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Ricky Burns versus Miguel Vazquez cancelled

World champion Burns 'guttted' after unification title fight against Vazquez is called off

By
Martin Domin

PUBLISHED:

01:10 GMT, 4 March 2013

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UPDATED:

08:07 GMT, 4 March 2013

Ricky Burns' world title unification fight against Miguel Vazquez is off.

The Scot was due to tackle the IBF lightweight champion at Wembley Arena on March 16 but the two parties were reportedly unable to agree terms.

Burns, the WBO belt holder, has not fought since he stopped Kevin Mitchell in Glasgow last September.

Disappointed: Ricky Burns' fight with Miguel Vazquez has been called off

Disappointed: Ricky Burns' fight with Miguel Vazquez has been called off

The 29-year-old was told the news by
promoter Frank Warren at the end of an already difficult week in which
super-middleweight George Groves split from his promotional outfit.

Burns tweeted: 'Absolutely gutted this fight ain't happening, another training camp n it's fell through! Not only that, feel sorry for the fans, my friends and family who have now booked tickets, flights and hotels for 2 fights for it to fall through. Sorry every1!'

His manager, Alex Morrison, told The Scottish Sun: 'While there is talk of it being rescheduled within 30 days, Ricky and I are very unhappy.'

Burns had been due to fight first Liam Walsh and then Jose Ocampo last December but both pulled out at short notice.

His fight with Vazquez was announced in January but last month the Mexican cast doubt over whether it would go ahead.

Switch: George Groves will announce his move to rival promoter Matchroom

Switch: George Groves will announce his move to rival promoter Matchroom

'There
is nothing concrete,' he said. 'I am waiting on the response from the
promoters. If they come to an agreement, there will be a fight.'

The news follows the shock defection of George Groves to rival promoter Eddie Hearn which is expected to be confirmed on Monday.

The super-middleweight was also due
to fight on the London card but will instead fight a week earlier at the
same venue on Matchroom's 'London's Finest' bill.

Of the three title fights scheduled for March 16, only Nathan Cleverly's mandatory defence against Robin Krasniqi remains.

A statement from Warren Promotions
confirmed: 'George Groves has withdrawn from the Wembley Arena show
promoted by Frank Warren on Saturday March 16.

Last man standing: Nathan Cleverly faces Robin Krasniqi on March 16

Last man standing: Nathan Cleverly faces Robin Krasniqi on March 16

'Groves was due to challenge for the vacant European super-middleweight title against Mohamed Ali Ndiaye that Mr. Warren won the purse bid for on January 11.

'Groves has stated that he is not interested in boxing for the EBU title at this moment and would like to take his choice of fights in another direction.

'Mr Warren would like to wish George all the best with his career and looks forward to working again with him in the near future.'

Dereck Chisora, the shamed
heavyweight who was stripped of his licence last year after brawling
with David Haye, was due to return on the same night but is yet to have his hearing with the British Boxing Board of Control.

Reading 1 West Ham 0 – match report

Reading 1 West Ham 0: Pogrebnyak's early strike is enough as Royals earn three crucial points in relegation battle

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UPDATED:

17:04 GMT, 29 December 2012

Pavel Pogrebnyak struck his third league goal for Reading to give Brian McDermott's side their second Barclays Premier League win of the season at the expense of West Ham.

The Royals had halted a run of seven defeats with a draw at home to Swansea on Boxing Day and went one better against a poor Hammers side, moving three points clear of bottom club QPR in the process.

McDermott had said before the game that his players would do whatever they had to do to start picking up victories.

Celebration time: Pavel Pogrebnyak marks his goal after five minutes which gave Reading the lead at the Madejski Stadium

Celebration time: Pavel Pogrebnyak marks his goal after five minutes which gave Reading the lead at the Madejski Stadium

MATCH FACTS

Reading: Federici, Gunter, Pearce, Mariappa, Harte, Karacan, Leigertwood, McAnuff, Kebe (Robson-Kanu 74), Guthrie (Hunt 64), Pogrebnyak

Subs not used: Taylor, Morrison, Cummings, Tabb, Le Fondre

Goal: Pogrebnyak 5

Bookings: Pogrebnyak, Pearce, Harte

West Ham United: Jaaskelainen, Reid, Tomkins, O'Brien, Collins, Nolan, Jarvis, Taylor (Collison 53), Noble (Maiga 78), O'Neil (Vaz Te 66), Cole

Subs not used: Spiegel, Demel, Spence, Diarra

Bookings: Collins, Noble, Nolan, Tomkins

Referee: Michael Oliver

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As it turns out they had to do almost
nothing to beat a lacklustre West Ham as James Collins presented
Pogrebnyak with a late Christmas gift.

