League One strugglers Northampton sack Justin Edinburgh

Northampton have sacked manager Justin Edinburgh, the League One club have announced.

The Cobblers are bottom of the table after losing their first four games of the season.

Assistant manager David Kerslake will take temporary charge of the side.

Northampton defeated Cambridge 5-4 on penalties in the EFL Trophy Southern Group H game on Tuesday, but it was not enough to save their 47-year-old manager.

Northampton chairman Kelvin Thomas said: "Justin did a good job for us in difficult circumstances and achieved what was asked of him when he came in last season by retaining our League 1 status, for which we will always be grateful.

"However results overall haven't gone as well as any of us would have liked, but Justin is an honest and hard working individual and we wish him well for the future.

He added: "David Kerslake will take temporary charge of the squad as we begin discussions to find our next manager.

"We do have some potential targets in mind and with a free weekend this weekend it does allow us some time.

"It is important that the focus of the squad is now on the game with Doncaster Rovers at Sixfields on Saturday, September 9th."

Source: PA

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Accrington stun Preston while Birmingham storm through

Billy Kee's last-minute strike saw Accrington dump Championship Preston out of the Carabao Cup with a dramatic 3-2 win at the Wham Stadium.

Stanley, who opened their League Two campaign with a 3-1 win over Colchester on Saturday, went ahead through defender Ben Richards-Everton in the 20th minute.

Preston, under new boss Alex Neil and on the back of a 1-0 home league win over Sheffield Wednesday, equalised through Jordan Hugill in the 70th minute.

Jordan Clark looked to have won it for Stanley with just four minutes left, only for Hugill to strike again with 90 minutes up.

However, there was still time for substitute Kee to find a winner, converting Tom Dallison's cross to secure a memorable victory.

Che Adams netted a hat-trick as Birmingham swept into the second round with a 5-1 win over Crawley.

David Davis and s ubstitute Robert Tesche were also on target while Panutche Camara netted a late consolation for Crawley.

Bristol City made it two wins in a row when they coasted past League One side Plymouth 5-0 at Ashton Gate.

Jens Hegeler, Nathan Baker and Korey Smith put the Robins 3-0 up inside 20 minutes, Freddy Hinds slotted in a fourth after 39 minutes and substitute Jamie Paterson wrapped things up with 11 minutes left.

Grimsby's clash with Derby was abandoned after just 19 minutes due to a waterlogged pitch at Blundell Park.

The Rams were leading 1-0 following a fifth-minute header by defender Richard Keogh before the game was temporarily halted after a downpour and then eventually called off by referee Trevor Kettle.

On loan Bristol City forward Shawn McCoulsky scored twice in the space of six second-half minutes as League Two Newport won 2-0 at League One Southend.

There was more late drama at Oakwell, where Ryan Hedges scored a winner deep into stoppage time as Barnsley beat League Two Morecombe 4-3.

Tom Bradshaw and Ike Ugbo put the Tykes ahead early on, with Sam Lavelle reducing the deficit just before half-time.

Bradshaw headed in a third at the start of the second half and after a penalty from Michael Rose and Vadaine Oliver's late effort appeared to have sent the tie into extra time, Hedges had the final say.

Ipswich won 2-0 at Luton with a goal in each half from Republic of Ireland forward David McGoldrick, while Norwich saw off Swindon 3-2 at Carrow Road.

Tom Elliott scored twice as Millwall beat Stevenage 2-0 at the New Den and Nottingham Forest moved into the second round with a 2-1 home win over Shrewsbury.

QPR beat Northampton 1-0 with a first-half goal from Yeni Ngbakoto at Loftus Road, where the visitors had defender Leon Barnett sent off.

Liam Kelly scored twice in the closing stages as Reading beat Gillingham 2-0 at the Madejski Stadium, while a header from Nouha Dicko with 15 minutes left was enough for Wolves to see off Yeovil 1-0.

Fulham won 2-0 at Wycombe and Sheffield Wednesday coasted to a 4-1 home win over Chesterfield.

Source: PA

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Former Disney boss completes Portsmouth takeover

Former Disney chief executive Michael Eisner has completed his takeover of Portsmouth.

The Tornante Company, headed by Eisner, had been conducting its due diligence since May but has now finalised a deal to purchase the Sky Bet League One club reported to be worth £5.67million.

Eisner and his three sons, Breck, Eric and Anders, will make up the board at Fratton Park along with Andy Redman, president of Tornante, and the club's chief executive Mark Catlin.

"My family and I are thrilled to take on this incredible responsibility as stewards of a football club with such a rich heritage," said Eisner in a statement.

"We have come to know the Pompey community in recent months, and we are extremely impressed by their passion, dedication and love for their club.

"The football club wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for the against-the-odds commitment of Pompey supporters who came together and saved this club. This is and will always be your team."

