SATURDAY LIVE SPORT BLOG

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  • Newcastle United vs Southampton (3pm - Paul Fraser)
  • West Ham United vs Sunderland (3pm - Richard Mason)
  • Middlesbrough vs Brighton (3pm - Scott Wilson)
  • Cheltenham vs Hartlepool United (3pm - Nick Loughlin)
  • Darlington vs Bamber Bridge (3pm - Craig Stoddart)

5:01pm

West Ham United 0 Sunderland 0

So, it ends goalless, Sunderland's third point on the road this season, and I can't help thinking this is an opportunity missed.

A point, they say, is a point though. Here's my match report.

4:57pm

Middlesbrough 0 Brighton 1

Full-time, and Boro have crashed to their eighth defeat of the season.

Matthew Upson's 86th-minute header settled things, and means that Boro are now just three points clear of the relegation zone.

4:57pm

Newcastle 1 Southampton 1

Game over at St James' Park after a pulsating second half. 

In the closing stages both benches clashed after a Schneiderlin tackle on Haidara. Goalkeeper coach Andy Woodman was sent from the dug-out along with a member of the Saints backroom team.

But the scoreline remained the same. Rodriguez' equaliser cancelled out Gouffran's first half opener. 

4:54pm

Cheltenham 2 Pools 2 

Fair outcome amid a blustery and lively and improved second half 

4:53pm

Darlington 1 Bamber Bridge 0

Very nervy last few minutes. Five league wins in a row for Darlington.

4:51pm

West Ham United 0 Sunderland 0

4:50pm

Darlington 1 Bamber Bridge 0

Into the 95th minute now..

4:48pm

Boro 0 Brighton 1 (Upson 86)

Another game; another late concession by Boro.

Conway swung over a cross from the right, and Upson made a powerful run to the edge of the six-yard box before planting a downward header into the net.

Harsh on Boro given their second-half efforts, but you simply can't keep conceding as many late goals as they're doing.

4:47pm

Darlington 1 Bamber Bridge 0

Corner to BB...

4:47pm

Newcastle 1 Southampton 1

Bizarre moment in the closing stages. Moussa Sissoko reacted after a clash with Gazzaniga and his flying arm smacked referee Mike Jones in the face.

Jones fell over, received treatment. But he did see it as an accident and has now indicated six minutes of added time.

4:47pm

Darlington 1 Bamber Bridge 0
Into injury time now. This is tight.

4:45pm

Darlington 1 Bamber Bridge 0
89mins played.

4:41pm

Darlington 1 Bamber Bridge 0
Nathan Fisher volleys wide in a rare attack by Quakers. They’ve changed to 4-4-2. 84mins gone.

4:39pm

West Ham United 0 Sunderland 0

Ki's shot in the area saved by Jaaskelainen - eight minutes left here.

Would a point be a good result for Sunderland? I don't think it is. West Ham are here for the taking.

4:38pm

Darlington 1 Bamber Bridge 0
Bridge pressure is building. After DFC gave the ball away, BB’s Matty Kayblasted at goal from 20 yards, and it took a deflection to go over for a corner. 81mins played.

4:37pm

Middlesbrough 0 Brighton 0

Ten minutes to go, and it's getting increasingly hard to see a goal being scored.

Boro have brought on Main in an attempt to inject some attacking energy, but the youngster hasn't been able to make an impact yet.

4:34pm

Cheltenham 2 Pools 2 

Franks again. This time held up the ball on the edge of the area, and as a pack of defenders stood off him, the striker curled his shot in off the post. 

Deserved leveller, Pools on top with one hell of a wind behind them. 

4:33pm

Darlington 1 Bamber Bridge 0
Great chance goes begging for BB. George Bowyer, just on as a substitute, had a shot from outside the penalty area that fell to Jerome Watt who had all of the goal to aim at, but prodded wide. Let off for Quakers.
Another change, Hopson for Thompson.

4:32pm

Newcastle 1 Southampton 1

End to end stuff now at St James' Park and Loic Remy has wasted an incredible chance. Gazzaniga mis-controlled a back pass and the ball fell invitingly for Remy.

The Frenchman, though, normally so reliable, then completely missed the target from 12 yards with just the keeper to beat. 

4:30pm

West Ham United 0 Sunderland 0

Sunderland are lacking a cutting edge, but they're playing well, bossing the game and looking the team most likely to win it. Steven Fletcher and Adam Johnson have entered the fray at the expense of Borini and Altidore.

