QPR do Ray Wilkins proud with 4-2 victory over Sheffield Wednesday

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Sky Bet Championship

Queens Park Rangers 4-2 Sheffield Wednesday

Smyth 8                               Forestieri 61

Bidwell 10                          Nuhiu 69

Sylla 15, 53 pen

Queens Park Rangers beat Sheffield Wednesday 4-2 to get back to winning ways in the Championship last night at Loftus Road.

Goals from Paul Smyth, Jake Bidwell and Idrissa Sylla put Ian Holloway’s men 3-0 up within just 15 minutes, before Sylla added another from the spot early in the second half.

Fernando Forestieri and Atdhe Nuhiu got two back for the visitors midway through the second half, but it wasn’t enough to complete a comeback despite a spirited effort.

Both sides were looking to get back to winning ways after 4-0 and 1-0 defeats to Hull City and Fulham on Saturday.

QPR came flying out the blocks and took the lead in the eighth minute when Smyth got the ball in space and fired the ball into the bottom-left corner.

Holloway’s side doubled their lead two minutes later when a shot was parried by Wednesday keeper Joe Wildsmith and full-back Bidwell buried the rebound.

The hosts got their third of the night in the 15th minute when Sylla headed home at the far post on the end of Smyth’s impressive cross on the right.

Sheffield Wednesday began to come into the game and in the 21st minute Adam Reach’s effort on the edge of the box was tipped over by Alex Smithies.

Ten minutes later they came close again through Nuhiu, who was one-on-one with the keeper, but Smithies pulled off a brilliant save to deny the Kosovo international.

The forward then came close again on the brink of half time, but his header on the end of Reach’s cross went wide.

Just eight minutes into the second half, QPR had a penalty after visiting captain Tom Lees brought down Sylla in the box.

The Guinean international then stepped up and buried the ball in the bottom-left corner to put the hosts four goals to the good.

Wednesday got a goal back in the 61st minute when Forestieri got the ball in space on the left and fired the ball in the bottom-right corner.

They then reduced the deficit further eight minutes later when Nuhiu headed home on the end of a good ball from the right.

The visitors continued to put up a fight, but it came to nothing. Their last chance came in the fourth minute of added time when Joey Pelupessy’s powerful effort was saved by the legs of Smithies.

The result means that QPR remain in 15th while Wednesday drop to 17th.

Queens Park Rangers: Smithies, Furlong, Baptiste, Robinson (c), Bidwell, Cousins, Scowen (Manning 67), Smyth, Freeman, Osayi-Samuel (Wszolek 77), Sylla (Smith 68)

Booked: Scowen

Subs not used: Washington, Ingram (GK), Kakay, Eze.

Sheffield Wednesday: Wildsmith, Palmer, Lees (c), Pudil, Thorniley, Pelupessy, Jones, Forestieri (Boyd 80), Reach, Nuhiu (Rhodes 83), Joao (Matias 64)

Booked: Pudil

Subs not used: Butterfield, Baker, Dawson, Nielsen.

Attendance: 12,521



Preston get back to winning ways with 2-0 win over Championship strugglers Sunderland

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Sky Bet Championship

Sunderland 0-2 Preston North End

Maguire 50 Robinson 63

Play-off hopefuls Preston North End got back to winning ways with a 2-0 win over strugglers Sunderland in the Championship, who are now nine games without a win.

In-form Sean Maguire scored his fifth goal in five games early in the first half, and Callum Robinson got the winner thirteen minutes later.

Sunderland made three changes to their side with Lee Camp coming in for suspended keeper Jason Steele, and Jake Clarke-Salter and Josh Maja came in for Jonny Williams and Ashley Fletcher.

Preston also made three changes with keeper Chris Maxwell, Josh Earl and Paul Gallagher coming in for Declan Rudd, Greg Cunningham and Daniel Johnson.

It was an uneventful start to the game, and the first real chance came 16 minutes in when Joel Asoro was one-on-one but his weak effort was saved by Maxwell.

Up the other end just moments later, Tom Barkhuizen found himself one-on-one with Camp but the keeper just beat him to it and cleared away.

North End came close just four minutes from half time when Paul Huntington headed just over on the end of Gallagher’s corner.

The visitors made a great start to the second half and came very close three minutes in when Earl put in a good ball to Robinson but the winger’s effort went just wide.

Two minutes later, Preston took the lead when Maguire met a brilliant free kick into the box with a diving header that beat Camp in the Sunderland goal.

Maguire almost had a second moments later when he rounded keeper Camp but his effort was cleared off the line by Bryan Oviedo.

Sunderland were reduced to ten men in the 60th minute when Clarke-Salter was sent off for his second bookable defence just weeks after being sent off against Middlesbrough.

