LITESPORT London Lite Thursday, 24 September 2009 47 SOL LEFT COUNTYBREAKING NEWS... Is this a sign Ashtonsback on course? DEAN ASHTON, the West Ham striker who has been out with an injured ankle for a year, was back on course yesterday -- Langdon Hills golf course in Essex, that is. With physio John Green in attendance (above), Ashton, 25, played in a Bobby Davro golf day and appeared to suffer little discomfort. Ashton first broke his left ankle in 2006 and aggravated the injury in September of last year. No comeback date has yet been set. Ashton has played just 45 times for the Hammers since his 7m arrival from Norwich in 2006. Just last week, West Ham boss GianFranco Zola insisted: It has been one year and obviously I am getting concerned about it. I cant force his progress along. But I do respect his willingness to come back. Swannbacks leg-overspin GRAEME SWANN reacted positively to the news that India coach Gary Kirsten is encouraging his players to have sex before playing in the Champions Trophy in South Africa. With Kirstens initiative being labelled legover before wicket, England spinner Swann, 30, said: This is exactly the sort of forward thinking the game needs. I am assuming the directive is not for sex to take place within the team and that partners are allowed. If the ICC want to make this tournament more exciting then fly in the wives and girlfriends. SWANNS RASH WARNING: PAGES 42&43 Its just blinding to be back, says captain Joe Blind-sided: Joe Cole takes on Routledge last night CHELSEAS oft-crocked England midfielder Joe Cole described his long-awaited comeback as blinding. Cole was named captain for the 1-0 win over a gutsy QPR and he set up Salomon Kalous winner just after the break, making it a successful comeback after eight months out with a serious knee problem. The 27-year-old, an unused substitute against Porto in the Champions League last week, said: It was an emotional night for me. I cant thank the fans enough. There was a little lump in my throat just warming up against Porto the other night. Im just delighted to be back. Everyone has been blinding. You think people have forgotten you so to come out there and hear them singing my name, its just brilliant. Chelsea are my club. Its the first time Ive been captain. That was a nice touch. To captain Chelsea is unbelievable. I was a ballboy here. I know it was the Carling Cup but tonight was one of the biggest games of my career. Cole was part of an experienced team selected by Carlo Ancelotti. Sam Hutchinson and Fabio Borini were the only two youngsters chosen, with the rest first-team or fringe players. QPR held Chelsea until the break, then Cole slid Kalou through seven minutes after the restart. QPR boss Jim Magilton, who started with two strikers, added: Im not naive but that is the way I thought we could get after Chelsea. Magilton refused to answer questions on co-owner Flavio Briatore, whose position has been questioned following his lifetime ban from F1. CHELSEA... 1 QPR........... 0 CARLING CUP 3RD ROUND Anything but the bench, begs goal hero Crouch Celebration time: Peter Crouch wheels away after notching Tottenhams third goal of the evening,right,and is on hand to tap in his first, below HAT-TRICKheroPeterCruch is pleading with his boss Harry Redknapp to give him an extended run in Totten- hams starting line-up. After last nights treble in Tottenhams 5-1 romp at Pres- ton, you would assume the 9m summer signing from Pompey had done enough to cementhisplaceinthesidefor Saturdayshomeclashagainst Burnley. But such is the competition for places in Redknapps upwardly mobile side that Crouch, who now has five goals from just three starts since returning to White Hart Lane, knows he cant take anything for granted. When Im given the chances, I can only produce and try to stake a claim for a starting place, said Crouch, who opened the scoring after 13 minutes. I would be disap- pointed to be on the bench against Burnley, because I want to play every game. Weve done pretty well so farthisseason,soIcantargue too much, but hopefully Ive done enough. Redknapp was delighted with the England strikers predatory performance, the highlight being his hat-trick goal--adextrousback-heeled volley. And the Tottenham boss admits Crouchs form has presented him with a major selection headache. It was a good hat-trick from Crouchie and good to see Rob- bie and Jermain get one each as well, said Redknapp. Pavlyuchenkowasinjured, otherwise he might have scored and made it even harder for me. Its a nice prob- lem to have. At least Redknapps defen- sivewoesappeartobeclearing after Tom Huddlestone per- formed capably at centre-half alongside Michael Dawson, who came through his first game of the season following an Achilles injury. Redknapp added: Tom was excellent at centre-back and could play in that position regularly,anditsgreattohave Dawson back. PRESTON. 1 SPURS ..... 5 CARLING CUP 3RD ROUND ARSENAL ASTON VILLA BARNSLEY BLACKBURN BOLTON CHELSEA EVERTON LIVERPOOL MAN CITY MAN UNITED PETERBOROUGH PORTSMOUTH SCUNTHORPE STOKE SUNDERLAND TOTTENHAM THE LAST 16 Draw for the fourth round is live on Sky Sports News this Saturday at 12.15pm index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html36.html37.html38.html39.html40.html41.html42.html43.html44.html45.html46.html47.html48.html49.html50.html51.html