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Great Britain to play Croatia away in Davis Cup World Group play-off

Great Britain face away trip to Croatia in Davis Cup play-off… and Murray will play!

By
Stuart Fraser

PUBLISHED:

10:16 GMT, 10 April 2013

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UPDATED:

11:05 GMT, 10 April 2013

Great Britain have been drawn away to Croatia in September's Davis Cup World Group play-offs.

Leon Smith's team staged a stunning comeback to beat Russia 3-2 on Sunday in Coventry and earn a chance to gain promotion to the elite 16-team World Group for the first time since 2008.

Heroes: Britain beat Russia to clinch a place in September's World Group play-offs

Heroes: Britain beat Russia to clinch a place in September's World Group play-offs

World No 2 Andy Murray has already committed to play in the tie which will be held on the weekend following the conclusion of the US Open on 13-15 September.

Murray last played in September 2011 in a 5-0 win over Hungary and has opted out of each tie since, preferring to focus on his grand slam preparations.

Return: Murray (centre) has already committed to play in September's tie

Return: Murray (centre) has already committed to play in September's tie

James Ward and Dan Evans, the heroes
on Sunday as they won both their matches to clinch the win over Russia,
will likely battle it out for the second singles spot.

Croatia's team is likely to include world No 11 Marin Cilic, who Murray beat on his way to winning the Sony Open in Miami last month, and Ivan Dodig, ranked No 54.

The hosts have until April 30 to choose a venue and surface for the tie.

Leader: World No 11 Cilic will likely lead Croatia's team against Great Britain

Leader: World No 11 Cilic will likely lead Croatia's team against Great Britain

It will be Britain's first tie away from home since Smith, Murray's former coach, took over as captain from John Lloyd in 2010.

Smith has won six of his seven ties in charge and should be confident of promotion to the World Group, having avoided Spain and Switzerland in the draw.

Coach: Smith (left) was Murray's (right) coach when the world No 2 was in his teenage years

Coach: Smith (left) was Murray's (right) coach when the world No 2 was in his teenage years

Britain last played Croatia in the World Group play-offs in September 2007, winning 4-1 at Wimbledon.

Murray beat Cilic in five sets in the opening match, before Tim Henman – in his last match before retirement – clinched the tie by teaming up with Murray's brother Jamie in the doubles to beat Cilic and Lovro Zovko.

Handshakes: Cilic (right) played against Britain in 2007 in what was Tim Henman's (left) last match

Handshakes: Cilic (right) played against Britain in 2007 in what was Tim Henman's (left) last match

Middlesbrough 1 Millwall 2 – match report

Middlesbrough 1 Millwall 2: Boro's play-off chances dealt major blow after home defeat

PUBLISHED:

19:31 GMT, 23 February 2013

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UPDATED:

19:31 GMT, 23 February 2013

Middlesbrough's play-off hopes were dealt another crushing blow as they went down to defeat against Millwall at the Riverside Stadium.

Tony Mowbray's side slipped out of the top six for the first time since October prior to kick-off following Brighton's win over Burnley, and Boro's performance did not match that of a side striving for promotion to the Premier League.

However, Millwall, who had lost their last five in the npower Championship, did not look like a side struggling for form as they dominated throughout in a thrilling encounter.

An own goal from defender George Friend and Lions midfielder Martyn Woolford sealed a first away win for Kenny Jackett's side since November with Curtis Main pulling one back for the hosts.

Doubled: Martyn Woolford slotted home Millwall's second goal

Doubled: Martyn Woolford slotted home Millwall's second goal

MATCH FACTS

Middlesbrough: Steele, Bailey, McManus, Bikey, Friend, Dyer (Miller 46), Rhys Williams (Carayol 46), Leadbitter, McEachran, Emnes (McDonald 69), Main.

Subs Not Used: Ripley, Ledesma, Hines, Smallwood.

Goals: Main 75.

Millwall: Forde, Dunne, Shittu, Osborne, Beevers, Henry, Abdou, Wright, Woolford, Marquis, Afobe.

Subs Not Used: Maik Taylor, Trotter, Tyson, Keogh, N'Guessan, Adam Smith, Malone.

Booked: Osborne, Wright, Forde.

