A late Peter Crouch goal gained Tottenham one of their most memorable wins in recent history last night, as they beat Italian Giants AC Milan 1-0 at the San Siro. This sets Spurs up nicely for the second leg on 9th March and they are now favourites to progress to the last eight in their first Champions League season.
The match was marred by bad tempered incidents and Gennaro Gattuso was the worst offender clashing on the sidelines with Joe Jordan on more than one occasion. At the end of the game he appeared to headbutt the Spurs assistant manager and he will likely face some sanctions for his actions.
On the pitch Milan looed a bit lethargic for much of the first half and although they came into the game more in the second half Tottenham were good value for their win, secured in the 80th minute when Arron Lennon’s run and cross was neatly slotted home by Peter Crouch. This led to a storming finish and AC Milan had a late equaliser disallowed when Ibrahimovic appeared to push Michael Dawson before scoring.
Tottenham face AC Milan in the Champions League tonight without several key players including Influential Welshman Gareth Bale, who has been one of the stars of the Champions League so far this season.
Alos missing will be long-term absentees Tom Huddlestone, Ledley King and Younes Kaboul, and Peter Crouch & Luka Modric are both doubtful. Jermaine Jenas will also miss the match due to suspension.
Some good news is that Rafael van der Vaart will probably be fit and on the other side AC Milan will not be able to field January signings Antonio Cassano, Mark van Bommel and Urby Emanuelson. Milan will be missing midfield duo Andrea Pirlo and Massimo Ambrosini.
So no side will really benefit from the others misfortune injury wise and there is sufficient talent available to make this a game to watch. This is a difficult game for Spurs and they will be very pleased to leave the San Siro with a narrow one goal defeat. A repeat of the 4-3 scorline against Inter on their last visit to Italy would set up a great night at White Hart Lane on the 9th March.
The nights other tie is between Valencia & Schalke 04 and given the German side are struggling at present its hard to see them getting anything from their trip to Spain.
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Whitley Bay who have won the last 2 FA Vase Finals took a massive step towards a historic treble as they marched into the quarter finals with a comfortable 5-1 win over Dunstable Town. They were trailing 1-0 to Dubstable at half time and it took until the 57th minute for the holders to level the scores. Thereafter further goals from Chow & Robinson soon had the game back under Whitley’s control and a late capitulation which saw Kerr add to his opener and Kerr grab his second both in injury made the score more emphatic.
Whitley Bay are now favourites to lift the trophy closely followed in the betting by Kings Lynn who had a big win over local rivals St Neots Town, and Poole Town who pulled off the result of the round in beating Spennymoor Town 3-2.
Coalville Town finally won through with 2 goals in extra time in their 3-1 win over Holbrook Sports.
The FA Vase Quarter Finalists are:
Kings Lynn pulled off an impressive 2-1 win over St Neots Town to advance to the quarter finals of the 2011 FA Vase competition.
The game was exciting and close as would be expected given this was a local East Anglian match up and the fact they are 1st and second in the United Counties Premier League. The leaders St Neots had just the better of the early possession and Stefan Moore missed a great chance when clean through and only some quick thinking by Kings Lynn goalkeeper Alex Street kept the score blank.
St Neots had the best of the second half, however after the break Kings Lynn started to get into the game and it was no surprise when Jack Defty bundled the ball home to make the score 1-0. The visitors had looked the better side rallied though and they leveled soon afterwards from the penalty spot. The game was decided by a goalkeeping error which Robbie Harris pounced upon to make the scores 2-1 ensuring it was Kings Lynn who were the pride of East Anglia on the day and they will collect the £1,300 chq from the ‘s prize fund.
The attendance was 1,641; Kings Lynn highest for many years.
Carlisle made hard work of reaching Wembley yet again in the JPT losing their second leg at Huddersfield Town 3-0, but held on for a 4-3 aggregate win.
Huddersfield took the lead after 30 minutes, but despite having the better of the play they couldn’t add a second until the 70th minute when Alan Lee scored the first of his double. His second in the 81st minute led to a nervous finale but overall Carlisle who did have a few chances of their own just about deserved their overall win.
Now Carlisle, who reached last year’s final only to lose heavily to Southampton, will now meet Brentford who overcame Exeter in the Sourhern Area Final.
The final will be played at at Wembley on Sunday, 3 April 2011.
