go with high heels.

Delicious Danni

England's Danni Wyatt

Great to see the launch of The Cricket Paper featuring the Mail on Sunday's very own Peter 'Reggie' Hayter. I've had a brainstorming session with him and reckon there should be a 'crickette' on page three. Who better to start with than Danni Wyatt (right), England's feisty all-rounder

Tuf to remember

Phil Tufnell's new book Tuffers Tales was on parade and I asked him what was in it. 'Lots of stories,' he said. 'What about, Cat' I replied. 'Can't remember,' said Phil. Reminded me of when Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones said: 'If anyone knows what I've been doing for the last 10 years, let me know…'

Doncaster v Portsmouth: Amazing late show sends Donny down

Doncaster 3 Portsmouth 4: Amazing late show from Pompey gives them hope but sends hosts down to League One

Sportsmail Reporter


17:02 GMT, 14 April 2012



17:04 GMT, 14 April 2012

Portsmouth somehow kept their Championship survival hopes alive with two goals in the final moments on a dramatic afternoon at the Keepmoat Stadium to relegate 10-man Doncaster.

Substitute Marco Futacs struck an injury time winner just seconds after Dave Kitson had appeared to handball over the line to draw his side level.

It was harsh on Rovers who had been in control after Habib Beye and Fabien Robert netted in the opening five minutes but a chaotic game turned on the questionable dismissal of Beye on the hour.

Delight: Portsmouth players celebrate after a dramatic late Marko Futacs winner

Delight: Portsmouth players celebrate after a dramatic late Marko Futacs winner

Kitson fell theatrically under
pressure from the veteran Senegalese to give away a penalty that Greg
Halford netted before converting a second spot-kick moments later drew
his side level.

The drama continued though as James
Coppinger immediately fired Doncaster ahead, which would have kept
Rovers up and relegated Pompey, until a barely believable finish that
left the home fans hooting their disapproval at the end.

By contrast the few hundred
travelling Pompey fans remained singing after the whistle having avoided
what would have been the latest sorry chapter in their recent history.


Doncaster: Woods, O'Connor, Friend, Lockwood, Beye, Oster (Hird 59), Barnes, Gillett, Coppinger, Brown (Dumbuya 73), Robert (Hayter 46).

Subs not used: Sullivan, Bennett.

Portsmouth: Ashdown, Ward, Rocha, Pearce, Halford, Rekik (Futaks 76), Allan, Norris, Varney (Harris 46), Etuhu (Kitson 26), Maguire.

Subs not used: Mokoena, Scapuzzi.

Referee: Russell

Attendance: 8.196.

Boss Michael Appleton vowed that his
side would not give up until relegation was assured, which had looked
likely following a disastrous opening five minutes.

Only three minutes had passed when
Beye netted the opener, rising highest to meet a free-kick and loop his
header over goalkeeper Jamie Ashdown.

A stunned Pompey were 2-0 down
moments later when Robert stabbed home from close range after John
Oster's initial effort had been blocked by Ashdown.

The travelling support behind the
goal responded with ironic celebrations although their good humour was
almost tested again on seven minutes when Coppinger's dipping 25-yard
volley smacked against the crossbar.

Portsmouth's response to the early
onslaught was underwhelming as a hopeful 20-yard David Norris shot was
the best they could muster before Appleton decided on a change of
formation after 28 minutes.

He brought on striker Kitson for
winger Dickson Etuhu and it almost paid immediate dividends as Halford
saw his firm header cleared off the line moments later.

A Beye header then tested Ashdown
again at the other end, the goalkeeper this time punching for a corner,
before Robert fizzed a pass across goal that no one was in a position to
turn in.

Despite Pompey's predicament their
few hundred travelling fans remained in full voice and they cheered
louder still when news filtered through that Bristol City had taken the
lead at Birmingham, to confirm they would go down with anything but a

With that threat looming likely
Portsmouth finally showed signs of life soon after half-time with Scott
Allen firing against the crossbar from range before Luke Varney drew a
low save from an acute angle.

