THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

Sunderland, Huddersfield and Colchester

icon weekendPremier League ~ Sunderland get back to drawing
Sunday's north-east derby between Sunderland and Newcastle United at the Stadium of Light ended level after a late Demba Ba own goal cancelled out Yohan Cabaye's opener. Newcastle had to defend their lead with ten men after Cheick Tiote was sent off for a challenge on Steven Fletcher midway through the first half. Sunderland have now drawn all but two of their games this season, with only a 1-0 win over Wigan and 3-0 defeat at Manchester City breaking the stalemates.

Their manager Martin O'Neill was left frustrated by his team's lack of creativity: "The opposition made it difficult for our wingers. But they’re entitled to do that, you know – you expect the opposition to pressure you – and you have to find a way past that. It was a tough old game – but I just think our creative players are just finding it a bit tough at this minute. We just need those players to get back to what they’re capable of doing and we’ll look at that in the next few weeks."

Championship ~ Terriers' loan strikers pay off
Huddersfield Town's good start to the season continued with a 2-1 victory at home over Wolverhampton Wanderers. The Terriers sold last season's top scorer Jordan Rhodes to Blackburn Rovers in August and many wondered how they would replace his goals. James Vaughan and Jermaine Beckford were signed on loan and both were on the scoresheet on Saturday. Vaughan opened the scoring on ten minutes, his third in seven games, while Beckford made it 2-0 with his second goal in three appearances. Huddersfield have now moved up to third in the league, two points behind leaders Leicester.

Simon Grayson praised his strikeforce after the game: "James Vaughan and Jermaine Beckford can be whatever they want to be. Both have something to prove, both to themselves and other people. Without wanting to jinx it, as a pair, they have plenty of credentials to suggest they could be one of the best in the league. Playing like that they will be a handful for teams in any league."

League One ~ Adaptable Colchester please manager
Colchester beat Carlisle United 2-0 to gain their fourth win in five games. The home side had failed to win in their opening eight games but have turned their form around to climb away from the relegation zone. Carlisle dominated the possession stats but two goals in six first-half minutes sealed the win for Colchester. The first came from Craig Eastmond after good interplay between himself and Sanchez Watt, before Jabo Ibehre turned in a Watt cross on 31 minutes.

Colchester manager Joe Dunne said: "I thought it was a really good learning game for us in terms of us having to adapt to what another team did, not only once but maybe twice. We scored great goals, we could have scored some more great goals, but there were one or two things that we need to be better at. If we want to have a passing game, we'll have a passing game. If we want to go toe-to-toe my players have got to be able to stand up and take that. If it means grinding out results, we will do that."

League Two ~ Oxford hammer Accrington as goals fly in
There were 44 goals in the 12 League Two games over the weekend, with Oxford United putting five past Accrington at the Kassam Stadium. By half time Tom Craddock had scored a hat-trick and he became the first Oxford player since John Durnin in 1992 to score four goals in a game on 71 minutes. Alfie Potter got the fifth and Oxford moved up to 18th in the table. They did win their first three games of the season and topped the table but six defeats in a row in September saw them slip down rapidly.

Oxford manager Chris Wilder was pleased to welcome back some of his more experienced players for the game, including Andy Whing and Lee Cox: "I think you saw the influence of the senior players coming back on to the pitch. I wanted players, staff and most importantly the supporters to walk out of the ground on a high. It was vital we did the right things at the right times, and that comes with your senior players – everyone did very well."

FA Cup ~ Hastings make it to the first round
Hastings United beat Blackfield & Langley 3-0 to make it through to the FA Cup first round for only the second time in their history. Around 800 people turned out to watch the tie at the The Pilot Field and the U's were ahead after 18 minutes thanks to a Zac Attwood goal. Hastings, who play in the Isthmian League Premier Division then brushed aside their lower-grade opponents with goals from Bradley Goldberg and player-manager Sean Ray. They have been drawn away to Bishop's Stortford of the Conference North in the first round. Tom Hocking

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