The games in the NPower Championship come thick and fast with Tuesday and Wednesday seeing another round of fixtures, which saw Southampton move clear, M’Boro lose their unbeaten run against Forest, a new Ince hits the headlines and goals galore at Peterborough. All these and more are covered in TheHardTacklea��s Top 6 highlights of Round 12 of the Championship.


Saints go 5 points clear at the top

After the weekenda��s results, West Ham United jumped into second place, two points behind leaders Southampton. On Tuesday evening, the pair met in a top of the table clash.

A record crowd of 32,150 packed in to the St Marya��s Stadium to see the Saints maintain their 100% home league form with a 1-0 win over the Hammers.

St Mary's was packed to the rafters for the visit of West Ham


The first-half was even, with chances falling to both sides. Matt Taylora��s low shot forced Kevin Davis to save within the first 60 seconds, whilst Saints skipper Dean Hammond twice shot over when well placed. Richard Chaplow then went close for the hosts, before Kevin Nolan and Saturdaya��s two-goal hero Sam Baldock, nearly put the away side in front.

With the scores level heading for the break, the home side got their noses in front. Danny Foxa��s corner was met by on-loan Celtic defender Jos Hooiveld, who powered past Manuel Almunia in the Hammersa�� goal.

After the break, Baldock should have done better when one-on-one with the goalkeeper and Mark Noble was unlucky when his injury time cross was flicked onto the post by a Southampton defender. The Saints themselves had chances to extend their lead, but one goal was enough to take the three points.

The win made it a perfect six home games for Nigel Adkinsa�� men and moves them five points clear of the chasing pack.A�

Boro finally beaten as Cotterrill enjoys fine start

After watching Saturdaya��s defeat at Coventry City from the stands, new Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cotterrill took his place in the home dugout for the visit of unbeaten Middlesbrough.

The impact of Cotterrill was instant, with the home side recording their first league win at the City Ground this term. Marcus Tudgay put Forest in the lead on 35 minutes, with midfielder Lewis McGugan doubling their advantage 10 minutes into the second half.

Going into the game, Boro were unbeaten, having made their best start to a season since 1899. However, once Tudgay had given the home side the lead, Tony Mowbraya��s men never looked capable of extending their terrific run.

The win moves Forest out of the relegation zone, whilst Boro remain in third place.

Crystal Palace move into fifth

Tipped by many as relegation candidates at the start of the season, Dougie Freedmana��s Crystal Palace moved up to fifth place in the table with a 1-0 victory over manager-less Bristol City.

Former Brighton striker Glenn Murray was the hero, netting an 81st minute penalty, after sub Jonathan Williams had been felled by fellow Welshman Lewin Nyatanga.A�In a game of few chances, Brett Pitman wasted Citya��s best hope, when he headed straight at Palace keeper Julian Speroni.

Palace have now won 3 of their last 4 league games, moving them to 20 points, 1 behind Middlesbrough, Derby County and West Ham. For Bristol City, they are now 2 points adrift at the bottom of the table. Their fans will be hoping a new manager is installed as soon as possible.

Like Father, Like Son

Throughout the 1990a��s, Paul Ince was a Premier League star for Manchester United, Liverpool and Middlesbrough. A spell at Inter Milan and a regular for England, made Ince one of the best midfielders of his generation.

Now that Ince has retired and is currently out of managerial work, a new Ince has hit the headlines. Paula��s 19-year old Thomas was a highly-rated prospect in Liverpoola��s youth set-up, but after an on-loan period at Notts county, he realised his future lay away from Anfield. This summer he made the move to Blackpool and on Tuesday evening scored his first two goals for the club.

Dean Saundersa�� Doncaster Rovers were the visitors to Bloomfield Road and they shocked Ian Hollowaya��s home side by taking theA�lead through prolific striker Billy Sharp just before the half-an-hour mark. They nearly extended their lead before the break, with Sharp and John Oster going close.

Blackpool - Fans

Blackpool fans must be happy!


On 57 minutes, Holloway made a tripleA�substitution. On came veteran striker Kevin Phillips, Thomas Ince and fellow youngster Callum McManaman (the latter two subs looking like a teamsheet from 1990a��s Liverpool!).

Within six minutes, Ince had made an impact, curling a shot past Neil Sullivan to level the scores. Fellow subs Phillips and McManaman both went close to a winner, but it was to be Incea��s day, as his 20-yard effort in stoppage time gave the Seasiders the 3 points.

Goals galore at London Road (again!)

For entertainment, there is only one team to follow in the NPower Championship; Peterborough United.A�As they gained promotion from League One last season, they scored 106 goals, conceding 75. This term, in only 11 league games, they have already scored 20, whilst letting in 16. On Tuesday evening, at home to Cardiff City, Posh were at it again.

Don Cowie gave the Bluebirds a sixth-minute lead, but Peterborough lead at the break thanks to a quick-fire double from George Boyd and Grant McCann. But, Cardiff hit back on the hour through Peter Whittingham, then went 3-2 ahead through Aron Gunnarsson.

As time was running out, Posh won a controversialA�penalty three minuted before time, which was converted by skipper McCann. Not satisfied with a point, Darren Fergusona��s team attacked again and were rewarded when Paul Taylor netted in the secondA�minute of injury time.

Posh now move up above in to seventhA�spot, 1 point behind the play-off places, whilst Cardiff drop to 12th.A�

Leeds undone by Coventry late, late show

A Richard Wood equaliser in the 3rd minute of stoppage time earned Coventry City a valuable away point and denied Leeds their second straight win.

The home side took a 26th minute lead when former Celtic defender Darren Oa��Dea shot home.

Top scorer Ross McCormack should have made it two when he missed from six yards out, then Danny Pugh, a scorer at Doncaster on Friday night, saw his effort saved well by Sky Bluesa�� keeper Joe Murphy.

Leeds had further chances to extend their lead, most notably through Adam Clayton, but Murphy kept his side in the game.

With the referee about to blow for full-time, Leeds keeper Paul Rachubka fumbled a Coventry cross, allowing Wood to tap home and deny Leeds a place in the top-six.


Round 12 Results:


Barnsley 2-0 Burnley

Blackpool 2-1 Doncaster Rovers

Crystal Palace 1-0 Bristol City

Ipswich Town 1-0 Portsmouth

Leeds United 1-1 Coventry City

Leicester City 2-0 Watford

Millwall 1-1 Brighton and Hove Albion

Nottingham Forest 2-0 Middlesbrough

Peterborough United 4-3 Cardiff City

Reading 2-2 Derby County

Southampton 1-0 West Ham United

Hull City v Birmingham City was postponed due to Birminghama��s involvement in the Europa League on Thursday

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