The visitors were then given a
hotly-contested penalty on 57 minutes when Kitson fell theatrically
under pressure from Beye, who was then also given his marching orders
for denying a scoring opportunity.

The veteran Senegalese protested the decision but once he left the pitch Halford tucked in the spot-kick.

The home fans clearly felt aggrieved
at the decision and their mood was hardly helped when the referee
awarded a second penalty against James O'Connor moments later. Again
Halford scored the spot-kick, despite Gary Woods getting a hand on the

Portsmouth may have been lucky to be
level but it lasted just four minutes as Coppinger netted a fine solo
goal. After being released down the right he cut inside and fired a low
shot that took a deflection as it went through the legs of a defender to
ensure Ashdown was wrong-footed.

Doncaster then set about holding onto
their advantage, which would have kept their slim survival hopes alive,
but with time ticking down they conceded a third dubious goal when
Kitson appeared to handball over the line.

It got better for Pompey in injury
time when Futacs popped up in the area and slid in a winner in to send
Doncaster down after four years in the Championship.

Doncaster Rovers 0 Millwall 3

Doncaster Rovers 0 Millwall 3: Lions tear relegation rivals to pieces



22:03 GMT, 20 March 2012

Beleaguered Doncaster moved a step closer to relegation from the npower Championship as fellow strugglers Millwall significantly boosted their own survival hopes by coasting to victory at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Kenny Jackett's men were gifted a healthy advantage inside the opening 13 minutes, the unmarked Andy Keogh heading his fourth goal in six games before Harry Kane doubled the lead with a speculative strike from distance that deceived Carl Ikeme.

A lacklustre Rovers outfit were unable to respond and Millwall wrapped up the points shortly before the hour mark through Darius Henderson's 19th goal of the season in all competitions.

Rout: Millwall got one up on their relegation rivals with a thumping victory

Rout: Millwall got one up on their relegation rivals with a thumping victory


Doncaster: Ikeme, O'Connor, Spurr, Hird, Beye, Barnes, Gillett, Coppinger (Dumbuya 77), Diouf, (Robert 78), Hayter (Oster 57), Piquionne

Subs not used: Woods, Bagayoko

Booked: Diouf

Millwall: Taylor, Craig, Robinson, Ward, Smith, Henry (Feeney 67), Abdou, Wright (Montgomery 88), Henderson, Keogh, Kane

Subs not used: Forde, Dunne, Bouazza

Goals: Keogh 8, Kane 13, Henderson 58

Booked: Robinson

Referee: Attwell

Attendance: 7,572

The Lions now sit nine points clear of the drop zone, but Doncaster are four adrift of safety with games running out – and the manner of this defeat will only serve to increase the pressure on manager Dean Saunders, who was subjected to criticism from sections of the home support.

Shelton Martis, Pascal Chimbonda and Kyle Bennett all dropped out of the Rovers squad, with Sam Hird, James O'Connor and James Hayter taking their places in the starting XI.

Millwall recalled Tony Craig and on-loan Tottenham youngster Kane in place of Alan Dunne and Hameur Bouazza, who were each named among the substitutes alongside new loan signing Nick Montgomery.

After a dire opening, the away side took the lead through their first meaningful attack in the eighth minute.

James Henry was allowed to progress unchallenged down the right and his excellent cross picked out former Wolves striker Keogh, who made no mistake from six yards.

Things swiftly went from bad to worse for Doncaster when Ikeme failed to keep out a powerful long-range effort from Kane that appeared to go through the hands of the goalkeeper.

Ikeme was at least able to get his body behind a low shot from Henry in the 18th minute, but Millwall continued to cut through their opponents' defence with ease, Kane volleying wide moments later.

Surprisingly, Tommy Spurr represented Rovers' greatest attacking threat prior to the interval, the full-back twice cutting in from the left before narrowly missing the target on each occasion.

