i

Cook ‘desperate’ to lead the rebuilding of England side

Sheffield Wednesday 1 Plymouth Argyle 1: pectacular Spurr rescues point for lowly Wednesday

A spectacular long-range strike from the full-back Tommy Spurr lifted Sheffield Wednesday out of the Championship relegation zone last night, but they remain in deep trouble after being held to a seventh consecutive draw. Spurr drove in a precious goal nine minutes from time after Plymouth led for virtually the whole game up to then.

Plymouth Argyle 1 Charlton Athletic 2: Lita fuels Pardew hopes of late run for the play-offs

Both managers described this Home Park meeting of play-off hopefuls as a must-win match and at the close Paul Sturrock's Plymouth lost out. Alan Pardew's 10-man Charlton rekindled their slender chance of breaking into the top six by ending a six-match sequence without a win against the odds and an Argyle side bereft of imagination and flair on the day.

Championship round-up: Folan strike gives Tigers teeth as contenders stumble

They have yet to appear in the top flight in their 103-year history, but Hull City, the only side in the top six of the Championship to win yesterday, might break that mould as they moved to within two points of the automatic promotion places with a 2-0 win at hapless Leicester City.

Bristol City 1 Plymouth Argyle 2: Fallon gives the perfect response to cheeky barb

Rory Fallon is a man of God who takes life very seriously, so he did not appreciate the barbed half-time comments from the Bristol City manager Gary Johnson.

Plymouth Argyle 0 Sheffield United 1: Speed shines through twilight to give Blades the edge

The ageing legs may mean surging runs are a thing of the past but for Gary Speed, 38 years young, there is time yet to show Sheffield United's fans a little more of what made him a Premier League success with Leeds United, Everton, Newcastle United and Bolton Wanderers, following his move to Bramall Lane in the January transfer window.

West Bromwich 3 Plymouth Argyle 0: Gera rises above the rubbish to clean up Baggies' act

For two clubs brought together by the ebb and flow of the promotion race, this was always going to be an instructive test of belief. And it soon became apparent that both were thoroughly alarmed by their sudden proximity: the hosts having subsided from first to fourth, while four successive wins had catapulted the visitors to dizzy new heights in fifth.

Southampton 0 Plymouth Argyle 2: Paterson snuffs out Saints' hopes

It was a defiant message that came across from Nigel Pearson, the new Southampton manager, following this defeat last night, his first game since taking over at the club. Two first-half goals, from Peter Halmosi and Jim Paterson, consigned Southampton's supporters to yet more misery and the prospect of being dragged into a relegation scrap.

Len Boyd: Steely Birmingham City skipper

Len Boyd was the staunch and steely skipper of the most successful Birmingham City side in the club's 132-year history. Under his uplifting leadership the Blues won the Second Division championship in 1955, then a year later came sixth in the top flight – their highest ever League finish – and reached the FA Cup final.

Atletico's Aguirre confident of overturning Bolton lead

The Atletico Madrid coach, Javier Aguirre, is confident his side can reach the last 16 of the Uefa Cup despite their 1-0 defeat at Bolton.

Leicester City 0 Plymouth Argyle 1: Holloway mulls legal action over Plymouth comments

An unseasonably warm Saturday ended with an ill wind blowing into Leicester from the south. The comments made by Plymouth Argyle chairman Paul Stapleton concerning former manager Ian Holloway's acrimonious departure for Leicester last November had turned this game from a run-of-the-mill Championship encounter into a grudge match. Plymouth lost five players in the January transfer window and Stapleton's statement last week laid the blame for their departure firmly at the feet of Holloway.

Mandaric mounts Holloway defence

The Leicester chairman Milan Mandaric has come to the defence of Ian Holloway after his Plymouth counterpart Paul Stapleton blamed the former Argyle manager for the recent exodus of players from Home Park.

Today in the Leagues

Portsmouth 2 Plymouth Argyle 1: James keeps Pompey's hopes afloat

The Dockyard Derby may not rank among the world's great footballing rivalries. In fact, with 10 different nationalities on display among the two starting line-ups, it is fair to assume that most of the players on show would not even have been aware that this is the title given to the game they were taking part in.

Portsmouth 2 Plymouth 1: James saves Pompey from Plymouth's buccaneers

What a shame Fabio Capello was elsewhere assessing prospects for his England squad as David James put on one of his spectacular shows to prove that, at 37, he remains one of the best goalkeepers in the land. Certainly Plymouth would have won this fourth round Cup-tie, hyped in the programme as the "battle of the two major Royal Navy ports" but for his excellence.

Paul Sturrock: Plotting his Cup upset from off the beaten track

Plymouth Argyle are far from being an ordinary football club, but Paul Sturrock tells Mike Rowbottom that he plans to take them places – first stop Fratton Park
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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

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Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
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New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
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Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
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Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
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Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
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Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
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Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam