WEEK ENDING JANUARY 12 2004
Boston = boss Neil Thompson could not hide his delight after the 3-1 win over Macclesfield at York Street. Boston moved away from the foot of the table. Thompson said: "I thought we were well worth the victory and could have had a few more goals as well. They got back into it with a wonder goal and for a while had us on the back foot."Bristol Rovers = Geoff Dunford has moved to deny rumours of the imminent departure of Ray Graydon. "Ray is under contract to the club, so unless he has resigned without telling me, this is news to me!" Manager Ray Graydon hailed the character of Wayne Carlisle, whose penalty gave the Pirates a 1-0 win over Scunthorpe. Graydon said: "Wayne did really well to keep his concentration because there was a long delay before the first kick. When he had to take the penalty again the job became a lot more difficult and I was delighted with the way he kept his composure." Bristol Rovers manager Ray Graydon has confirmed that striker Andy Rammell has played his last game for the club. The 36-year-old has appeared in just seven games for the Pirates this season as he has been plagued by persistent knee problems.Bury = An injury has ruined Bury's hopes of signing Hull defender John Anderson on loan. The Shakers had lined up a deal with their Division Three counterparts for the 31-year-old. Bury's caretaker boss Graham Barrow has strengthened his free-falling side with the loan capture of Stockport County defender Dave Challinor. Graham Barrow celebrated being appointed Bury's new manager by guiding his side to their first victory in nine matches against Swansea. Barrow said: "I'm more pleased for the players than myself. My appointment means they now know where they are going and what's happening at the club." "And I've got a smile back on my face that hasn't been there for a few weeks. Even I enjoyed it at times in the second half!" Bury have decided to release Justin Thompson who had been on non-contract terms at Gigg Lane. Bury have handed Graham Barrow the managerial post at Gigg Lane until the end of the season. Barrow had been caretaker manager of the Shakers since Andy Preece's exit last month.Cambridge = Cambridge midfielder Justin Walker has joined York on a two-month loan. Walker, 28, joined the U's on a free transfer after leaving Exeter following their relegation to the Conference. Player-boss John Taylor says Cambridge are in desperate need of a playmaker - but is running against a brick wall in his pursuit to find one. Taylor said: "We need a certain type of addition to the squad - we need someone who can penetrate in from behind but, as yet, we haven't found anybody. We have no magic wand."Carlisle = Carlisle player-boss Paul Simpson said his side were second best in the 2-0 defeat at York but was relieved that other results went their way. Simpson said: "We were poor. We didn't start the game brightly enough. We allowed them to dominate the first half and we let ourselves down. "I thought in the second half we pushed up a little bit more. We've tried to create a bit more and with better finishing and a bit more luck we might have had a goal back which would have put pressure on them. But the results at the bottom have gone our way - the others have lost, so we are still in the same position." Carlisle player-manager Paul Simpson is hopeful defender Kevin Gray will be available against Yeovil, despite suffering an elbow injury at York. Simpson said: "The club doctor here doesn't think there's a break but there's a lump on his forearm and it's very, very painful. Hopefully it will settle down and he'll be okay in a couple of days."Darlington = Division Three strugglers Darlington have been rocked by the news keeper Andy Collett faces another lengthy spell on the sidelines through injury. Collett injured a shoulder in a practice match against Gretna and faces more than a month out of action. Darlington Supporters' Trust have set a target of fans raising £250,000 by the end of March, in an effort to save the club from going to the wall. The Trust, which hopes their fund-raising effort can become part of a consortium to buy the club, kicked off what will be an intense period of fund-raising at the match with Hull on Saturday, with a bucket collection raising around £2,000. Darlington manager David Hodgson has lost his battle to keep hold of loan signings Craig James and Lee Matthews. Sunderland defender James has ended a two-month loan spell at the Division Three outfit, preferring to return to the Stadium of Light instead. And Matthews has been called back by Bristol City for financial reasons.Doncaster = Doncaster manager Dave Penney admitted his side were "back to their best" after the thumping 5-0 win over Leyton Orient. Leo Fortune-West notched a hat-trick in the first 18 minutes and Greg Blundell and Peter Hynes were also on target. Penney said: "I think people were starting to doubt us after two defeats and maybe we had a few doubts ourselves. But we were back to our best and the players showed they were up for it right from the start."Huddersfield = Huddersfield Town boss Peter Jackson has rubbished claims that the Terriers are one of six clubs interested in Stoke City