The Hammers defender looked to play a
simple ball back to goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen and Pogrebnyak stole
in to slot past the Finn and put Reading ahead with just five minutes on
the clock.

Royals' winger Jimmy Kebe was causing
problems down the right flank early on and a 14th minute cut-back almost
found Pogrebnyak but was well cleared.

Two minutes later the same duo combined well on the edge of the area but Kebe's final ball drifted behind for a goal-kick.

West Ham struggled to make an
impression in attack but skipper Kevin Nolan released Matt Taylor just
before the half-hour mark, but his cross was collected by Reading
goalkeeper Adam Federici.

A few tough tackles started flying in
as the first half progressed with Pogrebnyak joining West Ham's Mark
Noble in referee Michael Oliver's notebook for a foul on Winston Reid.

The hosts then gifted West Ham a
half-chance in the final seconds of the first half as they dallied on
the ball outside their own penalty area.

Nolan pounced and found Gary O'Neil, but he appeared to be caught in two minds and his final ball was neither a shot or a cross.

Cool finish: Pavel Pogrebnyak opens the scoring for Reading following a poor back pass by West Ham's James Collins

Cool finish: Pavel Pogrebnyak opens the scoring for Reading following a poor back pass by West Ham's James Collins

Dejection: West Ham defender James Collins after his weak backpass gifted Reading's Pogrebnyak the opening goal on five minutes

Dejection: West Ham defender James Collins after his weak backpass gifted Reading's Pogrebnyak the opening goal on five minutes

Pogrebnyak had the ball in the back of
the net again five minutes after the restart but was flagged offside
after latching onto a through ball from Mikele Leigertwood.

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce introduced
Jack Collison in place of the ineffectual Taylor with 54 minutes gone
with the Wales international making only his second appearance since
returning from a career-threatening knee injury.

The 24-year-old almost drew the
visitors level 10 minutes later but his low shot was parried by Federici
with no West Ham player able to tap home the rebound.

Although the Hammers were starting to
finally find their feet in the game they almost fell further behind when
Jem Karacan's thunderous effort was tipped onto the bar by Jaaskelainen
with Kebe firing the rebound into the crowd.

Scrap: West Ham's Winston Reid (left) and Reading's Pavel Pogrebnyak battle for the ball

Scrap: West Ham's Winston Reid (left) and Reading's Pavel Pogrebnyak battle for the ball

Eyes on the ball: Gary O'Neill (right) and Danny Guthrie keep a close watch

Eyes on the ball: Gary O'Neill (right) and Danny Guthrie keep a close watch

Ricardo Vaz Te was the next player to
be thrown on by Allardyce with the Portuguese returning to first-team
action for the first time since dislocating a shoulder in early October.

The winger had impressed earlier in
the campaign and flashed a cross in with 10 minutes remaining that was
hacked clear by Chris Gunter in front of the sliding Modibo Maiga.

Vaz Te was involved again moments
later as he missed West Ham's best opening of the game, inexplicably
heading Matt Jarvis' cross wide of the goal from four yards out.

How did he miss West Ham's Ricardo Vaz Te (bottom left) reacts with incredulity after missing an easy header

How did he miss West Ham's Ricardo Vaz Te (bottom left) reacts with incredulity after missing an easy header

Firm grip: Winston Reid with his arm around Reading's Jimmy Kebe

Firm grip: Winston Reid with his arm around Reading's Jimmy Kebe

Touchline battle: Sam Allardyce implores his West Ham players on, while Brian McDermott keeps a close check on proceedings

Touchline battle: Sam Allardyce implores his West Ham players on, while Brian McDermott keeps a close check on proceedings

Reading managed to see out the closing
stages to claim what could be a vital three points while West Ham's
lack of away goals again proved their undoing.

The Hammers have only scored five
goals on their travels in the league so far this season and the defeat
leaves them only six points off the bottom three.

Charlton 2 Brighton 2: LuaLua pulls Brighton level at the Valley

Charlton 2 Brighton 2: LuaLua pulls Brighton level at the Valley

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UPDATED:

17:59 GMT, 8 December 2012

Chris Powell’s side moved down into 12th place in the Championship as Brighton held them to a draw in the Valley.

The Seagulls dominated possession but failed to convert chances into goals, allowing Charlton to extend their unbeaten run to seven games.

Both sets of fans joined in a minute's applause at 3.07pm to commemorate the moment Colin Walsh hit the net 20 years ago this week, Charlton's first goal since they returned to their Valley ground after a seven-year absence.

