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Shane Warne and Marlon Samuels involved in spat in Melbourne

It's the Big Bash (and swearing) League! Warne involved in altercation with Samuels in Melbourne Twenty20 clash

By
Paul Newman

PUBLISHED:

12:12 GMT, 6 January 2013

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UPDATED:

21:14 GMT, 6 January 2013

Shane Warne is in danger of bringing an ignominious end to his distinguished career after an ugly spat with Marlon Samuels.

Sunday's Melbourne derby in front of a record Australian domestic Twenty20 crowd of 46,581 in the Big Bash was marred by one of the worst incidents seen in top cricket in years.

And while Samuels was most at fault for hurling his bat in scenes reminiscent of the infamous clash between Dennis Lillee and Javed Miandad, Warne first lobbed the ball at his opponent.

Finger of blame: Warne directs some fruity language towards Samuels

Finger of blame: Warne directs some fruity language towards Samuels

Bats your lot: Samuels lobbed his bat in Warne's direction after being hit on the shoulder

Bats your lot: Samuels lobbed his bat in Warne's direction after being hit on the shoulder

Bats your lot: Samuels lobbed his bat in Warne's direction after being hit on the shoulder

It all started when Samuels seemed to pull David Hussey back by his shirt as the Melbourne Stars batsman considered a second run after joining the Renegades bowler at the non-striker’s end.

Then when Samuels came in to bat, Warne wagged his finger at the West Indian and said: ‘F*** you, mate.’

In the next over, Warne ran in to
field a ball defended by Samuels and, with the batsman making no effort
to run, the leg-spinner lobbed the ball at his opponent, hitting him on
the arm.

In a spin: Samuel's team were victorious, despite Warne's best efforts

In a spin: Samuel's team were victorious, despite Warne's best efforts

Samuels hurled his bat down the pitch, fortunately without it hitting Warne.

The umpires calmed the pair down but
Warne, wearing a microphone in the field, told Fox Sports: ‘What do you
expect when someone throws a bat at you’

Samuels was later struck in the face
trying to pull Lasith Malinga and may be out of the competition with a
fractured eye socket.

Ricky Ponting on pitch at Hobart before Australia"s Test with Sri Lanka

Australia legend Ponting paraded on pitch at Hobart before Hughes hits 86 for hosts

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UPDATED:

09:46 GMT, 14 December 2012

Retired Australia batsman Ricky Ponting undertook a touching lap of honour in Hobart before Australia took on Sri Lanka.

The former captain, and a true great of the game, was accompanied by his daughters Emmy and Matisse as he made his way around the pitch.

When proceedings began Phil Hughes justified his recall by Australia after a year in the wilderness with 86 as the hosts closed on 299 for four on the first day of the first Test against Sri Lanka in Hobart.

Guard of honour: Retired batsman Ricky Ponting was on the pitch before Australia took on Sri Lanka

Guard of honour: Retired batsman Ricky Ponting was on the pitch before Australia took on Sri Lanka

Smile and wave: The former Aussie captain was accompanied by his daughters Emmy (left) and Matisse (centre)

Smile and wave: The former Aussie captain was accompanied by his daughters Emmy (left) and Matisse (centre)

Smile and wave: The former Aussie captain was accompanied by his daughters Emmy and Matisse

The 24-year-old, offered the
opportunity to resume his Test career following the retirement of
Ponting, took his chance with eight fours and one six in a 166-ball
knock.

It was Hughes'
fourth Test half-century and came 12 months after he was dropped
following a horror show against New Zealand at the same venue.

The innings was all the more impressive given the newly-laid wicket has proved a minefield for top-order batsmen in the Sheffield Shield this season.

At stumps, captain Michael Clarke was unbeaten on 70 in a stand of 101 with Michael Hussey, who was on 37 not out.

Chanaka Welegedara did most of the damage for the tourists with three wickets for 99.
Together with Shane Watson, Hughes had helped Australia rebuild after the needless loss of the impressive David Warner immediately before lunch.

