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    Weekend round up - Saturday 21st December

    Weekend Round up.
    Weekend player round up from Sophie Beresford.

    Premier League
    Joe Allen helped to set up Liverpool's opening goal as they beat visitors Cardiff City 3-1 - sadly there was no repeat of the last league fixture between these two clubs, which Cardiff won 4-0. Rumours suggested that Craig Bellamy would either be back in the matchday squad or replacing Malky Mackay in the dugout, but neither came to pass, with Mackay remaining as manager and Bellamy's knee denying him the chance to line up against his former club. Declan John returned to Cardiff's squad as an unused substitute. 
    All Newcastle's goals in the Premier League this season have been scored by Frenchmen or Welshmen. Unfortunately, one of these Welshmen is Danny Gabbidon, who put the ball in his own net as his team Crystal Palace slipped to a 3-0 home defeat (the other is Newcastle's Paul Dummett). Jonathan Williams did sufficiently well in his fitness test to be an unused substitute for Palace; Lewis Price was also on the bench.
    James Collins was unable to add to West Ham's impressive eight clean sheets for the season (which are even more impressive when you consider they've only won three league games) as they lost 3-1 at Old Trafford. Jack Collison was a 62nd-minute substitute. Ryan Giggs was an unused substitute for Man Utd as they beat West Ham for the seventh consecutive time.
    Boaz Myhill was back on the bench as Ben Foster returned from injury to take Myhill's place in goal. Patriotism aside, it probably wasn't a bad move: West Brom ended a run of four defeats with a 1-1 home draw against Myhill's former club Hull City.
    On Sunday, Ben Davies had an impressive game for Swansea that couldn't prevent them from losing 2-1 at home to Everton. One of Davies' crosses deserved to be and probably should have been an assist. Ashley Williams also played 90 minutes; Neil Taylor was on the bench.
    On Monday, Aaron Ramsey started for Arsenal as they faced Chelsea at home. The match was described as 'dreadful' and 'devoid of entertainment' and finished 0-0. Ramsey was unusually lacklustre, but a point apiece isn't really a bad result for the two title challengers.
    Andy King was an unused substitute for Leicester as they became the first away team to get all three points at Loftus Road. Leicester won 1-0 against QPR - this was Leicester's first win in December.
    David Vaughan returned from a hamstring injury to play the first 69 minutes of Nottingham Forest's 0-0 draw with Birmingham at St Andrews. Defender Danny Collins was also rumoured to be close to a return, but Forest did just fine without him: this was their third game in a row without conceding - though they've won only two of their last seven matches.
    A cross/assist from Rhoys Wiggins was likened to one of Gareth Bale's when Charlton Athletic paid a visited to Bolton. Charlton as a whole are also rather like Bale - in his early Spurs career when he couldn't win a match. This game finished 1-1 and Charlton are without a win in five. Simon Church played 83 minutes for away side Charlton but couldn't find the net.
    Andrew Crofts was on Brighton's bench due to fears of burnout - and something was certainly missing from the starting line-up. Their 0-0 home draw with Huddersfield was the first home match Brighton haven't scored in this season. Huddersfield's Joel Lynch didn't face his former side due to suspension.
    Sam Vokes played 90 minutes for Burnley as they beat Blackpool 2-1 and preserved their unbeaten home record. The eligible but uncapped David Jones played a big part in the victory, keeping possession when it seemed impossible and then getting the assist for the opening goal. Brian Stock was an unused substitute.
    David Cotterill was an unused substitute for Doncaster as home side Derby County got their seventh consecutive win, despite missing a penalty. Doncaster are without a win in December. Cotterill might be the man to turn things around: he has one start and one goal in December.
    Lewin Nyatanga finally made his Barnsley debut and it went quite well: Barnsley kept their second clean sheet of the season. Three points would have been better than one, but it was a 0-0 away draw against local rivals and promotion-chasers Leeds United.
    Chris Gunter won a penalty for Reading, but Billy Sharp missed and Reading slipped to a 2-1 home defeat to Wigan Athletic. Reading have scored in all but one of their home matches this season, but they've lost their last two.
    Shaun MacDonald was an 85th-minute substitute as Bournemouth won 2-1 at Sheffield Wednesday. The victory was particularly welcome as Bournemouth had only won one of their last nine.
    Adam Henley was in defence again as Blackburn faced Yeovil for the first time in their histories. Blackburn took the 1-0 away win and it was a good match for Henley, who helped to set up the goal as well as keeping a clean sheet.
