Bolton's lift-off

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John Mcginlay scored for the fifth game in succession to seal Bolton Wanderers' 2-0 home win over Huddersfield and lift the First Division pacemakers six points clear.

The Scottish striker had already seen a goal disallowed for offside when Wanderers took the lead on 20 minutes, Alan Thompson sliding in at the far post to finish off a six-man move. Wanderers' other striker, Nathan Blake, had a shot cleared off the line and hit the bar, but in between McGinlay made the game safe when he stretched to guide in Scott Sellars' deft cross.

Colin Todd, the Bolton manager, was fairly chuffed. "It was a reward for a very good team performance. No disrespect to Huddersfield but I felt we were always in control and could have had more than the two goals. We were delighted to keep a clean sheet; that's very important to us. The consistency is there."

Second-placed Norwich lost 2-1 at home to lowly Charlton but Crystal Palace's form continues to impress - they recovered from Andy Thorn's third-minute goal for Tranmere to win 3-1 at Prenton Park. Wolves fought back from 3-1 down to force a home draw with Barnsley.

The immediate future of Trevor Sinclair, scorer of QPR's equaliser in the 1-1 draw with Stoke, will be decided at a Monday evening board meeting. "I want him to stay," his manager Stewart Houston said. "I made it perfectly clear at the very start but things have to be sorted out properly by the board. We have scored just 20 goals in 18 games, Bolton have scored 38 and Palace nearly as many. That's why they are at the top and we are where we are."

Stuart Barlow scored a hat-trick for Oldham as they vacated bottom place to their victims, Bradford, and Portsmouth found some form at last to crush West Brom 4-0, Albion's first defeat away in 14 games. Two Southend goals in eight minutes beat Reading and Tony Naylor scored twice as Port Vale brushed aside Birmingham.

In Scotland, Rangers were unable to assuage customary European embarrassment by winning at the bottom club Raith. Kevin Twaddle, a name peculiarly apt for much Scottish League football, gave the home side a 24th-minute lead but two goals in eight second-half minutes ought to have sown up the points for the champions. The less than invincible Glaswegians, however, were robbed of the win bonus by a Scott Thomson equaliser. They lost top spot, too.

"I'm disappointed to have lost a lead again," the Rangers' manager, Walter Smith, said. "In all the matches we've dropped points this season we've been ahead and we've done it again today." The referee, Bill Crombie, was hit by a missile thrown from a section occupied by visiting fans while he was booking Jorg Albertz and Peter Van Vossen of Rangers during the second half and will be making a report to the Scottish League.

Finally, Jack Walker, Blackburn's banker, has tasted home success. First Tower United, his "other" club, on Jersey, beat Godalming & Guildford 6-2 in the first round of the FA Vase.

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