Warner, who had 57 of the 97 runs the hosts scored in the morning, was run out trying to grab a quick single that simply was not there, Angelo Mathews picking him off with an easy throw to the non-striker's end.

Star man: Phil Hughes was in fine form and hit an 86

Star man: Phil Hughes was in fine form and hit an 86

Almost: Mahela Jayawardene tries to catch Mike Hussey (right) out

Almost: Mahela Jayawardene tries to catch Mike Hussey (right) out

That ended a strong partnership of 79 with Hughes, built after opener Ed Cowan suffered another early dismissal, departing for just four after attempting a pull shot but getting under it to give Shaminda Eranga an easy catch at mid-on.

Watson went late in the second session, caught by outgoing Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene off Welegedara for 30.

Hughes reached 82 at tea, his innings including a big six off Rangana Herath, even if the shot – less than cleanly struck – was not one of his best.

He added just four more before being bowled off an inside edge by the dangerous if expensive Welegedara, but Clarke and Hussey took the score to the brink of the 300-mark as the hosts wrestled back the ascendancy.

Solid: Hughes helpes Australia reach 299 on the first day of the first Test

Solid: Hughes helpes Australia reach 299 on the first day of the first Test

Gotcha: Hughes was eventually dismissed by Chanaka Welagedara

Gotcha: Hughes was eventually dismissed by Chanaka Welagedara

Ricky Ponting retires: An apology to the Australian legend… We"re sorry for all the jibes and most of all, for calling you Ratty

Ricky Ponting – an apology: We're sorry for all the jibes and most of all, for calling you Ratty

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UPDATED:

11:12 GMT, 29 November 2012

Ricky Ponting we are sorry.

Sorry for accusing you of cheating. Sorry for pilloring your unsporting behaviour (of which there's been plenty). We're even almost sorry for calling you Ratty Ponting – but not quite.

Like all the greatest villains, we loved to hate you. Like all Australians, we've loved making fun of you. Above all else we loved beating you – and we'd gotten used to that.

The sad truth is we wish more of our sportsmen and women were like you. And that's why we must say sorry.

Ratty Ponting

Ricky Ponting

King Rat: How Sportsmail mocked Ponting in 2009 (left) inspired by the surely Aussie's image (right)

Almost fond farewell: Ricky Ponting has announced his retirement from international cricket at a press conference in Perth. Sportsmail owes him an apology

Almost fond farewell: Ricky Ponting has announced his retirement from international cricket at a press conference in Perth. Sportsmail owes him an apology

Kevin Pietersen's Twitter reaction

Ricky Ponting RETIRES…. ONE OF THE GREATS! I always got excited playing AUS, so I could watch him bat up close. Well done Punter! #legend

Your dogged determination, fierce patriotism and considerable talent made you a fearsome adversary.

We have loved your two-facedness. Remember Cardiff in 2009 You blew your top when we… sorry England, sent 12th man Bilal Shafayat on with spare gloves as Monty Panesar and James Anderson were grinding out a famous draw. Stalling for time, you said. You'd know all about that, cobber.

Old Trafford, 2005… your Aussies were clinging on for a draw when out pops little Stuart MacGill, 12th man, with a towel – yes, a towel! – for flustered Glenn McGrath as he and Brett Lee fought off a late onslaught.

We have loved your on-field lack of grace. Off it you're a charmer, a sporting prince. But when Michael Hussey was the only Aussie to applaud Alastair Cook's century in the Fifth 2010/11 Ashes Test at Sydney we lapped up your snarling unsporting behaviour.

Enlarge

Glove affair: How the Daily Mail covered the controversial Cardiff Test in 2009 when Ricky fumed at England's 12th man

Glove affair: How the Daily Mail covered the controversial Cardiff Test in 2009 when Ricky fumed at England's 12th man

Rodent times: How Ratty Ponting appeared in our pages in 2009

Rodent times: How Ratty Ponting appeared in our pages in 2009

We'll ignore you claiming Phil Hughes's catch when Cook was on 99, which clearly hit the turf first.

If one of ours hadn't celebrated the new year by making your mob chase leather around the park, we'd have really been angry. Your reaction just wasn't cricket, old bean.

We still love Gary Pratt for what he did to you. The sub fielder running you out at Trent Bridge in 2005 was not the best bit. Your fuming and finger-pointing at England coach Duncan Fletcher, who was sitting up in the pavilion was classic King Rat.

You were angry. You were hurt. We were laughing. So was big Dunc.

Ricky Ponting, Australian captain, is run out by England substitute fielder Gary Pratt

Gary Pratt (centre), substitute fielder for England, is congratulated by team mates after running out Ricky Ponting

Making a Pratt of himself: Ponting is run out (left) by substitute fielder Gary Pratt, who was hailed by England's Test stars (right) at Trent Bridge during the famous 2005 Ashes Series

Then there were the runs – we haven't loved those. All 2,476 of them against England at an average of 44.21. Not quite your overall 52.21, but still formidable.

In 2009 this newspaper dubbed you Ratty Ponting in a bid to put you off your stride. You averaged 48.12 in that series including a memorable 150 at Cardiff, but England still triumphed.

As a foe we celebrate you. As a cricketer we applaud you. As a personality we shall miss you.

There are some out there who will hope you add another century to your prolific haul of 41 at Perth tomorrow.

You'll understand of course, that we hope you get a duck.

Goodbye Ricky, it's by no means good riddance.

Farewell: Australia's Ricky Ponting always celebrated like it was his first victory

Farewell: Australia's Ricky Ponting always celebrated like it was his first victory

World Twenty20 2012: Australia beat West Indies in Colombo

Watson smashes Australia to simple victory in rain-hit clash with West Indies

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UPDATED:

17:47 GMT, 22 September 2012

Australia secured their place in the Super Eight stage of the World Twenty20 with a 17-run Duckworth/Lewis victory over West Indies after rain curtailed play in Colombo.

A heavy downpour interrupted the Australians' charge towards their 193 target when they were 100 for one – 17 runs ahead of the Duckworth/Lewis par score after 9.1 overs.

All-rounder Shane Watson – man of the match in Australia's opening Group B triumph over Ireland on Wednesday – was once again in full flow, unbeaten on 41 from 24 deliveries alongside Michael Hussey (28 off 19) when the heavens opened.

I've got the power: Shane Watson hits for six at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo

I've got the power: Shane Watson hits for six at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo

All-round excellence: Watson, who took two wickets and hit 41 runs, bowls to Samuels

All-round excellence: Watson, who took two wickets and hit 41 runs, bowls to Samuels

The Windies earlier posted 192 for
eight from their 20 overs after captain Darren Sammy won the toss and
stuck with his team's preferred tactics in this format, opting to bat
first – their total underpinned by half-centuries from Chris Gayle and
Marlon Samuels.

Opener Gayle smashed 54 off 33 balls –
including five fours and four sixes – before a soft dismissal, caught
and bowled by Watson, while Samuels plundered three fours and four sixes
in reaching 50 off 32. He holed out to David Warner at long-on off the
bowling of veteran spinner Brad Hogg.

Paceman Mitchell Starc (three for 35)
and all-rounder Watson (two for 29) were the pick of the Australia
bowlers, the former having been passed fit after recovering from
gastroenteritis. Pat Cummins, Daniel Christian and Hogg also claimed a
wicket apiece.

Big hitter: Chris Gayle drives to the boundary during his innings of 54 against Australia

Big hitter: Chris Gayle drives to the boundary during his innings of 54 against Australia

Crash, bang, wallop: Marlon Samuels hits out on his way to a half-century for West Indies

Crash, bang, wallop: Marlon Samuels hits out on his way to a half-century for West Indies

Australia suffered an early setback in
their response when Warner – much to his displeasure – was given out
caught behind by Denesh Ramdin off Fidel Edwards with the first ball of
the third over, but not before the opener had racked up 28 from 14
balls.

However, they continued at a decent
pace as Watson and Hussey set about reducing the 9.65 required run-rate
which ultimately proved crucial.

