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Go Canada. Great reviews Steve. Hey Kev I'm sure you aren't even thinking of selling De Guzman. If you ever consider it let me know and I will see what I can offer you. To anybody else I still have 3 players for sale. Please buy them.

Actually Frapechi,I feel a bit of a fraud. As the only forum member in the 1st division,my players get chosen by default.(I guess)Steve does a wonderful job of keeping the setup interesting.

If it will save you some work Steve,I don't mind if none of my Rams are mentioned in your player of the week feature.Maybe we should put it on hold for the first division until,or if,another forum member takes over a 1st division club in EC3.

Please don't think me ungrateful.I'm not.You are busy enough.

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Perhaps for the travelling faithfull from Bristol, this game was seen as a nice night out and the chance to visit a major stadium. However Bobo had other plans for his supporters and gave them a result that will be remembered for a long time to come. Easily the result of this round of the cup Bobo's Rovers played in front of over 50.000 people but didnt let it phase them.

Newcastle were taking this game seriously and fielded a strong side with an average rating of 92, likewise Rovers played with a rating of 86. This would prove a sterner test for Bobo after waltzing past Hartlepool in round2.

With the game kicking off at 8.00pm, the roar of the crowd spurred on each team and Rovers let Newcastle know they were here when ARRIABAGE was booked in the second minute for shirt pulling. A sign that Rovers wernt here to make up the numbers. Newcastle had two chances in the first ten minutes including an open goal but the ball blazed over the bar. The next twenty minutes belonged to the away side with many chances being foiled only by the brilliance of Shay GIVEN in the Newcastle goal. That fortunatley did not last long and the breakthrough came on thirty-two minutes Jose CARDOZO who cannot stop scoring at the moment was lucky to see his shot deflected into the net. With Newcastle pressing after the goal went in, the sound of the refs whistle to indicate half time was well received by everyone following the away side.

The second half was always going to be tough for Rovers as D1 opponents would not roll over and die, they didnt want to be embarressed by a D3 side. With six or seven chances falling to Newcastle players it was the efforts of GK ZUBERBUHLER that kept the scoreline as it was and if only Olivier ECHOUAFNI chip over the keeper after seventy-three had not been stopped by a back tracking defender the away supporters may not have had a nail biting end to the match. The ref signalling for full time was relief to all dressed in blue and white and a massive victory for Bobo. Bristol Rovers march into round4 not fearing anybody. Well done BOBO.


Newcastle United 0 - 1 Bristol Rovers


Just as impressive as the previous result, Stoke welcomed D1 opponents in the form of Aston Villa. It was no secret that LeamSteve was a huge Villa fan but this did not make him want to give his favourite side an easy ride. Having edged Grimsby on penalties in the last round Stoke would have to be on the kind of form which sees them top of D3 to have any chance here.

Villas decision to leave out a couple of big name players in this game could of added to there downfall but theres no taking away the home sides determination to succeed. With a few old legs out on the pitch this could be a few of Stokes players last chance at glory before hanging up the boots. 21.000+ packed into the Brittannia and they didnt have to wait long when the winning goal was scored in the third minute. Bulgarian Daniel BORIMIROV's chip over the keeper was enough to win this match. Alex RAE nearly made it two nil but for the crossbar saving Villa after only five minutes. It was an electric start for Stoke and a second goal would deffinately have put nerves to rest. With Villa having the majority of possession and chances in the first half Stoke were pleased to hear the half time whistle go.

Much the same happened in the second half with Villa coming out of the blocks early and crashing a shot against the bar with only a minute gone. Stoke began to settle into there rhythem of play and actually carved out the better chances and it would appear that perhaps it was going to be there night. As confidence grew so did Stokes shot count as they continued to believe and when the final whistle went the noise inside the ground was defeaning. Top of the league and a good cup run was giving the home side alot to cheer about and LeamSteve left the pitch grinning despite dumping out his favourite team.


Stoke City 1 - 0 Aston Villa

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ENGLISH SHIELD round3 cont...


Although from two different divisions, only six places seperate these two teams on the league ladder. New West Ham manager David Hulse-Smith faced up against friend KevG to do battle in only his second game in charge of the hammers.

Derby possibly did not take this game as seriously as there opponents fielding a young team with an average rating of 78 which was easily overcome by West Hams dominence and home advantage.

