Football: Freestone's double haunts the Hammers

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CHRIS FREESTONE, the former Middlesbrough striker, scored twice as West Ham suffered a shock 2-0 defeat at Northampton Town in the first leg of the Worthington Cup second round last night.

Freestone never made the grade at the Riverside Stadium but he stole the limelight from the Hammers' famed strikeforce of Ian Wright and John Hartson at the Cobblers' packed Sixfields Stadium.

With 13 minutes remaining, Freestone was quickest to react when the ball bobbled around the visitors' penalty area, tucking it home after it had hit the foot of the post. But there was no confusion surrounding his next strike, a superb header into the top corner, which gave the Second Division side a healthy lead to take to Upton Park next week.

Southampton are still seeking their first win of the season after surviving a scare at Fulham. The former Blackburn defender Chris Coleman headed home nine minutes into the second half as Kevin Keegan's men enjoyed most of the pressure. But another Ewood Park reject, James Beattie, stunned the home crowd with the equaliser against the run of play from Stuart Ripley's pass.

Dougie Freedman hit his first competitive goals for Nottingham Forest as Dave Bassett's men ran out 5-1 winners at Leyton Orient. The former Wolves forward struck twice inside three first-half minutes to give the Premiership side a comfortable first-leg lead. The prolific Australian striker John Aloisi and the Republic of Ireland midfielder Alan McLoughlin stunned Wimbledon with first-half goals in Portsmouth's 2-1 win at Fratton Park. The transfer-listed striker Efan Ekoku pulled one back for the Dons.

Nicky Forster, Chris Marsden and Gary Rowett were on the mark as Birmingham cruised home 3-0 at Macclesfield, while record-breaking striker Kevin Phillips hit the second goal of the night as Sunderland beat Chester by the same score.

Jan Age Fjortoft scored twice to give Barnsley a 3-0 advantage going into the return game at Reading, and Aldridge - Martin not John - scored twice as the First Division strugglers Tranmere lost 2-1 at Blackpool.

In the absence of the injured strikeforce of Nathan Blake and Dean Holdsworth, the veteran defender Jimmy Phillips, the winger Arnar Gunnlaugsson and the midfielder Per Frandsen scored as Bolton Wanderers overcame Hull City 3-1 at the Reebok Stadium.

Lenny Johnrose scored twice to convert Bury's excellent league form into a 3-0 win against Crystal Palace, who handed debuts to the Chinese pair Sun Jihai and Fan Zhiyi, at Gigg Lane. Rob Matthews hit the other goal.

Manuel Thetis, Ipswich Town's new French defender, scored the winner as the Suffolk side beat Luton 2-1 at Portman Road.