ANDREW VORCE - Thursday, March 10, 2011
Tim Howard and Everton were only able to draw again Birmingham City while Eddie Johnson and Eric Lichaj locked horns with Leeds United coming out victorious in limited midweek English action.
Everton 1 - 1 Birmingham
Tim Howard and Everton battled back against Birmingham to earn a share of the spoils at home.
Howard did well to save an early attempt but Birmingham were able to go ahead after 17 minutes. Birmingham played a direct ball into the area and Jean Beausejour was able to divert his header past the big American who could only push it into his own net.
John Heitinga beautifully stroked his shot into the top corner after 35 minutes when Everton were unable to convert from a corner kick. Taking his time to set himself up for a shot, Heitinga side footed his curling effort past the helpless Ben Foster.
Louis Saha had chances to wrap the game up but Everton could not find the game winner.
Heitinga was the only Everton player booked while David Murphy, Jordon Mutch, and Liam Ridgewell were all booked for Birmingham. Everton next face Fulham at home on Saturday.
Norwich City 3-2 Leicester City
Zak Whitbread and Norwich City beat Leicester City in Championship midweek action.
Whitbread started and went the distance for the Canaries despite an apparent back injury sustained in Norwich's weekend game.
Wes Hoolahan opened the scoring for Norwich City when he headed in an Andrew Surman corner in the 21st minute.
Just two minutes later though, Leicester leveled with a Richie Wellens header after a Bruno Berner cross.
Early in the second half, the Canaries struck back with a penalty kick goal by Grant Holt after Hoolahan was taken down in the box by Matt Oakley.
Aaron Wilbraham scored in the 60th minute for Norwich with an impressive finish.
Into injury time, Leicester was able to get a goal back when Paul Gallagher scored. It was too late though for the home team.
Oakley was booked for Leicester.
Hull City 0-1 Burnley
Brad Guzan and Hull City went down to Burnley in midweek Championship action.
Guzan, fresh off of his loan extension, started and went the distance for the Tigers.
The game's only goal came in the fifth minute when Nathan Delfouneso netted from close range for Burnley.
Hull attacked well throughout the game, but Lee Grant came up big for Burnley. The Tigers were able to muster 16 shots on goal, seven of them going on target. Unfortunately for Hull fans, none found the back of the net.
Both teams found this game crucial to close the gap for the last playoff spot.
Daniel Fox and Tyrone Mears received yellow cards for Burnley.
Leeds United 2-1 Preston North End
Eric Lichaj and Leeds United got the vital win over Eddie Johnson's lowly Preston North End.
Both Americans playing for their respective teams started and went the distance.
Early in the game, Johnson took well a shot low onto United's goal, but was denied by an athletic stop from Kaspar Schmeichel.
Neil Kilkenny opened the scoring in the 29th minute for Leeds when he shot from 20 yards out to the delight of promotion hopeful Leeds fans.
Leeds doubled their lead in the 57th minute when Billy Paynter's shot beat Andy Lonergan.
Only six minutes later though, Preston got on the board when Keith Treacy found Iain Hume who found the top corner of the Leeds goal.
Bradley Johnson and Leigh Bromby were booked for Leeds United.
Leeds now find themselves in fifth place in the Championship standings.
Carlisle United 1-0 Hartlepool
Frank Simek and Carlisle United took the three points over Hartlepool in League One play.
Simek started and went the ninety minutes for the Cumbrians.
Carlisle played the majority of the game with ten men after Liam Noble received a red card in the 44th minute, leaving the Cumbrians in a deep hole.
A Simek cross eventually found Bernard Zoko who from six yards out impressively shot an overhead kick to break the stalemate and eventually give Carlisle the victory.
Liam Cooper received a yellow card for Carlisle while Noble was booked with a Red.
Swindon Town 0-1 Plymouth Argyle
Mike Grella and Swindon Town went down to Plymouth Argyle in League One action.
Grella started and went the distance for Town, while Anton Peterlin did not feature for Plymouth.
Rory Fallon finished a Yannick Bolasie cross in the 10th minute of the game to give Plymouth their third win in a row.
Swindon are now at the bottom of the standings while Plymouth now find some momentum in hopes of climbing out of the relegation zone.
Carl Fletcher and Stephane Zubar received yellow cards for Plymouth while Michael Rose was booked for Town.
Jon-Paul Pittman did not feature in Wycombe's win over Barnet.