Visiting goalkeeper Maik Taylor remained untroubled and his side were soon back on the front foot at the start of the second half.

A fierce strike from Henry was kept out by a combination of the woodwork and Ikeme, who then produced a superb one-handed save to thwart Henderson.

Millwall's top scorer would not be denied for much longer and added a third for his side in the 58th minute when he met another fine ball from Henry with a deft finish at the near post.

Frederic Piquionne went close for Rovers soon after, but Taylor was not called into action until the 79th minute, when Giles Barnes headed tamely towards goal to prompt ironic cheers from Doncaster's frustrated fans.

West Ham 1 Doncaster 1: Complacent Hammers lose ground after Coppinger strike

West Ham 1 Doncaster 1: Complacent Hammers lose ground after Coppinger strike



17:12 GMT, 10 March 2012

West Ham lost ground at the top of the Championship as they were held to a 1-1 draw by a battling Doncaster outfit.

Kevin Nolan's ninth goal of the season capped a dominant start for the hosts but they took their foot off the gas and were punished when James Coppinger levelled in the 73rd minute.

The hosts looked to have got off to a flying start when Ricardo Vaz Te had the ball in the net inside the opening minute but the Portuguese was penalised for a foul on Pascal Chimbonda.

Celebration time: James Coppinger hit a priceless equaliser for Doncaster

Celebration time: James Coppinger hit a priceless equaliser for Doncaster

Match facts

West Ham: Green, McCartney, Faye, Tomkins, Taylor, Noble, Lansbury (O'Neil 57), Nolan (Collins 80), Collison, Cole, Vaz Te (Baldock 25). Subs not used: Maynard, Morrison.

Scorer: Nolan 9.

Doncaster: Ikeme, Chimbonda, Martis (Hird 75), Beye, Spurr, Bennett, Barnes, Gillett, Coppinger, Diouf, Bagayoko (Oster 60). Subs not used: Hayter, Robert, Ilunga.

Scorer: Coppinger 73.

Referee: Andy D'Urso.

It took just another two minutes
before the Hammers threatened again as Carlton Cole collected a pass
from Jack Collison and rifled a 20-yard effort against the crossbar.

The inevitable breakthrough came
after nine minutes as Nolan stabbed in from close range after Rovers
failed to clear their lines following Henri Lansbury's shot.

Dean Saunders' men briefly relieved
the pressure when El-Hadji Diouf broke away down the right but his
threatening cross was plucked out of the air by Rob Green just as
Mamadou Bagayoko was closing in.

Sam Allardyce was forced to make a
change midway through the opening half when Vaz Te went down clutching
his hamstring. He was replaced by Sam Baldock.

With the home side beginning to lose
some of their impetus, Doncaster sensed an opportunity to get a foothold
in the game and Coppinger's powerful strike, which Green had to palm
around the post, underlined their increasing threat.

They continued to grow into the game
after the interval, with Diouf providing their most promising outlet.
The Senegalese whipped in a free-kick which Giles Barnes nodded narrowly

Off the mark: Kevin Nolan prods home

Off the mark: Kevin Nolan prods home

The Hammers sought to reassert their
authority with a prolonged spell of pressure but Rovers pressed the ball
well, restricting the space the hosts had to work in.

When Doncaster won it back they
caused panic in the penalty area as Coppinger's cross was left by Green
before James Tomkins eventually took charge of the situation to clear to

But with 17 minutes to go the
visitors deservedly drew level as Simon Gillett kept the ball alive in
the box and Coppinger capitalised to steer it in from close range.

Upton Park held its breath when
Coppinger delivered for Diouf with five minutes to play but he could not
make clean contact with his shot and Green turned the ball away for a

The draw extends West Ham's unbeaten
run to seven matches but Southampton's victory over Barnsley means they
are three points behind in the race for the title.

Doncaster, meanwhile, are still fighting for survival after taking six points from their last four games.