4:29pm

Middlesbrough 0 Brighton 0

Another half chance for Boro as Jutkiewicz gets above El-Abd to meet Adomah's cross, but can't keep his header below the crossbar.

Most of the momentum with the hosts now, and it certainly looks as though one goal will win this.

4:29pm

Darlington 1 Bamber Bridge 0
Both teams have two substitutions remaining. BB earlier replaced striker Bell with Watt.

4:28pm

Cheltenham 2 Pools 1

Pools could be 3-1 down - weak Flinders free-kick kicked straight to McGlashan. He raced at goal, went around the keeper and, faced with an open goal, rolled his finish across goal. 

Monkhouse been booked, Poole on for Sweeney. 

4:27pm

Darlington 1 Bamber Bridge 0
Substitution for DFC, Fisher for Dowson.

4:26pm

Darlington 1  Bamber Bridge 0

Today's 50-50 winning number is 14600.

The attendance is 973.

There are 20 minutes to play and the score is 1-0.

4:25pm

Newcastle 1 Southampton 1 (Rodriguez 66)

Santon gave the ball away in the middle. Southampton broke quickly and capitalised on the space in front of them.

Despite claims for offside, Jay Rodriguez and Steven Davis played a clever one-two before Rodriguez slotted the equaliser to Tim Krul's right.  

4:22pm

 

Middlesbrough 0 Brighton 0

Boro enjoying their best spell of the game, and Brezovan made a decent save from Carayol after the winger wriggled free of his marker in the box.

The hosts are seeing much more of the ball in the second period, although their final ball still leaves quite a lot to be desired.

4:18pm

Darlington 1 Bamber Bridge 0
David Dowson makes it 1-0 with a goal on the hour. He latched on to Jonny Davis’ precise through-ball and kept his composure to tuck the ball beyond Steven James.

4:18pm

West Ham United 0 Sunderland 0

Still 0-0 here. But it's by no means dull. Ravel Morrison's had a shot easily saved by Mannone while Sunderland have had a couple of opportunities through Giaccherini and Altidore.

4:15pm

Cheltenham 2 Pools 1

Talk about route one - long punt from Flinders from box to box, Franks under it and poked past the keeper. 

 

4:12pm

Middlesbrough 0 Brighton 0

Half-time injury blow for Boro as Jonathan Woodgate is unable to appear for the second half.

He's replaced by Ben Gibson, who is playing at centre-half alongside Ayala.

4:10pm

Darlington 0 Bamber Bridge 0
Best chance of the half, and perhaps of the game, fell to Bamber Bridge striker Andrew Bell who had a shot blocked from 12 yards after it was pulled back to him from the byline.

4:06pm

Darlington 0 Bamber Bridge 0 

Attendance is 973. Second half underway.

4:04pm

Newcastle 1 Southampton 0

Second half has just restarted and Newcastle need to show the same vibrancy as they did in the first half. 

Southampton will be more attack minded this half, with Adam Lallana and Morgan Schneiderlin both introduced for Pablo Osvaldo and James Ward-Prowse.

4:02pm

West Ham United 0 Sunderland 0

Back under way here. No changes for either side.

3:56pm

Cheltenham 2 Hartlepool 0

Two poor goals for Pools to concede - both should have been prevented in their own different ways. 

At the other end, keeper Brown has made two saves from Franks and Monkhouse headers, while Franks had a finish ruled out because Sweeney was ruled to have fouled in the build-up.

Pools started 3-5-2, changed to 4-4-2 after going two-down - now will Cooper make personnel changes? 

3:49pm

Middlesbrough 0 Brighton 0

We're into the middle of December, and Boro and Brighton have served up a late contender for the worst 45 minutes of the season.

Lacklustre stuff from both sides, with a lack of incision in the final third and a general lack of pace about the game.

Brighton look better at the back than Boro mind, and that might become more important in the second half.

3:49pm

West Ham United 0 Sunderland 0

Half-time here, goalless. It's been a decent game, but the home fans are furious with Andre Marriner over the disallowed goal. Sunderland had a couple of chances before the end of the half. Giaccherini, Borini and Cattermole all went close - Giaccherini and Borini's efforts both blocked by Guy Demel and Cattermole's long range drive being pushed away by Jaaskelainen. 

3:46pm

Darlington 0 Bamber Bridge 0

Wind-affected. Not much between the teams, though the visiting keeper has had a couple of saves to make.

