Tag Archives: richardson

Coventry to have 30,000 crowd for JPT against Crewe

Coventry on course for 30,000 crowd at showdown with Crewe… but why the sudden rush to the Ricoh

By
Neil Moxley

PUBLISHED:

11:40 GMT, 5 February 2013

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UPDATED:

16:04 GMT, 5 February 2013

Coventry City are set to smash a few attendance records this evening in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy Area final first leg against Crewe Alexandra at the Ricoh Arena.

It has been a testing few years for the Sky Blues…demotion from the Premier League in 2001 followed by relegation from the Championship last year.

But with more than 30,500 supporters expected at the stadium this evening – with 2,000 arriving from Cheshire – at last the club's beleaguered supporters may have something worthwhile to shout about.

Here, Midlands football correspondent Neil Moxley looks at the reasons why so many punters will be turning out tonight.

Filling up: Coventry will be supported by 28,500 fans at the Ricoh Arena

Filling up: Coventry will be supported by 28,500 fans at the Ricoh Arena

Phew, 28,500 tickets have been sold for this…and it's only the first leg

Yes, but there's a whiff of success in the air and you cannot accuse Coventry City supporters of being fair-weather supporters, can you

I didn't realise the club was so well-supported

Well, Coventry is England's ninth biggest city, so it's little surprise really that they can attract the support if the team is doing well.

Yes, but that's a big 'If', as far as the Sky Blues are concerned, isn't it

Oh yes. It's reasonable to point out that Coventry supporters have just had one knock after another following the club's demotion from the Premier League in 2001.

Then chairman Bryan Richardson left the club either with a whopping 60million debt or a whopping 22m debt – depending on who you believe – and the Sky Blues have become embroiled in one financial problem after another since then.

On the up: Coventry are on the brink of moving into the play-off spots

On the up: Coventry are on the brink of moving into the play-off spots

On the up: Coventry are on the brink of moving into the play-off spots

Right, but what happened to Highfield Road

It's a sore point. Richardson had done a deal to move to a state-of-the-art new stadium on a brownfield site on the outskirts of the city. But, in truth, though it was opened seven years ago, it was done without the proper finances to ensure that the club thrived.

How is that then

Well the matchday revenues were sold off. Coventry still cannot take a penny from a burger, a pint or a pie that they sell to their supporters.

To be honest, it's all a gigantic mess.

Did it contribute to their fall into the Championship

It had an effect, certainly, but it was by no means the only reason and now the current owners, a hedge fund with the acronym of SISU, are trying to sort out the mess. The only trouble is, they have racked up a 43m debt doing so.

So, why are the fans flocking to the stadium tonight

Mark
Robins and his arrival at the club following Andy Thorn's sacking
earlier this season has given everyone a huge lift. From being in the
bottom three, Robins has transformed the club's fortunes and now they
are in with a realistic shot at promotion.

Main man: Mark Robins (left) has guided Coventry up the League One table

Main man: Mark Robins (left) has guided Coventry up the League One table

And in this competition too, a Wembley shot

Yes, some might say Coventry's name might be on it. They won a penalty shoot-out with Burton in an earlier round and defeated Preston last time out 3-2 with two goals in the last few minutes.

How many supporters could the club take to Wembley

Coventry were last at the national stadium in 1987 when they faced Everton in the Charity Shield. Estimates that day put the following at 40,000-plus.

If they can sell out the Ricoh Arena they should have no problem taking up their allocation.

But, as always with Coventry City, it's a mighty big 'If'!

Paul Gascoigne and Golaco! Our 90s love affair with Italian football

Gazza and Golaco! Our unforgettable 90s love affair with Italian football

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UPDATED:

13:13 GMT, 22 November 2012

Golao! It’s Portuguese for 'fantastic goal', but for football fans growing up in the 1990s it had a different meaning.

It meant the start of Channel Four’s unmissable Football Italia programme on a Saturday morning.

My kids thought it was actually 'Go Lazio'. That didn’t matter. What did matter was waiting for the bouncy ball around the Italian themed Channel Four logo, listening to the theme music – it was 'I’m Stronger Now' by Definitive Two – and waiting for the evocative shout that meant the programme was about to begin.

