THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

FA Cup ~ Leicester reward their "high risk" fans
Leicester City may be struggling to make an impact in the top half of the Championship this season, but Nigel Pearson thinks they can reach Wembley in the FA Cup. Their 2-1 win over Norwich, one of the Premier League's in-form teams, was particularly sweet because of the number of Foxes fans in attendance. Only 2,400 tickets were allocated to Leicester, well below the 4,200 they should have received under FA guidelines for the competition. The decision was made by the Norwich Safety Advisory Group on police advice.

They ruled that Leicester fans posed a "high risk", despite having taken 8,000 to Nottingham Forest in the third round without incident. They will hope for a larger allocation at Stamford Bridge or St Andrews in the quarter-finals.

Championship ~ Home comforts dent Cardiff's promotion hopes
Every match in the Championship over the weekend ended in a home win. Doncaster Rovers were the only away side to manage a goal (two, actually), in their defeat to local rivals Leeds United. The set of results was particularly bad for Cardiff City, who lost 3-0 to Ipswich. Cardiff have won only once in 65 years at Portman Road and this defeat, coupled with wins for Southampton and Reading, has put a dent in their automatic promotion hopes. It could also affect their confidence going into the League Cup final next Sunday, when they take on Liverpool at Wembley. Kenny Dalglish's team beat Brighton 6-1 in the FA Cup. Cardiff will have to improve drastically to have any chance of taking the cup back to Wales.

League One ~ Oldham remain inconsistent
Last week Oldham's manager, Paul Dickov, suggested that anything below a top ten finish will not be good enough. Following his team's 5-0 demolition by MK Dons, he might want to rethink those aims. Oldham's season has been inconsistent to say the least. They have not won, drawn or lost two games in a row since October. Good results, like taking a point at the Valley, have been offset by disappointing draws at home to teams like Exeter. The Latics finished 16th in 2010. Last season it was 17th. Unless something drastic changes, they will finish in the same position again this term.

League Two ~ Daggers slide continues
Dagenham & Redbridge's miserable season continued with a 5-0 defeat at home to Cheltenham Town. The size of the loss put the Daggers bottom of the league on goal difference. They are level on points with Northampton Town but have played a game more. Their cause was not helped by the sending off of their goalkeeper, Chris Lewington, who handled the ball outside the area in the 40th minute. They were already 2-0 down by that point and Cheltenham made it 3-0 from the resulting free-kick. These are worrying times for Dagenham fans. The club was relegated from League One last season and now faces the very real possibility of dropping back into the Conference after five seasons of League football.

Eredivisie ~ AZ Alkmaar's coach is not a brain surgeon
Both leaders PSV Eindhoven and second-place AZ Alkmaar were beaten 3-0 over the weekend, allowing Herenveen and FC Twente to close the gap on the top two. Only five points now separate PSV and sixth-place Ajax, who also won. AZ Alkmaar's coach, Gertjan Verbeek, was at a loss to explain what happened to his team against midtable FC Utrecht. His side were “not aggressive or focussed enough,” Verbeek said. "I do not know why, it must be in their heads. I've studied brain functions but I am not a brain surgeon." Tom Hocking

Comments (3)
Comment by peakevilla 2012-02-20 11:58:51

A word about my beloved Port Vale. No money, small squad, and a board that needs to go now, yet Micky Adams has them 2 points outside the play-offs. A late comeback against Gillingham on Sat., with Marc Richards scoring from a penalty in the last minute.

Comment by double hipness 2012-02-20 12:55:55

I guess the decision to give the Norwich v Leicester game a high risk category was due to the history between the fans (11 fans were jailed in 2008 after an altercation) and much activity by keyboard warriors after the draw was made.


Comment by geobra 2012-02-20 13:33:48

In Ligue 1,PSG and their main rivals Montpelier drew 2-2 in Paris, allowing PSG to maintain their one-point advantage. It was a very entertaining game in which Montpelier played much the better football. I expect PSG will take the title in the end, but it would be nice if it went to unfancied Montpelier. Their most expensive buy last summer cost 2 million euros, and last night they fielded 9 players who were in the team last season.

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