Cardiff v Leeds, Bolton v Cheltenham abandoned: Football League updates – live | Football

Key events

Leeds-based correction. Martin Sadofski’s sage email, simply saying “Gary Speed!” has caused me to reassess my Ampadu-first-Leeds-Welsh-captain-since-John-Charles hokum. He is in fact the first Leeds skipper for a match in Wales since Charles. That is a rather crucial detail isn’t it? My apologies.

Match abandonned

News you never want to share: Bolton v Cheltenham has been abandoned after a fan received lengthy medical treatment in the stands. That’s awful for everyone involved – the supporters, the players, the officials and all of the medics who quickly got involved in the treatment. The Guardian’s Will Unwin is at the match. Thoughts to everyone there.

Half-time scores


Birmingham 1-1 Swansea

Cardiff 0-2 Leeds

Huddersfield 1-1 Plymouth

Millwall 0-0 Middlesbrough (latest)

Preston 0-0 Bristol City

Rotherham 0-1 Stoke

Southampton 1-0 Sheffield Wednesday

West Brom 3-0 Blackburn

League One

Barnsley 1-0 Bristol Rovers

Blackpool 1-0 Exeter

Bolton 0-0 Cheltenham (latest)

Cambridge 0-0 Fleetwood (latest)

Carlisle 0-1 Oxford

Charlton 0-1 Peterborough

Northampton 1-0 Wigan

Portsmouth 0-3 Leyton Orient

Reading 0-0 Port Vale (latest)

Shrewsbury 0-0 Stevenage

Wycombe 1-0 Lincoln

League Two

Accrington 0-0 Gillingham

Colchester 0-1 Bradford

Crawley 0-0 Salford

Crewe – Swindon

Doncaster 1-1 Newport

Forest Green 0-0 Harrogate

Grimsby 2-2 Notts County

Morecambe 0-0 Mansfield

Stockport 1-1 Walsall

Sutton 1-1 Barrow

Tranmere 1-1 MK Dons

Wrexham 0-0 AFC Wimbledon

GOAL! Millwall 1-1 Middlesbrough (Engel 38)

Millwall had by far the best of the early going but Michael Carrick’s late arrivers have grown into the game and now they have their equaliser, the Dane Lukas Engel the man they can thank.

Leyton Orient with a statement half: they are 3-0 ahead against the League One leaders Portsmouth. Pompey were struggling a bit, but that is some scoreline,

We have some expert eyewitness reporting from Dominic Booth, who’s at Cardiff, where Leeds lead 2-0 after the first half.

Leeds have delivered an absolute statement of a first half performance at Cardiff, dashing the pre-match optimism of locals in the Welsh capital. The Bluebirds were just three points off the top six before kick-off but they’ve been second best by a distance. Patrick Bamford might have had a hat-trick, Crysencio Summerville has been electric on the Leeds left and the 2-0 scoreline, after Dan James rounded off another flowing move, actually flatters Cardiff. The hosts have also lost captain Joe Ralls to injury in a listless first half. Leeds have looked every inch a team gunning for promotion, motivated further perhaps by Leicester’s defeat in the lunchtime game.

Thanks DB (albeit not fun reading for the home fans)

Tennis balls! By the way, there has been no play at Reading v Port Vale since the 16th minute. The home fans have invaded the pitch, after pelting it with tennis balls, in protest against the club’s owners.

GOAL! Huddersfield 1-1 Plymouth (Koroma 38)

The struggling Terriers have their equaliser against Plymouth, Josh Koroma’s volley levelling things up.

Josh Koroma levels for Huddersfield. Photograph: Anna Gowthorpe/REX/Shutterstock

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GOALS! Birmingham 1-1 Swansea City (Darling 36; Dembélé 38)

Tony Mowbray’s Birmingham go a goal down through Harry Darling’s header … but perhaps they are made of stern stuff, because Siriki Dembélé equalises just two minutes later! A swift rollercoaster of events.

GOAL! Southampton 1-0 Sheffield Wednesday (Adams 35)

Southampton had been dominating possession without a cutting edge: until now. Ché Adams with slick movement and a neat finish to give the very much in-form Saints the lead.

