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England U21 4 Sweden U21 0 match report

England U21 4 Sweden U21 0: Ince scores twice as young guns shine in Walsall

– is an ideal
way to start the calendar year for coach Stuart Pearce, who will be
gunning for success at June's Euro 2013 finals in Israel, with talks
over his own future put on hold until after the tournament.

Injuries robbed Pearce of Raheem
Sterling, Phil Jones and Luke Shaw but it was still a strong line-up
which took to the field, skippered by Henderson – on Sunday voted Under
21s Player of the Year.

Liverpool team-mate Shelvey blazed
over a good chance early on after a lively burst from Ince before
Henderson himself planted a free header wide.

Double: Jonjo Shelvey scored England's second goal in the 30th minute

Double: Jonjo Shelvey scored England's second goal in the 30th minute

Relieved: Shelvey missed a header from two yards out just before scoring

Relieved: Shelvey missed a header from two yards out just before scoring

It was no surprise when a dominant England opened the scoring after 10 minutes.

Shelvey found marauding right-back
Smith with a delightful ball and he in turn sent a teasing low cross
into the box which was slotted home by Ince.

England were in complete control and
it should have been 2-0 after 18 minutes as the impressive Shelvey
somehow headed wide Henderson's cross with the goal at his mercy.

Cruising: Shelvey celebrates his goal with Josh McEachran

Cruising: Shelvey celebrates his goal with Josh McEachran

But Shelvey soon made amends as he
doubled the hosts' advantage, slotting home Ince's miscued shot off the
underside off the crossbar at the far post after Smith had again been
found in space down the right.

It was 3-0 just before half-time as
Sweden centre-back Filip Helander brought down Ince in the area, Josh
McEachran saw his penalty saved by keeper Andreas Linde but Ince swept
home the rebound.

With his side already in the driving seat at the break, Pearce introduced Wickham, Will Hughes and Henri Lansbury.

Rebound: McEachran had a first-half penalty saved before Ince followed up to score

Rebound: McEachran had a first-half penalty saved before Ince followed up to score

Rebound: McEachran had a first-half penalty saved before Ince followed up to score

Ince was denied his hat-trick on the hour mark following a great save from close range by replacement stopper August Stromberg.

Goalscoring opportunities dried up
after the break as both managers made a host of changes although the
Young Lions remained comfortable, with goalkeeper Jason Steele still to
make a meaningful save of note.

But the home side did register a fourth in the 77th minute, Wickham heading home Lansbury's deep cross.

Wickham was denied a fifth by Stromberg but England still ran out easy winners in front of a healthy sell-out crowd of 9,758.

Rout: Connor Wickham rises to head in England's fourth goal

Rout: Connor Wickham rises to head in England's fourth goal

Impressive: Stuart Pearce's side were dominant

Impressive: Stuart Pearce's side were dominant

Spurned: Derby's Will Hughes rues a missed chance

Spurned: Derby's Will Hughes rues a missed chance

Jason Steele of Middlesbrough receives England call

Jason who England turn to Steele to help prepare for Brazil as injured Sturridge gets ready to withdraw following heart-to-heart with Hodgson

when he was selected as Team
GB's understudy to Butland.

He is also remembered for being sent
off after coming on as a substitute for England U21s in a 2-0 defeat to
Germany, when midfielder Henri Lansbury was consequently forced to play
the final 32 minutes in goal.

Roger Federer to face Juan Martin del Potro in Swiss Indoor final

Federer to face Del Potro in Swiss Indoor final after beating Mathieu

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UPDATED:

17:21 GMT, 27 October 2012

Roger Federer set up an intriguing final with Juan Martin del Potro as he attempts to lay his hands on a sixth Swiss Indoors title.

Federer was made to work harder before seeing off France's Paul-Henri Mathieu 7-5 6-4 after Del Potro thumped third seed Richard Gasquet 6-2 6-2 earlier.

Basel battler: Roger Federer seeking a sixth Swiss Indoor title

Basel battler: Roger Federer seeking a sixth Swiss Indoor title

The world number one and home
favourite claimed the all-important break in the 11th game after Mathieu
fired an attempted forehand wide before closing out the set with ease.

Mathieu then faulted in the fifth
game of the next set to gift it to Federer and he made no mistake in
reaching the showpiece encounter in Basle.