The game began with end to end attempts on goal testing both keepers early on and West Hams Mark Viduka nearly opened the scoring in the tenth minute just sending his shot over the bar. Both sides continued to attack each other resulting in a fascinating cup tie, this game clearly was going to have goals in it. So to the twenty-sixth minute and the home side went one up when Yossi BENAYOUN slid the ball under the keeper as Derby tried to play the offside trap. The remainder of the first half continued in the same vain with West Ham having an attempt then Derby attempting so much so that it was a shame the first half had to end. It did though and the home side were the happier of the two taking a goal lead to the dressing room.

Mark VIDUKA was on fire upfront for West Ham creating many chances for himself but just lacking the final bit of magic to guide one of his efforts into the net. The keepers for both sides certainly earned there wages from this game as they had to keep out numorous attacks, that was untill the final five minutes where fans were treated to three wonderful goals. Firstly on eighty-six Sandor TORGHELLE put the game beyond any doubt for the hammers lashing a great goal into the net sending the home fans into a frenzy and the away fans into tears. Derby LB Darius CHARLES wanted to remind West Ham the game wasnt quite over and gave Derby hope on eighty-seven only to see the game deffinately put out of reach on eight-eight through Anton FERDINAND curling a suberb shot into the back of the net. A remarkable end to a remarkable game and for David, bragging rights over his close friend untill the next time they meet. Well done David, bad luck Kev.


West Ham United 3 - 1 Derby County

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Down to the final sixteen teams for this seasons english shield and we have three forumers still looking to lift the cup. One thing for sure we will have at least one forumer in the next round as LeamSteve's Stoke were drawn away to Bobos Bristol Rovers. Perhaps not the tie these sides would of wanted after both knocking out D1 opposition in the third round but the chance to take on the elite in the quarter-finals will be reward enough. Bristol Rovers have the edge in this one as these sides already met once this season Bobo's side winning 4-2 on that day back on August 02nd. West Ham landed themselves another home tie and welcome the mighty Liverpool to Upton Park. Currently Liverpool are the top team in this setup sitting proudly on top of D1, and this would be a major scalp for the hammers if they could win this one. Good luck to all involved.

Bolton Wanderers(D1) - (D2)Hull City

Bristol Rovers(D3) - (D3)Stoke City

Coventry City(D2) - (D2)Crewe Alexandra

Leicester City(D3) - (D3)Huddersfield Town

Manchester United(D1) - (D1)Arsenal

Reading(D2) - (D1)Blackburn Rovers

Watford(D2) - (D1)Wigan Athletic

West Ham United(D2) - (D1)Liverpool

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Derby possibly did not take this game as seriously as there opponents fielding a young team with an average rating of 78 which was easily overcome by West Hams dominence and home advantage.

I fielded a younger team because I'm more concerned right now with keeping the Rams in Division 1.I just didn't want to have one of my key players getting injured.Congratulations Dave :) As always Steve,first rate write-up! :)

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Big news out of Sheffield today as the veteran Paolo Maldini has joined United. It was some what of a surprise move by manager Pierce Joneson who is used to signing younger talent. It is expected Pierce wanted to bring in some veteran experience to lead his group of talented young players, but when it comes down to it United are very excited to have such a talented player in their lineup. As of right now Sheffield does not expect Maldini to be match fit for at least two matches so it will still be a good week before we get to see him in action. Manager Pierce Joneson now feels he has a suitable starting 11 to push for promotion in this season or the next.


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It has been completed, Sheffield United has finally rid itself of the old guard. Two new players joined United today while the three remaining players left. Coming into United is the young Swedish midfielder Alexander Zaim who was part of a deal that saw the veteran Chris Short and some money go the other way. The other deal was a two for one with Swiss youth international Ivan Rakitic who is expected to give United some much needed depth at the RM position coming in for David Unsworth and Neil Shipperly. With all these deals completed and United seeing a heathy income of money coming in each week it is expected manager Pierce Joneson will let this group of players work together for the better part of the year. He did state that there is one player who he is interested in but would have to see how cash funds are when he becomes available.

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ABBONDANZIERI, Roberto to Nottingham Forest GK/92 £2.52M


Oobee orchestrated a fantastic deal getting the Argentinian number one for only 2.5m and sending Pagliuca the other way. The 92 rated GK should go straight into the first team and make his debut against Crystal Palace in the coming turn.