Scroll to the bottom for video of the opening credits and a stroll through memory piazza

When in Rome: Paul Gascoigne won over the Lazio fans by scoring in the derby

When in Rome: Paul Gascoigne won over the Lazio fans by scoring in the derby

At the helm: James Richardson

At the helm: James Richardson

Maybe we started falling for all things Italian after somebody at the BBC brilliantly chose Nessun Dorma as the theme music for the 1990 World Cup.

But if anything extended the romance from four all too short summer weeks into a 16-year love affair, it was James Richardson’s brilliant presentation of the country’s domestic football each weekend.

And Gazza. Of course. You couldn’t forget Gazza.

On Thursday night he’s heading back to Rome as guest of honour to watch Lazio play Tottenham in the Europa League, and what better reminder that the 'daft as a brush' genius, whose tears in Turin helped lift English football from its lowest point, was also responsible for a revolution in the way TV presents the game.

Gascoigne had co-operated on a
documentary with production company Chrysalis charting his fightback
from injury to enable his move to Lazio to go ahead, and when it was
finished said to the producer Neil Duncanson it was a shame nobody would
be able to see his games now he was fit.

So
Neil asked the Italian Federation for the rights to cover Lazio’s
matches, was told he could have the whole of Serie A instead, and so the
show was born.

And what a show. The first coup was for Richardson as the affable, easy going presenter to put Gazza at ease and suddenly England’s most iconic footballer was a TV man too.

Each Saturday morning we shared his Italian adventure with him, driving round Rome in open top sports cars, wandering behind the scenes of Lazio’s training ground, or sitting outside pretty pavement cafes.

Let's talk football: Gascoigne and presenter Richardson dealt with the big issues in Serie A

Let's talk football: Gascoigne and presenter Richardson dealt with the big issues in Serie A

Outside broadcast: Gazza spoke to the viewers - while driving through the streets with the top down

Outside broadcast: Gazza spoke to the viewers – while driving through the streets with the top down

That was part of the secret. It was the first football show that moved you out of a studio and took you from your front room into a different world.

Richardson would sit with his cappuccino and a couple of croissants on the streets of Milan or Genoa, holding up the pink pages of the Gazzetta dello Sport to bring us the headlines, and chatting through the games and the goals to come.

On a cold, wet, winter’s morning it was pure escapism.

At its peak it pulled in nearly a million viewers every week, and while Match of the Day might have never lost its place as the must-see football programme on British TV, Football Italia ran it a mighty close second.

There was always a competition to win a trip to Italy to see a game, but it felt like you were there anyway.

Fancy a coffee: Richardson never went hungry or thirsty when he presented Football Italia

Fancy a coffee: Richardson never went hungry or thirsty when he presented Football Italia

Italian football then was where the riches were, and where Europe’s best players flocked to perform.

They didn’t encourage characters in English football in those days.

It was the age of 4-4-2 when words like 'workrate' and 'industry' were becoming the buzz phrases for our coaches.

And POMO, the position of maximum opportunity, which basically meant you lumped the ball as far as you could and chased after it.

The Italians played with the ball at their feet. They caressed it. They passed it.

Milan had the money to pull in Ruud Gullit, Marco van Basten and Frank Rijkaard. And they had showmen like Fabrizio Ravenelli who folded his shirt over his head every time he scored a goal.

They had crowds full of passion with gigantic flags who brandished firecrackers. Even the refs had character, with the boggle-eyed Pierluigi Collina bringing out red cards with a flourish of his right arm.

Dutch courage: AC Milan had (from left) Frank Rijkaard, Marco Van Basten and Ruud Gullit in their ranks

Dutch courage: AC Milan had (from left) Frank Rijkaard, Marco Van Basten and Ruud Gullit in their ranks

It ran from 1992 to 2002 on Channel Four, then limped through a few more seasons on Eurosport and Bravo before the plug was pulled on the last programme in 2008.

Maybe by then the Premier League’s money and glamour had seduced us away from the romance of Italy, or maybe we all just grew up and moved on.

But Football Italia will always have a special place in our memories.

And how fitting it will be if Gazza and the rest of the crowd in Rome tonight get to shout for one more time: Golao!