Mathieu's compatriot Gasquet was humbled by big-hitting Argentinian Del Potro.

The second seed was easily able to
handle Gasquet's serve, breaking the Frenchman on five occasions en
route to his eighth successive win.

Grigor Dimitrov"s trick shot stuns Viktor Troicki in Basle

Take a bow! Dimitrov leaves Troicki stunned with cheeky trick shot in Basle

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UPDATED:

11:51 GMT, 26 October 2012

There may be a big four that dominate the tennis grand slams, but stars like Andy Murray have their work cut out if they want to better Grigor Dimitrov in the trick shot department.

During an indoor ATP tour match in Basle, the Bulgarian stunned the crowd by playing a crafty trick shot behind his legs that even had opponent Viktor Troicki acknowledging he was being wound up.

Dimitrov was one set up and a break up in the second when he pulled off the most casual of shots, which has received over one million views on Youtube.

It was entirely unnecessarily and disrespectful to Troicki but you have to admire not just the skill but the confidence to attempt such a shot.

The 21-year-old, who is ranked 62 in the world, went on to take the match 6-3 6-2 against the eighth seed and won in the following round against Julien Benneteau 4-6 6-3 6-2.

Dimitrov now faces wildcard Paul Henri-Mathieu in a quarter-final on Friday with the winner likely to face Roger Federer in the next round.

We can’t imagine the Bulgarian having the audacity to perform a similar trick against the world No. 1.

Bristol City 1 West Ham 1: Hammers held by Cole Skuse

Bristol City 1 West Ham 1: Hammers looking Green after keeper error leaves Allardyce staring at play-offs

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UPDATED:

21:02 GMT, 17 April 2012

A Robert Green blunder all but consigned West Ham to the npower Championship play-offs and helped edge Bristol City closer to safety.

The Hammers goalkeeper failed to deal with a routine Cole Skuse attempt from range after 29 minutes of a scratchy encounter at Ashton Gate, allowing the ball to bounce up and over his diving body.

It means his side have plenty to do if they are to secure automatic promotion to the Barclays Premier League.

Hit back: Bristol City's Cole Skuse celebrates his equaliser

Hit back: Bristol City's Cole Skuse celebrates his equaliser

MATCH FACTS

Bristol City: Gerken, Fontaine, Foster, Amougou, McGivern, Skuse, Bolasie (Woolford 69), Cisse (Adomah 69), Pearson, Stead (Carey 88), Wood

Subs not used: James, Kilkenny

Booked: Amougou, McGivern, Skuse, Stead

Goals: Skuse

West Ham United: Green, Reid, Tomkins, Demel (Faubert 74), Collins (Carew 63), Nolan, Taylor, Noble, Lansbury, Maynard (Collison 74), Vaz Te

Subs not used: Henderson, Diop

Booked: Reid, Collins

Goals: Tomkins

Referee: Pawson

Attendance: 16,669

With Southampton winning at Peterborough, Sam Allardyce's outfit are five points off the top two with just two games remaining.

It could have been so different for the Hammers, who led thanks to James Tomkins' header midway through the opening period and saw second-half chances spurned by Henri Lansbury and John Carew.

But for City, a battling point improves their chances of playing in the Championship next season.

West Ham spent the first 15 minutes camped in the City half, and Ricardo Vaz Te had the ball in the back of the net on the quarter-hour mark, only for referee Craig Pawson to disallow the goal for a handball by Hammers skipper Kevin Nolan in the build-up.

At the other end, Skuse dragged a tame daisy-cutter well wide, while Vaz Te followed suit as neither side could open the other up.

But with 25 minutes gone the away side finally found a way through.

Andre Amougou fouled Maynard wide on the left, Noble floated in the resulting free-kick and Tomkins picked his spot with a free header back across Dean Gerken.

The hosts, already firmly on the back foot, could have been forgiven for folding – but within four minutes they were level.

Skuse latched on to a bobbling ball 25 yards from goal and took aim, more out of hope than expectation.

Green appeared to have the effort covered, but the ball bounced up off the turf in front of him and, although the England stopper got a hand to it, nestled in the right-hand corner of the net.

The Hammers almost nudged ahead just before the break, but Gerken dived bravely on Nolan's shot-cum-cross before Winston Reid could bundle the ball home, and the two teams went into half-time all-square.

The visitors started brightly after the interval, and Lansbury clipped the top of the crossbar before forcing a decent save out of Gerken from a narrow angle.

Allardyce introduced striker Carew for full-back Danny Collins as his side desperately chased a winning goal.

Carew was quickly in the game, shooting low at Gerken after being played in by Vaz Te, but City always looked lively going forward and it required a good stop from Green to keep out Chris Wood's effort with 18 minutes remaining.

Carew headed Matt Taylor's free-kick over and toe-poked wide late on but the Hammers could not find a crucial second.

West Ham 6 Brighton 0: Ricardo Vaz Te hat-trick settles it

West Ham 6 Brighton 0: Vaz Te hat-trick helps Hammers close on Saints

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UPDATED:

16:37 GMT, 14 April 2012

Ricardo Vaz Te's hat-trick hauled West Ham back into the automatic promotion race in a stunning demolition of Brighton.

The Hammers shrugged off their recent home misery by blitzing Gus Poyet's play-off hopefuls with three goals in the first 10 minutes, before finishing them off in the second half.

Portuguese winger Vaz Te started the rout with a quickfire brace before skipper Kevin Nolan added the third.

Head over heels: Ricardo Vaz Te scored a hat-trick in West Ham's rout

Head over heels: Ricardo Vaz Te scored a hat-trick in West Ham's rout

MATCH FACTS

WEST HAM: Green, Demel (Collins 68), Tomkins, Reid, Taylor, Noble, O'Neil (Collison 55), Lansbury, Nolan, Cole, Vaz Te (Carew 77). Subs Not Used: Henderson, Maynard.

Goals: Vaz Te 3, 8, Nolan 11, Vaz Te 62, Cole 64, Dicker 78 og.

Booked: Cole.

BRIGHTON: Brezovan, Calderon, Greer, El-Abd, Painter, Navarro, Bridcutt, Dicker, Assulin (LuaLua 53), Vicente (Noone 64), Barnes (Mackail-Smith 53). Subs Not Used: Ankergren, Jara Reyes.

Booked: Dicker.

Attendance: 32,339

Referee: Roger East (Wiltshire).

Vaz Te struck again with a superb scissor kick just after the hour mark to take his tally to five goals in his last two matches.

Carlton Cole added the fifth and Brighton's misery was complete when Gary Dicker put through his own net.

Sam Allardyce's side, who had slipped
off the pace following a rotten run of seven home matches without a win,
are now just three points behind second-placed Southampton with three
games to play.

Poyet, by contrast, has maintained for
most of the season his team are not ready for promotion, and they
certainly set about proving him right in a disastrous start to the
match.

Henri Lansbury set the tone when his shot from the edge of the area hit the crossbar after only 30 seconds.

Two minutes later West Ham were ahead
when Nolan robbed Brighton's Spanish midfielder Vicente and played in
Vaz Te, who let fly from 25 yards.

His shot had some swerve on it but
should not have troubled Peter Brezovan unduly, yet the Seagulls keeper
was flapping at thin air as the ball whistled past him.

Perfect 10: The striker has now scored at least a goal a game in his 10 appearances for West Ham since joining from Barnsley

Perfect 10: The striker has now scored at least a goal a game in his 10 appearances for West Ham since joining from Barnsley

With West Ham suddenly laying siege to the visitors' goal Brezovan was beaten again in the eighth minute.

Guy Demel launched a deep cross from the right and Vaz Te sneaked around the back to squeeze a header inside the far post.

There was no respite for Brighton with
Nolan making it three two minutes later, the midfielder tucking his
12th of the season past the hapless Brezovan after James Tomkins headed
Matt Taylor's free-kick back across goal.

The shell-shocked Seagulls eventually
managed to stem the flow and even came close to pulling one back before
half-time, but Rob Green clawed away Gordon Greer's header with the
Seagulls defender claiming in vain that the ball had crossed the line.

But normal service was resumed after the interval with Vaz Te completing his sparkling treble in the 62nd minute.

Cole headed the ball across goal and,
as West Ham appealed for a penalty for a push on Lansbury, Vaz Te
launched himself in the air and crashed his acrobatic effort into the
net.

Two minutes later Cole's shot was deflected off the heels of Lansbury to dupe Brezovan yet again.

And with 11 minutes left Dicker
diverted Mark Noble's corner into his own net to seal an emphatic win to
take some of the heat off Allardyce – and maybe set a few nerves
jangling on the south coast.

Henri Lansbury ready to answer West Ham goalkeeper SOS

Hammers to appeal Green red but stand-in Lansbury is ready to answer Big Sam SOS

Henri Lansbury is ready to answer Sam Allardyce's goalkeeping crisis after his stand-in heroics during West Ham's 4-1 win over Blackpool.

With no back-up goalkeeper on the bench, the on-loan Arsenal midfielder was unexpectedly hauled on to replace Robert Green after the Hammers No 1 was sent off at Bloomfield Road.

But Lansbury was unfazed during his 35 minute cameo and has offered to do it again this Saturday against Crystal Palace if Green's expected appeal over his three-match ban fails.

Super Hands: Henri Lansbury kept a clean sheet after replacing sent-off goalkeeper Robert Green during West Ham's win over Blackpool

Super Hands: Henri Lansbury kept a clean sheet after replacing sent-off goalkeeper Robert Green during West Ham's win over Blackpool

'I'm going to take my gloves into training! Hopefully I can make the squad as a goalkeeper,' Lansbury joked, speaking to the club's official website after the Hammers reclaimed their place at the top of the Championship.

'I was a bit shocked at first but then the gaffer turned around and said “You're going in” so I thought “Alright” and I couldn't wait to get on. It was enjoyable.

All smiles: Lansbury is congratulated by team-mate jack Collison

All smiles: Lansbury is congratulated by team-mate jack Collison

'I enjoy playing in goal. I did it quite a bit when I was with my mates and in five-a-side tournaments I go in goal, but to play out on the pitch is another level.'

West Ham's travelling fans sang 'Are you Ludo (Hammers favourite Ludek Miklosko) in disguise' to Lansbury in honour of his emergency shot-stopping stint between the sticks.

But it was not the first time he's played in goal – he had to replace Middlesbrough's Jason Steele for England Under 21s, letting in a penalty against Portugal in November 2010.

'I let a penalty in playing for England Under-21s, but I suppose you don't have to count that, so it's two clean sheets. Maybe I could go in goal again sometime!'

West Ham will lodge their appeal to the FA over Green's dismissal hoping they can overturn the decision.

Ruud Boffin is in contention to deputise or Allardyce might ask for an emergency loan signing should they fail after co-chairman David Sullivan admitted this week that highly-rated Czech Republic keeper Marek Stech is unlikely to play for the club again

Sullivan revealed the youngster has a clause in his contract which stipulates the east London side would have to pay his former club Sparta Prague 700,000 should he make two more first-team appearances.

Appeal: West Ham are set to challenge Robert Green's sending off

Appeal: West Ham are set to challenge Robert Green's sending off

Football League blog

It's the third successive game the Hammers have had a player sent off but Lansbury hopes the win will spur them onto promotion.

He added: 'I think we've started to play well now and even with ten men we look like we're going to score every time we attack.

'We've just got to try to keep this run going until the end of the season.'

Blackpool 1 West Ham 4: Green sees red, but 10-man Hammers win to hit top spot

Blackpool 1 West Ham 4: Green sees red, but 10-man Hammers win to hit top spot

Sam Allardyce will never forget the ruthless way he lost his first job as a manager at Blackpool and he is unlikely to forget his latest trip to the seaside in a hurry either.

Allardyce was jettisoned from Bloomfield Road in 1996 after failing to win promotion but he took a giant step towards that target with his current club in a dramatic game that ended with 10-man West Ham reclaiming top spot in the Championship.

It looked at one point as if Allardyce's side would saunter to top spot after goals from James Tomkins and Nicky Maynard but they were hanging on after Kevin Phillips pulled one back for the hosts and former England goalkeeper Robert Green was sent off for a crude challenge.

In the Nick of time: Maynard celebrates making it 2-1 to the Hammers

In the Nick of time: Maynard celebrates making it 2-1 to the Hammers

MATCH FACTS

Blackpool: Gilks, Baptiste, Cathcart, Evatt, Crainey, Sylvestre (Dicko 46), Ferguson, Basham (Kevin Phillips 34), Matt Phillips, Fleck,LuaLua (Bednar 46).

Subs not used: Eardley, Wilson.

Booked: Fleck.

Scorer: Kevin Phillips 45.