HENRY, Karl from Stoke City RM-CM/82 £2.1M

MATA, Juan to Nottingham Forest CF/78 £2.0M

COROMINA, David to Derby County RB/85 £1.8M

MALDINI, Paolo to Sheffield United LB-CB/93 £800k

LENNON, Neil to Tranmere Rovers DM-CM/87 £700k

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EC3 Division2 20th September 2006

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Forest fans were treated to a big win at home as they flooded in to see new signing ABBONDANZIERI. Three goals in the first half and one in the second lifted Forest upto 11th and in a tight league only four points off promotion.

Nottingham Forest 4 - 1 Crystal Palace

NEXT GAME: 6th Wolves(A)

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United also celebrated victory winning away at lowly Watford. Loan signings HUTH and BABEL did the damage and leaves Sheffield still in 16th place. Seven points would put them into the top three so all is not lost.

Watford 1 - 2 Sheffield United

NEXT GAME: 12th Ipswich Town(H)

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EC3 Division2 20th September 2006 cont...

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The hammers continued to keep up the good start in front of there new manager with a goal late on in this game. With another victory in the bag West Ham are pulling away from the chasing pack and have an eight point lead over second.

West Ham United 1 - 0 Middlesbrough

NEXT GAME: 14th Norwich City(A)

***Shorter reviews during the week as we all know what SM has been like lately***

will continue to provide you with exciting reads at the weekend.

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EC3 Division3 20th September 2006

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A barnstorming eight goal thriller at the Memorial Stadium was won by the home side and Jose CARDOZO scored three goals to make it four consecutive games he has scored in. Rovers leap into 5th and need three points more to get into 3rd.

Bristol Rovers 5 - 3 Barnsley

NEXT GAME: 14th Blackpool(A)

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Darlingtons bagged a great win at home to promotion chasing rivals Leicester. Two first half goals won the game for the home side to keep them within touching distance of the top three. They now sit in 6th.

Darlington 2 - 0 Leicester City

NEXT GAME: 1st Stoke City(A)

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EC3 Division3 20th September 2006 cont...

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Stoke left it very very late to claim victory in this game. One goal in the eighty-ninth minute was enough to keep Stoke top and open a four point lead up on 2nd.

Stoke City 1 - 0 Walsall

NEXT GAME: 6th Darlington(H)

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Tranmere are still going strong as they grabbed another victory at the hands of fellow forumer Dexter's Plymouth. A four goal rout with two goals in each half gave the home side victory and sent Plymouth packing. Tranmere rise to 10th and Plymouth slip to 7th.

Tranmere Rovers 4 - 0 Plymouth Argyle

Tranmere NEXT GAME: 12th Walsall(A)

Plymouth NEXT GAME: 9th Brentford(H)

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EC3 Division4 20th September 2006

We begin at top of the table Grimsby Town who stretched there unbeaten run with victory over Boston United.With a seven point lead at the top it will take a while for someone to knock the Legend off his perch.

Onto Belle Vue the home of second placed Doncaster Rovers,going through an uneven period of form they lost out 1-0 to Shorpe who are now equal on points with them. It also gave Luton the chance to close the gap and Nav will be needing a good run of results to stop him slipping out of the top three.

Stuck in fifth place unable to make ground up on the top four is RobbieM's Bournemouth. Although unbeaten in the month of september the gap remains five points between them. A draw at home to Oxford this turn perhaps not the best result when looking at the table but the form guide states differently.

Another non mover in D4 were Leyton Orient who remain in seventh after beating Northampton away. Michael SIMPSON scored the winning goal in the first minute and was later sent off. Orient need eight points to catch up with third.

Rochdale have shown some amazing form as of late and lifted themselves into eighth with victory over Carlisle. With only one defeat in eight league games they will need to continue this form to try and catch the promotion hopefuls. With ten points to make up Sam will be having a good go.

Dropping surprisingly down to ninth, its not been a great month for 001 and his star studded outfit. Wycombe were actually sitting in a stronger postion before the likes of COLE, SCHOLL, MATERAZZI and VAN BOMMEL came to Adams Park, but so far 001 is struggling to get these greats to gel. When they do the teams in D4 will be made to suffer but will that come to late for this season. A 0-0 draw in this game finds Wycombe eleven points away from third.

Neller SNR's Notts County look to have set up camp in tenth place as it seems an age since they were in a different position. With victory over Colchester in the dying moments they remain mid table.

