ANDREW VORCE - Thursday, April 15, 2010
Brad Friedel and Tim Howard played out a draw, while Jon-Paul Pittman and Eric Lichaj both claimed huge victories for their teams in limited English midweek action.
Aston Villa 2 - 2 Everton
Brad Friedel and Aston Villa squared off against Tim Howard and Everton, with the later controlling the tempo.
In an Everton-special, the visitors cooked up the opener just 23 minutes into the game. Leighton Baines whipped in a danger free kick, and Tim Cahill does what he does best, heading past Friedel into the corner of the goal.
Gabriel Agbonlahor came to the rescue of Aston Villa who have struggled as of late, nipping in a glancing header off of James Milner's cross in the 73rd. Less than a minute later Cahill was back on the scene, tucking in another header to give Everton the lead.
On the stroke of full time, calamity struck as Phil Jagielka lost his bearings in front of his own net. Under pressure from John Carew, the big back headed a cross into his own net.
Howard was booked for dissent after Agbonlahor's goal, joining Cahill in the book for Everton, while Milner and Stiliyan Petrov were booked for Villa. Up next for the Villans is a trip to Portsmouth, while Everton face Blackburn at Ewood Park.
Tranmere 0 - 3 Wycombe
Jon-Paul Pittman went 66 minutes in Wycombe's huge victory over fellow strugglers Tranmere Rovers, as Wycombe look to beat the drop.
Alex Revell hit twice to secure all three points for Wycombe, opening scoring in the 15th. Gareth Ainsworth had the initial shot but Luke Daniels was able to parry, with Revell able to pick up the scraps to cooly slot in the rebound.
Revell's second in the 69th came down to desire, chasing down Daniels' clearance. Collecting the loose ball, Revell kept his cool before lobbing over the keeper from 25 yards out.
Matt Bloomfield added a third with four minutes left in the game, heading in Kevin Betsy's cross. Bloomfield was booked for dissent, joining Ainsworth and John Mousinho in the book. Only Marlon Broomes was booked for Tranmere.
Up next for Tranmere is a difficult match at MK Dons.
Leyton Orient 2 - 1 Norwich
Eric Lichaj and Leyton Orient claimed a vital win over the injured Zak Whitbread's Norwich, who continue to sit on top spot despite the loss.
Norwich are largely favorites for automatic promotion at the end of the season, sitting six points atop League One above Leeds United. Sean Thornton single handedly delivered the three points to now 19th placed Leyton Orient, seeing themselves four points above the relegation zone.
Norwich were to blame for the opening goal, coming out on cruise control with Orient going full steam ahead. City failed to clear their lines, with Thonton smashing home after Scot McGleish flicked on a header in the third minute.
The visitors got back into the game in the 19th minute thanks to Korey Smith, scoring from the edge of the 18 to restore parity. Showing the passing skills that got them to the top, Norwich cut open the defense before Smith drove home from just inside the box.
Thornton wasn't done, however, putting things back in order for Orient 10 minutes later. In just under half an hour the midfielder had bagged two, scoring his second off of a Charlie Daniel's free kick. Thornton was found open on the back post where he headed home the winner.
Lichaj was booked after an hours play for time wasting, joining McGleish and Jimmy Smith in the book for Orient. Norwich had Adam Drury, Chris Martin, Oli Johnson, and Darel Russell were booked for Norwich.
Up next for the Canaries is a weekend trip to Charlton, while Orient play host to Stockport.
Stuart Holden's Bolton lost 1-0 at Chelsea.
Mike Grella played out the final minutes in Leed's vital 3-1 win at Carlisle.
Jemal Johnson was a substitute in Stockport's disappointing 3-0 loss at Hartlepool.
Seb Harris played out the final minutes in Northamptons 1-0 loss at Rotherham, with Northampton having two players sent off and Rotherham finishing with 10 men.