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Premier League clockwatch - as it happened
Simon Burnton - 3 years ago

2.03pm: Hello world! I'm here, right now, at this moment, at Guardian HQ, ready to bring you the latest toings and froings from across the football firmament on this fine and sunny (somewhere) afternoon. Plus, if I find an appropriate photo at an appropriate time, the possibility of another instalment in our now-traditional* Saturday caption competition. It's all extremely exciting. I will, however, have to spend much of the next half-hour working on some tennis stuff ? I'll pay attention if you email me, or you might prefer to follow Arsenal v Tottenham with Scott Murray.

Anyway, here's my little pick of the action outside the Premier League:

ChampionshipNot a great set of fixtures this week, but I'll keep an eye on table-topping Cardiff against Nottingham Forest, and Doncaster v Swansea looks a bit tasty.

League OneThe top two have winnable home games ? second-top Charlton will surely beat second-bottom Yeovil at home ? but only one of the top six play a side from the top half of the table (and that's Exeter, who only just sneak into the top half in 12th place and visit Huddersfield). There's a little pocket of competitiveness today in positions 7-10, just outside the play-offs, who all play each other: MK Dons v Sheffield Wednesday and Southampton v Peterborough.

League TwoBury won last night to go second, but Port Vale will overtake them (and, potentially, league leaders Chesterfield) with victory in the game of the day against fourth-placed Wycombe. There's interest lower down as well, with bottom-placed Barnet playing fellow strugglers Northampton, who have won two of their last three but just one of the seven before that (with the other six all lost).

* Traditional as in done once before with minor success

2.08pm: Erm, I'm having to put something in here because I messed up a bit. Er, how about a final score from Scotland? Kilmarnock 2 Rangers 3!

2.39pm: OK, let's put that tennis nonsense to one side, shall we. Spurs have just beaten Arsenal and both the footballing weekend and this afternoon's clockwatch is officially launched.

2.53pm: Just checking out the key Premier League team news. Wayne Rooney is back for Manchester United, albeit only on the bench. Dimitar Berbatov is not in the squad, to general surprise. Anyway, here are the teams from Old Trafford ? look out also for Steve McManaman's little cousin Callum, in line for a second first-team appearance for Wigan:Man Utd: Van der Sar, Rafael Da Silva, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Nani, Fletcher, Carrick, Park, Obertan, Macheda. Subs: Kuszczak, Rooney, Giggs, Hernández, Scholes, O'Shea, Evans. Wigan: Al Habsi, Gohouri, Steven Caldwell, Alcaraz, Figueroa, Stam, Diame, Thomas, Gomez, N'Zogbia, Rodallega. Subs: Pollitt, Di Santo, Watson, Boselli, Moses, McArthur, McManaman. Referee: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire)

3.03pm: A goal already! One of the goals of the season, says Tony Cottee. Anyway, let's make it official: Blackpool 1 (Luke Varney 3) Wolverhampton 0

3.05pm: Championship high-flyers already flying: QPR 1 (Rob Hulse 4) Preston 0; Derby 1 (Tomasz Cywka 3) Scunthorpe 0

3.06pm: Prince William is at Blackpool v Wolves, apparently.

3.07pm: Bad news for the Bees: Barnet 0 Northampton 1 (Leon McKenzie 6) ? that's six in five for McKenzie.

3.10pm: Better news for the Bees: Northampton have already had Liam Davis sent off.

3.11pm: And even better news for the Bees: Barnet 1 (Steven Kabba Pen 10) Northampton 1. I'll stop going on about Barnet now.

3.15pm: "Re Prince William ? is he on the bench for The Tangerines? You can never be sure with Ian Holloway's selections," asks Gary Naylor. Most people appear to be assuming that he's in Blackpool researching his stag do.

3.18pm: Bolton have got a penalty, conceded by their former captain, Kevin Nolan.

3.19pm: One for the statisticians among you: The fastest goal in England (today only, not ever in all history) was scored by Michael Timlin (Swindon) against Rochdale after 35 seconds

3.19pm: Bolton 1 (Kevin Davies Pen 18) Newcastle 0

3.19pm: And how about this one? Birmingham 1 (Lee Bowyer 17) Chelsea 0

3.26pm: "Looks like a relaxing holiday in Nike world fitness village has done 25-year-old Wayne Rooney the world of good," says Eddie Pulford, "by turning him into a 50-year-old balding overweight pub landlord."

3.26pm: Turnup for the books of the day: Brighton 0 Bristol Rovers 1 (Byron Anthony 24)

3.26pm: And this means the leaders of the top three divisions are all losing: Cardiff 0 Nottm Forest 1 (Lewis McGugan 23)

3.27pm: I really love Dean Windass on Soccer Saturday. Absolutely unintelligible, but so enthusiastic...

