Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Garreth O'Connor on a short-term contract

League Two outfit Luton Town have completed the signing of former Burnley winger Garreth O'Connor on a short-term contract.
O'Connor, 29, has been without a club since being released by the Turf Moor outfit this summer, has signed a three-month deal at Kenilworth Road after a trial period.

Hatters boss Mick Harford told the club's official website: "It's no secret I've been looking for wide players and to add some experience to our squad after our recent injuries.

"Garreth's got a great chance to make a name for himself - he knows what we expect of him so he know has his chance to deliver."

Mike Newell is relishing

New Grimsby manager Mike Newell is relishing the prospect of returning to football management at Blundell Park after his unveiling on Monday.
Newell was unveiled as Alan Buckley's long-term successor on Monday, just over 18 months after leaving his previous post at Luton.
The 43-year-old former Hartlepool and Hatters boss is now keen to steer the Mariners - who are winless in League Two this season - away from the foot of the table.
"It's a challenge and I've never ever been afraid of a challenge," said Newell, who has signed a three-and-a-half-year deal at Blundell Park.
"I'm really looking forward to getting into the job. This has always been a difficult place to come for visiting teams and visiting managers and I've had experience of that myself.
"That's the sort of club and team that we need to get back to."

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Bairns at Fir Park

John Sutton's fifth goal in six SPL games proved to be the winner after Falkirk had twice pegged back their hosts. Jamie Murphy and Chris Porter put Motherwell ahead only for Steve Lovell and Graham Barrett to level.

Murphy and Sutton were restored to the starting line-up in place of Bob Malcolm and David Clarkson following Thursday night's UEFA Cup defeat by Nancy.

Motherwell played some of their best football of the season and some sloppy defending at both ends contributed to the excitement.

The teams were tied on seven points before the game but both were looking to continue moving away from the bottom reaches of the table.

Falkirk, who were unchanged, had gone four matches without defeat but it was the home side who secured back-to-back SPL wins.

Motherwell took control early on and Murphy had a deflected effort turned past the near post by Robert Olejnik following an accurate long pass by Paul Quinn.

Murphy, playing wide right in a 4-4-2 formation, then sped to the byline and crossed to the back post where Steven McGarry rose well but could not direct his header on target.

Well had regained some of the fluency largely missing so far this season and Murphy made their pressure count with a calm finish in the 12th minute. Referee Stevie O'Reilly played a good advantage after Lee Bullen fouled Sutton on the right touchline and Keith Lasley lofted the ball into Murphy's path.

The bounce deceived Falkirk defender Darren Barr and the 19-year-old took a touch before sliding the ball past Olejnik from 15 yards.

Well sat off and conceded a soft goal in the 22nd minute when Michael Higdon headed Bullen's long ball over a static defence for Lovell to slot home.

However, the Bairns were guilty of far sloppier defending a minute later as Porter put Motherwell back in front.

Olejnik came off his line to smother Quinn's long ball but deliberately let go as he slid out of the box. Bullen had turned his back on play to leave Porter to slip the ball home from a tight angle.

Reds flying high

Just behind them in the Premier League, surprise package Hull piled the pressure on Tottenham manager Juande Ramos on Sunday with a 1-0 win at White Hart Lane which lifted the Tigers up to third.

Liverpool looked in trouble as they trailed to a 19th-minute goal from Stephen Ireland and Javier Garrido's curling free-kick four minutes from the interval.

However, Fernando Torres slid in from close range to reduce the deficit in the 55th minute.

City then had right-back Pablo Zabaleta sent off for an over-the-top challenge on Xabi Alonso, and they were punished further as Torres headed a 73rd-minute equaliser from Steven Gerrard's left-wing corner.

Liverpool, having used all their substitutes, also went down to 10 men late on when Martin Skrtel was carried off on a stretcher with a serious-looking knee injury.

But in injury-time, Dirk Kuyt fired home to complete the turnaround.

Chelsea's win was much more routine, with Joe Cole (21) and Nicolas Anelka (44) scoring the goals in a straightforward victory over Villa at Stamford Bridge.

At White Hart Lane, another stunning goal from Geovanni compounded bottom side Spurs' problems.

The Brazilian drilled a 30-yard free-kick into the top corner after just nine minutes to move the Tigers, in their maiden season in the top flight, into third place.

Bolton were 3-1 winners at Upton Park in the early kick-off after West Ham goalkeeper Robert Green handed them a 30th-minute lead when he dropped the ball at the feet of Kevin Davies and he hooked home.

Green then fumbled a shot to allow Gary Cahill to stab home from close range four minutes later.

Carlton Cole pulled a goal back for the hosts in the 69th minute but a drilled free-kick from Matt Taylor secured victory.

Jermain Defoe was Portsmouth's match winner again as he fired home in the 51st minute to clinch a 2-1 win over Stoke at Fratton Park after Peter Crouch's overhead kick (25) had been cancelled out by Ricardo Fuller (48).