Preston doubled their lead three minutes later when Robinson headed home from close range on the end of Barkhuizen’s excellent cross.

Alex Neil’s side made it look easy after that, after many Sunderland fans left the ground in disgust, and the game almost looked like a pre-season friendly.

Sunderland did come close in the 76th minute when substitute Kazenga LuaLua’s free kick was tipped over by Maxwell.

North End almost got a third in the 89th minute when substitute Daniel Johnson rounded Camp but his effort was cleared off the line by Oviedo.

The result means Sunderland remain bottom of the Championship five points below the drop zone while Preston move up to 8th just two points off the play-offs.

Sunderland: Camp, Matthews, Clarke-Salter, O’Shea (c), Kone, Oviedo, Cattermole, Ejaria (McNair 76), Honeyman (LuaLua 69), Asoro, Maja (Fletcher 64).

Booked and sent off: Clarke-Salter

Subs not used: Stryjek, McManaman, McGeady, Robson.

Preston North End: Maxwell, Fisher, Huntington, Davies, Earl, Gallagher (Johnson 72), Pearson, Barkhuizen (Bodin 86), Browne, Robinson (Harrop 86), Maguire.

Booked: Earl

Subs not used: Hudson, Clarke, Woods, Moult.

Attendance: 28,543

Middlesbrough and Sheffield Wednesday share points in goalless draw

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Sky Bet Championship

Middlesbrough 0-0 Sheffield Wednesday

A goalless draw meant that Middlesbrough and Sheffield Wednesday shared the points in the Championship at the Riverside Stadium last night.

Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis made three changes to the side that were knocked out of the FA Cup by Brighton at the weekend with Britt Assombalonga, Grant Leadbitter and Stewart Downing coming into the side in place of Ashley Fletcher, Adam Clayton and Martin Braithwaite.

Sheffield Wednesday on the other hand made six changes following Saturday’s 3-1 victory at home to Reading in the FA Cup.

Middlesbrough started the game well, and came incredibly close in the 12th minute when Patrick Bamford’s header on the end of Adama Traore’s ball was just kept out by keeper Joe Wildsmith.

Boro’s lively start didn’t materialise however, and Sheffield Wednesday grew into the game. They came close in the 39th minute when Lucas Joao beat a defender and his shot forced a good save from Darren Randolph to his left.

The visitors came close again in the third minute of added time when George Friend gifted the ball to Ross Wallace, who fired just wide of the mark from long range.

Middlesbrough played much better in the second half, and should’ve scored four minutes into the half when Daniel Ayala’s goalbound header from a corner hit Assombalonga and went wide as a result.

15 minutes later, the hosts came incredibly close when Ben Gibson headed against the post on the end of a free kick.

Sheffield Wednesday only really threatened in the 73rd minute when Joel Pelupessy’s powerful long range effort went just over the bar.

Tony Pulis’ side continued to pile the pressure on Wednesday, and came close six minutes from time when Downing’s powerful shot went just wide following a corner.

Boro’s last real chance of the game, which they really should’ve taken, came in the 87th minute when Ayala’s header from a corner bounced over.

The result puts Middlesbrough three points off the play-offs in 8th, while Sheffield Wednesday sit in 16th.

Middlesbrough: Randolph, Shotton, Ayala, Gibson, Friend, Howson (Clayton 79), Leadbitter, Downing, Traore, Bamford (Gestede 79), Assombalonga (Braithwaite 79).

Subs not used: Konstantopoulos, Fletcher, Fry, Christie.

Sheffield Wednesday: Wildsmith, Venancio, Pudil, Thorniley, Palmer, Butterfield (Boyd 66), Reach, Pelupessy, Fox, Wallace (Nielsen 90+1), Joao (Nuhiu 73).

Booked: Thorniley and Reach

Subs not used: Hunt, Jones, Rhodes and Dawson.

Attendance: 24,120

Sunderland sack Grayson after thrilling 3-3 draw

Sunderland v Bolton

Sky Bet Championship 

Sunderland 3-3 Bolton Wanderers

Grabban 45, 57 McNair 79  Ameobi 32  Madine 60 Henry 67

Sunderland have this evening sacked manager Simon Grayson just 20 minutes after the conclusion of an entertaining six-goal thriller against fellow-strugglers Bolton Wanderers.

Sammy Ameobi took the lead for Bolton initially, but Sunderland fought back with two goals from Lewis Grabban either side of half-time.

The hosts’ lead didn’t last long though as Gary Madine and Karl Henry found the net to regain the lead for the visitors.

Paddy McNair rescued an equaliser for the Mackems but they couldn’t go on to get a winner, and as a result Grayson has been dismissed following a poor start to the season.

Sunderland controlled the game for much of the first half, but Bolton were first to take the lead.