3:43pm

Cheltenham 2 Pools 0 

A couple of minutes after Monkhouse had a header saved from close range, Pools are two down.

Cheltenham were allowed to keep the ball moving across and around the area, got a cross in and Roofe sent a flicked header over and above Flinders. 

Pools now switched from 3-5-2 to 4-4-2 

3:42pm

Newcastle United 1 Southampton 0

Vurnon Anita has just had his body taken over by Hatem Ben Arfa for a few seconds. The little Dutchman went on a mazy run in to the box, twisting and turning before seeing his ball across the box cleared. Deserved something.

3:41pm

Darlington 0 Bamber Bridge 0
Dowson the most effective player so for his tenacity. Call him Tenacious D if you like. Has just nicked a ball off a defender for the fifth time, then broke into the penalty and got a shot away, which was saved, though he would surely have won a penalty had he gone down under Matt Lawlor’s challenge. Too honest.

3:37pm

Darlington 0 Bamber Bridge 0
Another chance for DFC, a Thompson wind-assisted free-kick tipped over by keeper Steven James.
37mins gone.

3:37pm

Middlesbrough 0 Brighton 0

Boro's defence continues to look shaky from set pieces, although it hasn't been pierced yet. Conway's deliveries continue to cause problems though.

The pace of the game in open play is extremely slow, with neither side wanting to commit too many men forward.

Hence, the stalemate.

3:36pm

West Ham United 0 Sunderland 0

Phil Bardsley strikes the crossbar from 25 yards. Oof.

3:36pm

Darlington 0 Bamber Bridge 0
Darlington have shown more willing in this half and carved open more opportunities.
Jonny Davis struck the ball sweetly but it sailed over, and Bruno Pilatos had a shot deflected off a defender for a corner, which came to nothing.

3:33pm

Darlington 0 Bamber Bridge 0
Almost a own goal by Bamber Bridge’s Matt Lawlor. Intercepted Purewal’s pass into the box and saw the ball loop high into the air before landing on the roof of the net.
An escape for Mahoney too. Was spoken to by the referee for felling Dowson during a counter-attack, but not shown what would’ve been his second yellow.

3:29pm

West Ham United 0 Sunderland 0

Mark Noble goes into the referee's book for a studs-up challenge on Fabio Borini. Lee Cattermole leads the appeals to Marriner - with good reason too. He'd have seen red for it had Cattermole made the tackle. Interesting to note that Marriner was the referee who sent Cattermole and Andrea Dossena off at Hull.

3:29pm

Newcastle United 1 (Gouffran 28) Southampton 0

The breakthrough comes. Mike Williamson's header down from Mathieu Debuchy's free-kick in to the Saints box was missed by Jos Hooiveld. 

Gouffran ran in, rounded Gazzaniga before tapping in to the empty net. Simple finish to get the Magpies on their way and earn his sixth of the season.

3:28pm

Darlington 0 Bamber Bridge 0
Alan White overhead kick goes over the bar. Not even close. Would’ve been the greatest goal of his career had it gone in. He was upfield for a free-kick after Thompson had been fouled by Matt Mahoney, who was booked for the tackle.

3:27pm

Middlesbrough 0 Brighton 0

Boro finally record their first shot on target as Carayol cuts in from the left and drills in a low strike from 25 yards.

It was creeping into the bottom corner, but Brighton keeper Brezovan got down well to turn the ball around the post.

3:25pm

Darlington 0 Bamber Bridge 0
Couple of Darlington incidents just now. Leon Scott had a shot saved by keeper, and then a controversial flag from the linesman stopped Dowson in his tracks when he chased a ball over the top. Linesman now receiving plenty of flak from the punters in the main stand.

3:25pm

Cheltenham 1 Pools 0 

Home team strong and not afraid to get the ball in the area, fairly constant pressure. 

Pools struggling to get a footghold against an organised side. 

Saying that, should be 1-1. Franks header from close range well saved one-handed by Brown. 

3:24pm

Newcastle United 0 Southampton 0

Pretty open game so far and the best chance fell to Newcastle. Calum Chambers was on the line to clear a Loic Remy effort after Yoan Gouffran and done well to beat goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga to the ball.

3:22pm

Darlington 0 Bamber Bridge 0
Chilly today, but an impressive number of DFC players are in short sleeves. Hats off to Pilatos, White, Hunter, Robinson, Scott, Davis and Dowson.
Meanwhile, the game is uneventful.