Official attendance 6,528
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Weather allowing all 8 FA Trophy fixtures are scheduled for this Saturday and hopefully the clubs will get a good turnout. Many of the bigger Conference Premier sides have already gone out so this year could see a non Conference Premier side reach the final if the draw goes well for them. One side with a good FA Trophy tradition Woking FC will be hoping they can add to their successes of 1994, 1995, & 1997 and to encourage a good crowd they have reduced the ticket prices. They play Salisbury and will be quietly confident of progressing to the quarter finals and picking up the £7,000 prize poney obn offer to the winners of this tie.
The Remaining Conference sides Luton, Mansfield, Darlington, Gateshead & Eastbourne have all avoided each other and although all have good chances of getting through we will not be surprised to see a couple fall at this hurdle.
In a week when the top clubs finally lost leave of their senses with astronomical transfer fees and equally big wage settlements its good to remember that football is not all about the top few teams and for the true fans of the game its important to remember a pyramid is only as strong as its foundations. If you get the chance pop down to one of the games and help the have nots flourish.
The ties are:
Eastbourne Borough v Guiseley
Mansfield Town v Alfreton Town
Blyth Spartans v Droylsden
Luton Town v Gloucester City
AFC Telford United v Darlington
Woking v Salisbury City
Eastleigh v Chasetown
Gateshead v Dartford
The final two results from the 4th round of the FA Vase are now in and it is St Neots Town and Holbrook Sports who have kept their Wembley dreams alive.
Well fancied St Neots Town had a fairly comfortable 3-1 win away at Gresley despite going a goal down just after half time, while Holbrook Sports hit a 92nd minute winner in a 2-1 win over Lancing. Both have tricky away ties in the 5th round.
The games are all scheduled for Saturday 12/02/11
Gresley 1 – 3 St Neots Town
Holbrook Sports 2 – 1 Lancing
Revised FA Vase 5th Round Draw
Whitley Bay v Dunstable Town
Coalville Town v Holbrook Sports
Torpoint Athletic v Billingham Synthonia
Poole Town v Spennymoor Town
Leverstock Green v Rye United
Leiston v Long Buckby
Kings Lynn Town v St Neots Town
Stansted v Dunston UTS
There was few shocks in the 2011 FA Cup 4th round with none of the remaining Premier League clubs losing to lower league opponents.
Manchester City face a replay after having to come from behind against Notts County and two of the all Premier League ties will also need replays.
The result of the day was probably Crawleys win at Torquay which sees them become only the 6th non league team to reach the last 16 since the War.
Notable results included Orients great win at Swansea courtesy of a freak late own goal, and Division One Leaders Brighton’s big win at Watford.
The results in Full:
Arsenal 2-1 Huddersfield Town
Aston Villa 3-1 Blackburn
Birmingham 3-2 Coventry
Bolton 0-0 Wigan
Burnley 3-1 Burton Albion
Everton 1-1 Chelsea
Fulham 4-0 Tottenham
Notts County 1-1 Man Cit
Sheff Wed 4-1 Hereford
Southampton 1-2 Man Utd
Stevenage 1-2 Reading
Swansea 1-2 Leyton Orient
Torquay 0-1 Crawley Town
Watford 0-1 Brighton
West Ham 3-2 Nott’m Forest
Wolverhampton 0-1 Stoke
Conference Premier side Crawley Town who are only the 6th Non League club since the Second World War to reach the FA Cup 5th Round Proper have been amply rewarded for their valiant efforts having been drawn against Manchester United at Old Trafford.
They reached this stage after winning 1-0 at Torquay United in the 4th round, a game in which they missed 2 penalties. It was a bad tempered match with 9 booking and 2 sending offs and Crawley were lucky that the penalty misses were not punished as Torquay created a lot of chances. However their finishing was poor and now it a massive pay day for the already rich Conference side.
The attendance at 5,065 was well above Torquay’s average reflecting the importance of this tie to both sides.
The other five clubs that have made it through to that last-16 stage are:
Colchester United (1948)
Yeovil Town (1949)
Blyth Spartans (1978)
Telford United (1985)
Kidderminster Harriers (1994)
The 2011 Scottish League Cup Final will be an all Glasgow affair this year as both Celtic & Rangers won their semi final matches. Celtic had a comfortable 4-1 win over Aberdeen who were blown away by Celtic’s first half onslaught which saw them 4-0 up at half time.
Rangers had a somewhat harder time against Motherwell, who pulled the score back to 1-1 in the second half and had plenty of chances but eventually succumbed to a Naismith winner in the 75th minute.
The Final is scheduled for Sunday 20th March 2011.