The result left West Indies facing a
winner-takes-all clash with Ireland on Monday to determine who will join
Australia in the Super Eights.

Timber! Dwayne Smith of the West Indies is bowled by Mitchell Starc (unseen), who took thee wickets

Timber! Dwayne Smith of the West Indies is bowled by Mitchell Starc (unseen), who took thee wickets

Australia are the damp squib with weather set to spoil England"s assault on the ascent

Australia are the damp squib with weather set to spoil England's assault on the ascent

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UPDATED:

22:40 GMT, 3 July 2012

It is typical of this sodden summer that the weather poses as big a threat as the Australians do of stopping England steamrollering their way to the top of the one-day world rankings.

The ‘curse’ of Edgbaston may well strike again with this third international in danger of going the same way as the three days of last month’s Test here against West Indies which were lost to rain.

Only a 5-0 whitewash would take England to the top of the only ICC table they do not yet adorn and any intervention of the elements today would scupper their chances, at least for now, of claiming a triple crown.

Weather warning: Andy Flower and Alastair Cook leave the Edgbaston outfield

Weather warning: Andy Flower and Alastair Cook leave the Edgbaston outfield

If the rain stays away then Australia, defeated at Lord’s and The Oval, will need to improve substantially to stop England’s march to a seventh successive home one-day series triumph.

It was music to English ears to hear an Australian say how much his side need to learn from England.

The teams

ENGLAND (probable): Cook (capt), Bell, Trott, Bopara, Morgan, Kieswetter (wkt), Bresnan, Broad, Swann, Finn, Anderson.

AUSTRALIA (probable): Watson, Warner, Forrest, Clarke (capt), Bailey, Hussey, Wade (wkt), Lee, Pattinson, McKay, Doherty.

TV: LIVE on Sky Sports 1 from 1.30pm.

‘We’ve been outplayed in all three disciplines so we will certainly look at how England play,’ said George Bailey.

‘They’ve got a set structure and each player knows their role really well. There are no secrets in the way they play. It’s an obvious game plan but they’re executing it really well. That’s something we can take a lot out of.’

England may welcome back Jimmy Anderson to continue their tactic of hitting Australia with five ‘proper’ bowlers. But if they decide not to risk his groin, in what are sure to be difficult conditions, then local boy Chris Woakes will get his first chance in a home 50-over international to cement his place among the coming generation.

He made an exciting impression at the end of the last Ashes when he smashed England to a Twenty20 victory against Australia in Adelaide and then took six ODI wickets in Brisbane.

Rising star: Chris Woakes is out to prove he can shine with bat and ball for England

Rising star: Chris Woakes is out to prove he can shine with bat and ball for England

Injuries have held up his progress since but the Warwickshire all-rounder has been called up in the absence of Jade Dernbach and Stuart Meaker, who will both attend the funeral of Tom Maynard.

And Woakes feels any lingering suspicion he might not be quite quick enough to be a frontline international bowler have been eradicated.

‘I definitely feel and know that I’ve put on a yard of pace,’ said Woakes, who is now nearer 85-87 mph rather than 81-82. ‘I’ve worked on a few things with the ball, especially in one-day cricket, and I’ve improved technically. That’s helped me add pace.’

Australia face a dilemma as to whether they can again risk Mitchell Johnson after his radar proved wonky at The Oval on Sunday and may instead give James Pattinson a chance.

For now it is the tourists who have all the problems.

Live – England v Australia scorecard from Lord"s

LIVE: England v Australia – Follow the score from the first ODI at Lord's

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UPDATED:

09:30 GMT, 29 June 2012

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England take on Australia at Lord's in the first encounter of a five-match one-day international series.

It might not be the Ashes, but there will be no love lost between these two old foes, and England have the added incentive of knowing a 5-0 whitewash will see them usurp the tourists as the world's No 1 one-day side.

Following an abject World Cup display at the start of 2011, England have come on leaps and bounds in the 50-over game under captain Alastair Cook, winning four out five series, and all three at home.