Catlin, who has been chief executive for the past four years, has also entered into a long-term contract to continue in the role and Eisner believes " the arrangement continues Mark's leadership and ensures the stability of the club for the long term".

Portsmouth won promotion last season as League Two champions under Paul Cook, who has since left to go and manage Wigan, and they begin their League One campaign at home to Rochdale on Saturday with Kenny Jackett in charge.

Source: PA

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I've had a tougher pre-season than my team-mates, says battling Joe Thompson

Joe Thompson is keen to return to a football pitch again having successfully fought cancer for a second time, with the Rochdale midfielder's love for the game helping him through the darkest times.

It is six weeks since Thompson, 28, revealed he was once again in complete remission from the nodular sclerosis Hodgkin lymphoma which he was originally diagnosed with in 2013.

Thompson was back playing two months after announcing he had first beaten the cancer in 2014 and, having recently returned to Dale's training ground for some initial rehabilitation work, has explained how his determination to play again fuelled him in his latest fight.

"I'll have a little look at the fixtures in due time and see when I maybe, realistically, can get back," he told Press Association Sport.

"That was my carrot at the end of it and that's the one thing you've really got to hone in on when you're going through it - what motivates you?

"Mine was family. They were what got me through it. But I think my family know that they don't have Joe without football."

Thompson's wife Chantelle and four-year-old daughter Thailula-Lily are the family he speaks of and cites as his biggest inspiration.

There is another unofficial family he belongs to too, the one at Spotland, where Keith Hill's squad have been preparing for the new League One campaign.

"I kind of felt like my pre-season's been a little bit harder than theirs," Thompson added with a smile.

"It's been good. I've needed to get in and around the lads again. If anything (the cancer) tests your sanity and mentality in a way. You do want some sort of normality.

"I'd got that normality back at home, my little girl had got used to daddy being back at home and my wife did not have to do as much round-the-clock work with me.

"(But) it was good and refreshing to get in and around the lads. I feel they've enjoyed me being back there, the manager's wanted me around. I've been surrounded by my little angels and it was nice to just have lad's chat and banter."

In the month after Thompson announced he was cancer-free, both Wolves' Carl Ikeme and Middlesbrough academy player Anthony Renton were confirmed as being diagnosed with leukaemia.

Thompson has already visited the former to offer guidance and is keen to spread his story as a source of inspiration to others in the game.

"I've thoroughly enjoyed speaking to younger lads at Man City and Sheffield Wednesday, and Wigan have invited me in," he explained.

"I do feel that's maybe something I have to do after football. It will also mean I stay in football still doing good work and giving people hope in a way. It's been quite therapeutic.

"I've spoken to people from all walks of life because it does affect everybody, unfortunately it's affected footballers and that has come to light in the last few months.

"Stiliyan Petrov, Alan Stubbs, no one is invincible . I think fans maybe put them (footballers) on a pedestal and think they are unstoppable and unbreakable but they're not. Cancer affects every family unfortunately . Everyone can relate to it in different ways.

"Football's massively helped me out and I'm truly grateful and appreciative for all the support I've had."

Source: PA

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Shrewsbury fans launch crowdfunding site to pay for 550 rail seats at New Meadow

A Shrewsbury Town fans' group has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise £75,000 in order to install 550 rail seats at their New Meadow ground.

If successful, the Sky Bet League One club will become the first in England or Wales to bring a safe-standing section back to an all-seater ground.

Shrewsbury first revealed their interest in safe-standing at the end of June and Tuesday's initiative comes a day after Liverpool fans voted overwhelmingly in favour of bringing rail seats to Anfield.

That vote, which was conducted by supporters' group Spirit of Shankly, has added momentum to a campaign that has been gathering pace for a decade, as Liverpool have been understandably cautious about anything that resembles a return to the terraces of the past.

Football grounds in the top two divisions have been all-seater by law ever since Lord Justice Taylor's report into the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, which left 96 Liverpool fans dead.

Feelings on Merseyside, however, are now more in step with supporters elsewhere, as nearly nine in 10 fans who took part in the week-long poll backed the idea of rail seats, which are popular in Germany and have been successfully trialled by Celtic.

At the launch of the plan, Shrewsbury's chief executive Brian Caldwell said: "Although the stadium is an all-seater at present, it is not required to be so by law.

"We were therefore able to utilise a process recently put in place by the Sports Ground Safety Authority to enable EFL clubs not subject to the all-seater legislation to apply for consent to install rail seating as safe-standing accommodation."

Rail seats are flipped up and locked in place when fans are using them as standing areas, and there is a safety barrier that separates each row to prevent surges. To help with crowd control, fans are assigned a space that corresponds to the seat number.

