Issue 15, 6th March 1996: SPORTING ROUNDUP
By Charles Hirst.
18th: Computing, Law, Science&Tech, SciFi, Unexplained.
Villa March on Towards Cup Double(15/03/96)
FA Cup Quarter Final
Notts Forest 0 Aston Villa 1
Aston Villa marched on in their quest for cup double glory, reaching the Semi Finals of the FA Cup by putting out Forest. Villa have already secured a place in the final of the Coca Cola Cup where they will play Leeds at the end of the month. They will meet either Leeds or Liverpool in the semis of the FA Cup, a tie yet to be decided after their dull 0-0 first encounter.
Villa always looked the stronger of the two teams, completely dominating the first half, despite missing some key players. Forest were playing their 5th game in fifteen days and always looked fatigued right from the start. It was ironic that two former Forest players, Franz Carr and Gary Charles were to be the main tormentors of Forest on the night. Both caused continual problems for the home side down the left flank.
Villa should probably have had more to show for their first half domination than the one goal from Franz Carr, who had filled in the role of Tommy Johnstone with merit. Carr was always looking for the ball and always looking to score, and that he did in the 27th minute, with a screamer from just outside the area, rising into the net.
Frank Clarke changed his organisation at half time, withdrawing Roy for the young McGregor, changing from 4-4-2, to 4-3-3. It was an alteration that saw Forest moving as a much smoother, flowing team. With Woan, Campbell and McGregor up front, Villa had their hands full and defended with touches of desperation at times.
With Villa looking on the racks, as the forward momentum swung Forest's way, Woan hit a 20 yard shot from a corner kick, only to see it cleared of the line by Alan Wright. Despite their late pressure, Forest could not break down the Villa side, who clung on to their lead and their dream of a Cup Double.
FA Carling Premiership
Saturday March 16th
Coventry v Bolton
Leeds v Everton
Liverpool v Chelsea
Man City v Southampton
Middlesbrough v Forest
Newcastle v West Ham
QPR v Man Utd
Sheff Wed v Aston Villa
Tottenham v Blackburn
Wimbledon v Arsenal
Coventry 2 West Ham 2
Leeds Utd 0 Bolton 1
Liverpool 3 Aston Villa 0
Man City 1 Blackburn 1
Middlesbrough 0 Everton 2
Newcastle 0 Man Utd 1
QPR 1 Arsenal 1
Sheff Wed 1 Notts Forest 3
Tottenham 1 Southampton 0
Wimbledon 1 Chelsea 1
Wednesday 6th March
Aston Villa 3 Shef Wednesday 2
QPR 1 Leeds 2
Saturday 9th March
Aston Villa 4 QPR 2
Everton 2 Coventry 2
West Ham 2 Middlesbrough 0
FA Carling Premiership League Table
P W D L F A W D L F A Pts Newcastle 28 13 0 1 30 7 6 4 4 22 19 61 Man Utd 29 10 4 0 27 9 8 2 5 29 20 60 Liverpool 29 10 4 1 37 10 6 4 4 21 16 56 Aston Villa 30 10 3 2 28 13 6 4 5 18 15 55 Arsenal 29 7 5 2 24 14 6 4 5 18 15 48 Tottenham 28 8 3 4 19 13 5 6 2 16 12 48 Everton 30 8 4 3 28 14 5 4 6 18 18 47 Blackburn 30 12 1 2 38 12 1 5 9 6 22 45 Chelsea 30 6 6 3 22 15 5 5 5 14 17 44 Nottm Forest 28 8 4 1 21 10 3 6 6 17 29 43 West Ham 30 7 3 5 18 17 5 3 7 17 22 42 Leeds 28 7 2 4 16 11 4 3 8 17 29 38 Middlesbrough 30 7 2 6 22 20 2 5 8 6 21 34 Sheff Wed 29 5 4 6 25 26 2 4 8 14 23 29 Wimbledon 29 3 6 6 23 28 3 8 8 19 30 27 Coventry 29 4 6 5 19 21 1 6 7 18 32 27 Man City 30 5 6 4 14 13 1 3 11 8 31 27 Southampton 27 4 6 4 16 16 1 4 8 11 24 25 QPR 30 3 4 8 15 24 3 0 12 11 24 22 Bolton 29 3 3 8 9 24 2 1 12 20 34 19Return to contents
FA Carling Premiership Leading GoalscorersL F C E O T Shearer (Blackburn) 25 0 5 1 0 31 Fowler (Liverpool) 24 3 2 0 0 29 Ferdinand (Newcastle) 21 1 3 0 0 25 Yorke (Aston Villa) 15 2 5 0 0 22 Sheringham (Tottenham) 14 5 3 0 0 22 Wright (Arsenal) 11 1 7 0 0 19 Armstrong (Tottenham) 9 4 3 0 0 16 Yeboah (Leeds) 10 1 3 3 0 17 Dublin (Coventry) 13 2 0 0 0 15 Collymore (Liverpool) 9 4 0 0 0 13 Scholes (Man Utd) 9 1 2 1 0 13 Bergkamp (Arsenal) 8 0 5 0 0 13 Holdsworth (Wimbledon) 8 1 4 0 0 13 Stuart (Everton) 8 3 1 1 0 13 Hirst (Sheff Wed) 11 0 1 0 0 12 L=League, F=FA Cup, C=Coca Cola Cup, E=European, O=Other, T=Total.
