FA Cup ~ Crawley continue to defy their league place
It has almost stopped becoming a shock for Crawley Town to knock higher-league opposition out of the cups. They dispatched Derby County in the FA Cup third round last season and have now eliminated two Championship clubs this season. They beat Bristol City and then, this Saturday, Hull City 1-0 to advance to the fifth round for the second successive season. The investment in the squad and behaviour of manager Steve Evans – whose assistant was sent to the stands on Saturday – has made them unpopular, but their success is hardly likely to upset Crawley fans. The club will host Stoke City in the next round.

Championship ~ Portsmouth keep their focus on the pitch
Portsmouth's players shrugged off their latest round of financial problems with a 3-0 win away at Peterborough United. The latest winding up order comes in the form of an unpaid tax bill of £1.6 million. The situation was described as "as bad as it gets without the club ceasing to exist" by insolvency lawyer Guy Thomas last week. The performance at London Road will offer a glimmer of hope to the club's fans. It moves them above Peterborough and ten points clear of Nottingham Forest in the relegation zone.

League One ~ Carlisle lose their derby of sorts
Carlisle United's trip to Hartlepool United is one of the closest things to a derby either side will have in the league this season, given their positions in the England's northern counties. It will have been with much frustration, then, that Carlisle fans travelled home having watched their side lose 4-0 and miss out on the chance to draw level with Stevenage in the final play-off places. It was United's first defeat in ten games, though they have drawn five of those matches. Hartlepool, meanwhile, continue to sail along in mid-table, unable to find a good enough run of form to make themselves serious play-off contenders.

League Two ~ Gillingham offer refunds despite stirring comeback
Having lost 7-4 to Accrington Stanley at the Crown Ground last season, Gillingham fans will now be sick of the sight of it. They were 4-1 down at half time on Saturday and, despite pulling it back to 4-3 in the second half, Gills' manager Andy Hessenthaler has promised the 261 away fans their money back after the performance. It is the club's second 4-3 defeat in a row, having lost to AFC Wimbledon last week. Accrington have now leap-frogged Gillingham, with only goal difference keeping them out of the play-offs.

Scotland ~ Kilmarnock deserve their place in the League Cup final
Kilmarnock won the Ayrshire derby against Ayr United 1-0. In front of 25,000 at Hampden Park in the Scottish League Cup semi-final, Dean Shiels scored in extra time to send Kilmarnock through to the final where they will play Celtic. The game itself was surprisingly one-sided, with Kilarnock having 66% of possession and 20 attempts on target to Ayr's two. But it took Killie until the 109th minute to break Ayr's stubborn resistance. They will now hope to win the competition for the first time in their history. Tom Hocking

Comments (7)
Comment by MoeTheBarman 2012-01-30 12:25:34

For all the negatives about Steve Evans, there's no denying he knows how to get his teams winning football matches.

Comment by Efficient Baxter 2012-01-30 12:40:51

That's right he does. Ridiculously outspend everyone in the division and the one above it. 21st Century football at its best.

Comment by MoeTheBarman 2012-01-30 12:55:50

I'll hold judgment on the finances until I've seen some evidence. I keep asking people to show me what they have on Crawley when this comes up but no one ever does. It's odds on they are going to crash and burn but I need facts :)

Comment by ClayDavis 2012-01-30 15:37:11

I truly truly detest Crawley and that chubby drag-queen mananger of theirs. They visit the spiritual home of football (Valley Parade) on Saturday. I hope for everyones sake we give them a real pasting. House. Of. Pain.

Comment by MoeTheBarman 2012-01-30 17:27:48

Well they've just sold Matt Tubbs to Bournemouth for 800k so at least you don't have to worry about him.

Comment by madmickyf 2012-01-31 11:48:17

I just hope some of that Tubbs fee is going back to his original club Salisbury. But the big question is how the f**k can Bournemouth afford to spend 800K on one player only 3 years after coming out of Admin and on average crowds of 6K? Please don't tell me they've been bought by a Sheik/Russian Oil Baron/Munto Finance!

Comment by ClayDavis 2012-02-01 10:47:22

I trust no-one in football these days. Bournemouth suprise me by spashing the cash. No-one learns do they.

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