What an intro – Football Italia had a proper tune at the start

Galatasaray 1 Manchester United 0: Match report

Galatasaray 1 Manchester United 0: Burak header enough to sink Red Devils

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UPDATED:

22:12 GMT, 20 November 2012

Manchester United got burned once more on their return to 'Hell' as Galatasaray ended their 100per cent record in Champions League Group H.

Burak Yilmaz's second-half goal was enough to give the Turkish side a deserved victory and take them to the brink of qualification for the knockout stage.

United's position in the last 16 was already confirmed so the damage, beyond any sustained as a result of the ear-splitting din, cannot be compared to the tumult that unfolded on United's first meeting with Galatasaray in Istanbul 19 years ago.

Looking to the skies: Galatasaray's Burak Yilmaz celebrates his goal

Looking to the skies: Galatasaray's Burak Yilmaz celebrates his goal

Match Facts:

Galatasaray: Muslera, Eboue, Kaya, Nounkeu, Riera, Altintop, Inan, Felipe Melo, Amrabat (Colak 81), Burak Yilmaz (Bulut 90), Elmander (Baytar 63).

Subs Not Used: Ceylan, Cris, Birinci, Kurtulus.

Booked: Kaya, Burak Yilmaz.

Goals: Burak Yilmaz 54.

Man Utd: Lindegaard, Da Silva, Jones, Carrick, Buttner, Anderson (Young 74), Fletcher, Cleverley, Powell (Macheda 74), Welbeck (King 85), Hernandez.

Subs Not Used: Johnstone, Wootton, Cole, Vermijl.

Booked: Da Silva.

Attendance: 43,000

Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo (Spain)

Indeed, for untested youngsters such as Nick Powell it may prove to be a very valuable part of their footballing education.

At 18 years and 242 days, Powell was becoming the second youngest Englishman to feature for United in the Champions League.

That Kieran Richardson holds the record proves that just being here is no guarantee of a successful career at the very highest level.

The experience can have done Powell no harm whatsoever though.

It would be almost impossible for the Galatasaray fans to live up to their 'Welcome to Hell' billing completely. They do make a heck of a noise though.

And the contrast between the Turk Telecom Arena and the Globe Arena in Morecambe is pretty marked, that is for sure.

That is where Powell was playing, in front of 2,169 hardy souls exactly a year and a day ago, which underlines exactly how far the midfielder has come.

It was little wonder that Powell took a bit of time to get used to the surroundings. Not even three substitute appearances for United, and a goal on his debut against Wigan, could have prepared him for this.

Sneaking in: Yilmaz sees his header go in the goal

Sneaking in: Yilmaz sees his header go in the goal

Turkish delight: Galatasaray's Felipe Melo celebrates the goal against United

Turkish delight: Galatasaray's Felipe Melo celebrates the goal against United

So a couple of wrong decisions were made and a couple of final passes went astray before Powell got into the swing of things.

But when Tom Cleverley drifted a corner to the far post in the latter stages of the opening period, Powell rose confidently to power a header against the crossbar.

Moments later, an intelligent run into the box almost got him on the end of Javier Hernandez's curling cross. It was as close as United came in the first half.

Defensively they were solid though, with Phil Jones impressing on his first appearance of the season.
With only 16 United appearances in 2012, the remarkable introduction to life at Old Trafford that had seen him compared to Duncan Edwards by those club insiders not usually given to hyperbole, has largely been halted.

Battle for the ball: Phil Jones and Nordin Amrabat fight it out for possession of the ball

Battle for the ball: Phil Jones and Nordin Amrabat fight it out for possession of the ball

However, there was something impressive in the way Jones cantered back alongside Nordin Amrabat as the Galatasaray winger threatened to break through.

Indeed, Anders Lindegaard had only one notable save to make, turning away a curling effort from Hamit Altintop. But that all changed after the interval.

Former Liverpool man Albert Riera tested the Dane's reflexes with a long-range effort before Lindegaard did superbly to tip Felipe Melo's firm header over the bar.

Welcome to hell: Galatasary fans light flares before kick off

Welcome to hell: Galatasary fans light flares before kick off

The visitors were caught napping at the corner though, with Yilmaz finding enough room on the edge of the six-yard box to steer his header into the net.

