Team spirit pleases Ainsworth

Athletic Bilbao and Malaga won in the Primera Liga on Saturday,
while Getafe salvaged a point against Osasuna and Granada drew with
Real Sociedad.

Malaga cemented their fourth position in the table with a 2-0
win at 10-men Sevilla in the late kick-off.

Martin Demichelis put the visitors ahead four minutes after the
re-start and Sevilla’s night then got worse when Federico Fazio was
sent-off – and conceded a penalty – for a professional foul.

Eliseu converted the subsequent spot-kick in the 70th minute to
seal the points for Malaga.

Aritz Aduriz’s 11th-minute header consigned Real Mallorca to
their ninth defeat in 11 league games, but Athletic Bilbao were
just as thankful to goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz for the three points
as they moved nine points clear of the relegation zone.

The visitors went in front with their first serious attack as
Andoni Iraola’s searching cross found Aduriz free at the back post
to head home his 11th goal of the campaign.

Mallorca then created countless opportunities to get back in the
game but Iraizoz was equal to efforts from Giovani Dos Santos,
Tomer Hemed and Victor Casadesus before the break, whilst Victor
also fired wide with an open goal after the interval.

Another defeat means that Mallorca’s winless streak extends to
14 games in all competitions.

Diego Castro’s penalty deep into stoppage time salvaged a point
for Getafe against Osasuna in a game desperately lacking in quality
at the Alfonso Perez Coliseum.

Both sides had one great opportunity to take the lead in the
first half but neither Nino nor Alvaro Vazquez could convert when
clean through on goal, and the game only came to life after
Emiliano Armenteros had been sent off for the visitors 12 minutes
from time for a wild lunge on Juan Valera.

However, despite losing a man, Jose Mendilibar’s men seemed set
for all three points when Kike Sola weaved a way through the Getafe
defence to slot home six minutes from time.

However, Osasuna were cruelly denied a second away win of the
campaign in the final minute of added time as Oier was harshly
adjudged to have handled inside the area and Castro stroked home
his fourth goal of the season.

Granada claimed a share of the spoils at home to Real Sociedad
but failed to score for the fifth successive league game.

In a match of precious few chances at the Estadio Nuevo Los
Carmenas, the hosts bounced back from shipping four against Malaga
last weekend and moved out of the relegation zone on goal
difference after the stalemate.

The Pirates, who suffered a fifth defeat in six matches to leave
them languishing in the League Two relegation zone, were stunned by
three City goals in five minutes.

Garry Kenneth put through his own net to hand the hosts the
advantage and although Tom Eaves hit back a minute later, the
Minstermen soon responded through Ashley Chambers and Jason
Walker.

Chambers’ struck again 12 minutes before the break to seal the
win and McGhee’s fate. His 11-month spell at the club was brought
to an end soon after the post-match press conference.

“I’m one down from embarrassed, I’m humiliated and that maybe is
the right word to describe the first half,” McGhee said, speaking
before the decision to dismiss him was announced.

“I always question myself first and I will do that first, but I
also have to question the teamwork in a sense and that comes back
to me ultimately. Once the players cross that line they have to be
prepared to give us more in the first half.

“The shape in the early parts of the game gave us problems but
it came down to individual situations such as stopping a cross and
these things kill you.

“It gave us far too much to do. You can talk all you want about
the chances we had before they scored and after and they were
terrific chances.

“Second half was much, much better. It wasn’t about them
dropping off, it was about us stepping up from the start and giving
us much more to get at them and create chances.

“Some of the defending in the first half was terrible but we
improved second half.”

Midfielder Matthew Saunders’ 17th-minute strike proved enough to
condemn the Bees to defeat and keep them bottom of the table.

Robson said: “We didn’t create enough chances unfortunately, but
at 1-0 we always thought we could get something.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game because Dagenham have
been doing well and of course there was extra spice with it being a
derby.

“We’re just disappointed that we’ve not taken anything from the
game. We played well in patches but didn’t give ourselves enough
chances to score.

“Their goal was a good one but we could have done better to
prevent it.

“It’s no secret it’s tough being at the bottom, but we’ve got
enough quality in this squad to get out of trouble.”

The 23-year-old, signed from Yeovil in the summer, made an
immediate impact after coming on for Michael O’Connor in the 70th
minute, converting Courtney Cameron’s pinpoint cross for the
winner.

Agard got lucky with the ball going in off Dons keeper Neil
Sullivan’s head via the post to extend AFC Wimbledon’s winless run
to six games and Evans, while refusing to get carried away,
believes Agard is fast becoming the perfect footballing role
model.

“It was a fantastic header from Kieran and I think the keeper
thought it was going wide. Kieran made 70 yards to just be in that
box,” said Evans.

“The whole dressing room is delighted for that young man; he is
everything a professional should be. Any other day [Daniel]
Nardiello would get us three or four goals.

“But that happens doesn’t it; he missed a chance and always got
in a position to have another, that’s the sign of a good
striker.

“It’s not about what happens in December. We’re not going to get
carried away. We all believe that last week we deserved a point.
There was nothing in the first half but I think we absolutely
dominated the second half. Arguably we could have scored five or
six.

“We can play the best teams in the Football League and we can go
toe to toe with them with the players we’ve got.”

Midfielder Matthew Saunders’ 17th-minute strike, his second goal
in three games, did the trick for the hosts as they leap-frogged
Rochdale to go 12th in the table and just three points away from
breaking into the play-off positions.

“It was a hard-fought win, but we knew it was going to be,”
praised Still.

“I said on Friday at training that I believed this would one of
our toughest games of the season – and it was.

“It would have been nice to have moved up a few more places in
the table, but if we keep on winning we’ll get up there.

“Local derbies are always tough. You have to make sure you do
everything you can to win the game, that’s the most important
thing.

“We had a lot of corners and created pressure, but early season
we scored a lot of goals from corners.

“They didn’t come off for us, but those sorts of chances ebb and
flow.

“We’ll keep working on those moves on the training pitch and
they’ll come right for us.

“But overall I was delighted wit the victory. It would have been
great to have got that second goal to make sure of the victory
earlier, but we’ve got the three points.”

Goals from Bruno Andrade and Matt McClure secured them a
comfortable 2-0 victory at Accrington despite McClure being sent
off for two bookable offences in the 55th minute.

Stanley conjured up little and stuttered to their third
successive league loss.

“I am so proud,” said the 39-year-old player-boss. “It was a
fantastic performance. I have grown up in the north west, I know
it’s tough coming here and we were incredible.

“Our two centre halves had a combined age of 36 – not as old as
me! – and yet they were key for us. I am really proud of all the
players and the table looks a little bit rosier.

“Not so long ago we were at the bottom and that was a bad day
but I have never let the spirit get low and we have stuck together
and our league form has been great.

“When I first took over it was about being resilient and we have
worked on defending and set plays, we have good midfielders and we
have attackers that I can’t coach, they are natural finishers who
can open up defences and have been doing well. Now we have just got
to keep it going.”