Not Over 'Til It's Over

By london_dan Last edited 149 months ago
Not Over 'Til It's Over
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So that's it then for Divisions Two, Three and Four. Except for Brentford and West Ham who have both made it into the play-offs.

For West Ham it's a case of déjâ vu. Another year in the play-offs, another year up against Ipswich Town. The Hammers got there thanks to a 2-1 win away at Watford. Anton Ferdinand scored the opener before half time, before the over-fussy referee awarded West Ham with a penalty for handball which Marlon Harewood converted after 70 minutes. The Hornets playing without several of their most experienced (and transfer-listed) players looked lively without being threatening; with 17-year-old central midfielder Al Bangura the pick of the youngsters. They did however force a couple of fine saves from Jimmy Walker after Heidar Helguson won and converted a penalty when he was fouled by the increasingly petulant Tomas Repka in the dying minutes of the game. West Ham held on until the final whistle and so march on towards the play-offs with the first leg at home to Ipswich on Saturday, while Watford will be mightily relieved that the summer is here.

Brentford were already in the play-offs before their home tie against promoted Hull City on Saturday, which gave boss Martin Allen a chance to rest his senior players before they get under-way. And gave his reserves the chance to show Allen that they deserve a call-up to the first team as they beat Hull 2-1. The game didn't get off to the best of starts for the Bees as Hull scored after just 35 seconds, but after that the youngsters held on and eventually got themselves back in the game when debutant Jerrome Sobers headed in the equaliser just before half time. In the second half Hull dominated, but it was Brentford who scored the winner with a superb goal by Jay Tabb on 86 minutes to secure an excellent 4th spot and a first leg away tie at Sheffield Wednesday in the play-offs on Thursday.

Elsewhere in the Football League, Millwall's season and Dennis Wise's managerial career came to a finish with a 0-0 draw at home to Burnley. Wise parted company with the Lions after the game after a meeting with new chairman Jeff Burnige. "I've had a meeting with the new chairman, he told me his direction and I didn't agree," said Wise. The Londonist thinks that perhaps the new chairman's preferred direction is to not have Dennis Wise as manager.

QPR finished a decent season on a low as they lost 1-0 away to Cardiff. Never one to mince his words, Ian Holloway said after the game: "I have been let down by my team's performance even though it was slightly improved in the second half." While in Division Four Leyton Orient finished a disappointing season on a high as they beat Mansfield 2-1 at home with a first-half brace from captain Gary Alexander.

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In Division One, the season is in it's final week with all three relegation spots still to be decided. Two minutes before the final whistle at Selhurst Park it was Crystal Palace who were looking favourites to be the survivor out of the four teams as they were leading Southampton 2-1 through goals from Fitz Hall and Nicola Ventola either side of a Peter Crouch penalty. However the Saints ruined the day for Eagles fans as they equalised in injury time through Danny Higgingbotham and the game ended in a 2-2 draw. Which makes it winner takes all next Saturday with Palace away to Charlton, Norwich at Fulham, Southampton at home to Man United, and West Brom at home to Pompey. It should be a cracking afternoon for the neutral, and a horribly nervous afternoon for those involved.

Arsenal pretty much secured 2nd spot yesterday with a comfortable 3-1 win over Liverpool. Pires, Reyes, and Fibreglass got the goals, and Arsene Wenger began his excuses for the FA Cup final: "The injuries are serious. Gilberto has a recurrence of ankle injury, Patrick Vieira has hurt his knee, while Robert Pires turned his ankle."

Elsewhere, Chelsea got to parade the champions trophy around Stamford Bridge after their 1-0 win against Charlton, Tottenham gave European football another miss as they lost 1-0 to Middlesbrough, and Fulham won 3-1 away at Blackburn.

Last Updated 09 May 2005