But the Australians represent a very stern test for Cook and his troops. They can call on the experience of the likes of captain Michael Clarke, fast bowler Brett Lee and all-rounder Shane Watson, while several exciting young prospects are in their touring squad.

Australia have won the toss and elected to bowl.

CLICK HERE FOR THE LIVE SCORECARD

England: Alastair Cook (captain), Ian Bell, Jonathan Trott, Ravi Bopara, Eoin Morgan, Craig Kieswetter, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Steven Finn.

Australia: Shane Watson, David Warner, George Bailey, Michael Clarke (captain), David Hussey, Steve Smith, Matthew Wade (wicketkeeper), Brett Lee, Clint McKay, Pat Cummins, Xavier Doherty.

Old foes: England captain Alastair Cook and his Australian counterpart Michael Clarke (right)

Old foes: England captain Alastair Cook and his Australian counterpart Michael Clarke (right)

Southampton 4 Coventry 0: Saints promoted

Southampton 4 Coventry 0: Saints go marching into Premier League in style

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UPDATED:

13:59 GMT, 28 April 2012

Southampton secured their return to the Barclays Premier League after a seven-year absence with a comfortable win against already relegated Coventry.

Goals from Billy Sharp and Jose Fonte in the first half and Jos Hooiveld and Adam Lallana after the break gave a record St Mary's crowd the result they had been eagerly hoping for.

The home side dominated from start to finish, rarely allowing their lowly guests a sight of goal.

We are going up: Southampton have returned to the Premier League after a two year absence

We are going up: Southampton have returned to the Premier League after a two year absence

MATCH FACTS

SOUTHAMPTON: Davis; Fonte, Butterfield, Fox, Hooiveld, Schneiderlin, Guly, Hammond (Cork 37), Lallana (Puncheon 82), Lambert, Sharp (De Ridder 76) Subs not used: Bialkowski, Harding

Goals: Sharp 16, Fonte 19, Hooiveld 59, Lallana 63

COVENTRY: Murphy, Hussey, Cranie, Clarke, Willis (Henderson 72), Baker, Norwood, Thomas, Bigirimana (Jeffers 46), McSheffrey (Roberts 34), McDonald Subs not used: Dunn, Platt.

Referee: Taylor

Attendance: 32,363

And Southampton could well have won
by more, but Rickie Lambert and Guly Do Prado both wasted golden
opportunities in front of goal.

For manager Nigel Adkins and the players and coaching staff at the south coast club those misses will not have mattered.

As, almost three years to the day
after a 10-point deduction effectively consigned them to relegation to
League One, the Saints are marching back into the top flight.

Coventry enjoyed the first two sights
of goal early on but Carl Baker ballooned his effort over the crossbar
when well placed inside the area and Kelvin Davis in the Southampton
goal got down well to deny Gary McSheffrey.

And having squandered such glorious chances in the first 10 minutes, the Sky Blues were made to pay as the Saints stormed into the lead.

On 17 minutes, Fonte burst out of his
own area and teed up Do Prado on the right and, when the Brazilian's
cross was met by Lallana's volley, Sharp was on hand to redirect the
ball past Coventry keeper Joe Murphy.

Nerves settled, Southampton quickly went about their demolition job and edged further in front.

Looking Sharp: Southampton were set on the way when Billy Sharp pounced just after the quarter hour

Looking Sharp: Southampton were set on the way when Billy Sharp pounced just after the quarter hour

Danny Fox's corner from the right
picked out Fonte, who outmuscled his marker to bury a header beyond
Murphy. St Mary's went ballistic.

Baker tested Davis once more before
half-time, in a rare foray forward for the visitors, while Lambert saw
his goalbound effort blocked by Martin Cranie.

The second half picked up exactly where the first had left off, with Southampton in utter control.

No way, Jose: Saints were two up inside 20 minutes thanks to Jose Fonte

No way, Jose: Saints were two up inside 20 minutes thanks to Jose Fonte

Do Prado headed over from Danny
Butterfield's cross and Lambert's fizzing effort went within inches of
adding a third for the hosts.

