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SATURDAY LIVE SPORT BLOG
2:07pm Saturday 29th September 2012 in Sport
This live event has finished
- Reading vs Newcastle (3.00) - Scott Wilson
- Sunderland vs Wigan (3.00) - Richard Mason
- Middlesbrough vs Leicester (3.00) - Paul Fraser
- Colchester vs Hartlepool (3.00) - Nick Loughlin
- Darlington vs Newcastle Benfield (3.00) - Craig Stoddart
MIDDLESBROUGH'S 100 per cent record at the Riverside Stadium came to an end and not even the brilliance of goalkeeper Jason Steele could prevented a first defeat.
When Middlesbrough took the lead four minutes after half-time courtesy of Nicky Bailey's cracker it looked as if Tony Mowbray's men were heading for a fourth straight victory in front of their own fans.
Bailey's 30-yard thunderbolt flew straight past Kasper Schmeichel and they could have added a quickfire second when Lukas Jutkiewicz hit the bar as Middlesbrough looked the likely winners.
But just after the hour Andre Bikey's block on David Nugent's shot fell kindly for Leicester City's Jamie Vardy to hammer in the equaliser from 12 yards – despite calls for offside.
After that there were chances at both ends and it had looked as if the Foxes would be denied a first away win of the season by Steele's excellence.
The Boro keeper had already denied Andy King and Anthony Knockaert when he somehow got down low to make an incredible save from Wes Morgan's header to secure a point.
But in the last minute Steele was beaten when Lloyd Dyer's shot deflected off George Friend and looped over the Boro goalkeeper and dropped over the line to give Leicester a first away win of the season.
Game over at the Riverside. Boro let a goal lead slip to lose 2-1 in the last minute. Lloyd Dyer's shot deflected off George Friend in the last minute and dropped over Jason Steele. 1-2
Still level at the Riverside - mainly because of three excellent saves from Jason Steele.
Ledesma and Williams are on to try to spark Boro back to life, but Leicester looking just as dangerous in the other direction 1-1
FT: Colchester United 3 Pools 1 - good start, one up, collapsed and conceded more basic goals. Pools looked well beaten, and defensively weak both physically and mentally.
Pools drop into the bottom four after this, and on this show, it's hard to see them getting out of it.
FULL-TIME: Reading 2 (Kebe 58, Hunt 62) Newcastle 2 (Ba 58, 83)
Great spirit from Newcastle, who twice came from behind to claim a point for the second away game in succession.
But the point was gained through a hugely controversial second goal from Demba Ba.
Steven Fletcher continues his red-hot streak in front of goal and scores his fifth of the season to give Sunderland their first Premier League win of the campaign.
FULL-TIME: Sunderland 1 (Fletcher 51) Wigan Athletic 0
FULL-TIME: Darlington 5 (Scott, Tait, Amar Purewal 2, Johnson), Benfield 2 (Brown og, Norris).
Five minutes of added on time here at Sunderland . Five minutes. Where the heck did Webb get that from.
Sunderland are minutes away from their first Premier League win of the season. Mind you, same could be said for last week and look where that got them. Don't count your chickens.
Wigan have made all their subs now, McManaman on for Boyce and Miyaichi on for McArthur. Sunderland still lead 1-0, just over four minutes left on the clock. Attendance: 37,742
GOAL: Darlington lead 5-2 now, a well-taken goal by Steven Johnson. He knocked the ball over advancing Benfield keeper and fired into empty net on 85 minutes.
GOAL: Reading 2 Newcastle 2 (Ba 83)
And it's a controversial one as Newcastle make it 2-2.
Demba Ba is now on six for the season after he converted Shane Ferguson's left-wing cross.
However, replays clearly show that Ba propelled the ball home with his hand. Expect to see plenty of it on Match of the Day tonight.
If I was Martin O'Neill, which clearly I'm not, I'd be considering replacing James McClean. He's on a yellow, and he's still throwing himself about. Sunderland need to make this man-advantage count and see this game out.