striker Chris Iwelumo. "There's no truth in that at all. Stoke have been contacting all clubs offering his services, but we're definitely not interested in him." Fola Onibuje's loan spell with Town is over. The teenage striker will be out for two to three weeks because of a groin injury and will not be recalled to the McAlpine. Onibuje has returned to First Division Preston for treatment to the problem. Huddersfield boss Peter Jackson put his side's 2-1 victory over Cambridge at the Abbey Stadium down to a complete team performance. Jackson said: "It would be difficult to choose a man-of-the-match performance because it was a solid all-round team display, but I think it would be one of our centrebacks - I thought we were excellent in defence. "I thought Andy Holdsworth and Anthony Lloyd were fantastic as well." "Our front two were also excellent. (Jon) Stead did his job again and Nat Brown caused them all sorts of problems. I was particularly pleased for Jon Worthington. If he can keep scoring from the chances he created then he will be the complete all-round midfielder,"Hull = Hull City chairman Adam Pearson has ruled out a move for Leeds' Hull-born midfielder Nick Barmby. Barmby has featured just twice for the troubled Premiership side this season but has been a regular face in the stands at the KC Stadium - fuelling speculation he is poised for a return to East Yorkshire. Hull boss Peter Taylor praised his side for a professional performance after the 1-0 victory over struggling Darlington. Stuart Elliott grabbed the vital goal after half an hour to send the Tigers to the top of the Third Division. Taylor said: "We defended well and used pace and power to counter-attack when the opportunity arose. Once we went in front we gave them something to think about but they couldn't come up with any answers."Kidderminster = Kidderminster Harriers have finally sealed the signing of former Derby County midfielder Adam Murray. The 22-year-old has signed an 18-month deal at Aggborough. John Williams is set to be rewarded with a new deal. "John Williams works on a week-to-week contract. Now, with the money we will be able to give Jan, he will be able to offer John a permanent contract."Leyton Orient = Orient manager Martin Ling conceded there was a massive gulf between the sides and was very disappointed with his team's performance as the Os were thumped 5-0 by Doncaster. He said: "We were overwhelmed in a way I find hard to accept. They were so far superior it was embarrassing. But you are bound to look good if you are allowed to make runs like they were because we didn't get a tackle in at times." "We just weren't at the races - in fact we were a million miles away. You need to step up your game when you are playing one of the top teams but we just seemed to go in the opposite direction." Martin Ling expects to complete the signing of Reading defender John Mackie within the next 24 hours in a two and a half year deal. Lee Thorpe has been placed on the transfer list following his recent spate of ill-disciplined play. The Wolverhampton-born striker has been booked in five of his last seven starts, and after Martin Ling decided not to extend his contract beyond this summer, his availability was circulated.Lincoln = Lincoln City have made moves to cut five players from their wage bill, Scott Willis is available for a loan move, Rory May is due to fly to Malaysia for a trial with Sabah, while Mark Camm, David Coulson and Chris Davis have been offered the chance to have their contracts paid up. Lincoln have signed striker Marcus Richardson from Hartlepool on a permanent contract until the end of the season. "Marcus has taken a bit of a pay cut to come here so we're obviously delighted with getting him until the end of the season," said acting Lincoln manager Gary Simpson. He was delighted with his team's performance in earning a point from a hard-earned 0-0 draw with high-flying Oxford. Simpson said: "Anything we got here was a bonus. At times we opened up Oxford and they have the best defensive record in the country. We had many good performances but Gary Fletcher was outstanding. He showed a bit of class." Macclesfield = Manager John Askey has confirmed Macclesfield have taken Aberdeen youngster Michael Bird on trial. The 20-year-old striker has made three appearances for the Pittodrie side so far this term after signing from Bolton last May. Club captain David Flitcroft and defender Steve Hitchen and have both today left Macclesfield Town. They are now both free to find new clubs. Macclesfield manager John Askey felt his side had been slow out of the blocks as they crashed to a 3-1 defeat at Boston. He said: "We just didn't get started. It took us until they scored to get things going. And to an extent we gave ourselves a mountain to climb. However we always looked capable of creating chances and at times we put them under a lot of pressure."Mansfield = Mansfield Town defender Alex Baptiste has returned Field Mill following a successful loan spell with Conference club Tamworth. Mansfield's assistant manager John Gannon admitted he was "absolutely delighted" after seeing his side beat Kidderminster 1-0 at Field Mill. Kidderminster wasted a