Goals: Friend 25 og, Woolford 40.

Att: 15,377

Ref: Michael Naylor (Sheffield).

Latest Championship table, fixtures and results

Kieron Dyer and striker Main were the
only changes to the Boro side that drew a blank at Burnley in midweek
while Jackett recalled five players including Benik Afobe, Alan Dunne
and skipper Danny Shittu following their 5-1 defeat at home to
Peterborough last time out.

The first real chance arrived on 15
minutes when Karleigh Osborne tripped Main on the edge of the box. Grant
Leadbitter took the kick and Jason Steele was struggling to get across
as it narrowly flew over the crossbar.

Main was appealing to referee Michael
Naylor again shortly after when he went down under pressure from Dunne
inside the penalty area. Naylor waved away the protests as he became
increasingly unpopular with the home supporters.

His reputation did not improve when
the Lions, virtually straight after the incident, took the lead on 25
minutes. James Henry delivered a pin-point cross from the left and an
unfortunate Friend headed into his own goal under pressure from Afobe
and John Marquis.

Friend along with his team mates felt he was fouled in the build up, only adding to the now toxic atmosphere inside the ground.

Hope: Curtis Main scored for Middlesbrough but it was too little too late

Hope: Curtis Main scored for Middlesbrough but it was too little too late

However, Boro almost replied
immediately when Main met a Leadbitter corner full only to see his
powerful header well blocked on the line by Nadjim Abdou.

The visitors looked rattled by
Middlesbrough's response and goalkeeper David Forde almost gifted them
an equaliser when he spilled a cross only for Mark Beevers to again
clear off the line.

But Kenny Jackett's side took full
control five minutes before the break when Jason Steele pushed Afobe's
original effort into the path of Woolford who enjoyed the simplest of
finishes to double the advantage.

Boro tried to rally a response after
the break following the introduction of Ishmael Miller and Mustapha
Carayol, and it was the latter who tested the reflexes of Forde on the
hour mark as the Republic of Ireland international made a smart stop at
his near post.

A goal was coming though, and Friend
went some way to making amends when he skipped into the area on 75
minutes before pulling the ball back for Main who tapped into an empty
net from six yards.

That strike clearly energised them as
Main fired a golden opportunity wide with five minutes remaining before
late drama erupted deep into stoppage time when substitute Scott
McDonald's apparent equaliser was ruled out for offside.

A melee ensued and referee Naylor was
almost caught in the middle of it before bringing the game and
Millwall's slump to an end, condemning Boro to a seventh league defeat
in their last nine outings.

Oldham 2 Everton 2 – match report: Matt Smith scores equaliser

Oldham 2 Everton 2: Substitute Smith strikes again to force replay against Toffees

PUBLISHED:

19:55 GMT, 16 February 2013

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UPDATED:

20:07 GMT, 16 February 2013

Matt Smith scored late in the day to secure a replay at Goodison Park against Everton.

The 6ft 6in substitute nodded home from a corner in the fifth minute of stoppage time to tie things up.

The Latics had looked as though they were heading out after Victor Anichebe and Phil Jagielka had scored after Oldham's Jordan Obita had opened the scoring in the 13th minute.

Raucous: Matt Smith sent in the leveller to force a replay against Premier League opposition

Raucous: Matt Smith sent in the leveller to force a replay against Premier League opposition

Rising above it: Matt Smith heads home the last-gasp equaliser

Rising above it: Matt Smith heads home the last-gasp equaliser

MATCH FACTS

Oldham: Bouzanis, Brown, Grounds, Mvoto, Wesolowski (Furman 66), Tarkowski, Croft, Obita (Simpson 77), Iwelumo (Smith 61), Barnard, Baxter

Subs not used: Cisak, Byrne, Winchester, Millar

Goal: Obita 13, Smith 90

Everton: Howard, Baines, Jagielka, Distin, Neville, Gibson, Osman, Pienaar (Oviedo 79), Fellaini, Jelavic (Duffy 90), Anichebe (Mirallas 46)

Subs not used: Mucha, Heitinga, Hitzlsperger, Naismith

Booked: Neville

Goals: Anichebe 24, Jagielka 48

Referee: Phil Dowd

More to follow…

Flying: Phil Jagielka is mobbed after scoring Everton's second goal

Flying: Phil Jagielka is mobbed after scoring Everton's second goal

In the lead: Jagielka (centre) nods home from a Kevin Mirallas corner to put Everton a goal up

In the lead: Jagielka (centre) nods home from a Kevin Mirallas corner to put Everton a goal up

.