GOAL: Another Darlington mistake and another Benfield goal. A poor Smith pass goes straight to Norris who slots past Norton. 4-2.
Sunderland make their first substitution of the afternoon, Adam Johnson replaced by David Vaughan. Seb Larsson will presumably move wide right and Vaughan will sit alongside Colback. Still 1-0, 79 played.
Norton has plenty of detractors and they will have a field day after that one. He’ll be asking the chap who puts footage Darlington’s goals online to delete that horror show. Yes it’s windy, yes the ball may have bobbled and yes he’s had an injury, but very difficult to defend that one. Think Gary Neville’s own goal for England scored past Paul Robinson. At least it was only a consolation goal. Ten minutes to play, 4-1.
Franco Di Santo has severely cheesed off Seb Larsson here. Wigan's forward fell in the box and the Swede accused his opponent of making a meal of it.
There are three players on the pitch with names beginning James Mc. Two of them have just been involved - Sunderland's McClean booked for foul on Wigan's McCarthy.
GOAL: Wow. What an error by calamity keeper Jack Norton. Another one. Benfield pull one back after a harmless Gary Brown backpass goes under the keeper’s foot. Awful. 4-1 to Darlington .
Wigan aren't totally out of this yet, Sunderland doing all the attacking but the Latics have the ability to hit on the break. Still 1-0 Sunderland, 20 to play.
Two subs for Newcastle as they try to get back on level terms again - Shola Ameobi and Ferguson for Cisse and Bigirimana.
Ba's brilliance briefly got the visitors back into this, but the game has changed entirely since Steven Taylor was forced off. Since then, Newcastle have been all over the place at the back. 2-1
GOAL: After being teed up by Stephen Thompson, Amar Purewal with his second of the day makes it 4-0 to Darlington on 70 minutes.
GOAL: Colchester 3 Pools 1 - cracking ball in from Rose on the left, defenders left it for each other and Ibehre taps in. More suspect defending. More shoulders shrugged.
GOAL: Middlesbrough 1 Leicester City 1 Vardy 62
Against the run of play, the Foxes have made the most of a loose ball in to the area by equalising through Jamie Vardy.
Now Luke Williams has been introduced for Zemmama.
GOAL: Reading 2 (Hunt 62) Newcastle 1
It's all happening now and Newcastle are behind again.
McAnuff floated over a cross from the left, and Hunt stole ahead of Perch to head home from eight yards out. Harper no chance.
Three goals in four minutes as the game explodes into life.
GOAL: Reading 1 Newcastle 1 (Ba 58)
An immediate response from Newcastle, and a brilliant one.
Tiote floats a through ball over the Reading defence and, without breaking stride, Ba hammers home on the volley.
Newcastle were behind for less than a minute.
GOAL: Reading 1 (Kebe 58) Newcastle 0
Newcastle go behind as Kebe twists his way past Perch and drills a low shot past Harper
GOAL: Reading lead 1-0. Kebe gets ball on edge of area, twists inside Perch, who had been moved inside, and slotted home. #NUFC— @Scottwilsonecho 29 September 2012
GOAL: #NUFC equalise straight away with a cracker. Tiote through ball with Ba volleys home emphatically without breaking stride. Brilliant.— @Scottwilsonecho 29 September 2012
GOAL: #NUFC back behind. Hunt heads in at near post after some slack marking. 2-1— @Scottwilsonecho 29 September 2012
Should be 4-0 to Darlington . After a Stephen Thompson right-wing cross, Amar Purewal rounded the keeper and shot at goal, but his effort was cleared off the line by Benfield right-back Luke Gilhespy.
Not much earlier, Adam Nicholls pulled the ball back to Thompson who hit a first-time side-footed effort straight at Andrew Grainger. And a poor Nicholls touch in the area after receiving a Purewal pass denied the winger a shot at goal. 62 minutes gone, still 3-0.
