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.”