It was a sorry goal to concede for Sir Alex Ferguson's team, not least because it meant they had not properly dealt with the threat of a player responsible for Galatasaray's entire Champions League haul of five up to that point.

Flat out: Galatasaray's Dany Nounkeu and Danny Welbeck race for the ball

Flat out: Galatasaray's Dany Nounkeu and Danny Welbeck race for the ball

In addition, it extended the unhappy statistic of conceding the first goal in 12 out of 17 Premier League and Champions League games.

It could have been worse too as Altintop rattled Lindegaard's crossbar with a ferocious long-range effort.

Ferguson tried to revive his troops with the late introductions of Ashley Young, Federico Macheda and Joshua King, but it was all to no avail.

Chance: Nick Powell watches as his header hits the crossbar

Chance: Nick Powell watches as his header hits the crossbar

Adam Lallana overjoyed as Southampton battle back to steal a point against Fulham

Lallana overjoyed as Southampton battle back to steal a point against Fulham

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UPDATED:

17:59 GMT, 7 October 2012

Southampton captain Adam Lallana was relieved to rescue at least a point from a match they led for more than an hour as Jose Fonte's 90th-minute equaliser earned them a 2-2 draw at home to Fulham.

Fonte headed home his second of the game at the death after the visitors had recovered from going behind in the fourth minute to lead.

Battling spirit: Adam Lallana (left) was delighted to see Southampton snatch a point

Battling spirit: Adam Lallana (left) was delighted to see Southampton snatch a point

Jos Hooiveld's own goal made it 1-1 in the 70th minute before Kieran Richardson put the Cottagers in front with two minutes to go.

'(We're) a bit disappointed, we were in front for quite a lot of the game, but to come back in the last two minutes and salvage a point is credit to the lads,' Lallana told Sky Sports 1.

The point was only Southampton's fourth from seven Barclays Premier League games this term and Lallana knows they have to improve at the back.

Two-goal hero: But Jose Fonte (floored) was happy to do it for the team

Two-goal hero: But Jose Fonte (floored) was happy to do it for the team

'For a lot of us it's our first season in the top flight, we've got to learn fast and got to keep clean sheets, because that's the only way you're going to get points,' he said.

The brace was Fonte's first Premier League goals and he said: 'It was good to get two goals, but at the end of the day the most important thing is the team.'

Southampton 2 Fulham 2: Jose Fonte rescues point for Saints

Southampton 2 Fulham 2: Fonte rescues dramatic point in injury time as Saints move out of bottom three

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UPDATED:

14:55 GMT, 7 October 2012

Jose Fonte's last-gasp header secured Southampton a point and saved defensive partner Jos Hooiveld's blushes against Fulham.

The Portuguese centre-back nodded home a 90th-minute leveller in a game in which he had broken the deadlock after just four minutes.

Hooiveld scored an own goal in Southampton's 6-1 humbling at Arsenal and did so again on the south coast when he directed home a speculative John Arne Riise drive in the second half.

Hooiveld, who came on eight minutes into the clash after Frazer Richardson suffered a thigh injury, then saw Kieran Richardson's close-range strike brush off him on its way in two minutes from time, although the goal was credited to the Fulham man.

However, Fonte saved the Dutchman and his side late on to earn Southampton a fourth point of the campaign.

Heading home: Jose Fonte scores his second goal for Southampton

Heading home: Jose Fonte scores his second goal for Southampton

MATCH FACTS

Southampton: Gazzaniga, Richardson (Hooiveld 8), Yoshida, Fonte, Fox, Puncheon (Chaplow 61), Schneiderlin, Steven Davis, Lallana, Rodriguez, Lambert (Guly 67).
Subs not used: K Davis, Reeves, Ward-Prowse, Mayuka.

Goals: Fonte 4, 90.

Bookings: Yoshida, Fonte, Hooiveld, Schneiderlin.

Fulham: Schwarzer, Riether, Hughes, Hangeland, Riise, Kacaniklic (Richardson 66), Ruiz, Baird, Sidwell (Karagounis 72), Duff, Rodallega.
Subs not used: Stockdale, Kelly, Senderos, Kasami, Briggs.