Charlton went 1-0 up within ten minutes, with Lawrie Wilson driving the ball past Tomasz Kuszczak into the bottom right corner.

Lawrie Wilson celebrates after a goal against Brighton

Lawrie Wilson took Charlton ahead in the first, but earned himself a yellow card in the second

Match facts

Charlton: Hamer, Morrison, Solly, Dervite, Jackson (Kerkar 80), Stephens, Pritchard, Wilson, Frimpong, Haynes (Kermorgant 73), Hulse.

Subs not used: Button, Taylor, Cort, Green, Wright-Phillips

Goals: Wilson 9, Pritchard 70

Booked: Wilson

Brighton: Kuszczak, Bruno (Calderon 76), Greer, El-Abd, Bridge, Hammond, Bridcutt, Buckley, Hoskins (LuaLua 67), Dobbie (Barnes 62), Mackail-Smith

Subs not used: Brezovan, Crofts, Harley, David Lopez

Goals: Brown 27, Ledley 65, Samaras 74

Booked: Hammond

Referee: Darren Sheldrake

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Craig Mackail-Smith hit back for
Brighton in the 28th minute, firing it into the net from inside the box
after Michael Morrison fluffed a clearance.

Dean Hammond slipped in Buckley to cut the ball back for the former Swansea striker, who slid in to meet the ball but lifted it over the top.

Will Hoskins then teed up Buckley for another crack at goal but his shot was also too high, before Mackail-Smith had an effort deflected wide.

Bradley Pritchard took Charlton ahead
again against the run of play.

Johnnie
Jackson's low cross ricocheted through the Brighton defence and Pritchard was
on hand to sweep the ball into the net for his first league goal.

But once again Brighton equalised, with
Kazenga LuaLua drilling it down the centre of the goal in his first appearance for the club since October.

The goal came only eight minutes after the Brighton man had made his way off the bench.

It was a frustrating effort from Brighton, as chance after chance in front of goal was wasted, leaving Stephen Dobbie kicking the post in anger just before the hour mark.

There were bookings on both sides in
the second half, with Dean Hammond receiving a yellow card for
unsporting behaviour and Lawrie Wilson also booked for an unfair
challenge.

Reading 3 Manchester United 4 match report: Anderson, Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie seal thriller

Reading 3 Manchester United 4: The 26 minutes of madness! Fergie's men march three points clear with rollercoaster victory

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UPDATED:

22:09 GMT, 1 December 2012

Wayne Rooney answered the goalscoring rallying cry of his manager as Manchester United twice came from behind to beat Reading and move three points clear at the top of the Barclays Premier League.

Sir Alex Ferguson said he wanted to see his striker find the back of the net more often and Rooney responded with two strikes in a thrilling match at the Madejski Stadium, where all seven goals came in a 34-minute spell in the first half.

Hal Robson-Kanu gave Reading an early lead before United hit back with Anderson levelling and Rooney putting them ahead from the spot.

1-0: Reading's Hal Robson-Kanu (centre right) put the home side a goal up after eight minutes

1-0: Reading's Hal Robson-Kanu (centre right) put the home side a goal up after eight minutes

1-1: Anderson equalised for Manchester United shortly afterwards

1-1: Anderson equalised for Manchester United shortly afterwards

1-2: Wayne Rooney found the bottom corner with a penalty to give United the lead after Jonny Evans had been fouled

1-2: Wayne Rooney found the bottom corner with a penalty to give United the lead after Jonny Evans had been fouled

Match facts

Reading: Federici, Shorey, Mariappa, Morrison, Cummings, Leigertwood, McAnuff, Tabb, Robson-Kanu (Hunt 83), Le Fondre, Roberts (Pogrebnyak 69)

Subs not used: Taylor, Pearce, Harte, Guthrie, McCleary

Scorers: Robson-Kanu 8, Le Fondre 19, Morrison 23

Booking: Tabb

Manchester United: Lindegaard, Rafael (Smalling 31), Evra, Ferdinand, Evans, Anderson (Jones 45), Carrick, Young, Fletcher, Rooney, Van Persie (Welbeck)

Subs not used: De Gea, Giggs, Cleverley, Hernandez

Scorers: Anderson 13, Rooney 16 (pen), 30, Van Persie 34

Booking: Rafael

Referee: Mark Halsey

Attendance: 24,095

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Reading stunned the visitors with two
quick-fire goals to regain the lead as Adam Le Fondre and Sean Morrison
capitalised on lapses in United's defence to both score with close-range
headers.

But another effort from Rooney and a neat finish from Robin van Persie saw United take the spoils.

