The first of our new weekly round up of the latest football fixtures featuring the league teams associated with our four local boroughs.
In the Championship, Crystal Palace couldn’t repeat their midweek heroics against Cardiff as they earned a 1-1 draw at home to Leeds.
Millwall endured an eventful afternoon as they were thrashed at home and ended the match with just nine-men against promotional-contenders Birmingham City.
And in League One, Leyton Orient failed to wrap up the points against bottom-of-the-table side Chesterfield as they were held 1-1 at the Matchroom Stadium.
After an impressive mid-week win against Cardiff in the 1st Leg of the Carling Cup Semi-Final, Crystal Palace would have been keen to push on in the league. Though, despite leading early on against Leeds United, the Eagles were fortunate to escape with a point after a tough second half.
The home side had started the brightest when Chris Martin swept home from close-range after just six-minutes. Both teams had enjoyed some favourable possession but when Sean Scannell was sent off on the stroke of half time the game leant with the away side.
After the break, Leeds dominated and should have equalised through McCormack and Lees – both spurning opportunities.
The equaliser did come, however, and from a surprise inclusion in the squad. Robert Snodgrass, who had his appendix removed only a few weeks ago, turned in a McCormack cross in smart fashion and set-up the game for a likely Leeds victory with 25 minutes left to play.
Though Speroni had other ideas, as he saved well when it seemed Mikael Forssell would seal victory.
The draw means Palace are 13th, two places behind Leeds in the Championship and their next match is away at Blackpool next Saturday.
Millwall had a torrid time on Saturday as ill-discipline cost them dearly. Two sending offs resulted in nine-man Millwall being completely overrun and fatigue told as Birmingham hit five in the final half hour– including a brace from Marlon King.
Curtis Davies had put the away side in front with a powerful header after 18minutes – albeit against the run of play. Soon after the goal Lion’s defender Shane Lowry earned himself a straight red after clashing with Nikola Zigic off the ball, an incident that the referee seemed to miss. Though after consultation with his assistant, gave Lowry his marching orders.
City’s tall Croatian striker, Zigic, was the centre of attention again midway through the second half when Alan Dunne crashed through the back of the 6ft 7in centre forward and was given the same treatment as Lowry – a straight red.
Despite some promising possession and chances created by the home side their discipline became their undoing and the crowd at the New Den could only watch as ruthless finishing by Chris Houghton’s side ended any hopes of a unlikely draw.
King notched his first and Butch added a third. Then, Adam Rooney slid in from 20yards, King got his brace shortly after and Nathan Redmond hammered home in injury time, completing a truly miserable afternoon for Kenny Jackett’s side.
The result leaves Millwall 20thwhilst their opponents from the Midlands are pushing for a playoff place, now unbeaten in six.
The Lions are at the New Den again on Tuesday in an FA Cup Replay against Dagenham & Redbridge.
Leyton Orient endured a frustrating afternoon as they were held 1-1 at home to bottom–of-the-league Chesterfield.
David Mooney put the O’s in front from Lee Crooks cross after a splendid move from Orient and looked on course to dominate the match. Though, the home side’s inability to wrap up the game meant that confidence grew in the Chesterfield ranks.
When substitute Jack Lester came on, it only took his first touch to set-up Liam Ridehalgh, who found Jimmy Juan and rounded off the move by slotting home, eventually earning a point for his side.
Orient still could have pinched all three points late on, but Jamie Cureton could only hit the woodwork – it that confounded a disappointing afternoon for the hosts.
Chesterfield is still rooted to the foot of the table and that extended their winning-less streak to 17 matches.
Orient, however, is 15th and face Preston away next week.