Championship round-up: Barnsley sack Hill while cards cause confusion at Galpharm
Sunday 30 December 2012
The Championship week ended much as it had begun, in a certain amount of chaos, with another manager, Keith Hill of Barnsley, sacked and referee Mick Russell apparently flourishing two yellow cards at Sheffield Wednesday's Jeremy Helan but failing to brandish the red in the Owls Yorkshire derby with Huddersfield Town, which ended 0-0. On a brighter note, former Wolves manager Mick McCarthy returned to Molineux with his improving Ipswich Town and won 2-0, while Alex McLeish's reign as Nottingham Forest boss started with a doughty 2-2 home draw against high-flying Crystal Palace.
Hill, who had been at Oakwell for 18 months, paid the price for a dismal run this season, and yesterday's 3-1 defeat by Blackburn Rovers, themselves still coming to terms with the sacking of Henning Berg, their second managerial casualty of the season, was the Tykes seventh home defeat leaving them rock bottom. "Keith and his assistant Dave Flitcroft have given their all to the club and played some attractive football," general manager Don Rowing said, "Keith was very disappointed but this was a decision made by the board and not by one man. It is a very sad day."
Meanwhile, at the Galpharm, Helan was shown a first card, for diving, in the ninth minute and a second for a 26th-minute foul on Adam Hammill. However, it seems that Russell had intended to book Helan's team-mate Michail Antonio for the initial offence, which will be reflected in his report.
Amid the confusion, Town defender Anthony Gerrard understood what had happened. "I didn't really notice to be honest. I thought he had booked two different players. I thought the first booking for the dive in the box was Antonio and the second one was Helan, so I didn't concern myself with it. If he did make a mistake, so be it, it's just one of those things that can happen in football."
Wednesday manager Dave Jones believed Helan and not Antonio had been booked for diving. "I don't know about a first booking, it was a penalty. That's the controversy," he said.
Elsewhere, Rudy Gestede's early goal saw leaders Cardiff City beat Millwall 1-0 in south Wales, while two goals in four minutes early in the second half saw second-placed Hull City beat Leeds United 2-0.
In the relegation battle at Ashton Gate, Sam Baldock scored twice as Bristol City romped to a rare win, 4-2 against Peterborough United. And that was the scoreline at the Riverside where Middlesbrough moved up to fourth after beatiung Blackpool.
Elsewhere in the play-offs, Watford are fifth after a fine 3-1 win at Brighton, Matej Vydra scoring twice, and David Nugent's goal just after the half-hour saw Leicester win 1-0 at Burnley, whose lost leading scorer Charlie Austin, injured.
Sheffield United lost top spot when they were surprisingly beaten at home, 3-2, by the bottom side Hartlepool United. Tranmere Rovers took full advantage of the Blades' slip, Cole Stockton turning in a rebound to earn a 1-0 win over Scunthorpe.
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