Ian Wright Shocks Gunners With Transfer Request (15/03/96)
Ian Wright, the Highbury supremo, shocked fans and the team alike when he put in a suprise request to go on the transfer list. Wright is reported to have had a bust up with Gunners boss Bruce Rioch and is facing a challenge to his automatic selection from John Hartson.
Wright has been suspended for three matches and has had to sit back and watch Arsenal maintain their unbeaten run, with Hartson firing on all cylinders. However Wright insists that the decision has been something that he has come to terms with over the last few months, and was not made in a hurry.
With Hartson on good form and genuine healthy competition for team places, Wright is showing little character by throwing in the towel so easily. Bruce Rioch also has questions to answer having seemingly alienated half the board as well as half the team.
After consultation however, the Arsenal board have turned down Wright's request to move, at least to the end of the season. But with Chelsea and West Ham already in the chase for Wright's signature, Arsenal may well be tempted to sell the 32 year old as the bidding will be in the region of GBP3 million.
Rush to Step Down at End of Season(28/02/96)
Ian Rush will single the end of an era when he steps down from Liverpool at the end of the season. The announcement made yesteray that Rush will be released for a free transfer is sure to have clubs clammering for his signature. Rush, who has scored 345 times in 649 games is struggling to maintain his position in the team with the excellent recent form fo Robbie Fowler and Stan Collymore.
Rush picks up his MBE next month from the Queen and has had a legendry career with Liverpool since his GBP300,000 move from Chester in 1980. Both Middlesbrough and Celtic have recently made enquiries into the 34 year olds availlability so it is unlikely that he will be short of options once released.
Asprilla Facing FA Enquiry(28/02/96)
Faustino Asprilla, Newcastle United's fiery Colombian striker is being charged by the FA after TV evidence was used to highlight alledged elbowing and headbutting incidents, both against Keith Curle in last Saturdays game against Manchester City.
Keith Curle the Man City captain has been charged on one account, but the club is appealing. Both incidents were missed during the game, the elbowing being particularly savage, landing a corker on Curle's nose. Asprilla is likely to attract extreme scrutiny from both the press and fans alike. This all comes in a period where Newcastle are beginning to show the strains of heading the Premiership challenge.
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Carling To Step Down After Shot at Triple Crown(15/03/96)
Will Carling has announced his intention to step down as England's rugby captain, after he leads them out for the 59th time against Ireland tomorrow. A victory will give in the Triple Crown for defeating all the home nations, but the Five Nations Championship is unlikely.
Carling confirmed that he will still be bidding to make his place in the team after he has turned in his captaincy. England would need to overcome a 21 point advantage that France have over them to secure the Five Nations trophy. Carling insists that to concentrate on this would be an insult to thier Irish opponents, and that the main principle of winning the game must be formost in their minds.
Deano holds the Key to Ruin the Scots Party(28/02/96)
Scotland will be looking for an unlikely Grand Slam victory over England on Saturday (02/03/96), but England will be desperate to ruin the party. All the hype is that our man Deano (Dean Richards), can single handedly silence the Scots. His supreme experience and knowledge in and around the forwards can be effective enough to move mountains.
With Scotland in the form that they are, it will need the calibre of Deano to bring them into line. His effect and control of forward movements will galvanise the younger members of the squad, giving them something to play off. It is this kind of platform that Deano can provide, that has been lacking in the English game so far this season.
Previous games have seen poor distribution and retention of the ball, with static forwards and flat backs, but with Deano pulling all the strings up front the rest of the team can expect a better service all round. This is the effect that Deano can provide, he is a rock on which England will hope will break the Scottish storm.
Grayson will need to use the possesion more fruitfully, once the platform is established, it is from here that we can rely on effective means to penetrate the Scottish defence. Murrayfield is never an easy place to go away and win, with the passion of Flower of Scotland" and so much at stake. The last Grand Slam decider in 1990 went Scotlands way. Let's hope for a reversal, in fact , let's hope for a trouncing!