Doncaster 1 Blackpool 3: Gary Taylor-Fletcher double

Doncaster 1 Blackpool 3: Taylor-Fletcher brace moves Tangerines up to fourth

Gary Taylor-Fletcher scored twice as in-form Blackpool outlined their npower Championship promotion credentials with a comfortable victory at struggling Doncaster.

Taylor-Fletcher helped himself to his sixth and seventh goals of the season in the first half to put Ian Holloway's side on course to stretch their unbeaten run to 10 games in all competitions.

Relegation-threatened Rovers looked rusty after a fortnight without a game, but they were given hope when El-Hadji Diouf pulled a goal back from the penalty spot before half-time.

Blackpool were not at their best in the second half, but on-loan Wigan striker Nouha Dicko's first goal for the club sealed the points to consign Rovers to their first home defeat since November.

Brace: Taylor-Fletcher is mobbed after scoring his second goal

Brace: Taylor-Fletcher is mobbed after scoring his second goal


Doncaster: Button, O'Connor, Lockwood, Hird ,Spurr, Martin Woods (Gillett 77), Stock, Oster, Diouf, Bamogo (Bennett 54), Hayter (Bagayoko 83).

Subs Not Used: Martis, Robert.

Goals: Diouf 43 pen.

Blackpool: Gilks, Eardley, Evatt, Baptiste, Crainey, Sylvestre, Ferguson, Fleck (Angel 67), Dicko, LuaLua (Ince 74),
Taylor-Fletcher (Kevin Phillips 69).

Subs Not Used: Harris, Bednar.

Booked: LuaLua.

Goals: Taylor-Fletcher 20, 34, Dicko 72.

Attendance: 8,319

Referee: Gary Sutton (Lincolnshire).

Rovers made a promising start and James
Hayter had a great chance after 10 minutes when a poor back header fell
nicely for the former Bournemouth striker, but he shot straight at Matt
Gilks from 10 yards out.

Blackpool started to get into their stride and Dicko was denied by David
Button after being played in by fellow loanee John Fleck.

The Tangerines were playing with a swagger and they were in front after
19 minutes when right-back Neil Eardley picked out Taylor-Fletcher with a
delightful long-range pass and the former Huddersfield forward raced
clear and took a touch before tucking the ball past Button.

Holloway's side were dictating the play with some slick passing and
movement, but they were almost caught out when Brian Stock picked out
Hayter, but the forward 's control let him down.

Blackpool were being allowed far too much time and space and it came as
no surprise when they doubled their lead 33 minutes in, when
Taylor-Fletcher showed some neat close control and ghosted into the
penalty area far too easily before side-footing into the bottom-left
corner of Button's goal.

The visitors were cruising, but Rovers were thrown a lifeline four
minutes before the break when Ian Evatt upended Diouf and the Senegalese
forward beat Gilks from the spot with a cheeky chip.

The home side could have been level at the break, but Hayter blazed
wildly over the crossbar when the ball fell nicely for him in time added

Rovers boss Dean Saunders clearly delivered a few home truths at
half-time as his side showed far more urgency early in the second half
and it took a magnificent save from Gilks to keep out a well struck
right-foot volley from the onrushing Martin Woods 10 minutes after the

But Blackpool carried a far bigger threat going forward and they
restored their two-goal advantage with 18 minutes remaining when Button
could only palm Alex Baptiste's shot from the angle into the path of
French teenager Dicko, who was left with a simple right-foot finish from
close range.

Dicko's goal knocked the stuffing out of Rovers and the home supporters voiced their disapproval at the final whistle.

Doncaster 0 Notts County 2: Hughes scores both

Doncaster 0 Notts County 2: Mad Dog's men produce cupset thanks to Hughes brace

Jeff Hughes grabbed a goal in each half as Notts County upset Doncaster to book their place in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Dean Saunders' npower Championship strugglers came into the game on the back of three consecutive home victories, but were more than matched in all departments by Martin Allen's League One outfit.