Goals: Hooiveld og 70, Richardson 88.

Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear)

The hosts began brightly and the
returning Morgan Schneiderlin fired a wayward warning shot, before
Rickie Lambert headed into the side-netting after connecting with a
Danny Fox corner from the right.

Southampton had their second corner by the fourth minute and made their early dominance count.
Adam Lallana floated the set-piece in from the left and Fonte's glanced
header at the near post looped over goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer and into
the far corner.

Richardson was forced off in the
eighth minute for the hosts and his departure forced a defensive
reshuffle, with replacement Hooiveld forcing Maya Yoshida out wide.

Fulham began to make headway, with Lambert blocking Aaron Hughes from a corner before the Northern Irishman headed over.

Saints, though, were still looking
dangerous and came agonisingly close to doubling their advantage as Jay
Rodriguez beat the offside trap and pulled back for Lambert, whose
right-footed effort just went wide.

All smiles: Kieran Richardson celebrates after scoring for Fulham

All smiles: Kieran Richardson celebrates after scoring for Fulham

Delight: John Arne Riise celebrates after his shot is turned into his own net by Jos Hooiveld

Delight: John Arne Riise celebrates after his shot is turned into his own net by Jos Hooiveld

The home side continued to press and Jason Puncheon twice came close from 22nd-minute corners.
Puncheon was denied on the goal-line by Sascha Riether and then, from
the following corner, the wide man was adjudged to have fouled Schwarzer
prior to prodding home.

Lambert forced Schwarzer into action
at his near post after collecting a fine pass from Puncheon, but Fulham
stepped up the pressure as half-time approached and home goalkeeper
Paulo Gazzaniga was required for the first time in stoppage time when
Hughes headed goalwards. The Cottagers again came close as Hooiveld
failed to deal with a hopeful long ball and Hugo Rodallega poked wide
under pressure from Gazzaniga.

Heading in: Aaron Hughes can't prevent a Jose Fonte's effort from creeping into the net

Heading in: Aaron Hughes can't prevent a Jose Fonte's effort from creeping into the net

That momentum continued into the
second half but it was still Southampton enjoying the best
opportunities, with Lambert volleying over a driven Schneiderlin cross
from the right.

Schwarzer spilt a hopeful 25-yard
effort from Rodriguez after a great surge forward but Fulham were
looking a more dangerous opponent and twice came close in the 60th
minute.

Gazzaniga did terrifically to push a
close-range Rodallega header away moments after Steve Sidwell bundled
the ball onto the post.

Celebrations: Jose Fonte with Southampton fans on Sunday

Celebrations: Jose Fonte with Southampton fans on Sunday

Fulham could have also been awarded a
penalty after Yoshida appeared to handle in the midst of the action.
Both sides made changes in a bid to change the match but it was an
earlier substitute whose impact was felt on the south coast.

Riise drilled a low shot from the
left and centre-back Hooiveld could only direct it into his own goal,
putting Fulham level in the 69th minute.

The goal had been coming and
the Cottagers threatened to go ahead, with substitute Kieran Richardson
putting a Riether cross over.

Going close: Rickie Lambert sees his shot saved by Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer

Going close: Rickie Lambert sees his shot saved by Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer

Rodriguez nodded wide for the hosts
in stoppage time and Saints paid when Richardson fired home off
Hooiveld's leg two minutes from time.

The substitute looked to have
earned Fulham three points but he gave away a late free-kick from which
Fonte headed home to earn Saints a point.

My ball: Danny Fox clashes with Fulham's Damian Duff

My ball: Danny Fox clashes with Fulham's Damian Duff

West Ham 3 Fulham 0: Andy Carroll makes winning start

West Ham 3 Fulham 0: Carroll plays his part as Hammers cruise against London rivals

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UPDATED:

14:04 GMT, 1 September 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Andy Carroll wasted no time in winning over the West Ham fans as the big striker helped his new side to a comfortable win.

The result was beyond doubt when Carroll was given a rousing reception as he hobbled off clutching his leg with 25 minutes left.