3.28pm: And they thought it would be mission impossible etc etc: Walsall 0 Carlisle 1 (Tom Cruise 26)

3.33pm: And here's your king-to-be, taking in an afternoon at the footer. Enjoy it while you can, Will ? once she's got a ring on your finger you'll be spending your afternoons shopping at the Harlequin Centre like the rest of us.

3.39pm: Always good to see a footballing 'tache. True, he's no John Wark but then it's only the 20th.

3.40pm: Over at St Andrew's, Didier Drogba has hit the bar. Birmingham have only had one attack, I'm told.

3.40pm: Bolton 2 (Chung-Yong Lee 39) Newcastle 0

3.41pm: Total pasting of the day: Crawley Town 4 (Matthew Tubbs Pen 38, Hat-trick) Altrincham 0. It won't make a difference to Altrincham's league position, mind ? they're already bottom of the Blue Square Bet Premier (The Conference, as you might prefer to call it).

3.43pm: GOAAAALLLL! Watford 1 (Troy Deeney 40) Reading 1

3.45pm: Does Rooney, as Gary Naylor suggests, look quite a lot like The Family Guy's Jake Tucker?

3.45pm: Blackpool 2 (Marlon Harewood 44) Wolverhampton 0

3.46pm: More good news for the Bees: Barnet 2 (Steven Kabba 43) Northampton 1. Victory surely on its way now for the one-man-and-a-goal-up strugglers.

3.46pm: Utter inevitability of the day: Man Utd 1 (Patrice Evra 45) Wigan 0

3.50pm: OK, half-time almost everywhere and I feel a caption competition coming...

3.54pm: And here's your caption competition challenge today. I'll pick my top 10-ish and put them to the vote in 20 minutes.

3.55pm: I've been told off for not mentioning Stoke. Sorry. All I can tell you is that Jermaine Pennant got injured early doors and Tuncay came on for him. Does that help?

3.59pm: A counter-offer in the Rooney lookalike competition: "Rooney? Family guy!!!? Give him a vest and a cigar and he's getting top prize in the Tony soprano look a like competition... Surely?" offers Eddie Pulford.

4.06pm: Not a single second-half goal in all of England as yet. The caption competition's a little harder this week, it seems, but I've got faith in you. Poll up in two minutes.

4.08pm: Oh here's one now! Barnet 3 (Grant Basey 47) Northampton 1. I'm now going to stop mentioning this game unless Northampton mount a comeback.

4.10pm: Ready ... steady ... vote!

4.11pm: Bolton 3 (Johan Elmander 50) Newcastle 0. I had this down for 0-0 in our office predictions competition.

4.11pm: Gah! I've cocked up the vote again!

4.16pm: OK. Once again ... on your marks ... get set ... vote!

4.17pm: Wigan have gone down to 10 men at Old Trafford. Also, QPR 2 (Adel Taarabt 56) Preston 0

4.18pm: News about Stoke! Good news! West Brom 0 Stoke 1 (Matthew Etherington Pen 55)

4.18pm: Rooney is now on the pitch.

4.20pm: Wigan down to nine men now ? Rodallega follows Antolin Alcaraz into the early bath.

4.24pm: Chelsea, by all accounts (mainly Paul Merson's, to be fair) have been hammering at the Birmingham door for much of their match but just can't find the killer touch. Could it be one of them days for Carlo Ancelotti's men, or is this the curse of Wilkins?

4.25pm: This would have been my upset of the day, whatever Birmingham end up doing. But now it probably won't be. Brighton 1 (Jeff Hughes Og 62) Bristol Rovers 1

4.29pm: Keep voting, people! Or start voting, whichever.

4.34pm: Caption competition latest: By the sounds of things you either can't see the captions at all, or you can see them, but it won't let you vote on them. Here, for the record, are the options. But I think the vote might have to be abandoned. Any ideas, anyone?? "Look Howard - I've already got Andy Carroll. Kevin can have Nigel de Jong."? Linesman: "If he grows a goatee he'll look just like howie mandell" (SB notes: I had to look him up)? Nolan: "If that long haired lout brought women of the night into my house I'd box his ears!"? "No Kevin, that's not how you make a fist. Just ask my linesman."? "So Howard, do I have what it takes to be England's star at the next World Cup?"? Linesman "You're right Webby, Pledge really does bring out the wood grain in your head."? Davies and Nolan secretly decided the result in a pre-match game of Scissors, Paper, Stone? Webb and Nolan seemed amused as Kevin Davies emabarked on a Haka.? "Yeah, looks like you have a pretty big one but I think I can top that"? Assistant referee 2: "Whilst everyone is distracted, not a soul will notice if I just take a piss on Nolan's leg"? Howard Webb: "I refereed a world cup final you know?"? Kevin Nolan: "...and then I convinced him he should grow a weedy little Hitler mustache and started talking him up for England!"? Davies: "...and then my wife hit me soooo hard... but to be fair, I had done a poor job on the ironing..."

