English League 1

Hume set for Rovers switch

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Fri, 21 Dec 2012 22:15:00

Motherwell boss Stuart McCall was shocked his side failed to defeat St Mirren but had nothing but praise for the effort of his players.

McCall's men found themselves 2-0 down after two well-taken goals form Steven Thompson in the first half.

They fought back in the second half with Bob McHugh pulling one back in the 77th minute but despite bombarding their opponent's goal they could not find the equaliser.

McCall said: "I thought it was great entertainment and a terrific game. They took their chances, two terrific goals from Steven Thompson, a near-post finish and a back-post clinical header.

"I was disappointed to go in at half-time 2-0 down. It was an open game, we had opportunities and hit the woodwork, and failed to hit the target on other opportunities.

"The last 30 minutes was just a siege, they brought big (Lee) Mair on, brought (David) van Zanten on. I don't think they could have brought any more defenders on.

"How we never got an equaliser I'll never know. But I said to the boys, there are ways to lose games and I certainly want to go down fighting.

"We went right to the last minute, played some really good football and it just wasn't our night."

The capital club went three points clear at the top of the standings, for 24 hours at least, courtesy of strikes from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Kevin Gameiro as well as an own goal from former PSG defender Bernard Mendy.

That came after Abdoulwhaid Sissoko was shown a straight red card for an ugly challenge on Argentinian forward Ezequiel Lavezzi in the 33rd minute.

It was Carlo Ancelotti's side's fifth triumph in a row in all competitions in a game they largely dominated.

The capital club came racing out of the traps, with Ibrahimovic firing narrowly wide from just outside the area.

Brest goalkeeper Alexis Thebaux then had to prevent the Sweden striker's backheel from Christophe Jallet's cross from finding the net.

And the 27-year-old shot-stopper had to be alert once more to keep out Thiago Silva's close-range header as well as Ibrahimovic's rebound.

At the other end, Mendy's volley forced a fine save from PSG goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu, but their cause was not helped when they were reduced to 10 men after Sissoko saw red for a rash lunge at Lavezzi.

Javier Pastore saw his long-range effort kept out by Thebaux, who was at full stretch to deny Jallet's edge-of-the-area effort after the interval.

His goal was finally breached in the 54th minute, however, as Jallet's cross from the right was poked home by Ibrahimovic at the near post.

The former Barcelona and AC Milan striker could, and perhaps should, have doubled his side's lead after bursting through on goal, but his right-footed lob was kept out by Thebaux.

Ibrahimovic continued to cause havoc in the Brest defence and his audacious flick from the edge of the penalty area from Jeremy Menez's delivery missed the top corner by a whisker.

It seemed only a matter of time before PSG doubled their advantage and it came when Gameiro tapped in a rebound in the 72nd minute after Thebaux could only push Motta's cross to the France international.

To their credit, the hosts refused to lie down and Ahmed Kantari's header had to be cleared off the line by PSG defender Thiago Silva.

But Brest's misery was compounded in the first minute of added-on time when Mendy, who spent eight years at the Parc des Princes from 2000, could only direct his defensive header from Jallet's cross into his own net.

The striker took his tally to 11 goals in 10 games with two fine efforts after Ryan Cresswell had opened the scoring.

The Shrimpers were easily able to make it 13 matches unbeaten as they moved up to fourth place in League Two.

Defender Cresswell put Southend in front in the 51st minute when he volleyed home his eighth goal of the season from 12 yards after Marc Laird's shot from Michael Timlin's cross had been blocked.

Paul Sturrock's side doubled their lead 10 minutes later when Tomlin swapped passes with Kevan Hurst before charging in to the box and heading home the midfielder's right-wing cross from 12 yards.

Tomlin was at it again in the 69th minute with the best goal of the night as he nodded in a chipped left-wing cross from Chris Barker following a number of successive passes.

The hosts had lost their last four games but there was little to suggest a fifth would be on the cards against their high-flying visitors.

Rochdale created the clearer chances in an open first half. Bobby Grant, who passed a late fitness test on a shoulder injury, fired a fierce drive against the crossbar while Scott Brown was at his best with a double save to deny Ashley Grimes and Andrew Tutte in quick succession.

Grant opened the scoring in the 38th minute, collecting a short pass from Dele Adebola on the left edge of the penalty area before sending a stunning curling effort past Brown.

Grimes made it two-nil with an equally impressive strike from 25 yards in injury time at the end of the first half, his polished finish leaving Brown rooted to the spot.

The visitors were briefly back in the game when Phil Edwards scooped the ball into his own net three minutes into the second half after Josh Lillis had parried Chris Zebroski's effort.

But another fine strike from Grimes in the 67th minute, quickly followed by a tap-in from Adebola, made the result safe for the hosts.

The win is the Bees' first in six games and moves them one point above AFC Wimbledon, who play on Saturday, on goal difference.

Billy Kee had put Burton ahead from the penalty spot on 16 minutes after Barry Fuller fouled Jacques Maghoma, but Holmes grabbed an equaliser against the run of play as half-time approached - rounding Dean Lyness to score after a poor clearance.