Leveller: Victor Anichebe (centre) celebrates with his team-mates after bringing Everton back on terms

Leveller: Victor Anichebe (centre) celebrates with his team-mates after bringing Everton back on terms

Joy: Jordan Obita celebrates after putting the home side in the lead early in the match

Joy: Jordan Obita celebrates after putting the home side in the lead early in the match

.

50-50: Lee Barnard (right) goes head-to-head with Everton's midfielder Marouane Fellaini

50-50: Lee Barnard (right) goes head-to-head with Everton's midfielder Marouane Fellaini

.

Coming together: Chris Iwelumo (left) competes for the ball with Jagielka (right)

Coming together: Chris Iwelumo (left) competes for the ball with Jagielka (right)

Salute: Former Oldham manager Paul Dickov waves to fans of his old club from the press box

Salute: Former Oldham manager Paul Dickov waves to fans of his old club from the press box

.

Close one: Leon Osman tries to hold off the challenge of Oldham's James Wesolowski

Close one: Leon Osman tries to hold off the challenge of Oldham's James Wesolowski

Looking on: Both Everton and Oldham staff watch the match from the edge of the pitch at Boundary Park

Looking on: Both Everton and Oldham staff watch the match from the edge of the pitch at Boundary Park

Shame: Cash-strapped Oldham told player not to swap shirts at the end of the match

Shame: Cash-strapped Oldham told player not to swap shirts at the end of the match

Australian government investigation unearths widespread use of banned drugs in professional sport

Australia rocked as investigation unearths widespread use of banned drugs, links to match fixing and organised crime in professional sport

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

02:24 GMT, 7 February 2013

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UPDATED:

02:26 GMT, 7 February 2013

Professional sport in Australia is set to be rocked to its core after an Australian Crime Commission (ACC) investigation uncovered widespread use of performance enhancing drugs in Australian sport as well as links to match fixing and organised crime.

A federal government press conference revealed that the ACC has conducted a 12-month investigation into the link between drugs and professional sport entitled 'Organised Crime and Drugs in Sport'.

'There are clear parallels between what has been discovered in Australia and the USADA investigation into Lance Armstrong, which underlines the transnational threat posed by doping to professional sport, both from a “fair play” perspective and as a broader integrity issue,' said the report.

Painful viewing: NRL CEO David Smith speaks to media after a 12 month investigation into Australian sport uncovered the possibility of match fixing, drugs in sport and links to organised crime

Painful viewing: NRL CEO David Smith speaks to media after a 12 month investigation into Australian sport uncovered the possibility of match fixing, drugs in sport and links to organised crime

'The ACC has demonstrated through this project that the threat posed by the PIEDs (performance and image enhancing drugs) market and related criminal activities to the integrity of sport in Australia, and organised crime attempts to infiltrate the professional sports sector in this country, exhibits many of the characteristics identified in the USADA investigation of Armstrong's activities in the mid-1990s to mid-2000s.

'The difference is that the Australian threat is current, crosses sporting codes and is evolving.'

Legal constraints prevent the identification of any particular code, particular teams or particular athletes, but Minister for Justice Jason Clare emphasised that no code was immune.

The heads of the major sporting bodies were at the announcement of the report with Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland, AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou, ARU CEO Bill Pulver and NRL CEO David Smith all voicing their shock at the outcomes of the report.

'These are serious matters that require immediate action and the development of a longer term plan,' a statement from COMPPS, which represents all the major sporting bodies, said.

'The integrity of sport as a whole, and our specific codes, is paramount. We have commenced taking action and will work closely with the government on a longer term plan.'

Harsh realities: AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou leaves a press conference at Parliament House

Harsh realities: AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou leaves a press conference at Parliament House

As a result of the magnitude of the inquiry, the federal government has doubled ASADA's (Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority) resources to tackle this issue.

