Denizlispor picked up a much-needed win this past weekend, beating Yeni Malatyaspor 2-0 at home in the Super Lig. It was an important performance too for Reading loanee Modou Barrow who, after his off-field problems, responded in this game with a man of the match performance and a goal.
The Roosters took the lead in the first half, and their task was made easier when just before the break, Malatyaspor were reduced to ten men. With 15 mins to go, Barrow made it 2-0. A cross into the box was headed down by Hugo Rodallega, and Barrow had the time and composure to pick out the top corner with his finish. It was a complete performance from the Gambian, who was a constant threat down the left, but also put in a solid display when needed defensively. It’s good to see Mo get back to his best after an unsavoury situation.
After the tough season Luke Southwood and Hamilton Academical have had to endure, those moments when the team get positive results are that much sweeter. The sweetest of those came Wednesday night, when the Accies stole a 1-0 win away at the Ibrox against Rangers. Southwood made several crucial saves throughout the game, as well as having the crossbar to thank on two occasions.
A mistake at the back from Rangers allowed David Moyo to toe-poke the ball into the bottom corner for the only goal of the game. A clean sheet at the Ibrox is a memory Luke Southwood will hold dear for a long time you would imagine. The win was massive for Hamilton, as bottom side Hearts also picked up a win, meaning the Accies stay above them in the table.
The win over FC Kobenhavn must feel like such a long time ago now for Vito Mannone’s Esbjerg, as their struggles in the Danish Superliga continue. Two games in the past week saw them lose 2-1 at home to FC Nordsjaelland, as well as crashing out of the Danish Cup Quarter Final 4-1 to AGF Aarhus.
Esbjerg will have been disappointed to lose their league game, as it was a fairly even contest, and they took the lead in the game. By half time however the turnaround was complete, with a penalty for Nordsjaelland proving to be the decisive goal. The cup game was a much more one-sided affair. Two goals either side of half time put AGF in firm control of this game.
With the score at 2-0, Joni Kauko did pull one back to give the home side hope, but just five minutes later Aarhus grabbed their 3rd and put Esbjerg out of sight. Mannone played the full 90 in both games for his new side and will be hoping for better performances and results to come.
It’s been a mixed week for Marc McNulty and Hibernian. They reached the semi-final of the Scottish Cup after being Inverness CT 5-2 but suffered defeat in the SPL to bottom of the table, and most importantly, Edinburgh rivals Hearts.
The Scottish Cup quarter-final tie between Hibs and Inverness was only 1-0 at half time. Six goals and a red card in the second half sparked this game into life. Hibs had five different goal scorers in this game, but unfortunately for McNulty, his name was not on the scoresheet, and he was substituted with ten minutes to go, and the score at 3-1 to the hosts with Inverness down to 10.
An inspired performance from bottom side Hearts gave them all three points at Easter Road in the Ediburgh derby. Former Royals man Oliver Bozanic got on the scoresheet for the visitors, scoring their second. Hibs’ goal in this game came in the 89th minute, but they were already 3-0 down by this point. McNulty started this game too, but was brought off with 25 minutes to go, just as his side had gone 2-0 down. The striker also faces disciplinary action after being charged with stamping on Hearts’ Sean Clare during this game.
The Belgian second division season came to an end this past weekend, with KSV Roeselare drawing their final game of the season 0-0 away at Lommel United. After a long spell of absence through injury, Tom Holmes was back in the starting line up for the last game of the regular season. The centre half did pick up a booking in this game, in which there was little action. After finishing seventh out of eight in both phases of the season and accumulating the second lowest points total over the season, Roeselare will now face Lokeren in a relegation play-off, which consists of five matches. Whoever has the fewest points between those two after the five games then they will be relegated.
Dagenham & Redbridge took a trip to top of the league Barrow in the Vanarama National League this past weekend, and it was the hosts who picked up a 2-1 win. A quick start to the game saw two goals scored inside the opening 10 minutes, one for either team. Just before the half-hour mark though, Patrick Brough gave Barrow the lead for the second time in the game, and that was how the match finished. Reading loanee Ben House started the game for the Daggers and played the full 90 minutes but could help his side rescue a point. Dagenham sit just one point above the relegation zone in the league.
It’s now play-off time in the Romanian Liga I. Much like the league structure in Scotland, the league splits into two mini leagues. The Romanian top six will now battle it out to qualify for the semi finals of the play-offs. Steaua Bucharest got their play-off campaign off the mark with a 2-2 draw away at Botosani. Steaua came from 1-0 down to lead 2-1 at half time, but an early second half goal for Botosani meant this game finished level. Adrian Popa was brought on in injury time at the end of the game to try and help his side find a winner, but the game finished all square.