Che Adams celebrates
Che Adams celebrates after giving the Saints the lead! Photograph: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

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GOAL! Cardiff 0-2 Leeds (James 31)

Dan James doubles Leeds’s lead at Cardiff – their big-name attackers doing the business in Wales.

GOALS! West Brom 3-0 Blackburn (Thomas-Asante 30, Hyam 33og)

Just as I was going to tell you that West Brom had doubled their lead through Brandon Thomas-Asante, when an own goal made it 3-0 before I could even finish typing. It’s an own goal as well. Blackburn are having an absolute ’mare.

Brandon Thomas-Asante pokes in a goal
Brandon Thomas-Asante bags another for the Baggies! Photograph: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

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At Bolton v Cheltenham, we have some worrying news from the Guardian’s Will Unwin, who tells me that:

Play has stopped a Bolton because of a medical emergency in the stands. Players are taking instructions, the length of the delay is unknown.

Players have now left the pitch, apparently. That’s never, every nice to hear. Thoughts with the fan, let’s hope it’s not as serious as it sounds.

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The only goals in League One after 30 minutes: Northampton are 1-0 up against Wigan, Wycombe lead Lincoln by the same score. Quiet.

GOAL! Millwall 1-0 Middlesbrough (Bryan 10)

They were late to kick-off but the in-form hosts have come flying out of the traps. Joe Bryan scores the goal but the trickery of Zian Flemming set it up on the wing.

A self-proclaimed nasty Leeds fan, Jeremy Boyce, sends me an email re. Ampadu being the first Wales international to captain the side since John Charles in the 1950s.

Are you seriously telling me that not even Sprake or Yorath ever got to wear the armband (obviously Sprake would have dropped it as it was handed to him)? Nasties will do well to come away with something today …

I’ll be honest Jeremy, that info was taken brazenly from Leeds themselves. Terry Yorath though! You would indeed have thought he skippered Leeds once or twice.

West Brom 1-0 Blackburn (Fellows 12)

News goes from bad to worse for Blackburn – who have the Championship’s top scorer Sammie Szmodics out ill – and now they’re a goal down. Tom Fellows has put the playoff-based West Brom ahead early on.

Tom Fellows is congratulated after scoring
A pat on the head for Tom Fellows after he gives the Throstles the lead. Photograph: Barrington Coombs/PA

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GOAL! Cardiff 0-1 Leeds (Bamford 13)

Patrick Bamford is returning to form, perhaps, after that sizzling solo goal in the FA Cup – and he puts Leeds ahead in Cardiff. The visitors have been on top in the early going.

Patrick Bamford scores
Patrick Bamford pokes in the opener in Cardiff. Photograph: Nick Potts/PA

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GOAL! Huddersfield 0-1 Plymouth (Whittaker 12)

Morgan Whittaker gives the visitors Argyle the lead – his seventh goal in seven games. A player in form.

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First goal in the opening 10 mins of the 3pms: League Two Grimsby take the lead against Notts County, Danny Rose with a penalty. It’s swiftly followed by a goal in League One: MK Dons going ahead at Tranmere.

A report from the early Championship kick-off and it was a doozy. Leaders Leicester went a goal up, had a player sent off in first-half-stoppage time, then in the second half Coventry … well, why am I telling you all this when you can read all about it here?

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Starting refs’ whistles sound around this sceptred isle. Eight games get under way in the Championship (OK, Millwall v Middlesbrough will be a bit late), 11 in League One, and another 12 in League Two.

Middlesbrough are stuck in that dastardly London traffic so kick-off for their game at Millwall will be delayed by 15 minutes. A chilly day for the fans to be stuck outside; that extra quarter of an hour might feel longer than a hoofed pass to the big man.

Southampton can go second with a win this afternoon, even if just for a few hours (Ipswich v Sunderland is the 5.30pm kick-off). Although Sheffield Wednesday are not the hapless pushovers they were for much of 2023 – Danny Röhl’s steely side have won five of their past eight league games and they are now just three points from safety. These are the XIs that will duke it out at St Mary’s.