golden opportunity when Graham Ward's penalty was saved by Kevin Pilkington and were made to pay when Rhys Day headed the crucial goal moments later. Gannon said: "Kidderminster made things difficult for us so we are absolutely delighted to get three points. We looked flat and didn't really look at it. We weren't at our best by a long way but showed some good things in our defending in the last 10 minutes."Northampton = Northampton manager Colin Calderwood admitted the best side had won after the Cobblers crashed to a 3-1 defeat against Torquay. The Gulls were 2-0 up at the break, and despite Ian Sampson briefly reducing arrears, Craig Taylor secured the win late on. Calderwood admitted: "We were second best in too many areas all over the pitch. That's the first time that I don't think we have been competitive enough. We just weren't at it, and we deserved to get beat."Oxford = Carlisle striker Richie Foran has completed his loan switch to Division Three rivals Oxford United with a view to a permanent move. Oxford manager Ian Atkins claimed his side had endured their toughest game of the season so far in their 0-0 draw at home to Lincoln. Atkins said: "I thought Richie should have scored, but he showed in the 25-30 minutes he had that he'll be a big asset to us. His movement was good and when he and Mark Rawle went on it lifted us." "My players felt that was the hardest game they've had at home this year. Lincoln aren't a bad side at all. They have only lost once in 14 games and are much better than last year. I thought we were jaded and tired after our midweek game at Swansea. That took a lot out of us." Manager Ian Atkins has expressed his concern at Oxford striker Steve Basham's dip in form in recent months. "Steve Basham has gone off colour," admitted Atkins. "It's not just his lack of goals, but his link-up play has also dropped off."Rochdale = Rochdale have signed left sided midfielder Martin Pemberton on a months loan from Sammy McIllroy's Stockport County. Rochdale boss Steve Par kin admitted Yeovil were the better side as his team went down 1-0 at Huish Park. He said: "I couldn't fault my team for effort but I was very disappointed to concede the goal the way we did. We knew Yeovil's front two would want the ball played to their feet but we let them get away with too much space."Scunthorpe = Scunthorpe United defender Mark Jackson is facing a six-week lay-off after doctors confirmed that he would need surgery to rectify an ankle problem. Brian Laws blasted his Scunthorpe side for missing chances his grandmother could have taken in the 1-0 defeat at Bristol Rovers. Laws fumed: "It's the old cliche but my grandmother could have put some of them away. We are simply not ruthless enough in front of goal. If our strikers aren't scoring the other players must chip in and they are not doing that."Southend = Southend boss Steve Tilson admitted he was happy with a point following the 1-1 draw with Cheltenham at Whaddon Road. Tilson said: "Before the game we would have settled for a draw but at 1-0 with 10 minutes to go we were looking to win the game. We played well and thought we deserved to win but the 11 out there worked their socks off. We haven't played a game in the last 10 games when we've deserved to get beaten apart from against Torquay. We played well here and hopefully we can build on that."Torquay = Torquay United have released Ben Camara and Narada Bernard from their squad. Gulls boss Leroy Rosenior has taken the decision in order to free up some space within his squad. Torquay boss Leroy Rosenior hailed his side's performance in the 3-1 win over Northampton but felt they took their foot off the pedal. Rosenior said: "We were tremendous in the first half - we created chance after chance, missing some easy ones and then scoring a scruffy goal. But it's about time that we scored one of those. I thought it would be difficult to play to the same level in the second half, but it's when things get difficult that it counts and that's what we have got to improve on. We just let it go a little bit, conceded a sloppy goal and had to get through a dodgy little patch." Torquay have completed the signing of left-back Brian McGlinchey on a free transfer from Devon rivals Plymouth.Yeovil = Yeovil manager Gary Johnson was relieved after an early goal by man of the match Gavin Williams sealed a 1-0 home win over Rochdale. Johnson said: "I'm pleased with the win and we were only a foot away here and there from adding two or three more goals. The last headlines I wanted to see following our FA Cup defeat to Liverpool last week were those saying 'After the Lord Mayor's Show'."York = Cambridge midfielder Justin Walker has joined York on a two-month loan. Sheffield Wednesday boss Chris Turner has decided to recall young striker Jon Shaw from his loan spell at York City. York player-manager Chris Brass hailed his side's display in beating Carlisle 2-0 as a fine "team performance". Brass said: "There's nobody who stood out that you could say was the man of the match because it was a very good team performance, and that's what it's all about."
THE THIRD DEGREE IS COMPILED BY MATTHEW PHILLIPS
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