4.34pm: All over at the Reebok: Bolton 4 (Johan Elmander 72) Newcastle 1

4.35pm: Even more over at the Reebok: Fabricio Coloccini has been sent off for elbowing Elmander.

4.36pm: Man Utd 2 (Javier Hernández 77) Nine Man Wigan 0

4.37pm: Brighton, having equalised with an own-goal, have gone ahead with a penalty: Brighton 2 (Chris Wood Pen 73) Bristol Rovers 1

4.37pm: Derby 3 Scunthorpe 2 (Michael O'Connor Pen 75) ? and Gareth Roberts has been sent off having given the penalty away for a second bookable offence.

4.39pm: OK, just email me your vote and I'll collate them after the final whistle. It might not take long: so far we appear to have a runaway leader.

4.40pm: Is it just me or are Swindon regularly involved in goal-feasting humdingers? Anyway, here's two goalflashes from their game today: Rochdale 2 Swindon 2 (Charlie Austin 78); Rochdale 2 Swindon 3 (Michael Rose 80)

4.43pm: Wolves give themselves hope in front of Prince William: Blackpool 2 Wolverhampton 1 (Kevin Doyle 86)

4.44pm: All over for the Bluebirds: Cardiff 0 Nottm Forest 2 (Dexter Blackstock 84)

4.45pm: Stoke have a penalty at the Hawthorns. And here are some teams from Anfield. You'll notice a lack of Scott Parker in West Ham's squad.Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Skrtel, Konchesky, Kuyt, Meireles, Poulsen, Maxi, Torres, Ngog. Subs: Jones, Aurelio, Kyrgiakos, Babel, Shelvey, Kelly, Eccleston. West Ham: Green, Jacobsen, Gabbidon, Upson, Ilunga, Piquionne, Noble, Kovac, Boa Morte, Obinna, Cole. Subs: Stech, Reid, Tomkins, Barrera, McCarthy, Spector, Nouble. Referee: Lee Probert (Wiltshire).

4.46pm: It's four and a half years since Chelsea lost consecutive league games. According to BBC stats, they've had 24 shots, 10 on target. Birmingham have had one shot.

4.48pm: Oh, and the result of that Stoke penalty: West Brom 0 Stoke 2 (Jonathan Walters Pen 85)

4.49pm: Wolves always seem to be in this situation with two minutes to play. They never lose by much, but they do always lose.

4.49pm: Bolton have a penalty to go 5-1 up.

4.51pm: ...which they duly score: Bolton 5 (Kevin Davies Pen 90) Newcastle 1

4.52pm: Blackpool have indeed beaten Wolves 2-1. I was so convinced in the moments after last season's play-off final that they would come 20th this season that I still think it might just happen. But they are a hell of a lot of fun.

4.55pm: All over at St Andrew's, where Birmingham have beaten Chelsea for the first time in 30 years. Sounds like an astonishing match, that one.

4.57pm: Two own-goals, a penalty and a stoppage-time equaliser in this one: Brighton 2 Bristol Rovers 2 (Marcos Painter Og 90)

4.57pm: Oh, and I believe I failed to mention this: West Brom 0 Stoke 3 (Jonathan Walters 90)

4.59pm: All over too at Old Trafford (2-0 to Manchester United) and the Reebok (5-1 to Bolton). That's 20 goals in six Premier League games today, fact fans. Best league in the world ? official.

5.01pm: And well done to Gillingham, whose 1-0 success at Oxford was their first away win since the reign of King Edward II. Genuine statistic to follow.

5.03pm: 2 May 2009, that's the last time Gillingham won away. 18 and a half long months of on-the-road misery, over.

5.05pm: Chelsea are top of the league only on goal difference after their two successive defeats, Bolton are fourth, above Manchester City and Tottenham, also on goal difference. QPR go back to the top of the Championship, Brighton lead League One despite failing to beat Bristol Rovers at home and in League Two Barnet are off the bottom after thrashing Northampton. And with that basic upsum, I'm off! Goodbye, and sorry for the failed caption competition. Technical issues. Not even mine, in the end.

This is not a news report and may contain views expressed by the author which are not supported by GNM.

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