Saints: Bazunu; Walker-Peters, Harwood-Bellis, Bednarek, Manning; Smallbone, Downes, S Armstrong; A Armstrong, Adams, Fraser

Wednesday: Dawson, Palmer, B. Diaby, Ihiekwe, Bernard, Johnson, Bannan, Musaba, Gassama, Windass, Cadamarteri

The Leeds starting XI features Ethan Ampadu as skipper and he is the first Wales international to captain the club since the great John Charles back in 1956. Those are some whopping, gigantic shoes to fill, Ethan: no pressure. Cardiff, the Welsh side, are captained as usual by Joe Ralls, an English player. So it’s all topsy-turvy at the Cardiff City Stadium (sort of).

One additional note: Enzo Maresca picked up a yellow card in the second half for one too many words to the officials. That’s his third booking of the season, so he won’t be on the touchline for Leicester’s next match … which just happens to be against promotion rivals Ipswich.

Full time: Coventry 3-1 Leicester

The hosts win the M69 derby and Leicester lose in the Championship for the first time since mid November. The league leaders took the lead and actually looked in control for the first half of the second half, despite playing with 10 – but Coventry really turned it on after equalising. They are, temporarily, up to sixth and a playoff spot. Some job Mark Robins is doing.

GOAL! Coventry 3-1 Leicester (O’Hare (90+4)

O’Hare seals it – he is sharpest to react in the box when the ball bounces up and produces another superb finish to seal the match. What a second half and an individual display from O’Hare.

O'Hare shoots to score
O’Hare seals it for Coventry! Photograph: Ryan Browne/REX/Shutterstock

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GOAL! Coventry 2-1 Leicester (Van Ewijk 88)

Coventry complete the turnaround! A corner eventually comes to Milan van Ewijk on the edge of the box and he lashes a shot towards goal and in. It was not the cleanest strike but do the home fans care? They do not.

Milan van Ewijk trikes to give Coventry the lead.
Milan van Ewijk trikes to give Coventry the lead. Photograph: Marc Atkins/Getty Images

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GOAL! Coventry 1-1 Leicester (O’Hare 79)

A lovely finish from Callum O’Hare. Coventry’s frustration ends – a decent move finds the 25-year-old in the box and while there were plenty of Leicester defenders between O’Hare and the goal, he threaded the needle with a precise shot.

Callum O'Hare equalises for the Sky Blues.
Callum O’Hare equalises for the Sky Blues. Photograph: Marc Atkins/Getty Images

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Mowbray has said he will be subtle in his adjustments at Birmingham rather than demanding a whole new style of play from the off. Though he’ll know results need to improve ASAP – and these are the bold believers he has picked for his first XI. The Swansea team – announced on X in a fetching Bret Hart-style ‘hot pink’ – is also below.

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Leicester containing and controlling things at Coventry with 70 minutes gone. The Sky Blues have been in rich form of late but they need to find a spark if they’re to make the most of their man advantage here.

Grim news: West Midlands Police had to remove offensive banners aimed at Leicester’s late owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, placed on the motorway before the match. Coventry City have condemned the people involved and said they will work with the police to find those responsible.

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Alongside the 3pm thrills, Championship leaders Leicester are currently 1-0 up – yet down to 10 men – at Coventry in the 12.30pm game. Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall’s penalty put Leicester ahead before half-time, but Abdul Fatawu was shown a red card minutes later for a rash challenge on Jake Bidwell. So it’s tightly poised in the second half.


Afternoon, the Premier League is going through its staggered winter break, leaving the Football League to bask in unrivalled 3pm kick-off action. In the Championship, the experienced Tony Mowbray – who recently did a fine job at Sunderland – has his first game in charge at the club formerly known as Wayne Rooney’s Birmingham, so let’s assume co-owner Tom Brady will be frantically refreshing this live blog in his palatial US mansion (hi Tom!). Swansea are the visitors aiming to spoil the party.

Other tasty match-ups include fourth-placed Leeds travelling to Cardiff, in-form Southampton hosting a suddenly revitalised Sheffield Wednesday, while mid-table Middlesbrough go to Millwall in the Mi-derby, as it is never known.

In League One, leaders Portsmouth are going through a wobble with one win in five games and the chasing pack are closing in. They host Leyton Orient today. Meanwhile in League Two, Van Wilder-owned Wrexham – currently in the final automatic promotion spot – take on an AFC Wimbledon side who occupy the final playoff place but only on goal difference. Plenty more drama besides that, too.

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