Sammy Ameobi was given acres of space by the Sunderland midfield and he finished coolly with a well-driven shot around 25 yards out to reach the bottom-left corner in the 32nd minute.

Home fans began to sing chants such as “Grayson out” and “You’re not fit to wear the shirt” but the hosts gave themselves a lifeline when Lewis Grabban equalised on the brink of half-time.

The experienced forward beat full-back Mark Little and put the ball past keeper Ben Alnwick one-on-one in the 45th minute.

Grabban scored again just 12 minutes into the second half.

Aidan McGeady worked well on the left and gave the ball to Bryan Oviedo on the overlap, and the full-back gifted the ball to Grabban who netted coolly from close range.

Sunderland’s lead only lasted three minutes as awful defending meant that Gary Madine was able to put the ball away from close range with ease for the visitors.

Seven minutes later, Sunderland were back to square one as Karl Henry put Bolton back in front.

Didier N’Dong made a poor back pass to the keeper, and Adam Armstrong picked up on the loose ball and crossed it in-towards the former Wolves man who smashed it into the bottom-left corner.

Midfielder Paddy McNair came off the bench and rescued a point for Sunderland in the 80th minute.

The former Manchester United man fired the ball into the bottom-corner on the edge of the box as the ball fell to him – scoring his first professional league goal.

The result means Sunderland move up to 22nd in the Championship table, whilst Bolton Wanderers remain bottom.

Sunderland: Ruiter, Matthews, O’Shea (c), Wilson, Oviedo, Gibson (McNair 75), N’Dong, McManaman (Watmore 61), Williams (Vaughan 45), McGeady, Grabban.

Booked: Grabban

Subs not used: Steele, Cattermole, Kone, Honeyman.

Bolton Wanderers: Alnwick, Little, Wheater, Beevers, Robinson, Pratley, Henry, Ameobi, Vela, Armstrong (Noone 84), Madine.

Subs not used: Howard, Le Fondre, Buckley, Noone, Cullen, Derik, Darby.

Attendance: 26,395

Preston and Sunderland share points in enthralling encounter

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Sky Bet Championship

Preston North End 2-2 Sunderland

Harrop 55 Hugill 57     Honeyman 28 McGeady 59

Preston North End and Sunderland shared the points in an enthralling encounter at Deepdale today. George Honeyman took the lead for the visitors with a well-worked goal 28 minutes in before there were three goals in the space of four minutes coming from Preston’s Josh Harrop and Jordan Hugill and former Preston loanee Aiden McGeady.

Both sides had a good start to the game and it was very end-to-end initially. In the 16th minute the hosts came close when Tom Barkhuizen beat his man and put in a good ball towards Alan Browne whose effort was blocked in its tracks by Tyias Browning. It appeared to be a handball, but the referee didn’t agree with this.

Ten minutes later, Sunderland’s George Honeyman fired wide of the mark on the end of a corner.

The winger was involved in the action again just two minutes later. James Vaughan held the ball up well to lay it off to the 23-year-old who linked up well with Lynden Gooch before smashing the ball into the top corner to put Simon Grayson’s side in front.

The visitors dominated much of the first half, with Lee Cattermole bossing the midfield. Aiden McGeady also looked bright for the visitors and he fired the ball just over the bar three minutes from half time.

Preston started the second half brightly, and Tom Barkhuizen came close for them seven minutes in. Jordan Hugill made a great run through the Sunderland defence but his pass towards the unmarked winger was too powerful for him.

Alex Neil’s side continued their great start to the second half moments later when Josh Harrop equalised with a brilliant free kick in from the left that made its way into the bottom-right corner.

By the 57th minute, the hosts were 2-1 up. Alan Browne made it through the Sunderland defence and Browning’s clearance only made it to Jordan Hugill whose powerful strike beat Jason Steele and sent the home fans wild.

Preston’s lead only lasted two minutes however as their former fans’ favourite Aiden McGeady retrieved the ball well from a defender and buried the ball past Maxwell to put the visitors back in the game.

The excitement continued as Alan Browne then hit the crossbar for the hosts in the 61st minute.

Sunderland looked to push for a crucial winner, and they came fairly close in the 73rd minute when George Honeyman’s cross was headed wide of the mark by James Vaughan.

The visitors’ best chance to win the game came ten minutes later when substitute Duncan Watmore kept the ball in and gifted the ball to Cattermole whose effort at an open goal was blocked and out for a corner.

A lack of communication between Watmore and McGeady led to the former heading the ball wide from close range in the 86th minute, and then three minutes later the impressive Lee Cattermole found an opening and made a darting run but his low cross couldn’t quite reach Watmore and the game ended in a draw.

Despite a very valuable point away to Preston North End, Sunderland drop to 23rd whilst Preston drop one place to sixth ahead of the international break.