    Steve Morison started again but didn't score as Millwall's rather unconvincing eight-match unbeaten run at home came to an end against Middlesbrough. Millwall have won just twice in their last twelve matches. Jermaine Easter was a 62nd-minute substitute.
    League One
    Joe Jacobson was the only Welshman to start for Shrewsbury as they drew 1-1 at Crewe Alexandra. Tom Bradshaw made an appearance on 88 minutes, but Darren Jones and youngster Dominic Smith - on the bench for the first time since early October - were unused substitutes.
    Nicky Adams ended a run of 21 matches with a goal as his team Crawley ended a run of nine league games without a win. And they didn't just beat some little team struggling at the foot of the table: they won at the home of Adams' former side Leyton Orient, who remain top on goal difference despite the defeat. Crawley took the points despite missing a penalty following a handball by Orient's Lloyd James, who collected his fifth yellow card of the season later went off injured. Joe Walsh played in defence for Crawley.
    Richard Duffy played his seventh consecutive match against Port Vale, but he didn't have an especially good day. They visited MK Dons, who showed themselves to be very inhospitable when they beat Port Vale 3-0.
    Morgan Fox and Kieron Freeman kept their places in Notts County's defence as they extended their unbeaten run to three games with a 1-1 home draw against fellow strugglers Bristol City (not that County have looked much like strugglers recently). Wes Burns made a 90th-minute substitute appearance for Bristol City.
    Rotherham captain Craig Morgan missed the chance to lead his team to a fourth league win in succession when they drew 3-3 at home. He and Mark Bradley both played 90 minutes against Wolverhampton Wanderers, who have only won one of their last five. Sam Ricketts started for Wolves and had a bad moment when the keeper needed to tip over his back pass, but Dave Edwards' good run in the team continued with the assist for Wolves' third goal. Wayne Hennessey and Lee Evans were unused substitutes.
    Sam Wedgbury was an unused substitute for Stevenage against his former club Sheffield United. Stevenage drew 0-0 at home: their fourth match in a row without a win. Sheff Utd, on the other hand, are unbeaten in seven in all competitions.
    Young Welsh stars Louis Thompson (Swindon Town) and Aaron Phillips (Coventry City) were both kept on the bench as their clubs played one another. Home side Swindon took the points in a 2-1 victory - Swindon have now won eight home games this season - more than any other team in League One.
    Tom Lawrence played 90 minutes for loan side Carlisle, but it was home side Walsall who took all the points in a 2-0 victory. Carlisle have now lost three of their last four games.
    On Friday, Owain Fn Williams was in goal for Tranmere as they lost 2-1 at home to Gillingham. This was their third defeat in a row and Tranmere have won only one of their last five. Tranmere manager Ronnie Moore was angered by a 'gutless' defence that included Ash Taylor. Jason Koumas also started.
    League Two
    Eliot Richards gave a strong performance for Bristol Rovers as they got a 2-0 win over Portsmouth: their first win in December. Ellis Harrison was an unused substitute.
    Billy Bodin played his second consecutive game for Torquay and helped them to get a second consecutive win - this one a 1-0 away victory over Dagenham & Redbridge. Nathan Craig was a 75th-minute substitute for Torquay.
    Troy Brown scored his second goal in three matches for Cheltenham Town - not a bad return for a defender. Brown got proceedings off to an excellent start in the first minute, but the result wasn't wrapped up until the last minute, when Cheltenham completed  a 2-0 away win over Fleetwood Town. Connor Roberts was Cheltenham's substitute goalkeeper.
    Lee Beevers was on the bench for Mansfield as their woeful run continued. Last year's Conference winners, who enjoyed a very good start to the season, are now without a win in 12 matches. This weekend, they were visited by Accrington Stanley and beaten 3-2. 
    Gareth Roberts returned to Bury's squad for the first time since September as an unused substitute as they lost 2-1 at Plymouth. Craig Jones, who was recently appointed Bury's new captain (a position held by Roberts at the start of the season) set up Bury's goal before going off with a groin injury in the 74th minute, at which point all three subs had been used. Daniel Nardiello was unable to continue his impressive three-match scoring run for Bury and was substituted in the 63rd minute. 
    Christian Ribeiro continues to enjoy his return to Scunthorpe's starting line-up - he claimed the assist for Scunthorpe's opening goal with a low right-wing cross. Scunny earned a 2-0 home victory over Morecambe and are now unbeaten in five.
    Joe Ledley played 90 minutes for Celtic while Swansea loanee Gwion Edwards made his first start for St Johnstone since August in a 0-0 draw at Hibernian.

    Posted: Tuesday 24th December 2013
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