The
second half was less entertaining but both sides still created decent
chances on a day where neither team's defending was deserving of praise.

The home side went ahead in the
seventh minute after Jonny Evans could only head Jobi McAnuff's cross
into the path of Robson-Kanu, who volleyed past Anders Lindegaard.

United found themselves in the familiar position of chasing a game and soon showed their ruthlessness when coming from behind.

Anderson picked out Ashley Young wide
on the left and the Brazil international continued his run before Young
picked him out and he lashed United level.

Just nine minutes after falling behind the visitors were ahead after Jay Tabb bundled into the back of Evans.

Reading were level just three minutes
later as United fan Le Fondre wriggled free of Evans in the area to head
home a Nicky Shorey corner.

Brian McDermott's side have shown
great resolve this season and took advantage of further poor defending
from United to re-take the lead.

Moments after Rio Ferdinand had headed
away a cross ta the back post, Morrison beat Evans to a corner and
powered a close-range header past Lindegaard.

2-2: Adam Le Fondre (centre) scores a header to restore parity once again

2-2: Adam Le Fondre (centre) scores a header to restore parity once again

3-2: Reading then took the lead with another header through Sean Morrison

3-2: Reading then took the lead with another header through Sean Morrison

3-3: Wayne Rooney levelled things again with a close-range finish from Patrice Evra's cut back

3-3: Wayne Rooney levelled things again with a close-range finish from Patrice Evra's cut back

3-4: Ten minutes before half-time, Robin Van Persie raced through to score what proved to be the winner

3-4: Ten minutes before half-time, Robin Van Persie raced through to score what proved to be the winner

With title rivals Manchester City
being held at home to Everton earlier in the day, United knew a win was
vital ahead of the Manchester derby next weekend and they were soon back
on top.

A sublime piece of skill from Young
freed Patrice Evra down the left and his low cross was tucked away by
Rooney to make it 3-3 with only half an hour gone.

Ferguson decided to make a tactical
substitution and replaced Rafael, who had been cautioned moments
earlier, with the more powerful Chris Smalling, although the Brazilian
did not take kindly to being hauled off.

Just four minutes after Rooney's effort United took the lead yet again.

Michael Carrick's through-ball was
deflected into the path of Van Persie by a clever Rooney touch and the
Dutchman slotted past Federici with his weaker right foot.

United were denied a fifth goal before
half-time as Van Persie pounced on a smart Federici save and directed
an effort goalwards. Adrian Mariappa was in the right place to clear but
it appeared the whole of the ball had crossed the line before the
former Watford man hacked it away.

Disallowed: Van Persie then had this clear goal chalked off

Disallowed: Van Persie then had this clear goal chalked off

Facetime: Adam Federici keeps out Chris Smalling with his head

Facetime: Adam Federici keeps out Chris Smalling with his head

Aerial combat: Michael Carrick and Pavel Pogrebnyak challenge for the ball in the air

Aerial combat: Michael Carrick and Pavel Pogrebnyak challenge for the ball in the air

The second half started much calmer but it was the home side who were pressing forward.

Lindegaard fumbled a simple catch from
a Shorey corner before Halsey waved away Reading appeals for a penalty
after Evra won the ball in a challenge with Mariappa.

Van Persie wasted a good chance to put
United two clear when he shot wide after being picked out by Phil
Jones, although the ball into the ex-Arsenal striker was slightly behind
him.

The 29-year-old missed an even better
opportunity moments later as he robbed the ball off a dallying Federici
but could not hit the empty net from a relatively tight angle.

McDermott introduced Pavel Pogrebnyak for the tiring Jason Roberts as his side went in search of an equaliser.

Smalling found himself in space on the
right flank with just three minutes left on the clock but he could only
blaze an uncontrolled effort into the United fans behind Federici's
goal.

Reading pushed on in stoppage time and
a Morrison header was tipped over by Lindegaard with the same player
heading wide from the resulting corner as United just held on.

Put a sock in it! Patrice Evra expresses his delight at the final whistle

Put a sock in it! Patrice Evra expresses his delight at the final whistle

Bristol City 0 Charlton 2: match report

Bristol City 0 Charlton 2: Haynes and Morrison strike to pile pressure on McInnes

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UPDATED:

21:07 GMT, 11 November 2012

The pressure continues to mount on Bristol City boss Derek McInnes after his side slipped to a seventh successive npower Championship defeat.

The Robins are rooted to the bottom of the league and rarely looked like climbing off as Charlton coasted to the three points at Ashton Gate.

Danny Haynes put Chris Powell's side in front in the 20th minute after he was on hand to clear up after Dale Stephens' shot had hit both posts and bounced out.

