Caleb Folan’s 87th minute strike (above) provided the difference in League One’s Chesterfield’s 2-1 defeat of West Ham United in the 3rd round of the Carling Cup earlier today. Said result could be called a shocker were it not the Hammers’ 8th consecutive loss, this one coming just 48 hours after being shut out by Spurs.
Newly ensconced Leeds manager Dennis Wise watched his side crash out of the same competition with a 3-1 home loss to Southend United. Wise might not have been watching from the Elland Road stands in deference to caretaker boss Dave Geddis, but rather, to make up the numbers. Supposedly, said match was witnessed by fewer than 10,000.
The Fiver’s Barry Glendenning and Paul Doyle issue a 21st birthday salute to Wayne Rooney (sort of).
As he tears the wrapping paper from the ridiculously expensive watch, golf simulator and designer bag that fiancee Coleen bought him for his birthday, Tabloid Wayne can look back on his 21 years on God’s green earth with a certain amount of pride. Selected highlights? Becoming the Premiership’s and England’s youngest goalscorer, collecting the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year award, seeing his wages rise from £80 to £51,755 per week in a few years, signing for the Rowdies for £27m, scoring regularly for the MU Rowdies and England (before stopping abruptly), and signing the largest sports book deal in publishing history despite not being able to write.
“When we signed him at 18, everyone said ‘What will he be like at 21?’. Now he is 21 people say ‘What will he be like at 25?’,” said Lord Ferg of the birthday boy, prompting the Fiver to muse that if Rooney doesn’t bundle one over the line soon he’ll probably be playing in the Conference with his beard tied around his waist. “It was always destined to be that way, I guess, because Wayne is truly blessed. He doesn’t just have ability, he has a fire inside him. His enthusiasm is an inspiration to everybody. Without doubt, he is the best 21-year-old I have ever had.” All of which flattery prompted the Fiver to try and recall the best 21-year-old we’ve ever had … at which point we realised with great sorrow that Tabloid Wayne is considerably more attractive than she was.
The Offside reports that Macclesfield Town have hired Paul Ince as player-manager. Presumably, he’ll be doing more of the latter, but I’m not sure the Silkmen are getting a great deal either way.
Manchester City manager Stuart Pearce is amongst the liner notes contributors to an upcoming Clash singles box set. In a completely unrelated story, Charlton’s Iain Dowie has been invited to record a cover of Victim’s “Strange Thing By Night.” By me, that is. Just lemme know when you’re free of other commitments, Iain, and I’ll get the band together.