Preston North End: Maxwell, Fisher, Huntington (c), Davies, Earl, Johnson, Browne, Barkhuizen (69), Harrop, Maguire (Robinson 88), Hugill (Mavididi 77).

Booked: Fisher

Unused subs: Hudson, Vermijl, Woods, Spurr.

Sunderland: Steele, Jones (Oviedo 70), Browning, O’Shea, Matthews, N’Dong, Cattermole (c), McGeady, Honeyman (Williams 84), Gooch (Watmore 64), Vaughan.

Booked: Steele

Unused subs: Ruiter, McManaman, Kone, Gibson.

Attendance: 17,621 (2,900 away)


Preston and Forest share points in entertaining encounter

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Sky Bet Championship

Preston North End 1-1 Nottingham Forest

McGeady 52                  Assombalonga 22

Preston North End shared the points with Championship strugglers Nottingham Forest in an entertaining encounter at Deepdale today. Britt Assombalonga opened the scoring in the 22nd minute for the visitors with a sublime finish, whilst Aiden McGeady equalised early in the second half with a well composed finish.

The home side made a very good start to the game, with Paul Gallagher coming close within the first minute. The midfielder cut through the defence, and his powerful shot was tipped over by the keeper.

Five minutes later Simon Grayson’s side tested the Forest defence again, with Tom Barkhuizen hitting the away team on the break. He found himself with only the keeper to beat, but his shot went straight at the keeper. Just moments later, Barkhuizen’s fellow forward Jordan Hugill came close with a shot going just over the bar after cutting in from the left-hand side.

Daryl Horgan also came close for the home side in the 11th minute, but his shot was deflected and went out for a corner.

Nottingham Forest had their first chance of the game two minutes later, when Ben Osborn’s header on the end of a good ball went just over the bar.

The away side came close again in the 19th minute when Ben Brereton’s header was caught by Maxwell – who nearly went over his line with the ball. Forest then found themselves in front three minutes later through Britt Assombalonga. Former Bolton midfielder Zach Clough did much of the work for the goal, making a great run before playing a good through ball to Assombalonga who was able to slot the ball past Maxwell in the bottom-left corner.

The away side’s lead very nearly lasted just ten minutes. Forest’s keeper Jordan Smith managed to fumble the ball after it came in from the right-hand side, but luckily for him Eric Lichaj was able to make a last ditch clearance in order to prevent Aiden McGeady from getting his name on the scoresheet for the time being.

Just before half time, Nottingham Forest could have doubled their lead. Ben Brereton made a cracking run with the ball, finding himself one-on-one with Maxwell only for the keeper to save the shot with his legs. Warburton’s side deservedly led 1-0 at the break.

Preston made a swift start to the second half, making two half-time substitutions and changing their shape. The plan appeared to be working, as the side were looking more threatening going forward. Four minutes into the second half, Tom Barkhuizen had a powerful shot going just over the bar.

Three minutes later, the home side were back in the game. It was Aiden McGeady who got himself on the scoresheet for Simon Grayson’s side, latching on the end of a good ball and burying the ball past the keeper in the bottom left corner.

Nottingham Forest came close on two occasions shortly after the goal, with Zach Clough’s shot going wide in the 57th minute and Ben Osborn’s powerful shot going just wide of the goal five minutes later.

Callum Robinson had a chance for Preston in the 70th minute, cutting in from the left hand side only for his shot to go straight at the keeper. Two minutes later, PNE came close to scoring again. Centre-back Paul Huntington forced Smith into a great save to his right with a powerful header on the end of a great cross from Paul Gallagher.

Little was to come after this, and the game could’ve gone either way. Forest had one last chance at the end of the game to get a winner, but the free kick went well over the bar.

Following the draw, Preston sit in 8th and face Bristol City at home on Tuesday night whilst Forest are in 20th place just two points above the drop zone.

Preston North End: Maxwell 7, Clarke (c) 7, Boyle 5 (Baptiste 45), Huntington 6, Cunningham 6, Horgan 6 (Robinson 45), Gallagher 7 (Browne 84), Pearson 6, McGeady 8, Barkhuizen 6, Hugill 5.

Sub ratings: Robinson 7, Baptiste 6, Browne n/a

Booked: Boyle, Pearson, Robinson

Subs not used: Lindegaard, Beckford, Spurr, May.

Nottingham Forest: Smith 7, Lichaj 7, Worrall 7, Fox 6, Pinillos 6, Vaughan 7, Clough 8 (Cash 73), Cohen 7, Osborn 7, Brereton 8 (Ward 62), Assombalonga 7 (Vellios 73).

Sub ratings: Ward 7, Vellios 6, Cash 5

Booked: Lichaj, Fox, Pinillos.

Subs not used: Mancienne, Tshibola, Carayol, Evtimov (GK).

Attendance: 12,459