ANDREW VORCE - Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Stuart Holden's Bolton earned a spot in the semifinals of the FA Cup with a win over Birmingham and will face Stoke who knocked out Jonathan Spector's West Ham United.
Birmingham 2 - 3 Bolton
Stuart Holden and Bolton played out a classic against Birmingham in the FA Cup quarterfinals as the game ebbed back and forth for all 90 minutes.
It was Bolton who struck first through on-and-off striker Johan Elmander. Taking the place of Daniel Sturridge up top, the front man was released into the box after a clever flick from Ivan Klasnic. Taking a controlling touch, Elmander chose to go with power over placement as his shot flew past Ben Foster for the opener in the 21st minute.
Slack Bolton defending saw Birmingham claw their way back into the game as they were committed to push until the very end. David Wheater's weak clearance fell straight to the feet of Cameron Jerome who was not closed down by Gary Cahill and the striker did his job, lashing in a fierce 38th minute shot to get the equalizer.
Curtis Davies was then at fault for the second goal having already been found out by Kevin Davies of Bolton in the first goal. Birmingham's Davies failed to deal with the big ball out of the area and as Bolton's Davies began to gain time on the ball, the defender was forced to put in a challenge, bringing the Bolton captain down. Davies stepped up to sink his own penalty in the 66th minute.
Birmingham again refused to lie down as they got back to level terms with only 10 minutes left to play. Bolton failed to defend properly again as a big ball forward was not cleared by David Wheater. With little more than half a chance 37 year old Kevin Phillips lofted his shot up and over Jussi Jaaskelainen who had no chance.
Bolton continued to press however and were rewarded for their efforts at the death of the game. Alex McLeish substituted defender David Murphy out in the 83rd minute which meant that when Cahill's big ball forward to Davies fell in the 90th minute, Jean Beausejour was back defending. Chung-Yong Lee reacted faster than anyone by sprinting into the box as his captain's header fell right into his path for the game winning header.
Gretar Rafn Steinsson joined Kevin Davies in the book as the only two players picking up cards in the game. Bolton will face Stoke in mid April in the semifinals but must turn to Manchester United on Saturday in the Premier League.
Stoke City 2 - 1 west Ham
Jonathan Spector was a 34th minute sub as Frederic Piquionne limped off due to injury.
Stoke were on the front foot first after scoring just 12 minutes in. Rory Delap sent in a trademark throw in straight to the unmarked Robert Huth who had no pressure as he sent in his header completely unmarked. Stoke continued to pile on the pressure but were caught on the break in the 30th minute.
Thomas Hitzlsperger's lofted long ball into the box fell straight to Piquionne who controlled the ball with his arm but referee Mike Jones chose to make no call. Thomas Sorenson tried to close down the angle but Piquionne lifted his shot above the keeper for the equalizer. The goal scorer was injured in the goal and was subbed off four minutes later.
Captain Scott Parker was the center of attention after Matthew Etherington fell inside of the box after a challenge by Parker. Replays suggest that there was no actual contact but the referee pointed to the spot anyways. Etherington stepped up to take his own penalty kick but the shot was saved by Robert Green.
The goal did eventually come for Stoke who never showed a sign of letting up. In the 63rd minute Stoke earned a free kick on the edge of the box and Danny Higginbotham smashed his shot straight through the wall. Green was able to get a touch on the fiercely struck free kick but he could push it onto his own post and into the back of the net.
West Ham could have been handed a couple of penalties including a challenge on Manuel Da Costa by Jon Walters in the area, but nothing was given. Matthew Upson did hit the woodwork in the 86th minute but West Ham never found the equalizer. Da Costa and Hitzlsperger joined Victor Obinna in the book for West Ham.
Stoke City saw Ricardo Fuller and Ryan Shawcross booked while they progress into the semi finals to face American Stuart Holden's Bolton Wanderers.
Leeds United 0-0 Ipswich Town
Eric Lichaj and Leeds United tied Ipswich Town in a Champonship clash this weekend.
Lichaj started and went the distance for United as he has since joining on loan.
Leeds missed a chance at an automatic promotion spot with the tie.
Max Gradel was closet to scoring for Leeds in the opening moments of the game with an impressice 25-yard strike, though Ipswich goalie Marton Fulop was up to the tast.
Kasper Schmeichel then came up big for Leeds United at goal but saving a Lee Martin shot from just outside the penalty box.
United were close thoughout the game having registered 17 shots, seven on goal.
Billy Paynter and Andrew O'Brien were booked for Leeds while Gareth McAuley and Connor Wickham recieved yellow cards for Town.
Norwich City 3-1 Bristol City
Zak Whitbread and Norwich City took down Bristol City in a crucial Championship clash.
Whitbread started and went the distance for the Canaries.
The scoring opened in the second minute alter a long ball from Whitbread eventually found Wes Hoolahan who was taken down in the box. Grant Holt finished the penalty.
Albert Adomah then put the visitors level in the 65th minute and scored after Jamal Cambell-Ryce found him racing to goal.
The game looked to end in a tie but in the 88th minute Henry Lansbury finished past goalie David James, giving the Canaries the winning goal.
Stoppage time saw Norwich bag a consolation goal when Andrew Surman headed home form close range.
The Canaries now find themselves in an automatic promotion spot after the thrilling game.
Marc Tierney was booked for Norwich City while Jordan Spence and Liam Fontaine received yellow cards for Bristol.
Carlisle United 0-6 Peterborough United
Frank Simek and Carlisle United embarassingly went down to Peterborough United in League One play.
Simek started and went the distance for the Cumbrians.
Only two minutes into the game Peterborough United opened the scoring when Tommy Rowe netted alter a Craig Mackail-Smith cross.
In the 24th minute, Mackail-Smith headed a goal to double Peterborough's lead.
With only moments before halftime George Boyd made his way through and scored passes Adam Collin's goal.
Ryan Bennett then scored from a half volley in the 77th minute for Peterborough.
Boyd added the fifth goal of the game for Posh off of a deflected shot.
David Ball finished the scoring in the rout when he received a pass from Nat Mendez-Laing.
Craig Curran and James Berrett recieved yellow cards for Carlisle while Liam Cooper was booked trice and tossed from the game.
Swindon Town 1–1 Dagenham & Redbridge
Mike Grella and Swindon Town tied Dagenham & Redbridge in League One play.
Grella started and scored his first goal for his on-loan team. He was subbed out in the 79th minute.
Grella impressively lobbed over Dagenham goalie Tony Roberts to open the scoring for Swindon.
John Nurse then scored with seven minutes to go to break Swindon fans' hearts.
Grella, Alan Sheehan, and Jonathan Douglas were booked for Swindon while Abu Ogogo and Roman Vindelot received yellow cards for Dagenham.
Anton Peterlin did not feature in Plymouth's loss to Hartlepool.
Jon-Paul Pittman played the final 20 minutes in Wycombe's loss to Stevenage.