Ten minutes into the second half and Flinders has made three decent saves to keep Pools in it. Defence isn't proving Pools strong point right now. Monkhouse has just come on for Lynch, a like for like swop when bigger surgery is needed.
Newcastle forced into their first change in the 56th minute with James Tavernier replacing the injured Steven Taylor.
Back four is now Tavernier, Williamson, Perch, Santon - makeshift.
Sunderland have exploded into life here. Stephane Sessegnon has a shot tipped around the post by Al Habsi, and from the resulting corner, Gardner fires over the bar.
GOAL! Sunderland 1 (Fletcher 51) Wigan 0
Fletcher sidefoots home from McClean's miscued shot, replays show he was onside. Sunderland draw first blood.
GOAL: Middlesbrough 1 Leicester City 0, Bailey 49
Nicky Bailey has just unleashed an unstoppable right foot drive from fully 30 yards which swerved a bit and flew straight beyond a static Schmeichel. Stunner.
Attendance at Heritage Park, where Amar Purewal has just come so close to making it 4-0 to Darlington , is 1,256. #echosport
Let's see if Sunderland can take advantage of the extra man. Soup update: Leek, potato and celery.
RED CARD: Jordi Gomez sent off for Wigan for lunging at Sunderland's Danny Rose. A rash challenge, two footed - doesn't get any better with the replays. Wigan down to 10 men.
Under way for the second half here at Reading. Interesting choice of half-time food in the press box - Magnum ice creams. In September. In England. Still polished one off mind....
Almost a cracking goal for Darlington by Chris Emms here at Heritage Park. He met an Amar Purewal cross with a spectacular volley 16 yards from goal. It sailed over the Benfield bar, but had he scored it would’ve bettered the goal the eye-catching chip he netted against Consett. 50 minutes gone, still 3-0.
Back out for the second half here at Sunderland, no changes on either side. Soup: potato-ish.
Darlington have now scored 32 goals in 11 league matches this season. Stephen Thompson was stopped from making it 4-0 in first half injury-time when his powerful effort was palmed away by Benfield keeper Andrew Grainger.
Half-time and it's Reading 0 Newcastle 0.
Newcastle haven't really offered anything going forward, but have been solid and secure and restricted Reading to a handful of half-chances.
That said though, the visitors were indebted to an excellent last-ditch challenge from James Perch in stoppage time that prevented Pavel Pogrebnyak from shooting from six yards out.
HALF-TIME: Sunderland 0 Wigan 0
Sunderland have the lion's share of the chances here, but Wigan could have been 1-0 up through Arouna Kone, who saw his goalbound shot clawed out by Simon Mignolet. Sunderland in control for long periods though.
HALF-TIME: Darlington’s goal average at Heritage Park is now over three having scored 22 goals in seven home matches. You know things are going well when Leon Scott starts doing Maradona-style turns on the byline. Benfield started the game on top and Quakers were sloppy, but it’s 3-0 to Darlington at half-time. Benfield will have the strong wind at their backs in the second half.
GOAL: Colchester 2 Pools 1 - 42 mins, Ibehre. Terrible defending from Hartley, left a header back to Flinders woefully short to play in the striker who scored. Yet again Pools concede a second goal minutes after a first.
James McCarthy's shot from 25 yards whistles just past Mignolet's goal. Wigan starting to come into the game here, two minutes to play of the first half, Sunderland 0-0 Wigan.
GOAL: A header from Joe Tait after a free-kick by Dan Smith makes it 3-0 to Darlington against Newcastle Benfield in the 43rd minute.
Almost half-time here at the Riverside. A couple of half chances at either end, but it looks like remaining goalless until the break.
Boro could do with more of a threat up front. Zemmama lively, Jutkiewicz putting himself about a bit, but they're not linking together enough to far. Work to do.
GOAL: Colchester 1 Pools 1 - Eastman slide rule pass through the defence for Massey to finish low on 36 minutes.