Oh, Danny boy: Haynes opens the scoring against his former club

Oh, Danny boy: Haynes opens the scoring against his former club

Match facts

Bristol City: Heaton, Foster, James Wilson, Fontaine, Briggs, Adomah, Elliott, Kilkenny (Pearson 70), Woolford, Taylor (Stead 57), Baldock (Davies 57).

Subs Not Used: Gerken, Louis Carey, Anderson, Bryan.

Charlton: Hamer, Solly, Cort, Morrison, Seaborne, Pritchard, Stephens, Kerkar (Taylor 90), Jackson, Hulse (Fuller 86), Haynes (Dervite 78).

Subs Not Used: Button, Green, Wright-Phillips, Hollands.

Goals: Haynes 20, Morrison 56.

Attendance: 13,009

Referee: Phil Gibbs (West Midlands).

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The damage was doubled 11 minutes after
the restart when Michael Morrison struck his first goal of the season
from inside the penalty area.

McInnes' men, who have not won since beating Peterborough in September,
enjoyed a brief spell of domination in the first half, but their
inability to at least make a game of it hints that a winter of
discontent is on the horizon.

For the Addicks, it was a second win on the bounce and they sit comfortably in mid-table.

Having lost their last six games, City will have been keen to settle and
they created an early chance when Albert Adomah sent in a low cross
that Martyn Woolford got on the end of, but Chris Solly was in the right
place to block.

Charlton responded, though, and after Salim Kerkar had forced Tom Heaton
into a smart parried save they took the lead in the 19th minute.

Rob Hulse fed Stephens and his shot came off both posts before leaving Haynes with the easiest of tap-ins from close range.

It was almost double trouble for City just two minutes later when the woodwork was rattled again from Haynes' shot.

Unlucky No 7: Bristol City are propping up the Championship table

Unlucky No 7: Bristol City are propping up the Championship table

It would have been easy for the Robins to crumble, but to their credit
they rallied and missed two good opportunities to respond.

First Addicks keeper Ben Hamer did well to save at the feet of Adomah
and then Sam Baldock wasted a glaring chance when he failed to connect
properly and his shot went safely to Hamer.

Charlton did well to get to the half-time break with their lead intact,
but they could have been further ahead soon after the restart when
Haynes was put through on goal, but he went wide and sent his effort
over.

The Addicks had built up a head of steam and after Stephens'
long-distance effort had been tipped over by Heaton, Powell's men were
rewarded with a second goal.

A loose ball fell to Morrison in the area and he slotted home in the 56th minute to give his side a cushion.

Adomah had an effort saved by Hamer and Solly was forced to clear off
the line as City tried to cut their deficit, but it was a familiar story
for City fans.

West Bromwich need to capitalise on first away victory, says Steve Clarke

West Brom need to kick on after first away victory, says Baggies' boss Clarke

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UPDATED:

18:15 GMT, 10 November 2012

Wigan 1 West Brom 2

Read the match report here

West Brom boss Steve Clarke hailed his side's 'long overdue' first away win of the Barclays Premier League season at Wigan but warned his side must continue to guard against complacency.

James Morrison and an own goal from Gary Caldwell kept the Baggies in fifth place before Arouna Kone reduced the deficit for the Latics.

The Midlands outfit are level on points with fourth-placed Everton, with only unlucky losses to Manchester City and Newcastle preventing them from soaring even higher.

Playing away: Morrison wheels away after scoring against Wigan

Playing away: Morrison wheels away after scoring against Wigan

But Clarke said: 'I remember once as a player I was top of the league in November and ended up fighting relegation. The top division in England can come back quickly to bite you if you take your focus off it.

'This week we're happy with where we are. I know it sounds boring, but we just have to keep working from game to game.

'Our away performances have been as good as our home performances so this is long overdue. I don't really see it is a monkey off our back but it is nice to end it sooner rather than later and especially at such a difficult place as Wigan.

'Even though our away performances have been good, we have had a habit of losing late goals and dropping points and you start to think about that, so it was nice to hang on and get the 2-1 win.'

Heads up: Morrison nods home for Wigan and Caldwell scores an own goal (below)

Heads up: Morrison nods home for Wigan and Caldwell scores an own goal (below)

Heads up: Morrison nods home for Wigan and Caldwell scores an own goal (below)

Clarke went on to single out stand-in
keeper Boaz Myhill, who played his first senior game in 21 months in
place of the injured Ben Foster, and could continue to deputise against
Chelsea next weekend.

Clarke said: 'To talk too much about Ben coming back would be disrespectful to Boaz. He has waited a long time for his chance and he came in and did well. His handling was excellent he had a really assured performance.'

