Round-up: Hammers close the gap as 10-man Saints slip up
James Mariner is a journalist who has been boring The Independent sports desk with mindless statistics for over four years. Helping with various, wide-ranging desk duties and the endless researching of panels, James has an unnatural love of all things football, and in particular the Premier League. He cites Brian Sears among his heroes and can even find something interesting in Stoke v Blackburn Rovers. On a good day.
Tuesday 03 January 2012
West Ham United moved up to second in the Championship after a Kevin Nolan goal midway through the second half was enough to beat relegation-threatened Coventry City 1-0 at Upton Park yesterday. The former Newcastle midfielder headed home from close range to give Sam Allardyce's side only their second win in six games.
They now trail the leaders Southampton on goal difference alone after Nigel Adkins' side were beaten 3-0 at South Coast neighbours Brighton & Hove Albion. Rickie Lambert was sent-off with the game goalless before goals from Jake Forster-Caskey and Matthew Sparrow (two) ended a run of four consecutive defeats for Gus Poyet's side. Middlesbrough, who began the day in second, went down by the same score at Blackpool, Matthew Phillips continuing his fine recent form with a 50th-minute opener before Lomana LuaLua and an own goal from Seb Hines consigned Tony Mowbray's side to a first defeat in over a month.
Leeds United staged a late recovery to beat Burnley 2-1 at Elland Road to end a run of three defeats. Trailing to Charlie Austin's 69th-minute opener, the hosts equalised two minutes from the end through a Brian Easton own goal before Ross McCormack secured the points in the seventh minute of injury time with a close-range finish.
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