Just lacking that final ball, Leicester have had a couple if decent chances #boro— @sinky72 29 September 2012
In fact, I've just done a Twitter search to see if I can pull in any fans' comments on the Rotherham official. If I did, I'd almost certainly lose my job. Potty mouths.
James McArthur has been booked for a tasty challenge on Sunderland's Stephane Sessegnon. Howard Webb, today's referee, isn't the most popular man on Wearside after his controversial award of a penalty to Leon Osman when Everton got a draw up here last season - and he's nowhere near getting into their good books today with a few soft decisions.
Leon Scott’s second goal inside four days came in part thanks to an error by Benfield keeper Andrew Grainger. His poor clearance went straight to the midfielder who advanced into the penalty area, and executed a lovely dink over Grainger. 37 minutes gone, 2-0 to Darlington .
Woodgate has gone off injured for Boro. After feeling a tight hamstring eight days ago at Blackburn, it was hoped he would be OK for this. Not so. Seb Hines comes on, seven minutes before half-time.
GOAL: Leon Scott scores his second goal of the week on 32 minutes to make it 2-0 to Darlington against Benfield.
Finally something happens here at Reading.
Pavel Pogrebnyak gets above Steven Taylor to win a back-post header in the area, but Steve Harper makes an excellent save to tip the ball over the crossbar.
Quarter of an hour until half-time and still goalless for Newcastle .
Good chance for Pools there, deep corner from Franks, Sweeney header knocked off the line by Rose. Colchester playing some decent stuff, but Pools five-man midfield working well and defence looks solid.
29 minutes played here, and Sunderland are looking most likely to draw first blood. Gardner shot over the bar on 23 minutes while Adam Johnson was pulled down outside the box two minutes later - and, just as I type, a Larsson free-kick was almost diverted in by John O'Shea, while the following corner kick was headed wide by Steven Fletcher.
Stephen Thompson deserved to score that goal himself for Darlington . He glided through midfield and into the penalty area, taking the ball past Benfield’s Gary Ormston, Kevin Leighton and Richard Slaughter before teeing up the unmarked Amar Purewal at the far post. Purewal made a meal of getting the ball under control, but he eventually poked past keeper Andrew Grainger for his seventh goal of the season.
GOAL: Amar Purewal scuffs home from close range after good work by Stephen Thompson on 23 minutes. Darlington 1, Benfield 0.
20 mins gone and still really nothing to report from the Madejski. Neither side has had a shot at target yet, with both midfields scrapping for everything. Newcastle midfielder Cheik Tiote was unhappy with a tackle from Leigertwood that clattered into his ankle, but play was waved on. 0-0
On 17 minutes we've had another Darlington effort, midfielder Leon Scott shooting narrowly wide of Benfield's goal from outside the penalty area. 20 minutes played, still 0-0.
Quakers have the strong wind at their backs, but Newcastle Benfield have made the better beginning to the game. Scrappy start by Darlington , eptomised by an error from keeper Jack Norton. He weakly punched a cross to the edge of the area where Gary Ormston was on hand to send a looping header over the stranded Norton, but captain Gary Brown cleared off the line. An escape for Darlington.
Simon Mignolet has made another cracking save for Sunderland following his heroics from Kevin Nolan a week ago. This time it's Arouna Kone who attacked Jean Beausejour's cross from four yards out, but the big Belgian pawed his effort to safety. Sunderland go up the other end and go close to a chance. 17 played here.
Decent start to the game here. Nugent went close at one end, with Bailey shooting narrowly wide at the other for Boro. Zemmama looking particularly bright so far for the hosts in the absence of Emnes.
Fairly uneventful opening ten minutes at the Madejski, although Newcastle have settled into their passing game nicely. Bigirimana and Tiote already blending quite nicely at the heart of midfield. No chances for either side mind. 0-0
First effort on goal by Darlington against Newcastle Benfield . Nice turn by Stephen Thompson left two players for dead, his next touch was too heavy, but a clumsy challenge by Mark Turnbull conceded a free-kick 25 yards from goal. Chris Emms took it, lifting the ball over the Benfield wall as well as the goal. Ten minutes gone, still 0-0.