West Ham: Green, O'Brien, Faye (O'Neil 66), Tomkins, McCartney, Faubert (Lansbury 54), Noble, Reid, Collison, Maynard (Cole 82), Vaz Te.

Subs not used: Baldock,Potts.

Sent off: Green (53).

Booked: Reid,O'Neil.

Scorers: Tomkins 28,Maynard 32,O'Neil 74,Vaz Te 90.

Attendance: 13,043

Referee: Oliver Langford (W Midlands).

However, Henri Lansbury, who came off
the bench to go in goal as Allardyce did not have a reserve keeper on
the bench, was hardly tested, and Gary O'Neil fired home West Ham's
third from the edge of the area after 74 minutes.

The time of the season is approaching
when results are the only things that matter and this win keeps West
Ham firmly on course for a return to the top flight.

When the sides last met at Bloomfield
Road just over a year ago, West Ham ran out 3-1 winners as they
scrapped to stay in the Barclays Premier League and the stakes were as
high.

With one defeat in their last 10
League games, Blackpool's form had demanded they be viewed as promotion
candidates themselves, but the visitors made much the brighter start and
perhaps should have been in front inside six minutes.

Julien Faubert's perseverance on the
right ended with him ushering a ball in to Maynard, who had spun away
from Craig Cathcart. Much to the striker's dismay, though, he dragged
his shot wide of keeper Matthew Gilks and Blackpool were eventually able
to clear.

Sporting a garish bobble hat to
combat the cold, Ian Holloway's histrionics on the touchline gave an
idea of how unhappy he was with his team's efforts but, in the opening
half hour, West Ham's relentless power and drive kept Blackpool hemmed
in.

Red alert: Rob Green upends Roman Bednar...

Red alert: Rob Green upends Roman Bednar…

... referee Oliver Langord considers his options ...

… referee Oliver Langord considers his options …

... and gives the West Ham goalkeeper his marching orders ...

… and gives the West Ham goalkeeper his marching orders …

It was no surprise when West Ham's
pressure paid off after 28 minutes. Holloway may have lamented the way
his defenders lined up for Mark Noble's free-kick but there was nothing
Gilks could do to keep out Tomkins' thumping header.

How Blackpool could have done with
some inspiration from Matt Phillips. The subject of interest before the
game, given his decision to represent Scotland, Holloway was furious the
English FA had allowed the 20-year-old to defect.

'I have been in the game a long time
and seen a lot of players, and I think Matt is good enough to be an
England international,' he said. 'It's great news if you are Scottish
but what more did Matt need to do to get picked for England's Under 21s
I feel a bit irked.'

Hammer blow: Tomins wheels away after opening the scoring for the east Londoners

Hammer blow: Tomins wheels away after opening the scoring for the east Londoners

Holloway's mood darkened further
after 32 minutes when Maynard marked his first appearance since his
deadline day move from Bristol City with a well-taken goal.

West Ham had been so dominant that
Holloway made a tactical switch, dragging midfielder Chris Basham off
and replacing him with Kevin Phillips. It paid dividends just before half-time when the 38-year-old striker pulled a goal back.

Though that goal had given the home
crowd something to hang on to, an unhappy Holloway still made two
further changes at half time, Roman Bednar and Nouha Dicko replacing
Lomana LuaLua and Ludovic Sylvestre.

Off you go: Green trudges off and is replaced by Henri Lansbury

Off you go: Green trudges off and is replaced by Henri Lansbury

Whatever he said during the interval
had the desired effect as Blackpool started with purpose. Within
minutes, the complexion of the game changed when Green was sent off for a
professional foul on Bednar.

Allardyce was furious – it was the
third red card shown to a West Ham player in three games – but more
worrying was he had no replacement goalkeeper on the bench, meaning
on-loan Lansbury put on the gloves.

But he was hardly troubled before Ricardo Vaz Te drilled in the visitors' fourth in the 90th minute.

Stand-in: Lansbury had to put on the gloves after Green's exit

Stand-in: Lansbury had to put on the gloves after Green's exit

IN FOCUS

IN FOCUS: MARK NOBLE

MARK NOBLE

Has been a driving force this season and his hard running characterised the visitors' efforts.

IN FOCUS: KEVIN PHILLIPS

KEVIN PHILLIPS

Remains as enthusiastic as ever and the years have not diminished his eye for goal.