Barnet looked a different side in the second half and went ahead after 53 minutes, Holmes sending Lyness the wrong way from the spot after Elliot Johnson's cross struck Cleveland Taylor's arm.

And the 25-year-old secured the win and his hat-trick after 66 minutes, firing home from just inside the area after a superb run down the right from Andy Yiadom.

Maghoma pulled one back from the spot in stoppage time, the third penalty of an eventful evening, but Barnet held firm under pressure to secure a vital three points.

The hosts never looked back from the moment midfielder Danny Hollands, on loan from Charlton, scored with a deflected shot in the fourth minute.

Raffa de Vita got the second just three minutes later after cutting in from the left and there was no way back for Ronnie Moore's shell-shocked Tranmere.

Andy Williams had time to turn on the edge of the area to score a third after 21 minutes and Matt Ritchie made it four shortly after the half-hour when he was left unmarked at the far post.

Moore made two half-time changes, sending on Donervorn Daniels and Michael Kay but it made little difference.

Six minutes after the break Matt Ritchie found Williams in space to score his second of the evening and only then did Swindon ease up, their job done, with Williams missing the chance of a hat-trick when his penalty was well saved by Owain Fon Williams.

Tranmere stay top, for 24 hours at least, despite the crushing setback but Swindon move up to fifth, a mere two points behind.

Paolo Di Canio's team were quick out of the blocks, with Danny Hollands and

Raffaele De Vita giving them a 2-0 lead inside seven minutes.

Andy Williams made it 3-0 in the 21st and Matt Ritchie got a fourth in the 33rd

minute, before Williams fired across hapless goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams and into the far corner to make it 5-0 six minutes into the second half.

Williams missed a 62nd-minute penalty on a grim night for Tranmere - who have now gone six matches without a win.

At the other end, Bury drew 2-2 with Shrewsbury - with a late goal denying the

visiting Shrews a first away win of the season.

Marvin Morgan gave Shrewsbury a dream start with a first minute goal but Matt Doherty levelled nine minutes later. Jon Taylor restored the visitors' lead

midway through the second half but Steven Schumacher equalised at the end.

The Bury captain headed home Gregg Wylde's 90th-minute corner to seal a 2-2 draw in an exciting battle between two struggling League One sides.

Shrewsbury took the lead within 31 seconds, Aaron Wildig following up after Marvin Morgan had been tackled to hammer the loose ball home.

But Bury hit back when David Worrall fed Matt Doherty and the full-back slotted a low shot under 'keeper Chris Weale.

Weale did better with a powerful right-footed shot from Wylde, reacting quickly to deny Bury a second.

Later, Darren Jones got lucky when he deflected a Wylde effort against his own post with Weale stranded.

But Shrewsbury eventually edged back in front after Taylor raced down the right flank to smash an unstoppable shot into the corner of the net with 68 minutes on the clock.

Moments later Morgan missed a sitter, denied by the legs of Trevor Carson when one-on-one.

And his miss proved costly when Schumacher struck at the death to clinch a draw.

Rochdale striker Bobby Grant's 25-yard effort gave the hosts a 38th-minute lead and Ashley Grimes doubled the lead from similar distance just before the break.

Phil Edwards' own goal three minutes into the second half brought the visitors back into the contest - but Grimes (67) and Dele Adebola (69) rounded off an emphatic success.

Southend consolidated their place in the play-off positions with a 3-0 win over Chesterfield, with goals from Ryan Cresswell (51) and Gavin Tomlin (61 and 69).

Barnet started Friday night bottom of the table but Ricky Holmes' hat-trick set up a 3-2 win over Burton which lifts them out of the relegation places.

Billy Kee's 16th-minute penalty gave Burton the lead but Holmes equalised three minutes before half-time and wrapped up his treble with a 53rd-minute penalty and a low shot in the 66th minute.

Jacques Maghoma struck from the spot for the Brewers in added-on time but Barnet held on to claim all three points.

Juve had to come from behind after Mauricio Pinilla put the struggling Sardinians in front in the 16th minute on Friday night, but a brace from Alessandro Matri, after Arturo Vidal had missed a penalty, turned the game around.

Mirko Vucinic added a third deep into stoppage time, while Cagliari ended the game with 10 men with Davide Astori picking up two yellow cards.

The win extended Juve's advantage over second-placed Inter Milan and Lazio in third, although both have a game in hand.

In the night's other game, Pescara scored a stoppage-time winner to move out of the relegation zone with a 2-1 success over Catania.

Eugenio Togni netted his first ever Serie A goal with the last kick of the game

Mervan Celik earlier gave Pescara a 23rd-minute lead, but Pablo Barrientos levelled soon after.

The striker has been at the Keepmoat Stadium since the end of August, scoring four goals in 19 appearances, and an agreement has now been put in place - although a transfer has not yet been completed - ensuring his stay will become a permanent one in January.

"We've secured a deal for Iain Hume," Rovers manager Dean Saunders told the club's official website.

"We've just got to dot the Is and cross the Ts, it's not 100% over the line yet but we've agreed in principle that he's going to stay with us."

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