But soon the Saints could start celebrating on the terraces, as the home side pushed themselves out of sight.

Contrasting futures: While Southampton celebrated, Coventry reflect on a desperately disappointing campaign

Contrasting futures: While Southampton celebrated, Coventry reflect on a desperately disappointing campaign

Fox's right-wing corner broke to
Sharp and, after the striker's initial attempt was blocked, Hooiveld was
on hand to scramble the ball home.

Pressure now fully released, Southampton had the liberty to run wild.

High hopes: Southampton have followed Norwich in securing back-to-back promotions

High hopes: Southampton have followed Norwich in securing back-to-back promotions

It did not take long for a fourth
goal to arrive. This time it was Lallana's turn to get on the
scoresheet, tapping home from close range after Lambert nodded the ball
back across goal.

As time ran out, and the fans assembled pitchside for the inevitable end-of-match invasion, the hosts continued to press.

And while their heroes were unable to
add to their afternoon's haul, come the final whistle the supporters did
not care. The Saints go marching on.

Windies batsman Chanderpaul becomes only the 10th member of 10,000 club

Windies batsman Chanderpaul becomes only the 10th member of 10,000 club

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UPDATED:

22:09 GMT, 26 April 2012

Shivnarine Chanderpaul became just
the 10th player to score 10,000 Test runs, but his departure in the
final over of the day saw the initiative swing firmly back to Australia
on the fourth day of the third and final Test against West Indies in
Dominica.

Chanderpaul reached the milestone
with a single off Michael Clarke in his 140th Test as the 37-year-old
became only the second West Indian player to pass the landmark,
following Brian Lara who ended his career with 11,953.

Milestone: West Indies batsman Shivarine Chanderpaul celebrates his 10,000th Test run

Milestone: West Indies batsman Shivarine Chanderpaul celebrates his 10,000th Test run

However, it was the Australia captain who removed the West Indian with the first ball of the last over to leave the tourists firmly in control.

After wobbling on 45 for three, Chanderpaul and Darren Bravo put on 110 before the latter was out for 45.

It was then a huge blow for the hosts to lose Chanderpaul for 69 as they finished the day on 173 for five, needing 197 more for victory with five wickets remaining.

Earlier, local boy Shane Shillingford
took two wickets in the morning to end with four for 100 in the second
innings, and 10 for 219 overall, as Australia were all out for 259.

Ricky Ponting and Ed Cowan's half-centuries were the highest
contributions to an unimpressive total, but it still meant the hosts
were in pursuit of a testing score.

West Indies' Shivnarine Chanderpaul

Hitting out: Chanderpaul on his way to 69

Resuming on 200 for six, a lead of 310, this morning, Australia added a
further 20 before Michael Hussey (32) became Shillingford's first victim
of the day, and ninth overall, when he was caught by Darren Sammy.

Ryan Harris (nine) and Ben Hilfenhaus (six) were next to fall, the
latter becoming Shillingford's 10th wicket to leave the tourists on 237.

Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon resisted somewhat and put on 22 between
them before the former was bowled for 21 by Kemar Roach to end the
Australia innings.

That saw West Indies set a target of 370 for victory, but they made a woeful start, losing Adrian Barath for an 11-ball duck.

It was a stunning catch by Cowan, who dived to his right despite a well-timed flick by the batsman.

The hosts' task became harder when Australia removed Kraigg Braithwaite
for 14 with the score on 28. Clarke brought himself on to bowl and had
the batsman lbw after a late pull.

Kieran Powell made 24 before being straight bowled by Clarke and any West Indies run chase was looking unlikely.

Early strike: Australia celebrate dismissal of Adrian Barath

Early strike: Australia celebrate dismissal of Adrian Barath

However, any gloom was brightened as Chanderpaul reached his milestone
with a tuck through mid-wicket and, although his own acknowledgement was
muted, everyone in the ground rose to applaud.

Chanderpaul moved on to his 50 – which came off 90 balls – with a
boundary off Harris and the hosts will have been hoping to reach the
close of play without further loss.