The crowdfunding site, which can be found at www.tifosy.com/shrews, is the idea of the Shrewsbury Town Supporters Parliament and its joint chair Roger Groves explained the appeal of rail seats at the launch.

"Being able to stand in a proper standing area is something that many of our fans have missed in the 10 years since we moved from Gay Meadow, where over half the crowd used to stand. So there is great support for our plan to introduce rail seating to enable fans to stand safely," said Groves.

The seats will be installed by AFL Architects, who have confirmed that standing fans will not obscure the views of anybody else.

AFL's John Roberts said: "(We are) now creating future-proofed designs, allowing our clients the option to add rail seating at a later stage."

Roberts added that his firm has just done this for Brentford, as have the architects of Spurs' new ground and Chelsea's rebuilt Stamford Bridge.

The English Football League has backed clubs in Leagues One and Two that wish to install rail seats and its chief executive Shaun Harvey wished Shrewsbury "every success" with its fundraising.

"Ultimately, we want all EFL clubs to be able to offer fans the matchday experience they want, be it sat down or stood up, in stadia that are modern and safe," added Harvey.

Any surplus funds from the Shrewsbury initiative will go into a Football Supporters Federation pot to fund safe-standing projects at other clubs.

Source: PA

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Pep Clotet appointed Oxford manager

Oxford have announced the appointment of former Leeds assistant head coach Pep Clotet as their new manager.

The 40-year-old Spaniard, also Garry Monk's number two at Swansea, replaces Michael Appleton at the Kassam Stadium.

Appleton, after leading Oxford into Sky Bet League One during the 2015-16 campaign, opted to leave the club last month to become assistant to Craig Shakespeare at Leicester.

Clotet has previous managerial experience at Cornella, Figueres, Espanyol B and Malaga B in Spain as well as Swedish side Halmstad.

"I am delighted that Pep has chosen to launch his managerial career at Oxford United," chairman Darryl Eales told the club's official website.

"It is an appointment that demonstrates our growing reputation within football as a forward-looking and ambitious club.

"Pep is a proven coach, progressive and hugely knowledgeable, and I believe we are fortunate to have attracted such a highly-regarded individual who is destined for an outstanding managerial career.

"Pep was the unanimous choice of the board and we believe he will build on the significant progress we have made over the past three years and accelerate our collective objective of sustainable Championship status."

Clotet announced on Twitter last month that he would not be linking up again with Monk at Middlesbrough.

He said: "I'm really thrilled to be embarking on this new challenge at a club as ambitious as Oxford United.

"It's an exciting prospect and I'll be giving my all to ensure that as a team, and with the fans' support, we go on and achieve the targets we set ourselves.

"I wish to thank the chairman, Darryl Eales, and his board of directors for placing their faith in me."

Source: Football.co.uk

Peterborough new signing Ricky Miller explains bite which led to six-game ban

New Peterborough striker Ricky Miller has claimed he was forced into biting an opponent because he was being held in a headlock at the time and was "struggling to breathe".

Miller was found guilty of violent conduct by the Football Association on Wednesday while playing for his previous club Dover in a National League match at Guiseley in March.

The 28-year-old was banned for the first six matches of next season - a decision which Posh chairman Darragh MacAnthony described as "unfortunate news".

But prolific scorer Miller, who joined his hometown club Peterborough last month, says he was forced into his actions because of the behaviour of a Guiseley opponent.

"I would just like to take this opportunity to put into a bit of context the six-match ban that I have received from the Football Association relating to an incident while playing for Dover Athletic at the back end of last season," Miller said in a statement on Peterborough's website.

"Whilst I apologise for my actions, I was in a situation in which I was struggling to breathe.

"I was being held in a headlock by an opponent for six seconds, and felt it was my only option to get out of it which was acknowledged by the Football Association.

"It is important to put the incident into a bit of context because I am aware without knowing the full story, people can make judgements, which are not accurate.

"It will be frustrating to miss the start of the season, but I will be working extremely hard during the pre-season campaign to get myself in the best possible shape to be ready for when I can be called upon for selection.

"I am delighted to be playing for Peterborough United Football Club. Everybody has made me feel welcome and I am looking forward to repaying the faith shown in me."

Miller joined Sky Bet League One Peterborough on a three-year deal after making his name in the National League.

The former Luton player won the competition's player of the year award after netting 42 goals in 43 games last term - a haul which included five hat-tricks.

Source: Football.co.uk

Safe standing in Football League moves closer as Shrewsbury apply for rail seats

Shrewsbury have become the first English club to apply for the introduction of safe standing at their ground.

The Sky Bet League One side is aiming to create a safe standing area with a capacity of around 500 in the Salop Leisure Stand.

Shrewsbury's stadium, Greenhouse Meadow, was built 10 years ago and is one of 29 in the Football League which can currently apply for safe standing.