3:22pm

West Ham United 0 Sunderland 0

West Ham have a goal ruled off, Guy Demel had the ball in the net but referee Andre Marriner spotted a push by the right-back on Lee Cattermole. 23 played.

3:19pm

Middlesbrough 0 Brighton 0

Brighton comfortably on top here, and passing the ball much the better of the two sides.

Conway is causing Williams all sorts of problems down Brighton's left, and his cross enabled Lopez to fire a low shot straight at Given.

3:18pm

Darlington 0 Bamber Bridge 0
Hard-working as ever, Dowson has nicked the ball off a defender three times as well as the goalkeeper.
Only player to have a sight of goal has been Thompson, who pulled one shot wide and saw a free-kick saved by keeper Steven James.
Bit blustery mind, with the wind behind Darlington during the first half.
17mins gone, 0-0.

3:13pm

Middlesbrough 0 Brighton 0

Big early let off for Boro as Brighton striker Ashley Barnes plants a header against the post.

Barnes was completely unmarked from a corner, but failed to hit the target from ten yards out.

Dreadful defending from Boro though.

3:09pm

West Ham United 0 Sunderland 0

Eight minutes on the clock and there have been chances for both sides. Firstly, Modibo Maiga's header across the face of goal dropped just wide, then Jozy Altidore was played in by Ki, but his low shot was saved well by Jussi Jaaskelainen. From the corner, Ki's shot was deflected wide. Both sides have come out of the blocks well.

3:08pm

Middlesbrough 0 Brighton 0

Fairly sedate start at the Riverside, although Adomah has made a couple of useful breaks down the right.

No shot on goal from either side at this stage.

3:08pm

Cheltenham Town 1 Hartlepool United 0

Slip up in the Pools defence, Austin and Flinders messed up between them, ball rolled loose and McGlashan rolled into empty net from an angle.

Four minutes in, a flat start from Pools. 

3:04pm

West Ham United v Sunderland

Sunderland travel to West Ham United today with Lee Cattermole making his first Premier League start since his dismissal at Hull City last month.

Jozy Altidore gets the nod up front with Fabio Borini and Emanuele Giaccherini either side of him, and a midfield three of Ki, Larsson and Cattermole behind him.

Cabral makes a rare appearance on the substitutes' bench this afternoon.

For the Hammers, former Sunderland full-back George McCartney continues his recovery from injury with a start. The defender had two spells on Wearside, between 1999 and 2006 and then returning to the club in 2008 until he returned to Upton Park in 2011.

WEST HAM UNITED (4-5-1): Jaaskelainen; Demel, Tomkins, Collins, McCartney, Cole, Morrison, Diame, Noble, Jarvis; Maiga.  Subs: Adrian, Rat, Collison, Taylor, O'Brien, Diarra, C Cole.

SUNDERLAND (4-3-3): Mannone: Celutska, Brown, O'Shea, Bardsley; Ki, Larsson, Cattermole; Giaccherini, Altidore, Borini. Subs: Pickford, Dossena, Cabral, Gardner, Fletcher, Johnson, Roberge.

3:02pm

Darlington v Bamber Bridge

3:01pm

Middlesbrough 0 Brighton 0

We're off at the Riverside, with Boro playing in a 4-2-3-1 formation as expected, with Jacob Butterfield the most attacking of the central midfielders.

3:00pm

Darlington v Bamber Bridge

2:49pm

Newcastle United v Southampton

Just the one change for Newcastle today after last week's heroics at Old Trafford. In the absence of the suspended Yohan Cabaye, Shola Ameobi comes back in to the lead the line.

Has the makings of a decent game this, with Southampton renowned for playing decent football even if playmaker Adam Lallana only makes the bench.

NEWCASTLE UNITED (4-4-2): Krul; Debuchy, Williamson, Coloccini, Santon; Sissoko, Tiote, Anita, Gouffran; Remy, Sh Ameobi. Subs: Elliot (gk), Cise, Ben Arfa, Yanga-Mbiwa, Haidara, Obertan, SA Ameobi.
SOUTHAMPTON (4-2-3-1): Gazzaniga; Chambers, Loveren, Hooiveld, Shaw; Cork, Davis; Ward-Prowse, Osvaldo, Rodriguez; Lambert. Subs: Cropper, Yoshida, Schneiderlin, Fonte, Ramirez, Lallana, Gallagher.