Sports scientists are set to be at the centre of the ASADA investigations, while the ACC has confirmed that criminal offences have been disclosed by players during the course of their investigation.

'The ACC has identified specific high-performance staff, sports scientists and coaches within some codes who have condoned and/or orchestrated the administration of prohibited substances, and substances not yet approved for human consumption, to players,' said the report.

'In some cases, peptides and other substances were administered to players without them understanding the nature of the substances, and without the knowledge of the team doctor or club medical staff.'

Any athlete found to have breached World Anti-Doping Agency protocols faces a minimum two-year ban from professional sport.

The involvement of organised crime has also raised the spectre of match fixing with the government and all sporting codes moving to beef up integrity measures.

'The ACC has identified an increasing number of associations of concern between professional athletes and organised criminal identities in Australia,' added the report.

'The ACC's 2011 assessment of Threats to the Integrity of Professional Sport in Australia, noted that as the amount of money wagered on sports increases, associations with athletes or other individuals with the ability to influence a sporting contest, or provide inside information, will be increasingly sought after.'

Australian Open 2013: Andy Murray beats Robin Haase

Murray ignites grand slam challenge with straight-sets victory over hapless Haase

By
Mike Dickson

PUBLISHED:

01:50 GMT, 15 January 2013

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UPDATED:

02:41 GMT, 15 January 2013

Andy Murray had the privilege of walking out onto the Rod Laver Arena to begin the second day of the Australian Open as a Grand Slam champion, and turned in a performance worthy of one.

Freshly minted as US Open winner, the 25 year-old Scot was utterly commanding as he dismissed Dutchman Robin Haase 6-3 6-1 6-3 in just an hour and 37 minutes, being over and done with before the stadium had a chance to fill up before lunchtime.

Murray’s next opponent is Joao Sousa, the world No 100, who beat Australian wildcard John-Patrick Smith 6-4, 6-1, 6-4.

Game, set, match: Andy Murray cruised through to the second round with victory over Robin Hasse

Game, set, match: Andy Murray cruised through to the second round with victory over Robin Hasse

The contrast to their US open second round of 2011 could hardly have been greater, and is a measure of how far Murray has progressed since then. On that day in New York he fell two sets behind, was totally at odds with himself and also allowed Haase a last-ditch comeback when he had gone ahead in the fifth set after seeming to recover.

This was one-way traffic by comparison, the only time the Dutchman looking comfortable being the first two games when he held easily and then tested the Murray serve.

A glorious morning with tepratures of 26C and a half-empty arena greeted the players for this relatively early start. Murray has been acquainted with Haase since junior days and knows him to be a fluent shotmaker whose skills have not always been matched by his mental strength.

Easy does it: Murray was always in control as he races to a straight-sets victory

Easy does it: Murray was always in control as he races to a straight-sets victory

After the initial hump had been overcome the world No 3 settled into his rhythm, razor sharp on his returns and enjoying a pleasing consistency on his first serve, with the percentage success rate always up around the 75 per cent mark.

His ease of movement showed that there were no nerves and soon he was reeling off successive service breaks to put himself in total command. The second set was the most straightforward of all, over in 26 minutes, with the third taking only half an hour.

Murray was broken in the third at 4-1 up when it looked like he was going to completely steamroller his way home, but the result was never in doubt, which has not always been the case when he has started at a major, sometimes nervous of the expectations placed upon him.

Support group: Murray's girlfriend Kim Sears (above) and his fan club (below) were in attendance

Support group: Murray's girlfriend Kim Sears (above) and his fan club (below) were in attendance

Supporters of Britain's Andy Murray

If there was a slight glitch it was the fact that Murray had his serve broken twice, despite him ending the match with a 73 per cent first serve success rate, but that would be nitpicking and it was to his credit that the whole match was something of a non-event.

Laura Robson and Jamie Baker are due to play later in the day’s singles, but this was a promising start that suggests that he is in good shape for the more strenuous tests to come.

It was the sort of imperious beginning you are more used to seeing from the likes of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, which is about the highest praise that can be given.

Murray said: 'It’s a good start and it’s nice to win in straight sets.It’s the hottest day we have had here for a while. It makes the court quicker and it took a little while to get used to it.'

Cooling off: Murray barely broke sweat as he began his Australian Open challenge in style

Cooling off: Murray barely broke sweat as he began his Australian Open challenge in style

Liverpool settle out of court with Tom Hicks and George Gillett

Liverpool settle out of court with ex-chiefs Hicks and Gillett over club sale claims

Hicks and
Gillett took their case against Broughton, Purslow and Ayre – and RBS –
to court, alleging that they conspired to sell the club at a reduced
price.

They claimed RBS and the Liverpool directors had deliberately blocked their attempts to refinance, allegations denied by RBS.

But after a lengthy and involved process led by Liverpool’s general counsel Natalie Wignall, a deal has been struck to bring an end to the legal action against Broughton, Purslow and Ayre.

The status of Hicks and Gillett’s case against RBS – whom the Americans claim were too actively involved in the sale process – remains unclear and no one at the bank was immediately available for comment.

Back to business: Now Liverpool can concentrate on the football

Back to business: Now Liverpool can concentrate on the football

At a High Court hearing in October Mr Justice Peter Smith said it was a matter which ought to go to trial.

'There is in my mind a question as to whether or not RBS truly distanced itself from the sale process,' he said.

'In reality, what actually happened between April 2010 and October 2010 can only be discerned by a trial when the relevant players give evidence and their evidence is tested by cross-examination in the light of the contemporaneous documents.

'In my view, it would be wrong and a denial of justice potentially at this preliminary stage to deny the former owners an opportunity to have a trial on this issue.

'This matter should be brought to a speedy conclusion. I would wish directions to be agreed if possible with a view to this action… being heard early in 2013.'

Macclesfield allege Ryan Jackson was racially abused by Barrow player

Macclesfield allege defender Jackson was racially abused by Barrow player

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UPDATED:

20:24 GMT, 30 December 2012

Police are to launch an investigation into allegations of racial abuse at the FA Cup second-round replay between Macclesfield and Barrow.

Officers were also called in to stop a post-match punch-up between both sets of players in the tunnel following an afternoon of bitter insult-swapping.

Macclesfield of the Blue Square Bet Premier claim that defender Ryan Jackson was racially abused by an opponent during Saturday’s 4-1 win.

Striker Amari Morgan-Smith tweeted: ‘So, according to the Barrow players it’s alright to call one of the lads a Jaffa cake on the pitch!! #headsgone’.

Stormy: Mathew Barnes-Homer celebrates his goal against Barrow

Stormy: Mathew Barnes-Homer celebrates his goal against Barrow

The Cheshire club confirmed that they had reported their rivals to the referee Phil Gibbs and to the police and want action taken.

Chief executive John Harris said, via the Macclesfield website: ‘The club are aware that the matter has been reported to both the police and the FA and will offer both its fullest support in dealing with the matter.

‘We are very disappointed that this has overshadowed an excellent performance on the pitch, but we remain staunchly opposed to all forms of racism, which we believe has no place in football, or indeed anywhere.’

Feelings have been running high between the two clubs since the original tie on December 19 when Macclesfield manager Steve King alleged that skipper Nat Brown had been called a ‘monkey’ by some Barrow fans.

Claim: Ryan Jackson was allegedly racially abused by a Barrow player

Claim: Ryan Jackson was allegedly racially abused by a Barrow player

The FA are investigating that incident too with Barrow promising to take action if any of their fans were shown to be guilty. At the time chairman Brian Keen said: ‘This is a decent, family community club and there is no place for racism.

‘We will investigate and, if we can identify any culprits, they will be facing as stern a punishment as we can dish out.’

Supporters from Cumbria yesterday flooded their forums with accusations that an English Defence League banner was on display at Moss Rose on Saturday and say that Brown went over to that section of the ground to acknowledge home supporters.

They also complained that the public announcer was being deliberately provocative by hailing former Barrow trialist John Paul Kissock as the ‘non-League Messi’ after he scored.

Macclesfield earned themselves a third-round tie against Championship leaders Cardiff in a match which survived three pitch inspections.