However, that was dashed when Bravo was removed, Matthew Wade getting
down well for a catch after the batsman got an edge to a Shane Watson
delivery.

His 45 came off 148 balls and included five boundaries and the hosts
suffered another blow soon after when Chanderpaul departed from the
first ball of the final over from Clarke, who finished with three for
34.

His 69 came off 122 balls and included six fours, but the pendulum had swung firmly back in Australia's favour.

Bristol City 3 Coventry 1: Jon Stead strikes back to boost Robins

Bristol City 3 Coventry 1: Stead strikes back to boost Robins in relegation showdown

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UPDATED:

16:26 GMT, 9 April 2012

Jon Stead scored for both teams as Bristol City moved four points clear of Coventry with victory in a crunch clash at the bottom of the npower Championship.

Home striker Stead netted a first-half own goal before wiping out the deficit early in the second period, and Yannick Bolasie, fresh from the bench, fired home the winner in the 82nd minute.

It gave the Robins, who had Brett Pitman sent off late on before adding a third goal through Chris Wood, breathing space with four games to play.

Bouncing back: Jon Stead celebrates scoring Bristol City's equaliser

Bouncing back: Jon Stead celebrates scoring Bristol City's equaliser

Match facts

Bristol City: Gerken, Foster, Amougou, Fontaine, McGivern, Adomah (Bolasie 82), Skuse, Kilkenny, Pearson (Ephraim 78),
Stead (Wood 66), Pitman.
Subs Not Used: James,Cisse.
Sent Off: Pitman (87).
Booked: Adomah,Foster.
Goals: Stead 47,Bolasie 82,Wood 90.

Coventry: Murphy, Clarke, Keogh, Cranie, Hussey (Christie 67),
Deegan (Bigirimana 86), Clingan, Norwood, McSheffrey, McDonald (Nimely 78), Platt.
Subs Not Used: Dunn,Willis.
Goals: Stead 33 og.
Att: 19,003
Ref: Scott Mathieson (Cheshire).

But for Coventry, who saw their seven-match unbeaten run come to an end, it could prove a critical blow to their survival hopes. They are the closest of the teams in the bottom three to safety, however Bristol City now look increasingly safe in 21st place.

Pitman and Stead gave Coventry goalkeeper Joe Murphy some early work to do with a couple of long-range efforts which found the target.

Ryan McGivern's 13th-minute header provided a sterner test for the goalkeeper but he did well to deny the defender after he made good contact with Albert Adomah's pinpoint free-kick delivery.

The visitors' first opportunity to apply some pressure of their own saw Gary McSheffrey whip in a corner which Dean Gerken punched clear with Cody McDonald and Clive Platt lurking.

Neil Kilkenny's superb half-volley from almost 30 yards flashed just wide as the hosts went close again.

A Robins player did get his name on the score-sheet with 33 minutes gone but Stead was credited with an own goal as he inadvertently flicked Sammy Clingan's free-kick beyond Gerken.

The home side responded well to the setback and after Cole Skuse's ambitious effort was well blocked by Richard Keogh, Kilkenny drilled another effort narrowly wide.

Despite heading into the interval behind, there were plenty of signs that Derek McInnes' men were still in the contest and within two minutes of the restart they were rewarded for their efforts.

Pitman swung in a corner, Skuse helped it on its way and Stead was there to bundle home from close range and make amends for his own goal.
With both sets of fans appreciating the huge importance of the clash there was an electric atmosphere inside Ashton Gate as the two sides went in search of a crucial three points.

The hosts were next to threaten and Richard Foster's cross was headed on target by Stead but Murphy showed quick reflexes to tip it over the bar.
After a flurry of corners Andre Amougou nodded home but referee Scott Mathieson spotted a foul by Stead on Murphy and the celebrations were cut short.

That was the lively Stead's last involvement after an eventful 66 minutes on the pitch as West Brom loanee Wood was introduced from the bench.
Bolasie came on with eight minutes to play, making an immediate and telling contribution as he turned in the box before steering a shot home from 12 yards.