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Sri Lanka v Australia Final in the World Cup(15/03/96)
Sri Lanka will have a chance to exorcise the ghost of Australian's past in the World Cup Final in Lahore on Sunday. Sri Lanka travelled as unwelcome guests a couple of months previous to the World Cup, to Australia, where they were treated time and again with disregard and diplomatic blunder by their hosts.
The fall out of the situation left the Australian's refusing to travel to Sri Lanka, having smeared the reputation of the Sri Lankan's in a virtual racial torrent while playing host to them earlier in the season.
Amid allegations of ball tampering, corruption and the famous "chucking" incident, the unwelcome Sri Lankan's had to endure what no touring team should have to, no matter their political or wordly status.
During the World Cup however, the Sri Lankan's have silenced their critics with the most entertaining cricket of any team participating in the tournament. They thoroughly deserve their place in the final and what a victory it will be if they overcome the Australian's. The Australian's themselves have played some excellent cricket on their route to the final, none more so than the breath taking finish to their semi final game against the West Indies.
What ever the result let us hope for a slightly more docile crowd participation than there was in the semi final between India and Sri Lanka, where the match referee, Clive Lloyd was forced to award the game to the Lankan's, after th crowd rioted. The Indian batsmen had crashed to an apalling slump, losing 7 wickets for 23 runs, provoking the partisan Indian crowd into a riot that went on late into the night.
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Hill Takes First Race in Australia
Damon Hill took the first Grand Prix of the season, but only after a dramatic early crash from Martin Brundell and a cat and mouse race with team partner Jacques Villneuve.
Brundell was sent flying in his Jordan car, catipulted high over the top of Coulthard's McClaren on the third corner of the first lap. It looked like a devastating crash, but as the dust settled, Brundle scramled out of his wrecked car and appeared completely unscathed. To prove the point he ran back down the pit lan to retrieve his back up car in order to make the restart.
Hill would have been grateful for the restart, as he had already fallen behind to the two Ferrari's by the time the Brundle incident had happened. However he got away well at the restart, chasing Villneuve ahead of him and these two began to open up a gap on the followers. On lap 9 Alesi and Irvine collided, which later forced Alesi out of the race.
Villneuve pitted first out of the two Williams cars and took a terrible 17.6 seconds, Hill managed even worse, taking 18.5 seconds. This is an area that Williams have lacked consistent performance in for sometime, and will have to be improved on to stay ahead of the pack. It was however a one stop stratergy from the Williams, and as Hill exited, he emerged just infront of the charging Villneuve. The Canadian rookie, closed in on Hill and streamed past while Hill's tyres were still warming to the battle.
From here on in it was Villneuve leading the charge with Hill buzzing around in his mirrors. Shmacher had break trouble and after a lengthly pit stop to repair the damage, he retired. The Ferrari had looked far more competitive than had been suggested by Shumacher before the race and certainly by midseason, should be right up there challenging.
In the meantime the battle up front was ongoing. Hill kept constant pressure on Villneuve who at one point left the track briefly, but managed to regain control before Hill past him. As the race went on it became apparent that Hill's car was discoloured. The squeky clean car of Villneuve contrasted with Hill's which was turning distinctly yellow. There was an oil leak springing from the Canadian's car, spraying Hill's who was in his slipsteam. Soon smoke appeared to be fuming from Villneave's car and it was not long after this that an agitated Williams team ordered the rookie to slow down to preserve his car. In doing so Hill sped past his fallen partner with 5 laps to go and went on to win his second Australian Grand Prix in a row.
Frank Bruno and Mike Tyson came face to face for the first time before their scheduled fight on March 16th. The meeting immediately sparked a war of words between the two heavyweights, with Bruno insisting "I rocked Tyson in 1988, this time I will rock him to sleep!"
Don King joined in the fracas, snatching the WBC belt from Bruno, which is the prize for the fight in Las Vegas. Bruno dressed in a track suit looked fit and determined, while Tyson looked smart in his suit, but there was no hiding his desire.
There is controversy surrounding the fight however, with Sky TV making an 11th hour statement to their viewers that they're going to have to pay extra on top of their subscription charges in order to see the fight. Not only this, but Sky have also put a news blackout on the fight, disallowing the BBC or ITV to show even still shots of the fight for at least 24hrs after the contest. This has caused outrage amongst viewers who feel betrayed by the extra charges. There has been a call for a boycott on watching the fight, in an attempt to hit back at Murdoch and his money extraction antics.
CarlingNet- the official FA Carling
Soccer Virtual Library: has links to every football page on the web.
Coopers & Lybrand Ratings of Test Cricketers
Formula One Grand Prix Page
1996 Olympics Home Page
WWW Rugby Server
The Electronic Telegraph
1995 November: 1, 2, 3, 4. December: 5, 6, 7. 1996 January: 8,9,10,11,12