Millwall 1 Barnsley 2 – match report: Marcus Tudgay hits late winner

Millwall 1 Barnsley 2: Tudgay's late winner gives Tykes some seasonal cheer

PUBLISHED:

17:47 GMT, 22 December 2012

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UPDATED:

17:47 GMT, 22 December 2012

Marcus Tudgay's late goal condemned Millwall to a surprise defeat as Barnsley gave their npower Championship survival bid a welcome boost.

Tudgay struck in injury time after Chris Wood appeared to have salvaged a point for the Lions, who had lost just once in their previous 16 matches.
Barnsley led through a first-half goal from Stephen Dawson, shortly after Millwall's Darius Henderson had missed a penalty.

To make matters worse, the hosts had defender Adam Smith sent off for a rash challenge early in the second half.

Winner: Marcus Tudgay chips the advancing David Forde to give Barnsley all three points

Winner: Marcus Tudgay chips the advancing David Forde to give Barnsley all three points

Match facts

Millwall: Forde, Adam Smith, Shittu, Beevers, Lowry, Henry, Wright, Trotter, Feeney (Jack Smith 64), Wood, Henderson (N'Guessan 69). Subs not used: Maik Taylor, Dunne, Batt, Osborne, Malone.
Sent Off: Adam Smith (54).

Booked: Feeney, Beevers.

Goals: Wood 80.

Barnsley: Steele, Stones, Foster, Cranie (Wiseman 20), Golbourne, Dawson, Hassell, O'Brien (Harewood 73), Perkins (Done 84), Tudgay, Dagnall. Subs not used: Alnwick, Cywka, Greening, Rose.
Booked: Tudgay, Wiseman, Foster, O'Brien.

Goals: Dawson 31, Tudgay 90.

Attendance: 10,118.

Referee: Trevor Kettle.

Latest Championship results, fixtures and table

Wood tucked in his third goal in two
matches, and his 11th of the season, 10 minutes from time but Tudgay had
the last word as Millwall slipped out of the play-off places.

Millwall were surprisingly lacklustre
for a team in such fine form, unbeaten at home in their previous seven
games, and it was Barnsley who made the brighter start with two good
chances falling to Tudgay in the first 10 minutes.

First Lions goalkeeper David Forde
did well to tip Tudgay's shot round the post, then a mix-up in the
Millwall defence saw the ball fall to Tudgay again, but this time the
striker blazed his shot over the crossbar.

The hosts should have taken the lead in the 25th minute after Henderson was fouled in the area by Scott Wiseman.

But Henderson, back in the Millwall side after a spell out with a hamstring injury, blazed the spot-kick over the crossbar.

And the Lions were made to pay five minutes later when Barnsley broke at the other end through Tudgay.

The ball eventually fell to Jim
O'Brien, whose shot was well saved by Forde, but Dawson was on hand to
tuck away the rebound for his third goal of the season to give the
visitors the lead.

Millwall attempted to hit straight back and midfielder Liam Trotter shot narrowly wide from just inside the box.

On target: Stephen Dawson fires Barnsley into a first-half lead

On target: Stephen Dawson fires Barnsley into a first-half lead

Tykes goalkeeper Luke Steele was then called into action to make saves from Henderson and Shane Lowry.

Barnsley had chances to add to their
lead before half-time but Forde saved John Stones' effort and O'Brien
crashed a shot into the side-netting.

Millwall's task got more difficult 10 minutes after the interval when Smith was sent off after he lunged in on David Perkins.

It looked like a 50-50 challenge but referee Trevor Kettle deemed it to be two-footed and produced a straight red card.

Barnsley sensed the chance of a rare win and Perkins drove the ball goalwards but his effort was kept out by Forde.

Perkins then crossed for Tudgay but
his ambitious header from the edge of the area flew wide, before Chris
Dagnall missed the target from close range and Stephen Foster fired over
the top.

Barnsley were caught out 10 minutes
from time when Wood latched onto Dany N'Guessan's ball over the top and
coolly finished past Steele.

But all Millwall's hard work was undone when Tudgay rifled the winner past Forde in the 93rd minute.

The goal lifted the Tykes to the same
points tally as Tudgay's former side Sheffield Wednesday, although they
remain in the bottom three on goals scored.