 

 

2:43pm

Some game in the Premier League - and it's finished Man City 6 Arsenal 3.

That's half of tonight's Match Of The Day accounted for then....

2:37pm

Cheltenham v Hartlepool 

COLIN COOPER has changed players and formation for Hartlepool United’s trip to Cheltenham Town.
After three successive away defeats, Pools have switched to a 3-5-2 set-up, with Luke James, James Poole and Jack Compton on the bench and Jon Franks, Antony Sweeney and Darren Holden recalled.

CHELTENHAM TOWN: Brown; Jombati, Brown, Elliott, Braham-Barrett; Taylor, Noble, Roofe, Richards; Harrison, McGlashan. Subs: Cureton, Deering, Gornell, Roberts (gk), Goldson, Penn, Ajala.
HARTLEPOOL UNITED: Flinders; Austin, Baldwin, Burgess; Duckworth, Walton, Dolan, Sweeney, Holden; Franks, Monkhouse. Subs: Collins, Poole, Rafferty (gk), Compton, Rodney, James, Walker.

Referee: Steve Rushton (Stoke)

2:31pm

Darlington v Bamber Bridge

Darlington have named an unchanged team for today’s crunch clash with Bamber Bridge.

The same XI and substitutes that beat league leaders Warrington last weekend are selected for the fixture at Heritage Park against the second-placed opposition.

Quakers are fifth, but if results go their way cam jump up to second.

Darlington (4-3-1-2): Bell; Pilatos, White, Hunter, Galbraith; Robinson, Davis, Scott; Thompson, Dowson, Purewal. Subs: Jameson (gk), Weldon, Edwards, Hopson, Fisher

Bamber Bridge: James, Mahoney, Hastings, Lawlor, Alexander, Kay, Reid, Thompson, Bell, Waddecar, Marlow. Subs: Bowyer, Bonaminio, Williams, Watt, Buchan

2:19pm

Middlesbrough vs Brighton

Boro boss Aitor Karanka has made three changes to his starting line-up for today's home game with Brighton.

Two are enforced, with Kei Kamara and Marvin Emnes both missing out because of injury.

Lukas Jutkiewicz replaces Kamara, and will make his first start since mid-September as a lone centre-forward.

Jacob Butterfield comes in for Emnes, and is likely to play as the furthest forward of Boro's five midfielders.

In defence, George Friend returns from injury to replace Ben Gibson, who drops to the substitutes' bench.

MIDDLESBROUGH (4-2-3-1): Given; R Williams, Woodgate, Ayala, Friend; Leadbitter, Whitehead; Adomah, Butterfield, Carayol; Jutkiewicz.

Subs: Konstantopoulos (gk), L Williams, Richardson, Gibson, Main, Smallwood, Haroun.

BRIGHTON (4-3-3): Brezovan; Bruno, El-Abd, Upson, Ward; Ince, Bridcutt, Crofts; Conway, Barnes, Lopez.

Subs: Walton (gk), Andrews, Agustien, Calderon, Ulloa, LuaLua, Dunk.

1:59pm

In the big Premier League game taking place at the moment, Manchester City lead Arsenal 3-1.

Sergio Aguero, who has subsequently gone off injured, opened the scoring for City, and while Theo Walcott equalised, Alvaro Negredo restored the hosts' lead towards the end of the first half.

Fernandinho has added a third for City at the start of the second half, and Arsenal's lead at the top of the Premier League could well be cut by tonight.

1:50pm

1:50pm

1:49pm

1:46pm

Middlesbrough vs Brighton

Some sad news from the Riverside first - Middlesbrough's players will be wearing black armbands to show support for defender Stuart Parnaby after he suffered a family tragedy this week.

Read the full story here:

http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/sport/10878172.Middlesbrough_defender_issues_thanks_after_family_tragedy/

1:44pm

Welcome to another action-packed afternoon of football.

In the Premier League, Sunderland travel to West Ham for a game that already looks like a must-win encounter if Gus Poyet's side are going to avoid relegation this season.

At St James' Park, Newcastle entertain Southampton looking to build on last weekend's historic win at Old Trafford and maintain their European push.

The Championship action sees Middlesbrough hosting Brighton as they look to get their stuttering season back on track.

Hartlepool make the long trip to Cheltenham in League Two, while there is a top of the table battle in the Evo-Stick League as Darlington entertain Bamber Bridge at Heritage Park.

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