Rushden recorded a fantastic away day victory at Hartlepool. With all goals coming in the first half the points were easily wrapped up by half time. The end score of 1-3 was good enough to lift SkyBlueLee up into twelth place.

Fraser has had alot of work to do down at the Kassam Stadium but the rewards may be starting to pay off. Down near the bottom at the start of september, a much healthier position of thirteenth is where Oxford reside now. After getting a point at Bournemouth even though they played the second half with ten men, Fraser will be working on his teams discipline as they could of taken all three points had they kept eleven men on the field.

We wrap things up with nineteenth placed Carlisle. A non mover in the table after suffering defeat to Rochdale, Tomeeshas team shouldnt drop to bottom any time soon but look increasingly like they wont get any higher unless a few results start going there way. Unlucky in this game after leading they went down 2-1 and one win could lift them as high as fourteenth.

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TURN16 Players of the turn


Didier DROGBA (Derby County) CF/93


Drogba had big shoes to fill when he came to Derby as part of the swap deal that took Thierry Henry the other way, however after netting his first Derby goal and picking up the MOM title he may be about to burst into life and help his new club climb the D1 Ladder.


Marlon HAREWOOD (Nottingham Forest) CF/87 and Robert HUTH (Sheffield United) CB/88

Both players had superb games for there clubs. Harewoods goal came at a critical time when Forest were level at 1-1 and such they ran onto win 4-1. It was his third league goal of the season and he also earned MOM. Likewise with Huth, on loan from Chelsea he netted his first United goal to set them on there way to victory and was awarded MOM for his performance.


Jose CARDOZO (Bristol Rovers) CF/87


Only one man was going to pick up this award this turn Jose Cardozo is in the kind of goalscoring form most strikers can only dream of. At thirty-five years young a hattrick this turn puts him on nine league goals and makes him D3's top scorer. His consistantly impressive perfromances also ranks him as second in the ave pf chart.


Alves CANDIDO COSTA (Grimsby Town) RM/82


Grimsby not content with sitting on top of D4 decided to get there players in on the act here with Candido Costa putting in a top notch performance. With seven goals in ten outings for the league leaders he is ranked seventh in the goalscoring chart. His average performances doesnt rank too badly either at eighth place.

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RAKITIC, Ivan to Sheffield United RM/78 £3.1m


The latest of the old guard at United are now departed and Frapachi has a completely new squad to toy with. 18year old RAKITIC joins from swiss side FC Basel and all though seen as more of a covering player time is on this young mans side.

KRISTINSSON, Rúnar to Oxford United AM/85 125k

ZAIM, Alexander to Sheffield United CM/67 81k

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EC3 Division1 23rd September 2006

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In front of thirty-six people short of a full house at White Hart Lane, Derby made the trip to visit mid table Tottenham on the back of three games without defeat. KevG handed a debut to Spanish RB David COROMINA who joined for £1.8m two turns back and set his team out in a 4-4-1-2 formation.

The away side began brightly missing an early opportunity when KANCHELSKIS wasted a chance. ROBINSON in goal for Spurs was tested again having to make a superb save on nine minutes to keep Derby out. As Spurs started to make home advantage count with a spell of there own COUPET had to be on alert himself with a couple of top draw saves with only fifthteen minutes played. Another chance for Derby resulted in a corner on eighteen. Jaap STAM could of scored his third of the season on twenty-seven after some neat footwork but failed to hit the mark. On thirty minutes Derby had a great let off with SAVIOLA hitting the bar, it certainly began to look like no one was going to score in this match, especially after ARVALADZE's easy tap in fell wide of the goal. Heading towards half time there was more urgency from the away side with ROBINSON coming to Spurs rescue again. With forty-three minutes on the clock the deadlock was broken, the ball fed through to DROGBA, he turned and smashed a low shot into the bottom corner 0-1.

Second half action began with Derby on the back foot and COUPET clearing then seeing a low drive from KEANE edging past his post. With an hour on the clock DUFF could of extended the rams lead to two seeing his shot saved. Derbys fans hearts were in there mouths with a DAWSON chip beating the keeper and being cleared off the line to there relief. With the game petering out to its conclususion Derby made sure of victory with ARVALADZE securing the three points casually rolling the ball into the net 0-2.

Tottenham Hotspur 0 - 2 Derby County

A great victory for KevG's team as they begin to climb away from danger, now six points ahead of the dropzone they rise to 14th and another victory on wednesday at home to WBA could see them touch the top ten.

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