Earlier, Carroll played his part in the build-up to Kevin Nolan's first-minute opener before Winston Reid and Matt Taylor sealed the victory.

Forever blowing bubbles: Andy Carroll takes to the pitch for his West Ham debut

Forever blowing bubbles: Andy Carroll takes to the pitch for his West Ham debut

MATCH FACTS

West Ham: Jaaskelainen, Demel (Hall 78), Reid, Collins (Tomkins 67), O'Brien, Diame, Noble, Nolan, Taylor, Vaz Te, Carroll (Cole 68)

Subs not used: Henderson, Maiga, Diarra, O'Neil

Goals: Nolan 1, Reid 29, Taylor 41

Fulham: Schwarzer, Riether, Hughes, Hangeland, Riise, Duff, Sidwell, Diarra, Richardson (Kacaniklic 59), Rodallega, Petric (Berbatov 46)

Subs not used: Stockdale, Kelly, Baird, Kasami, Briggs

Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire)

Attendance: 33,458

Carroll, who was flanked by Ricardo Vaz
Te and Taylor with Matt Jarvis missing following a knock in training,
was involved straight away.

A long, clearing header from James Collins was flicked on by the England
international into the path of Vaz Te who played the ball in to Nolan,
with Carroll's ex-Newcastle team-mate finishing firmly past Mark
Schwarzer.

Fulham's debutant Kieran Richardson had the visitors' first real chance
when he fired in a low effort from distance that was palmed away by West
Ham goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen.

With less than 10 minutes on the clock Carroll was again involved when
he headed Vaz Te's cross into the on-rushing Mohamed Diame, who saw his
effort tipped onto the crossbar by Schwarzer.

The Australian goalkeeper was keeping his side in the game in the
opening exchanges and was called upon once more to tip Vaz Te's low shot
around the post.

Impact: Andy Carroll got stuck in from the start of his first game in a Hammers shirt

Impact: Andy Carroll got stuck in from the start of his first game in a Hammers shirt

Nolan came close to adding a second in the 16th minute as the same
combination of players who created the first goal ran riot once more.

Carroll, who had won every header he contested in the early stages,
picked out Vaz Te who found Nolan on the edge of the Fulham penalty
area.

This time the Hammers captain attempted a lobbed effort that landed on
the top of Schwarzer's net with the home side fully in control.

Concern: Andy Carroll hit the deck midway through the second half and required treatment

Concern: Andy Carroll hit the deck midway through the second half and required treatment

Early exit: Andy Carroll was forced off before the end of the match against Fulham

Early exit: Andy Carroll was forced off before the end of the match against Fulham

Fulham started to enjoy a little bit more possession as the first half progressed but were soon further behind.

Taylor's 29th-minute corner found Reid on the edge of the six-yard area
and he beat Mahamadou Diarra to the ball to power a header past
Schwarzer to double the home side's lead.

Vaz Te, who was full of running and always wanted the ball, was proving a
constant thorn in the side of the Fulham defence and Nolan should have
done better when the Portuguese picked him out inside the box.

Flying start: Kevin Nolan rattled in West Ham's opener with just under a minute on the clock

Flying start: Kevin Nolan rattled in West Ham's opener with just under a minute on the clock

Battle cry: Kevin Nolan (left) lets out a roar as he celebrates breaking the deadlock

Battle cry: Kevin Nolan (left) lets out a roar as he celebrates breaking the deadlock

It was not long afterwards that the third goal was scored by the Hammers
as Collins' free-kick was headed clear by Fulham's Brede Hangeland.

The loose ball broke free to the feet of Taylor who finished well from the edge of the penalty area.

Fulham had back-to-back corners in first-half injury time but could not
create an opening and were almost caught on the counter-attack before
the half-time whistle.

Doubling up: Winston Reid celebrates with his team-mates after scoring West Ham's second against Fulham

Doubling up: Winston Reid celebrates with his team-mates after scoring West Ham's second against Fulham

Fulham manager Martin Jol reacted to the disastrous first half by
introducing new signing Dimitar Berbatov at the interval with Mladen
Petric making way.

Carroll started the second half as he did the first, winning a header
that found Vaz Te, who could not direct his shot towards goal.