GOAL: Craig Lynch puts Pools one up on six minutes, great individual effort from the Sunderland loanee. Ran at and through the defence and curled a lovely shot around the keeper from 12 yards.
We’re underway at Heritage Park between Darlington and Newcastle Benfield . Six minutes gone, 0-0. Little to report other than the pie and peas were lovely. Only £2. Recommended.
Early action here in Sunderland - 4: James McCarthy shot saved by feet of Mignolet for corner, Gomez volleys over from resulting flag kick.
Teams out at Stadium of Light. http://t.co/8QpJQ6W8— @MasonEcho 29 September 2012
Alan Pardew is back on the touchline for Newcastle today after serving his two-match touchline ban. He left Reading under a cloud, but hasn't really had much grief from the home fans yet.
Sunderland's reconfiguration of the Stadium of Light was down to poor away attendances making the ground look empty behind the goal. They had teams like Wigan in mind - and that has been proved, around 400 are here. Up in the gods, out of sight. Busy behind both goals.
Would not want to be in the Reading midfield today, #BOOM #NUFC— @BenPurdy92 29 September 2012
Darlington go into today’s match top of the Ebac Northern League, six points ahead of Spennymoor Town.
They have won nine of their ten league games, including all six played at Heritage Park during which they have scored 19 goals and conceded three.
Newcastle Benfield are 15th in the table having lost five of their eight matches. They’ve lost each of their past three matches – against Spennymoor Town, Billingham Synthonia and Guisborough Town – without scoring a goal.
Stadium of Light looking resplendent. #echosport http://t.co/P1gBfR5q— @MasonEcho 29 September 2012
Team sheets finally in at the Riverside. Marvin Emnes misses out, presumably through injury as he isn't even on the bench.
MIDDLESBROUGH: Steele; Hoyte, Woodgate, Bikey, Friend; McEachran, Bailey, Thomson, Leadbitter, Zemmama; Jutkiewicz. Subs: Ledesma, Hines, Arca, Williams, Smallwood, Haroun.
LEICESTER CITY: Schmeichel; De Laet, St Ledger, Morgan, Konchesky; Marshall, Drinkwater, Knockaert, James; Nugent, Vardy. Subs: Logan, Whitbread, King, Dyer, Waghorn, Moore, Futacs.
Hello from a chilly and windy Stadium of Light for updates from Sunderland v Wigan Athletic. The headline news here on Wearside is that Adam Johnson has passed a fitness test and starts this afternoon. Titus Bramble partners John O'Shea in central defence with O'Shea taking the captain's armband in place of the suspended Lee Cattermole. Seb Larsson comes into the centre of midfield alongside Jack Colback, with Johnson, James McClean and Stephane Sessegnon backing up Steven Fletcher.
Wigan include Franco Di Santo on the bench, who was expected to miss out through injury. The Latics appear to be playing 4-3-3 so it should be a decent match up here.
SUNDERLAND (4-2-3-1): Mignolet; Gardner, O'Shea, Bramble, Rose; Larsson, Colback; Johnson, Sessegnon, McClean; Fletcher. Subs: Campbell, Wickham, Kilgallon, Vaughan, Meyler,
WIGAN ATHLETIC (4-3-3): Al Habsi; Boyce, Ramis, Caldwell, Figueroa; McArthur, McCarthy, Beausejour; Maloney, Kone, Gomez. Subs: Jones, Watson, Di Santo, Pollitt, McManaman, Boselli, Miyaichi.
Darlington: Norton; Harrison, Brown, Tait, Smith; Emms, Gott, Scott, Nicholls; Thompson, Amar Purewal. Subs: Porter (gk), Richardson, Ellison, Reay, Johnson
Newcastle Benfield: Grainger, Gilhespy, Turnbull, Ormston, Leighton, Timmons, Slaughter, Bell, Alxander, Pounder, Kane. Subs: Canham, Cunningham, Norris, Young, Gray
Clark Keltie is set to return to Darlington after finishing a spell playing Iceland.
