RECAP: MIDWEEK ENGLISH ACTION
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ANDREW VORCE - Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Stuart Holden was given his Bolton debut in a one sided affair at White Heart Lane, while Brad Guzan got the starting role over Brad Friedel in another FA Cup fifth round replay with limited action in England.

Manchester United 3 - 0 West Ham

Jonathan Spector and West Ham United failed to capatalize on their chances, falling to a Wayne Rooney double at Old Trafford.

West Ham started well, with Valon Behrami shooting just wide in the opening stages. The near miss seemed to spark United into life, with a flowing movement ending at Rooney. Antonio Valencia volleyed his cross back across the goal where the England striker produced a diving header that Robert Green could do little to stop in the 38th.

Just 10 minutes into the first half Rooney had his second of the night, with Valencia again becoming the provider. The winger danced around the right flank before chipping in to the area, and even though Green got a hand onto Rooney's header there was too much power and the ball fell into the goal.

Michael Owen and Mame Dioiuf were brought on in place of Dimitar Berbatov and Rooney, and Owen made it three with 10 minutes to go. Paul Scholes held the ball up as Owen tip toed the offsides line before breaking off the moment Scholes released him into the area. From a tight angle, Owen chipped the onrushing Green and onto the far post for his goal.

Julien Faubert was the only player booked, and West Ham welcome Bolton to Upton Park next.

Aston Villa 3 - 1 Crystal Palace

Brad Guzan was handed a starting role in the FA Cup, with Brad Friedel surely rested for the Carling Cup final this weekend as Aston Villa pushed past Crystal Palace in the fifth round replay.

The home team took the lead with a bit of luck, winning a bizarre corner that went out on an Villa player. Gabriel Agbonlahor didn't care though, and took advantage with a quality back header to give his team the lead.

Palace got back into the game as Stephen Warnock tripped Alan Lee inside the box, resulting in a penalty. Eagles leading goalscorer Darren Ambrose stepped up and made no mistake from the spot in the 73rd.

With nine minutes left on the clock Matthew Lawrence was made to pay the cost after fouling John Carew inside the box. The forward dusted himself off and slotted home the game winner. With a minute left, the foul was duplicated as Lawrence brought down Carew again, who made no mistake by ending the game with another goal.

Lawrence and Nathaniel Clyne were the only players booked for Crystal Palace, as Aston Villa face Manchester United on Sunday in the Carling Cup Final.

Tottenham 4 - 0 Bolton

Stuart Holden got his first start for Bolton, but his debut was shrouded in turmoil as Tottenham turned his team inside out in a demolition in the FA Cup fifth round replay.

It took red-hot Roman Pavlyuchenko 23 minutes to find the back of the net, turning Zat Knight inside out on the edge of the area to make space for a left footed shot into the far corner. Spurs doubled their lead after Bolton failed to clear their lines, and Jussi Jaaskelainen turned the ball into his own net as the second attack came into the area.

It went from bad to worse as Gareth Bale sent in a cross from the left and Andy O'Brien failed his clearance and rifled it into his own net in the 47th minute. Three minutes from time Pavlyuchenko scored his second of the night, as the Bolton defense failed to deal with Spurs' attack and the Russian bagged his fourth goal in two games.

No one was booked in the game, and Bolton will look to get back to winning ways when Marcus Hahnemann and Wolverhampton Wanderers come to Reebok Stadium on Saturday.

Wycombe 0 - 0 Southampton

Jon-Paul Pittman could have won it all for Wycombe but instead the American and company were held to a goalless draw at home to Southampton.

Kelvin Davis had a nightmare decision mark his early performance, coming out of his box to head the ball straight to Kevin McLeod. Pittman ended with the ball, but his shot fell straight at the aging goalkeeper instead of past him.

Davis almost let Dean Keates' harmless shot in, after it rolled through his legs but the keeper responded quick enough to claw it off the line. Either way the game ended goalless, with Alan Bennett and Dan harding both being booked for either team. Up next for Wycombe, a trip to Edgeley Park to take on Stockport.

Hereford 0 - 2 Northampton

Seb Harris got his first serious minutes of the campaign after proving to his head coach that he is ready through hard work in training.

Northampton cruised to a comfortable first half lead on the stroke of half an hour played through Billy McKay. Receiving the ball within the area, the striker struck low and hard from 15 out to give Northampton the lead.

Adebayo Akinfenwa was denied by Adam bartlett early in the second half with a quality save, but the striker eventually got his goal in the 67th. Struggling with a calf injury, the striker had the presence of mind to lob Bartlett to net his 13th of the season.

Ryan Valentine was booked for Hereford, while his head coach was dismissed from the dugout for arguing with the linesman. John Curtis was the only Northampton player booked, and Harris will get his next chance when Northampton welcomes Cheltenham to Sixfields Stadium.

Notes:

Zak Whitbread is out injured for Norwich as Ian Joyce failed to make the bench in Nowrwich's 2-1 win at home to Southend.

Mike Grella saw the final minutes in Leed's 2-0 win at home to Oldham.
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A big question for U.S. fans heading into the World Cup is surely on Jozy Altidore and just what is plaguing the young striker at Sunderland.
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