Brighton 2 Millwall 2 – match report

Brighton 2 Millwall 2: Wood at the double before Lions tamed by late penalty

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UPDATED:

22:32 GMT, 18 December 2012

Millwall striker Chris Wood showed exactly why Gus Poyet wants to sign him in January with a superb double but Brighton hit back to snatch a late point from the penalty spot.

The hosts were trailing by two goals midway through the second half, but substitute Kazenga LuaLua halved the deficit and David Lopez dragged them level with three minutes remaining.

New Zealand striker Wood is expected to leave parent club West Brom in the new year and Seagulls boss Poyet admits he is interested in bringing him back to to south coast, where he had a successful spell on loan a couple of seasons ago.

Double trouble: Chris Wood continued his excellent form with two more

Double trouble: Chris Wood continued his excellent form with two more

MATCH FACTS

Brighton: Kuszczak, El-Abd, Greer, Dunk (LuaLua 39), Hammond, Bridge, Bridcutt (Hoskins 77), Buckley, Crofts (Barnes 66), Mackail-Smith, David Lopez. Subs Not Used: Brezovan, Dobbie, Harley, March.

Booked: El-Abd.

Goals: LuaLua 61, David Lopez 88 pen.

Millwall: Forde, Adam Smith, Shittu, Beevers, Lowry, Henry, Wright, Trotter, Chris Taylor (Feeney 51), Jack Smith, Wood (Henderson 88). Subs Not Used: Maik Taylor, N'Guessan, Osborne, Malone, Batt.

Booked: Beevers, Henry, Lowry, Adam Smith.

Goals: Wood 25, 57.

Attendance: 24,773

Referee: Keith Stroud (Hampshire).

Click here for the latest stats, facts and tables from the npower Championship

But Lions manager Kenny Jackett is ready to splash 1million to make Wood's current loan deal a permanent switch to south London.

And the 21-year-old illustrated why he has become such hot property with an instinctive first-half finish and a cracker after the break.

The visitors had been dealt a blow before kick-off when Wood's strike partner Andy Keogh broke his toe in the warm-up.

Liam Trotter was pushed further up front as Jackett reshuffled his line-up, and the midfielder could have opened the scoring in the first minute with a free header but his effort went straight at Tomasz Kuszczak.

Will Buckley headed a corner from Lopez wide in Brighton's first attack, but it was Millwall who struck first in the 26th minute.

Shane Lowry crossed from the left and Wood darted in at the near post to get the slightest touch and divert the ball into Kuszczak's net.

Brighton almost hit straight back from a Lopez free-kick but skipper Gordon Greer's looping header came back off the crossbar.

Lion roars: Wood is one of the most sought after players in the Championship

Lion roars: Wood is one of the most sought after players in the Championship

However, Poyet had seen enough and
made a change with seven minutes of the first half still to go, hauling
off defender Lewis Dunk in favour of winger LuaLua.

Brighton improved after the interval
and they were denied by the woodwork again in the 54th minute when a
free-kick from Lopez crashed against the post.

But barely a minute later Wood doubled Millwall's advantage in stunning style, cutting across the penalty area and curling in a superb shot past Kuszczak and into the top corner.

Spot on: Brighton's David Lopez rescued a point for the hosts at the death

Spot on: Brighton's David Lopez rescued a point for the hosts at the death

Yet Brighton pulled one back in the 61st minute when LuaLua turned inside and thumped a fierce drive through a crowd of players and past Lions keeper David Forde.

The Seagulls thought they had levelled when Adam El-Abd prodded the ball goalwards from a yard out but Lowry somehow hacked the ball off the goal-line.

However, they did grab a point with two minutes to go after Craig Mackail-Smith was felled by Mark Beevers and Lopez stepped up to tuck in a dramatic leveller.

Toulon v Sale match report: Armitage brothers to the fore as Sharks suffer nine-try blitz

Toulon 62 Sale 0: Armitage brothers to the fore as Sharks blown away in nine-try blitz

PUBLISHED:

17:59 GMT, 16 December 2012

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UPDATED:

17:59 GMT, 16 December 2012

Sale suffered their heaviest Heineken Cup defeat as Toulon showed their title credentials with a crushing victory at Stade Felix Mayol.

The Top 14 leaders were sensational against the Aviva Premiership's bottom-placed side as they made it four wins from four in Pool Six.