Hopes of a comfortable finish appeared to have been dashed when Pitman was dismissed for a foul on Jordan Clarke but Wood's injury-time goal put the seal on a hugely important victory.

Coventry 2 Peterborough 2: Sinclair brace buoys Posh

Coventry 2 Peterborough 2: Sinc pulls plug on Sky Blues revival

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UPDATED:

16:46 GMT, 7 April 2012

Emile Sinclair's late equaliser rescued a draw for Peterborough and denied Coventry three crucial points in their bid for npower Championship survival.

Resurgent Sky Blues appeared to be heading for victory having recovered from Sinclair's opener after just three minutes, an exquisite finish from fully 25 yards.

Cody breaker: McDonald heads Coventry level

Cody breaker: McDonald heads Coventry level

MATCH FACTS

COVENTRY: Murphy, Clarke, Keogh, Cranie, Hussey, Clingan, Bigirimana (Deegan 84), Norwood, McSheffrey, McDonald, Nimely (Platt 73). Unused subs: Dunn, Christie, Willis.

Goals: McDonald 26, McSheffrey pen 45

Booked: Hussey.

PETERBOROUGH: Jones, Alcock, Brisley, Zakuani, Rowe, McCann, Frecklington (Little 56), Boyd, Tomlin (Ball 63), Sinclair, Taylor. Unused subs: Lewis, Newell, Kearns.

Goals: Sinclair 3, 76.

Referee: Danny McDermid

Cody McDonald's header, his second goal in as many games, and Gary McSheffrey's penalty on the stroke of half-time set the Sky Blues on course to pick up three points from a losing position for the first time since September 2009.

But Posh, without an away win since Boxing Day, hit back in the 76th minute courtesy of Sinclair's second, taking his tally for the season to 10.

McDonald almost snatched victory when his late header hit a post while Sammy Clingan hit the crossbar on the full-time whistle, among four efforts to hit the woodwork in an open encounter at the Ricoh Arena.

The point sets up fourth-bottom Coventry's trip to third-bottom Bristol City on Easter Monday as a real crunch relegation clash, while Posh still have a little work to do to mathematically secure their Championship status but should be comfortable.

Out of nowhere the hosts found themselves behind within minutes of the kick-off.

In with a shout: McDonald celebrates his leveller before the interval

In with a shout: McDonald celebrates his leveller before the interval

Sinclair, scorer of the only goal when the two sides met at London Road in December, ran unchallenged with the ball before lofting a delicate shot over the stranded Joe Murphy and into the top corner from 25 yards.

Murphy was forced to get down well to Paul Taylor's 19th-minute strike before Lee Tomlin's delicious volley clipped the outside of a post from a well-worked short corner which followed.

The hosts were showing plenty of endeavour but lacking any kind of composure in the final third.

But all that changed in the 26th minute.

Oliver Norwood's cross-field pass was brought down by Jordan Clarke at the far post and he lofted an inviting cross for McDonald to head past Paul Jones.

The encounter flowed from end-to-end as both sides looked to create an opening, albeit without success, and it was left for a mistake to lead to Coventry's second on the stroke of half-time.

Tomlin upended the impressive Clarke in the area and McSheffrey stepped forward to send Jones the wrong way from the spot.

Return of the mac: Gary McSheffrey put Coventry in front from the spot

Return of the mac: Gary McSheffrey put Coventry in front from the spot

An even livelier start to the second period followed as Taylor and Sinclair wasted openings while McSheffrey and Alex Nimely brought solid saves from Jones at the other end.

Amid all that Gabriel Zakuani was fortunate to see his clearance clip the outside of a post as he looked to clear McSheffrey's dangerous cross.

But it was left for Sinclair to rescue a share of the spoils for Peterborough with 14 minutes remaining, poking home skipper Grant McCann's corner from close range.

McDonald almost snatched victory for Coventry but he could only watch as his header rebounded back of the woodwork, with Clingan then striking the bar after Posh had seen penalty appeals turned down at the other end.