Taylor almost scored his second of the game five minutes after the re-start as a short free-kick was worked to him by Nolan.

The 30-year-old's effort was straight at Schwarzer but the experienced
goalkeeper could not hold it and the ball was eventually cleared for a
corner.

On the up: Matt Taylor was jumping for joy after scoring the third goal for West Ham

On the up: Matt Taylor was jumping for joy after scoring the third goal for West Ham

Fulham again had a spell of sustained possession but still lacked a cutting edge even with Berbatov now involved.

Carroll was replaced by Carlton Cole with just under 25 minutes
remaining after seeming to injure his hamstring after a heavy landing.

The visitors continued to press and Steve Sidwell finally forced a smart
save out of Jaaskelainen following a Damien Duff corner.

Jol's side continued to show signs of improvement as Berbatov linked
well with Hugo Rodallega, with the latter again testing Jaaskelainen.

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce was forced to make his third and final substitution when defender Guy Demel went down injured. Demel was replaced by teenager Robert Hall with Taylor reverting to full-back.

Hall had the chance to put West Ham four goals ahead after Vaz Te ran
the length of the field after collecting the ball from a poor Fulham
corner.

The 25-year-old jinked his way into the box and rolled the ball to Hall but his shot was well blocked.

The three points had long-since been secured by the Hammers who sat back
for the closing stages with Fulham chasing a consolation goal.

Berbatov certainly gave Fulham a cutting edge during the closing stages
and almost created goals for Duff and Rodallega, with Jaaskelainen
keeping both efforts out.

Kieran Richardson signs three-year Fulham deal

Richardson signs three-year Fulham deal after leaving Sunderland

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UPDATED:

10:51 GMT, 31 August 2012

Kieran Richardson completed his move from Sunderland to Fulham.

The 27-year-old, who was born in London, signed a three-year deal, with an additional year's option, for a undisclosed fee.

He told Fulham's official website: 'I'm delighted that my transfer to Fulham has been completed and now I'm eager to start training for my new club straight away and pulling on the white shirt for the first time.'

More to follow…

New recruit: Kieran Richardson (right) has signed for Fulham

New recruit: Kieran Richardson (right) has signed for Fulham

Fulham eye transfer deadline day signing of Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe

Fulham ready to splash out again with last-minute deal for 6m Odjidja-Ofoe

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UPDATED:

08:20 GMT, 31 August 2012

Martin Jol is launching a late bid to go down as the transfer window's busiest manager after lining up a 6million move for Belgium midfielder Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe.

Flushed with cash after selling Mousa Dembele to Tottenham for 15m, the Fulham boss has already hailed Dimitar Berbatov's 5m signing as the biggest in the club's history and earmarked Sunderland’s Kieran Richardson for the left-back spot at Craven Cottage.

Now he is hoping to strengthen the heart of his midfield by recruiting highly-rated Bruges anchor man Odjidja-Ofoe, who impressed in last season’s Europa Cup tie against Birmingham City and laid on a goal for Joseph Akpala in the 2-2 draw at St Andrews.

New Fellaini Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe is wanted at Craven Cottage

New Fellaini Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe is wanted at Craven Cottage

The 23-year-old, capped three times and hailed as the new Marouane Fellaini in his homeland, attracted interest from West Brom last season and could be on his way to the Barclays Premier League at the second attempt, if Fulham can reach an agreement.

The 6ft 1in powerhouse joined Bruges from Bundesliga side Hamburg for 800,000 three years ago and has established himself as their midfield mainstay during a return of 14 goals from 117 appearances.

Kieran Richardson to move to Fulham from Sunderland for 2m

Richardson set for Fulham move as Sunderland accept 2m bid for midfielder

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UPDATED:

22:02 GMT, 28 August 2012

Sunderland midfielder Kieran Richardson is on the brink of a 2million move to Fulham.

The former Manchester United midfielder is in talks with Martin Jol after Sunderland accepted a bid.

Martin O'Neill said: 'A club have made an offer for him today, we have accepted that and given Kieran the chance to look at that. If he comes back I will be pleased but I think he wanted to pursue this and we'll see what comes of it.'