Clubs in England's top two divisions have been legally required to have all-seater grounds since the measure was recommended by the 1990 Taylor Report into the Hillsborough disaster.

Should Shrewsbury win approval from the Sports Ground Safety Authority, then they would become the first all-seater stadium in England and Wales to introduce safe standing.

"There's a clear demand from our fans for an area where they can stand safely," Roger Groves, the joint-chairman of the club's Supporters' Parliament, told the Shrewsbury website.

"We see that at every game with several hundred choosing to stand at their seats, which is not altogether safe.

"Rail seats will ensure that nobody falls over no matter how wildly they celebrate a goal and, by having a dedicated standing area, we believe that the overall atmosphere in the stadium will also be enhanced."

The Premier League recently wrote to its 20 clubs asking if they would be interested in taking part in a trial to reintroduce standing sections in their grounds.

Ladbrokes Premiership champions Celtic installed 2,600 rail seats - seats that can be flipped down or locked into an upright position, with safety barriers separating each row - at Parkhead last season and it was considered a major success.

"As a Scot, I am very familiar with the great success that Celtic have had with their rail seating section," said Shrewsbury chief executive Brian Caldwell.

"So when the Supporters' Parliament approached me about introducing the same concept here, I was immediately keen on the idea.

"Our safety officer has also visited Celtic Park recently and is all for it."

Shrewsbury plan to replicate Celtic's method and are raising the funds required through a crowdfunding campaign.

"We see it as an enhancement in spectator safety and a welcome provision of supporter choice," added Caldwell.

"We hope, too, that by pioneering the use of rail seating in the EFL, we will be playing a useful part in paving the way for other clubs in England and Wales to follow suit in due course."

Source: Football.co.uk

Rochdale midfielder Joe Thompson announces he has beaten cancer for second time

Rochdale midfielder Joe Thompson has revealed he has beaten cancer for the second time.

The 28-year-old announced on his Twitter feed on Wednesday evening that he is "cancer-free" after the nodular sclerosis Hodgkin lymphoma with which he originally was diagnosed in 2013 and battled successfully struck once again.

Thompson tweeted: "Let me just confirm! #TWICE means I'm in complete remission!! Simple terms I'm cancer free. Extra Time & Penalties but THOMPSON 2 Cancer 0."

He later added: "I'll write a best selling book one day."

The player revealed the cancer had returned in March, but vowed to meet it head on.

He said in a statement: "I came back from a goal down before, not only to equalise, but to take the lead.

"This illness may have found an equaliser, but the quest for me to get the winner starts today and I can assure you I will get the most important win of all time."

Thompson underwent six months of chemotherapy after cancer first struck before returning to football in August 2014.

His second diagnosis prompted him to launch a fresh fight with the support of his wife Chantelle and daughter Thailula-Lily, his home-town club, manager Keith Hill and his team-mates.

He said at the time: "I will fight this life hurdle with the same belief, courage and desire as my previous battle."

Source: Football.co.uk

Clubs vote in favour of retaining current format of Checkatrade Trophy

Premier League Under-21 teams are set to continue competing in the Checkatrade Trophy for the next two seasons.

Clubs in League One and League Two have voted in favour of retaining top-flight youth sides in the competition following this term's trial format.

The League One and League Two clubs voted on whether to retain the current format, revert to a 48-team knockout competition or scrap the tournament altogether.

And two thirds of the English Football League (EFL) clubs canvassed voted in favour of extending the Premier League youth outfits' continued participation.

"The history of the EFL Trophy is one of new ideas and innovation, but at its heart has always been the belief that this is an opportunity for League One and League Two clubs to taste cup success," said EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey.

"I am therefore delighted to see the backing the Checkatrade Trophy has received from our clubs for the next two seasons, following a full and comprehensive review of this year's pilot format."

The EFL has also moved to make reassurances that the inclusion of Premier League youth teams is not the forerunner to the addition of top-flight B teams to league competition.

"The EFL have assured clubs that it isn't the thin end of the wedge in terms of Premier League clubs being able to enter B teams into the league," said Luton manager Nathan Jones.

"I know our supporter groups have been consulted all the way through by the club's board when giving our views, and hopefully any fears they had on that front have been allayed."

The EFL has increased the competition's total prize fund to £3million, with the invited Under-21s teams continuing to be required to field six players in their starting XI under the age of 21.

Coventry lifted the 2016 trophy courtesy of a 2-1 win over Oxford at Wembley in April, with manager Mark Robins now backing the tournament's continued format.

"The Checkatrade Trophy has been an invaluable experience for those players at an under-21 level to participate in senior football. It will certainly aid their development moving forward," he said.

"We won the competition with what was primarily a young team, and if you can get to Wembley and experience a fixture in front of that many fans at the National Stadium, it can only be a positive."

Source: Football.co.uk