Monday 07 October 2013
It was a good weekend for the London clubs in the Barclays Under-21 Premier League as West Ham United and Chelsea recorded home wins, while there are eight further matches taking place tonight including fixtures at Emirates Stadium and Ewood Park.
West Ham moved to the top of the Barclays Under-21 Premier League standings with a comfortable home win over Norwich City thanks to goals in either half by Pelly Ruddock and Kieran Sadlier.
The home side welcomed back Dan Potts from injury but George McCartney's quest to regain match fitness suffered an early setback as he was forced off on the quarter-hour mark. The Hammers might have been ahead by then but for a superb double save by Remi Matthews from Danny Whitehead then top scorer Elliot Lee, but the Norwich goalkeeper could not prevent Ruddock's cross from crossing the line on the half hour.
Although England Under-21 international Josh Murphy was not in the squad with the first-team match against Chelsea on the horizon, his twin brother Jacob twice came close for the Canaries before the break, while Ruddock came to the hosts' rescue with a superb intervention on Reece Hall-Johnson.
Nick Haycock's side then benefited from another goalkeeping error as an attempted cross by Sadlier slipped through Matthews' grasp on the hour. The win took West Ham to the top of the league with 16 points from seven matches, a point above Sunderland ahead of tonight's fixtures.
Chelsea returned to winning ways as goals at the start and end of the first half from John Swift and Andreas Christensen brought Dermot Drummy's side victory at Stamford Bridge.
Swift broke the deadlock from the hosts' first attack of the match. Isaiah Brown and Nathan Ake combined down the left and Swift rose above three defenders at the far post to send a floated header past Ian Lawlor for his third goal in four Under-21 games.
City, including a number of players who overcame Bayern Munich 6-0 in the UEFA Youth League last week, gave a good account of themselves. Ake had to be on full alert to deny Devante Cole with a last-ditch tackle after Sinan Bytyqi had squared the ball once played in through the middle and Seko Fofana fired over for the visitors from 25 yards out. The hosts doubled their lead just before the interval when a corner from the left was flicked on at the near post and Christensen prodded the ball over from close range.
City were rewarded for their enterprise with 20 minutes left when Jordi Hiwula profited from good work down the right by Adam Drury and Jason Denayer with a tap-in. Chelsea had to dig deep to hang on to their lead and were indebted to Mitchell Beeney, whose save with his legs denied Fofana in added-time.
All matches 7pm kick-off, unless stated otherwise
Arsenal v Wolverhampton Wanderers
There are eight further matches taking place this evening, including Arsenal against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Emirates Stadium. Supporters wishing to see players such as Serge Gnabry and Thomas Eisfeld in action can buy tickets from the South West Ticket office, which is situated next to the Armoury Merchandise store.
Unreserved seating will be situated in the Lower Tier and is priced at £4 for adults and £2 for concessions (over 65’s or U16s).
Liverpool v Tottenham Hotspur
Liverpool have started the season in fine form, including away wins at Manchester United and Manchester City and a 5-2 thumping of Sunderland at Anfield, but they will have their work cut out to seal all three points against a Spurs side that went all the way to last year's final.
Tickets for the match at St Helens' are £5 for adults and £3 for concessions and can be purchased in advance from the Langtree Park ticket office on 01744 455 052.
Aston Villa v Sunderland
Irish forward Graham Burke is expected to be in action for Aston Villa, having returned from a loan spell at League One side Shewsbury Town, as the hosts take on a high-flying Sunderland side who have lost just once all season. Admission prices for the 7pm kick-off are £3 for adults and £2 for juniors. Gates 3,4 and 8 will be open at 6pm (gate 8 at 6.30pm), when the clubhouse and tea bars will also serve food and drink.
Blackburn Rovers v Everton
Blackburn Rovers are hoping to return to winning ways having lost three out of their last four encounters, but face a stern test against an Everton side likely to deploy John Stones, Magaye Gueye and Gerard Deulofeu. Season-ticket holders can see the match from the Jack Walker Lower Tier for free, while general admission prices are £4 for adults and £2 for concessions.
Leicester City v Stoke City
Filbert Fox, along with a team of face painters and balloon modellers, will be on hand to entertain young fans at King Power Stadium. Tickets are £3 for adults, £1 concessions, and available at www.lcfcdirect.com, the City Fanstore or by calling 0844 815 5000. Parking is also free for season-ticket holders on production of their season-ticket card.
Newcastle United v Bolton Wanderers
After scoring twice in the last 15 minutes to seal a 4-3 victory over West Bromwich Albion last week Newcastle entertain Bolton at Northumberland FA. Adam Armstrong will be hoping to add to his five goals in five under-21 games this term, Gael Bigirimana and Gabriel Obertan are in the squad while Irish midfielder Brandon Miele is back in contention after injury. Admission is free to season-ticket holders and members, or £3 for adults and £1 for concessions via the turnstiles.
Reading v West Bromwich Albion, 1pm
A strong Royals squad has been named for the clash with West Bromwich Albion at Hogwood Park, which takes place behind closed doors. First-team players Nick Blackman and Hope Akpan have been included for the hosts, while Albion have included Matej Vydra, on loan from Udinese, in their squad.
Friday 4 October
West Ham (Ruddock, Sadlier) 2-0 Norwich
Sunday 6 October
Chelsea (Swift, Christensen) 2-1 Man City (Hiwula)
Monday 7 October
Reading v West Brom, Reading Training Ground, 1pm
Arsenal v Wolves, Emirates Stadium, 7pm
Aston Villa v Sunderland, The Lamb, Tamworth FC, 7pm
Blackburn v Everton, Ewood Park, 7pm
Leicester v Stoke, King Power Stadium, 7pm
Liverpool v Spurs, Langtree Park, 7pm
Middlesbrough v Southampton, The Victoria Ground, 7pm
Newcastle v Bolton, Northumberland FA, 7pm
Qualifying Round 1
23 September: Preston North End 0-2 Hull City
24 September: Doncaster Rovers 0-3 Notts County
8 October: Burnley v Wigan Athletic
24 September: Bournemouth 1-2 Plymouth Argyle
26 September: Peterborough United 3-2 Colchester United
30 September: Exeter City 4-1 Torquay United
1 October: AFC Wimbledon 2-0 Gillingham
3 October: Watford 1-1 (4-3 pens) Bristol Rovers