The midfielder held talks with Grays on Thursday evening and is at Heritage Park today for Quakers' game with Newcastle Benfield .
Newcastle-born Keltie played in Iceland over the summer after leaving Quakers at the end of last season.
Here are the full line-ups from the Madejski Stadium as Newcastle prepare to take on Reading:
Reading (4-4-2): McCarthy; Cummings, Mariappa, Gorkss, Shorey; Kebe, Karacan, Leigertwood, McAnuff; Hunt, Pogrebnyak.
Subs: Taylor (gk), Pearce, McCleary, Robson-Kanu, Guthrie, Roberts, Le Fondre.
Newcastle (4-4-2): Harper; Perch, Williamson, S Taylor, Santon; Ben Arfa, Tiote, Bigirimana, Gutierrez; Ba, Cisse.
Subs: Elliot (gk), Ferguson, Tavernier, Anita, Obertan, Sammy Ameobi, Shola Ameobi.
Craig Gott comes in for his Darlington debut as Newcastle Benfield visit Heritage Park this afternoon.
The midfielder joined yesterday from Billingham Synthonia and he starts ahead of Marc Ellison as one of two changes to the side that defeated Durham City on Wednesday.
Ellison is on the bench, as is Shaun Reay whose place is taken by Stephen Thompson at a blustery Heritage Park.
In the Benfield line-up is former Quakers youth team goalkeeper Andrew Grainger as well striker John Alexander who also came through the ranks with Darlington. Alexander had an unsuccessful trial with Darlington in pre-season.
Delighted Bigirimana starts for us today...him and Tiote will be like rottweilers in the middle...#HTL #NUFC— @A_Pynn 29 September 2012
Bigirimana and Tiote both playing, love it. #tioteishisdad #NUFC— @Liam_Ritchie 29 September 2012
One change for Pools at Colchester - Austin returns (possibly in midfield), Poole on the bench. No Walton because of an ankle knock.
COLCHESTER: Cousins, Rose, Okuonghae, Bean, Eastman, Wilson, Massey, Wordsworth, Eastmond, Watt, Ibehre. Subs: Pentney (gk), Morrison, Sears, Izzet, White, Duguid, Henderson.
HARTLEPOOL : Flinders; Austin, Collins, Hartley, Horwood; Franks, Baldwin, Murray, Sweeney, Lynch; Howard. Subs: Humphreys, Poole, Monkhouse, Richards, Holden, McHugh (gk), James.
Referee: Mick Russell (St Albans)
There's no Danny Guthrie in the Reading line-up, with the ex-Newcastle midfielder not making the starting XI against his former side.
Reading will line up: McCarthy; Cummings, Mariappa, Gorkss, Shorey; Kebe, Karacan, Leigertwood, McAnuff; Hunt, Pogrebnyak.
The early news from the Newcastle camp down at Reading is that Gael Bigirimana will make his first Premier League start in midfield in place of the injured Yohan Cabaye.
Bigirimana has been preferred to Vurnon Anita, who is on the bench.
Newcastle will line up: Harper; Perch, S Taylor, Williamson, Santon; Ben Arfa, Tiote, Bigirimana, Gutierrez; Cisse, Ba.
Welcome to The Northern Echo's live sport blog on an action-packed afternoon.
We've got two matches in the Premier League, with Newcastle down at Reading hoping to record their first away success of the season and Sunderland entertaining Wigan looking to claim their first league win of any description since March.
In the Championship, Middlesbrough entertain Leicester looking for a repeat of their most recent outing at Blackburn, while Hartlepool will attempt to get their season back on track at Colchester.
In the Northern League, Darlington will look to retain top spot as they entertain Newcastle Benfield.