Sport Djamel Abdoun of Nottingham Forest, centre, takes on Paul Gallagher, left, and David Buchanan of Preston North End

Nottingham Forest may have swept aside Sam Allardyce’s beleaguered West Ham to claim a Premier League scalp in the third round but Preston of League One proved an altogether tougher nut to crack in last night’s FA Cup fourth-round tie her.

Sam Wallace: Stop worrying about the future of the Cup – it gets the respect it deserves

Here's a radical theory: the FA Cup is actually in relatively decent shape

Leeds face tough Cup tie at Spurs

Leeds United were handed a tough FA Cup fourth round tie away to Tottenham Hotspur after Sunday's momentous victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Kelly takes reins at Preston after Irvine is shown the door

Preston North End have announced assistant manager Robert Kelly is to take temporary charge following the sacking of Alan Irvine yesterday.

Christmas fixtures: everything to play for

Boxing Day marks the mid-point of the season – and from title race to relegation scrap, the league's key battles are wide open. Glenn Moore looks at the scores to be settled in the next seven days

Alan A'Court: Footballer who played a crucial role in Liverpool's rise to join the elite in the early Shankly years

It was difficult to miss Alan A'Court on a football field. The dashing, blond left-winger, who featured for England in the 1958 World Cup finals and shone for Liverpool as they returned to the top flight of the domestic game in 1962, was an effervescent individual, bubbling with verve and exuding an engagingly obvious enjoyment of his work.

Wallace free-kick earns precious point for Irvine

Blackpool 1 Preston 1

Nolan jerks Newcastle back to life at the top

Newcastle United 1 Preston North End 0

Ray Charnley: Footballer who was Blackpool's leading scorer for nine consecutive seasons in the First Division

There have been Blackpool footballers who have played more games for the club than Ray Charnley; and there have been men who have contributed more league goals to the Bloomfield Road cause than the tall, rangy Lancastrian centre-forward. But on both counts, from faithful fans of the Seasiders whose memories stretch back half a century and beyond, there would have to come the heartfelt and grateful rider: not many.

Brian Viner: Blackpool prom and Holloway's illuminations

The Last Word

Preston chase taste of the big time

Preston North End 0 West Bromwich 0: Lack of funds at Deepdale hampering Irvine's push to escape the Championship

League round-up: Mellor and Chaplow lead way for Preston

Burnley's elevation to the Premier League seems to have given the North-west a fillip with Preston North End and Blackpool rubbing shoulders with the Championship pacemakers. Neil Mellor and Richard Chaplow scored as Preston's 2-1 win at Leicester City brought to an end the hosts' 25-match unbeaten home run. "Looking around the team, it's hard to pick anybody who didn't play well," the Preston manager, Alan Irvine, said.

Everton increase pressure on Hull's Phil Brown

Everton increased the pressure on Hull manager Phil Brown as they cruised into the Carling Cup fourth round with an emphatic win at the KC Stadium last night.

Crouch's hat-trick ensures victory in Lilywhite fight

Preston North End 1 Tottenham Hotspur 5

Horton urges Hull to shake off League struggles

Hull City are hoping tonight's Carling Cup tie against Everton can lift the gloom surrounding their slide into the bottom three of the Premier League.

Trapattoni faces tough decisions

Victory for the Republic of Ireland tonight would all but guarantee them a World Cup play-off spot at least and maintain their chances of pipping world champions Italy to automatic qualification, while a draw – the result they have achieved in their last three away games in the campaign, against Montenegro, Italy and Bulgaria – would be a creditable return.

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Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
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Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
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Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
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They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
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The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

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A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain