A great weekend of football in the Championship including a stunning 6-0 Southampton win over promotion rivals Wolverhampton. The Saints had eight first-team regular players out (Gareth Bale, Chris Baird, Claus Lundekvam, Grzegorz Rasiak, Kenwyne Jones, Djamel Belmadi, Jhon Viafara and their first-choice goalkeeper Kelvin Davis) but saw on-loan Marek Saganowski bag a hat-trick. Saganowski, a Polish-born striker on loan from Liuge Une side Troyes AC, now has seven goals from ten appearances with Saints and should earn a permanent move to the club. Not to be outdone by his countryman, backup keeper Bartosz Bialkowski kept his clean sheet which included turning aside a poorly-struck penalty kick from Wolves’ Michael Kightly. The penalty was awarded after defender Chris Makin blatantly handled the ball inside his own area. You can catch a nice highlight package of the game over on YouTube. Look for Saganowski’s magnificently chipped goal around 3:10.
An enthusiastic thumbs-up to the Wolverhampton fans for their wonderful display of support for the team and Mick McCarthy. The fans sang his name even with the team down 4-0 and sang “We’re going to win 6-5” with Southampton up 5-0. Of course, in football’s often-cruel nature, it was while the fans were singing that Saganowski was gifted his hat-trick goal to make the final scoreline a shocking 6-0.
In other matches from the weekend, the Football League legend – 38 year-old Dean Windass hit a hat-trick to ease Hull City’s relegation fears. The Tiger’s 4-0 win over Southend United heaps more pressure on the Shrimpers who now sit 22nd just ahead of Leeds on goal differential. Windass now has seven goals from twelve appearances in his second stint at Hull. The striker’s first came two minutes before half-time when Daryl Flahavan parried his penalty but could not prevent him firing in the rebound. A rare Flahavan error set up his second, his third was a fine 79th-minute volley. Full-back Sam Ricketts added the fourth.
Sunderland continued to keep the pressure on Birmingham for the second automatic promotion spot with a 1-nil victory over playoff hopefuls Cardiff City. Black Cats substitute Ross Wallace curled home a 72nd-minute free-kick, catching Neil Alexander off-guard as the Bluebirds keeper lined up his defensive wall. This was Sunderland’s 10th win in 14 League games this year.
Derby kept their lead atop the table with a club record 12th away League win this season. The Rams pulled a 2-1 result against 20th place Barnsley. Birmingham City maintained their second-place spot with a comfortable 3-0 win over Coventry. Stoke City kept their slim playoff hopes alive with a thrilling 4-2 victory over Leicester City. The Potters Ricardo Fuller had a man of the match performance by scoring a penalty and architecting the other three goals to move his club to within 5 points of a playoff spot. Jon Parkin, Mamady Sidibe and on-loan Sunderland midfielder Liam Lawrence scored for Stoke.
The rest of the scores:
Burnley 0 Luton Town 0
Colchester 3 Norwich City 0
Crystal Palace 1 Sheffield Wed 2
Ipswich Town 3 Plymouth 0