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Monday, 09 January 2012

The View Outside The Premier League: Robins Fly High And Rhodes Terrorises Wycombe


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Sqf hugh larkin

This was a weekend when FA Cup action mixed with a number of games in Leagues One and Two. Huddersfield's star man Jordan Rhodes got things off with a bang on Friday night by crashing five goals past a hapless Wycombe Wanderers.

Manager Lee Clark must have had mixed feelings as his top striker once again put himself in the shop window - that's no less than five hat-tricks or better so far this season. Clark just can't wait to see the transfer window slam shut at the end of the month.

The Scotland international's contribution has been crucial to helping the Terriers stabilise after the end of their record unbeaten run. His four-goal salvo at Sheffield Wednesday may yet turn out to be the key moment of a successful promotion push, but if Huddersfield lose him it's difficult to see Clark's side challenging for the automatic slots.

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Ever the showman, Paulo Di Canio relished the spotlight coming to the County Ground to see his Swindon Town side take on Wigan Athletic. He communicated that desire to seize the moment to his players and they duly dumped the Premier League side out of the competition.

After a sticky start the Italian has his team playing excellent football and responding to his urgent promptings. His side are only two games away from Wembley in the Johnstones Paint Trophy - only Barnet stand in their way - so the Robins are really the cup kings of the lower division this season. It's worth noting that League One high flyers Huddersfield were one of Swindon's scalps in an earlier round.

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Away from the cup, Northampton Town finally gave their fans something to cheer about after putting them through a miserable festive season. Despite a late fightback they won 2-1 at Morecambe and moved off the foot of the table, because Plymouth Argyle went down 3-2 in an exciting encounter at Crewe.

The Cobblers are back level with Dagenham & Redbridge who maintained their recent revival by holding Millwall to a goaless draw in the Third Round of the cup. The extra cash from the replay will be more than useful and confidence in the Daggers camp will continue to build.

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In League One, Walsall were bitterly disappointed to let a two-goal lead slip against Bournemouth at the Bescot Stadium. The point kept the Saddlers hovering just out of the bottom four but it could have been so much better. Conceding in the final minute was a sad way to mark Jimmy Walker's 529th appearance for the club - equalling the Saddlers' record.

The keeper is in his second spell with Walsall and is a link back to the squad who were promoted to the Championship under Ray Graydon and then stayed at that level for several seasons - a major achievement for a club of Walsall's size.

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Back in the cup, only Wrexham maanged to stay in the hunt for the non-league contingent, holding Brighton to a draw at the Amex Stadium. Fleetwood found Blackpool in the mood to do a professional job on their local rivals and Salisbury were always second best at Sheffield United.

Tamworth took enormous credit from their trip to Goodison Park, only conceding twice to their hosts. Then again, the Lambs are getting used to FA Cup football, as they have probably the best record of any non-league side over the past three seasons.

Related Articles:

The View From Outside the Premier League: West Ham close in on stuttering Saints as Leeds United leave it late

The View Outside the Premier League: Sheffield pair see out 2011 in style but it's misery for Northampton Town

The View From Outside the Premier League: Southampton dominate at the Dell

Sheffield Wednesday and Huddersfield serve up a Christmas cracker

The View From Outside of The Premier League: Southend Fall at Cheltenham and Crawley Take Full Advantage

Southampton lose again as Bristol Rovers stage Goal of the Season competition

FA Cup Second Round: How many non-league sides will reach the Third Round?

Bristol City are on the march as Northampton crumble

Huddersfield make it 43 games unbeaten as Northampton Town are smashed by Shrewsbury

The View From Outside the Premier League: Fleetwood sit on the Chairboys and Swindon show their class in the FA Cup

Arsenal, Coventry and Leicester: Can a new ground be blamed for a lack of success?

Leicester get the blues in front of the TV cameras yet again

When will the Bristol giants finally wake up?

Sven's Leicester are moving onwards and upwards

Derby lead the Midlands challenge

A great week for Notts County

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Boro make a statement on intent

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Yeovil look up for the fight

AFC Wimbledon and Crawley tipped to take League Two by storm

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Hugh Larkin

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