Hughes was gifted the opening goal when Rovers failed to deal with Alan Sheehan's 37th minute free-kick and the midfielder settled County nerves from the penalty spot with 20 minutes to play.

Net gains: Jeff Hughes was Notts County's cup hero with both goals

Net gains: Jeff Hughes was Notts County's cup hero with both goals


Doncaster: Button; O'Connor, Lockwood, Hird, Beye; Stock, Barnes (Woods 70), Coppinger (Diouf 82), Hayter, Bennett, Bagayoko (Oster 58). Subs not used: Woods, Martis, Diatta, Gillett.

Booked: Diouf, Bennett

Notts County: Nelson, Kelly (Harley 65), Sheehan, Chilvers, Stewart, Bencherif, Bishop, J Hughes, Judge, Hawley, L Hughes (Burgess 81). Subs not used: Mitchell, Edwards, Pearce, Hollis, Allen.

Goals: J Hughes 37, 70 (pen)

Booked: Sheehan

Referee: Phil Gibbs

Att: 9,535

Giles Barnes passed up Doncaster's clearest opportunity when he shot over from close range moments before Hughes' second, while James Hayter toiled without reward in attack as El-Hadji Diouf watched 80 minutes from the substitutes' bench.

Mali international forward Mamadou Bagayoko made his Doncaster debut as one of four changes from the Rovers side that beat Barnsley on Monday, while Damion Stewart was selected for his Notts County bow in defence after joining on loan from Bristol City.

County enjoyed their first opening when Lee Hughes got the better of Rovers defender Sam Hird to find strike partner Karl Hawley, who shot narrowly past the post after 13 minutes.

The visitors settled impressively and Lee Hughes was inches away from breaking the deadlock with a header from full-back Julian Kelly's sublime cross.

Doncaster midfielder Brian Stock carelessly ceded possession inside his own half with 23 minutes gone, allowing Alan Judge to advance for the Magpies and drill wide from 20 yards.

Up for the cup: Fans from the League One side packed into the away end of the Keepmoat

Up for the cup: Fans from the League One side packed into the away end of the Keepmoat

Judge then engineered another opportunity at the end of some cute work in the inside right position, but home goalkeeper David Button reacted sharply to parry clear.

At the other end, Barnes spurned a free header from James Coppinger's 32nd-minute centre, nodding into the grateful arms of Stuart Nelson.

It was a miss Saunders' side would regret shortly afterwards when some sloppy defending saw Sheehan's right-wing delivery bounce loose at the back post for Jeff Hughes to steer home.

Flashes: Giles Barnes went close for Doncaster, but ultimately they disappointed

Flashes: Giles Barnes went close for Doncaster, but ultimately they disappointed

Kyle Bennett brought a fine save from Nelson with a swerving, dipping drive as Doncaster made a brighter start to the second half.

Lee Hughes had an effort deflected wide as Notts County continued to threaten on the break, but Doncaster were making the running and Hayter had a penalty appeal rejected when he went to ground under pressure from Stewart shortly after the hour.

Then Coppinger almost found a fortuitous equaliser when his arching cross had Nelson backpedalling to tip around the post.

The resulting corner was only partially cleared and when Coppinger sent the ball back into the area it fell to Barnes, who blazed wastefully over from 10 yards.

Mad Dog: Martin Allen continues to prove himself a more than capable manager

Mad Dog: Martin Allen continues to prove himself a more than capable manager

And once again, a Barnes miss was followed by a County goal as Bennett hacked through the back of Sheehan in the box and Jeff Hughes withstood some kidology from Button to coolly find the corner.

Bennett had the chance to redeem himself when Hayter played him into space in the County area, but he slashed wide before Diouf followed up a booking for dissent by heading past the post from fellow substitute Martin Woods' free-kick.