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez offered no excuses for his side's disappointing display, with Kone's close-range header moments after the Baggies' second goal the only bright spot on an otherwise below-par afternoon.

Martinez said: 'I don't think we are the sort of side that can get a result out of a scrappy performance. I don't think we were as good as we could have been today, and that is really the frustration.

Maintain the pressure: Clarkehas warned his team against complacency

Maintain the pressure: Clarkehas warned his team against complacency

'We know West Brom are a very strong unit and play with real confidence and are a difficult unit to break down, so to concede two goals early on was really disappointing.

'We started well enough but even though we presented the right attitude and attacking threat, I don't think we were as good as we can be. Our movement wasn't as sharp and our attacking threat wasn't good enough.

'We are frustrated with our performance. We really wanted to win today on the back of two great results.

'I thought we created enough chances to get something out of the game, but we weren't lucky enough to get that positive result.'

Wigan 1 West Brom 2: Match report

Wigan 1 West Brom 2: Morrison's happy return as Baggies trouser first away win

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UPDATED:

17:09 GMT, 10 November 2012

James Morrison came back from injury to set up West Brom's first away win of the Barclays Premier League season as his powerful header helped the visitors sink Wigan at the DW Stadium.

Scotland midfielder Morrison was forced to miss the Baggies' win over Southampton on Monday night, due to a hamstring problem, but he returned to help inspire Steve Clarke's men to three points which keeps them firmly rooted in the league's top six.

Cheers: West Brom's James Morrison celebrates the opener

Cheers: West Brom's James Morrison celebrates the opener

MATCH FACTS

WIGAN: Al Habsi, Ramis, Caldwell (Stam 63), Figueroa, Boyce, McCarthy, Watson (Gomez 84), Beausejour, Kone, Di Santo (Boselli 84), Maloney. Subs not used: Pollitt, Jones McManman, Fyvie.

Goals: Kone 44

Booked: McCarthy

WEST BROM: Myhill, Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell, Mulumbu, Yacob, Lukaku (Rosenberg 85), Morrison (Gera 67), Brunt, Long (Odemwingie 67). Subs not used: Daniels, Popov, Dorrans, Tamas

Goals: Morrison, Caldwell (og, 43)

Booked: Yacob, Lukaku, Jones, Gera

Referee: N Swarbrick

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Morrison met a cross from Chris Brunt
to head an unstoppable opener past Ali Al Habsi, before a Gary Caldwell
own goal put the Baggies in command.

Arouna Kone reduced the deficit and the Latics piled on the pressure but could not claim a point.

The visitors started with Peter
Odemwingie on the bench despite his two-goal haul against Southampton,
but his replacement Romelu Lukaku quickly made his presence felt with a
surging forward run.

Maynor Figueroa drilled a low
long-range shot just wide for the home side in the fifth minute and
James McCarthy's persistence also fashioned an early chance after he
robbed Claudio Yacob and pressed forward.

And it took Baggies goalkeeper Boaz
Myhill – in for his first senior Baggies game in 21 months due to injury
to Ben Foster – nine minutes to prove worthy of his call-up as he
pulled off a superb save to deny Ben Watson.

The visitors slowly began to find
their rhythm, with the alert Al Habsi racing from his goal to deny
Lukaku, as the home side, who continued to shade possession in an open
game, were too often let down by a stray final ball.

Heading home: Morrison (centre) climbs to nod West Brom in front

Heading home: Morrison (centre) climbs to nod West Brom in front

More scrappy play from the hosts
almost cost them dear after 26 minutes when indecision in defence forced
Al Habsi to once again come out and save from Morrison then dive on the
loose ball as Lukaku waited to pounce.

But there was nothing scrappy about
the opener on the half-hour as Brunt flung in a precise cross from wide
on the left and Morrison aimed his magnificent header past Al Habsi from
the edge of the six-yard box.

Heads we win: Morrison leaves Ali Al Habsi with no chance

Heads we win: Morrison leaves Ali Al Habsi with no chance

And the visitors almost increased
their lead seven minutes later when Billy Jones cut in from the right
and unleashed a fierce left-footed drive which flashed just wide of the
busy Al Habsi's left-hand post.

That seemingly inevitable second
goal duly arrived after 43 minutes when Jones' effort from a tight angle
was deflected into his own net by Wigan captain Caldwell – but less
than a minute later Kone pulled one back when he poked home Beausejour's
cross.