Heading south: Kieran Richardson (right) looks set for Fulham

Heading south: Kieran Richardson (right) looks set for Fulham

Richardson was not included in the 18 for the Capital One Cup second round victory over Morecambe, and O'Neill revealed the reason afterwards.

He said: 'A club has made an offer for him today and we, as a club, have accepted that, and it gives Kieran the opportunity to find out for himself.

'If it doesn't materialise and he comes back, I'll still be pleased, but it's a position we might have to go and have a look at.

'Jack [Colback] played very, very well there tonight, but Kieran wanted to pursue this and have a look at this, finding we had accepted the offer, and I will see what comes of it.'

It would come as no surprise if the former Manchester United player, who is in the final year of his contract, did leave the Stadium of Light after weeks of speculation over his future.

O'Neill has already been linked with a series of replacements, and he confirmed he would look to make progress on that front if a deal was to go through.

He said: 'It is something, if Kieran does go, that we would have to look at.'

Adam Gemili clocks personal best in 200m

Diamond League Race Zone: Gemili clocks personal best in 200m

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 26 August 2012

Adam Gemili ran the second fastest 200 metres time for a British junior in history when he clocked a personal best of 20.53sec on Sunday.

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Brit special: Adam Gemili (right) ran a personal best in the 200m

What 18-year-old Gemili made of yet another sparkling run was unclear to BBC viewers, with the broadcaster interviewing Tyson Gay, who came second in 20.23sec, after the race.

It was a stellar line-up including Olympic sprint finalists Wallace Spearmon, Churandy Martina and Ryan Bailey but spare a thought for winner Nickel Ashmeade.

The Jamaican wasn’t at London 2012 because he shares the same country as Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake and Warren Weir, the Olympic 1-2-3. Ashmeade won in 20.12sec.

Jet-heeled Jeter gets revenge

Carmelita Jegter must look back at the Olympic 100 metres final and think ‘What if’ after once again defeating the champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. The American veteran came second to her Jamaican rival in London by 0.03sec but beat her in Lausanne last week and again here, recording a meet record of 10.81sec. ‘It’s easy to keep going when you love running. I love to hear that gun click,’ said the 32-year-old, rather ominously.

Fast as lightening: Carmelita Jeter (left) won the 100m in Birmingham

Fast as lightening: Carmelita Jeter (left) won the 100m in Birmingham

Merritt wins again… but isn’t satisfied

Aries Merritt, the Olympic champion, continued his scintillating season’s form to win the 110 metres hurdles in 12.95sec, a meet record. ‘Smooth and silky,’ purred Colin Jackson but Merritt disagreed. ‘I made a lot of technical mistakes,’ he said after beating world champion Jason Richardson by 0.03sec. Britain’s Lawrence Clarke, fourth at London 2012, finished sixth here in 13.52sec.

Adams feels 'robbed'

Valerie Adams won the shot put with a throw of 20.52 metres, then spoke of her anger at being denied a chance to stand on top of the podium at the Olympics. Belarusian Nadezhda Ostapchuk was stripped of gold after testing positive for steroids, promoting Beijing gold medallist Adams to first.

The New Zealander said she had given her silver medal back but not yet got gold and hopes a presentation will be made at the Diamond League meet in Zurich this week or when she returns home.

‘She robbed me of that moment (at the Olympics),’ Adams said. ‘That hurts more than anything. Instead of being upset I should’ve been celebrating. She’s got to live with the consequences for the rest of her life and be known as a cheat.’

Winning throw: New Zealand's Valerie Adams was awarded Olympic gold

Winning throw: New Zealand's Valerie Adams was awarded Olympic gold

I could’ve won a medal if I was fit, insists Meadows

Jenny Meadows was at Sunday’s Birmingham meet sporting a pair of crutches. The 800 metres European indoor champion revealed she has undergone surgery on the long-term achilles injury which effectively ruled her out of the Olympics, but said she would be back next season.

She told how she watched the 800m final, won by Russia’s Mariya Savinova, and said: ‘I definitely thought there was a chance for me on the podium, the bronze was won in 1min 57sec and I have run that time. It’s been a difficult year.’ Britain’s Marilyn Okoro came third in 2min 01.96sec.