Burnley 3 Doncaster 0: Paterson back with a bang for in-form Clarets

Burnley 3 Doncaster 0: Paterson back with a bang for Clarets

Martin Paterson marked his first start at Turf Moor since August with a goal as Burnley made it five winsout of six in the npower Championship.

A thigh injury suffered in the opening day draw with Watford ruled Paterson out for three months, but he delighted the home faithful by netting his side”s second goal four minutes from time, heading home after Jay Rodriguez rattled the crossbar.

Burnley manager Eddie Howe

High five: Burnley manager Eddie Howe


Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Duff (Easton 62), Edgar, Mee, Wallace, Marney, McCann, Stanislas (Bartley 69),Rodriguez, Paterson (Austin 85). Subs Not Used: Stewart, Vokes.

Booked: McCann, Paterson.

Goals: Rodriguez 37 pen, Paterson 84, Hird 90 og.

Doncaster: Gary Woods, O”Connor, Beye, Hird, Ilunga, Gillett (Bennett 79), Stock, Barnes (Hayter 86), Coppinger, Sharp,
Diouf (Goulon 86). Subs Not Used: Friend, Chimbonda.

Booked: Stock, Beye.

Att: 16,756

Ref: David Webb (County Durham).

Top scorer Rodriguez gave Burnley the advantage at half-time, clinically dispatching a penalty after Doncaster”s Sam Hird was adjudged to have fouled Chris McCann.

Defender Hird completed a miserable afternoon by putting through his own net in stoppage time.

The result means Burnley move to within three points of the top six at the season”s halfway point, while Doncaster, who hit the post through Billy Sharp before half-time, remainin the relegation zone two points from safety.

Winger Junior Stanislas came into the Burnley starting XI as Marvin Bartley dropped to the bench.

El Hadji Diouf, fresh from signingan 18-month contract extension at the Keepmoat Stadium, returned to theDoncaster side following a spell on the sidelines with a hamstring injury, while defender Pascal Chimbonda recovered sufficiently from his hip problem to earn a place among the substitutes.

Doncaster started on the front foot, but a cleverly worked Burnley corner in the ninth minute ended with Rovers defender Herita Ilunga clearing Rodriguez”s effort off the line.

Eddie Howe”s side started to bombard the visitors” area and Rodriguez”s header was off target from Ben Mee”s long throw before James O”Connor got in the way of a goalboundStanislas shot.

Rovers weathered the storm and James Coppinger might have given them the lead with half an hour gone, only to hesitate on receipt of Diouf”s pass before firing over from the edge of the box.

Ten minutes before the interval Hird and Clarets skipper McCann came together in the area and, after some hesitation, referee David Webb pointed to the spot.

Rodriguez made no mistake from 12 yards, drilling straight down the middle for his 12th goal of the season.

Doncaster almost found an instant response as a measured move ended with Sharp”s glancing header from Brian Stock”s cross striking the post.

Gary Woods was sharply out of his goal to stop Paterson doubling Burnley”s lead, while Rovers midfielder Giles Barnes should have ensured matters were all square at the break when he side-footed wide from close range.

Woods was forced to extinguish trouble of his own making seven minutes into the second half as Rodriguez pounced to dispossess Simon Gillet from the goalkeeper”s poor clearance and drew a sharp save with a well hit drive.

Coppinger unleashed a dipping volley in the 25th minute that a backpedalling Lee Grant superbly tipped around the post.

As Doncaster pushed for an equaliser, gaps were starting to appear for Burnley on the break and Ross Wallace drilled into the side netting after been driven wide by Habib Beye.

The second goal arrived in the 84th minute as Beye”s headed clearance was thundered against the crossbar by Rodriguez and, with Woods prone, Paterson reacted quickest to nod into an empty net.

James Hayter replaced a frustratedDiouf and almost reduced the arrears in the closing minutes, but David Edgar hacked his close-range effort to safety.

Doncaster”s misery was complete instoppage when a searching Kieran Trippier cross was headed back across goal by Rodriguez and Hird put through his own goal.