Catch me if you can: Wigan's James McCarhty closes on Romelu Lukaku (left)

Catch me if you can: Wigan's James McCarhty closes on Romelu Lukaku (left)

Beausejour had the first chance of
the second half when he hit a shot from the left side of the box high
over Myhill's bar after the goalkeeper had parried from Watson, then
Caldwell headed just wide as the home side enjoyed a significant spell
of pressure.

The Baggies should have extended
their lead in the 56th minute when Lukaku lashed a shot on the turn
which was brilliantly tipped over the bar by Al Habsi at point-blank
range.

Remembering the fallen: Roberto Martinez (right) and West Brom's Steve Clarke sport their poppies

Remembering the fallen: Roberto Martinez (right) and West Brom's Steve Clarke sport their poppies

Shaun Maloney should have done better
for Wigan when he was teed up by a pass from Franco Di Santo in the
middle of the box in the 72nd minute, but blazed his shot well over the
bar.

Not this time: Romelu Lukaku (left) is thwarted by Wigan keeper Ali Al Habsi

Not this time: Romelu Lukaku (left) is thwarted by Wigan keeper Ali Al Habsi

Then a chance for Di Santo came to
nothing in the 80th minute when he got his head on a Beausejour cross
from the left but could only direct the ball against team-mate Kone,
from whom it deflected onto the roof of the net.

Jones brings groans: Billy Jones celebrates after his cross was turned in for the winner

Jones brings groans: Billy Jones celebrates after his cross was turned in for the winner

Last laugh: Lukaku celebrates after Gary Caldwell turned a cross into his own net

Last laugh: Lukaku celebrates after Gary Caldwell turned a cross into his own net

West Brom send Ben Foster to see groin specialist in Germany

Foster fighting to be fit for Wigan as West Brom send keeper to German groin specialist

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UPDATED:

22:07 GMT, 8 November 2012

Pain game: Ben Foster is struggling with a groin ailment

Pain game: Ben Foster is struggling with a groin ailment

Ben Foster is facing a race against time to be fit for West Brom's trip to Wigan this weekend as the Baggies seek to find the root cause of a nagging groin problem.

The former England keeper flew to Germany to see a specialist about an issue that has dogged him since his days with Birmingham City.

Foster, naturally left footed, chose to kick with his right during Monday night's 2-0 victory over Southampton rather than aggravate the issue.

But the injury was of sufficient worry
for head coach Steve Clarke to sanction a trip to gain a better
prognosis of the underlying problem.

He said: 'Ben's abroad in Germany.
He's gone to see a specialist. We are waiting on a report. Fingers
crossed, it is positive and I'm hopeful he will play again at the
weekend. I'd estimate it's 60-40 in his favour.

'The problem is his groin. Hopefully,
it is something we can manage, similar to what we have done with Shane
Long over the past few weeks. If we can, hopefully we can get some more
games out of him.'

Foster had to nurse himself through a
season at St Andrew's but Clarke said the first he knew about the
problem was on Monday evening when the problem first raised its head.

The Baggies head coach added: 'He's never mentioned to me in the past with the fact he has problems with his kicking.

'I know he likes to play from the back and doesn't always like to kick the ball long. But he does have a good kick on him. We will deal with it and hopefully he will be okay for the weekend.'

Clarke was further boosted by the return to training of James Morrison. The Scotland international missed the victory over Southampton but will be included in the squad for the trip to Wigan.

'It was a solid performance against Southampton, he added, 'we had conceded six goals in three matches previous to that. It's always difficult to win if you are letting in two goals every game.

'It wasn't our best. It wasn't our flashiest in terms of the football that was played. But it was a good solid performance and a much-needed three points.'

Charlton 1 Middlesbrough 4 match report: Fifth straight win sends resurgent Boro second

Charlton 1 Middlesbrough 4: Fifth consecutive win sends rampant Boro second

PUBLISHED:

17:45 GMT, 3 November 2012

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UPDATED:

17:45 GMT, 3 November 2012

Middlesbrough made it five straight npower Championship victories and moved up to second in the table as they came from behind to beat Charlton.

Rob Hulse fired the Addicks into an early lead – the first time they had scored first at The Valley since their opening game against Leicester on August 21.

But once Jonathan Woodgate levelled with a header, Boro went on to boss proceedings, with Scott McDonald scoring his fourth goal in three games and Emmanuel Ledesma made it three with a superb chipped finish.

Lukas Jutkiewicz hit a post before Richard Smallwood capped an impressive win with a well-taken fourth.

No stopping us now: Jonathan Woodgate (second left) put Boro level from a corner

No stopping us now: Jonathan Woodgate (second left) put Boro level from a corner

Match facts

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Charlton made one enforced change as
striker Bradley Wright-Phillips came in to replace Cedric Evina after he
sustained a knee injury in training.