The Armitage brothers, Steffon and Delon, were at the fore for the big-spending French outfit as the Sharks shipped nine tries in suffering a crushing loss.

Blitz: Sale's David Seymour is powerless to stop Toulon scrum half Frederic Michalak touching down near the post in the French side's resounding 62-0 win

Blitz: Sale's David Seymour is powerless to stop Toulon scrum half Frederic Michalak touching down near the post in the French side's resounding 62-0 win

No way through: Toulon's David Kubriashvili (centre) tries to break through a group of Sale players

No way through: Toulon's David Kubriashvili (centre) tries to break through a group of Sale players

Sale held firm for the first 30 minutes on the Cote D'Azur but they were cannon fodder after that as Jean-Charles Orioli, Freddie Michalak – who started ahead of Jonny Wilkinson – Joe van Niekerk (two), Davit Kubriashvili, Rudi Wolf and David Smith joined the Armitage boys on the scoreboard.

It was all Toulon in the early stages but they led just 3-0 after turning down a number of kickable penalties and being regularly rebuffed by a Sale side who initially refused to roll over.

Bakkies Botha appeared to have finally got the game's opening try as the match hit the 25-minute mark but the giant Springbok lock followed Steffon Armitage in seeing the TMO say 'no try' when referee Jon Lacey asked the question.

Delon Armitage then touched down out wide three minutes later only to see the score ruled out due to Matt Giteau's knock-on following a huge hit from Mark Cueto.

Dominant: Danny Cipriani tries to bring down Toulon's Samoan right wing David Smith

Dominant: Danny Cipriani tries to bring down Toulon's Samoan right wing David Smith

Dominant: Frederic Michalak was to the fore as Toulon ran in nine-try and inflicted Sale's heaviest European Cup defeat

Dominant: Frederic Michalak was to the fore as Toulon ran in nine-try and inflicted Sale's heaviest European Cup defeat

Sale finally cracked just past the half-hour, though, when hooker Orioli crashed over at the back of a driving maul. Former London Irish second row Nick Kennedy set the platform with a solid lineout take just five metres out and the rest of the pack completed the training ground exercise by powering forward at an impressive pace to give Orioli his chance.

Michalak added the extras for a 10-0 lead before Pierrick Gunther went close only to see the TMO again rule against Toulon as the pressure on the Sale pack continued to mount.

Michalak then showed his class to really dent Sale hopes four minutes before the break as he slipped outside Danny Cipriani's poor tackle from a five-metre scrum before ducking underneath Will Cliff's last-gasp effort to stretch over by the right-hand post.

The simple conversion pushed Toulon three scores clear at 17-0, leaving the game as good as dead by the interval despite Sale's superb rear-guard efforts in the opening 40 minutes.

Any thoughts Sale might have had of a remarkable comeback were ended just five minutes after the restart when Van Niekerk stepped past Rob Miller for his team's third try after a deft give and take from Steffon Armitage.

On the break: David Smith tries to escape the clutches of the Sale defence

On the break: David Smith tries to escape the clutches of the Sale defence

Grounded: Maxime Mermoz is brought to the floor by Danny Cipriani

Grounded: Maxime Mermoz is brought to the floor by Danny Cipriani

Toulon had the bonus point wrapped up by 50 minutes as Delon Armitage mirrored his brother in producing a wonderful offload to allow Kubriashvili to blast over while Fraser McKenzie was in the sin bin, with Michalak's third and fourth conversions making it 31-0 with nearly half an hour still to play.

Simon Shaw's yellow card threatened to halt Toulon's momentum but it made little difference as Steffon Armitage scored the try his all-round performance deserved as he crashed through Cipriani from two metres out after 58 minutes.

Delon then joined the party just moments later as he showed his footballing skills by chipping through three defenders, tapping on, picking up and diving over for Toulon's sixth score.

Michalak finally missed from the tee with his seventh attempt but he was back on target to claim a 20-point tally when Giteau's weaving run saw Van Niekerk add his second as Toulon hit 50 with 12 minutes left.

Rudi Wolf scored the eighth try after a fine pass from Wilkinson, before Smith completed the rout after picking up the former England star's kick ahead with the final play.