Middlesbrough had captain Woodgate back in their starting line-up, while midfielder Nicky Bailey was up against his former club.

The home side made a bright start as
Brad Pritchard linked up well with Wright-Phillips, but the youngster's
header cleared the crossbar.

The Addicks took the lead in the 12th
minute when the lively Pritchard played the ball through to Hulse and
he thumped past Jason Steele from the edge of the box.

Chris Powell's men pushed on in
search of a second as a Wright-Phillips strike deflected wide and
Michael Morrison's overhead-kick failed to trouble the keeper.

Boro's response came from Bailey as he fired across goal but Martin Hamer did well to gather.

It was all square in the 27th minute
when Woodgate was left unmarked in the box and headed home Grant
Leadbitter's inviting free-kick.

Johnnie Jackson was gifted the ball
by Andre Bikey but lashed wide, while Hulse should have done better with
a near-post header which went harmlessly over.

At sixes and sevens: The defeat leaves Charlton hovering just above the relegation zone

At sixes and sevens: The defeat leaves Charlton hovering just above the relegation zone

And Charlton continued to dominate as
half-time approached but Morrison headed wide under pressure from
Steele and Jackson's curling free-kick cleared the crossbar.

Lawrie Wilson, who was struggling
with a thigh problem in the closing stages of the first half, failed to
reappear after the break, with Dale Stephens coming on.

Faris Haroun was denied by Hamer,
before sloppy play from Morrison in midfield allowed Josh McEachran to
set McDonald clear and he made no mistake from 12 yards.

Charlton tried to hit back as Pritchard flicked on for Wright-Phillips but his shot on the turn was straight at Steele.

But Middlesbrough made the game safe in the 63rd minute with a route one goal.

A long punt upfield from Steele was
helped on by McDonald into the path of Ledesma and he lobbed the ball
over Hamer from 20 yards.

McDonald was denied a second by a
superb save from Hamer, while Charlton substitute Danny Haynes, back
after injury, sent over a superb cross which only just eluded Hulse.

There was still time for Boro striker
Jutkiewicz to hit a post before Smallwood slid in to score a fourth and
seal a memorable victory for Tony Mowbray's men.

Wales can still make it to Brazil, insists Darcy Blake

Wales can still make it to Brazil, insists Blake

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UPDATED:

16:11 GMT, 13 October 2012

Up for it: Wales' Darcy Blake

Up for it: Wales' Darcy Blake

Darcy Blake has urged Wales to use
their dramatic victory over Scotland as the catalyst for a belated
assault on their World Cup qualifying group.

Chris Coleman's men endured an
horrendous start to the campaign, opening with a 2-0 loss to Belgium
before suffering a demoralising 6-1 thrashing in Serbia.

Those results had left them languishing at the bottom of Group A until the arrival of the Scots in Cardiff.

A late double from Gareth Bale secured the 2-1 victory to throw the Welsh a lifeline ahead of Tuesday's clash in Croatia.

Blake said: 'We knew we had to win this game and we did that.

'We've just turned the corner and it's onwards and upwards from here. We are back to winning ways.

'We are three games in and it was obviously disappointing to lose the
first two games but now we can hopefully get more wins under our belts
and progress and get to Brazil.'

Scotland took a first half lead through James Morrison before Bale won and converted a penalty with 10 minutes to go.

He then snatched the points with a stunning strike in the final minute to cap what had been an impressive performance from the Tottenham man.

Blake added: 'It was good to get back to winning ways.

'It was a good performance as well. We were passing the ball again and full of confidence again.

'I thought we deserved to win. We created a lot of chances. It was a sloppy goal at the back that we conceded.

Wales's Gareth Bale celebrates his winner

Delight: Wales's Gareth Bale celebrates his winner

'But we grew into the game and got stronger and Gareth Bale popped up with our winner at the end.

'He can run defenders, he causes them all kinds of problems, he's up there with the world's best.

'He was on it in this game, he put that goal in and it was brilliant.

'It was a great feeling and I think we thoroughly deserved the three points.'

Scotland were also under pressure to deliver their first victory in the group, following draws at home to Serbia and Macedonia.

But the Cardiff City Stadium again proved to be an unhappy hunting ground, with the Scots having also suffered a 3-0 defeat at the same venue in 2009.

Crystal Palace defender Blake said: 'It took a special strike at the end to beat Scotland and we are just happy with the win. They have some good players.

'It was a massive game. It's a like a local derby, the same as it is with England as well. Hopefully we can push on now and climb this table.'