Bull out after second strike

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The Independent Online
The Wolves striker Steve Bull has been the saviour of his team so often in the past that it is hard to blame him solely for yesterday's surprising 3-2 defeat at Oldham, which lifted Neil Warnock's side off the bottom of the First Division. But having got his second-placed team back into the match with a 24th-minute headed equaliser, his 22nd goal of the season, Bull appeared to hit Oldham captain Craig Fleming seconds before half-time and was sent off.

Stuart Barlow put Oldham back in front 10 minutes into the second half, but Iwan Roberts put Wolves level again with 14 minutes remaining. Re- enter Paul Rickers, who had headed the home side into a third-minute lead, to nod in the winner with three minutes to spare.

Perhaps Wolves should contact Portsmouth. They too lost a key player away from home when the scores were level, but coped with the dismissal of the former Arsenal midfielder, David Hillier, significantly better. He was sent off for two yellow card offences inside 33 minutes and two minutes later Marcus Stewart put hosts Huddersfield 1-0 up. But three goals in four minutes around the hour, Paul Hall netting twice, gave Pompey a remarkable win and keeps them on course for a late surge into the play- offs.

Meanwhile, nothing can stop the leaders Bolton. They came through a potentially tricky examination at Ipswich thanks to stout defending and John McGinlay's 26th goal of the season. The 1-0 win puts them 13 points clear. Third- placed Barnsley could only draw at Tranmere allowing Sheffield United to close ranks thanks to a 3-1 home win against Oxford. Crystal Palace climbed over Norwich and back into the play-off frame by beating the Canaries 2-0 at Selhurst Park.

Last week, David Webb, the manager of the Second Division's leaders Brentford, offered his resignation when a section of supporters barracked him as the Bees lost 1-0 at Preston. Yesterday they lost 3-0 to Burnley, their first home defeat of the season. The club's chairman, Martin Lange, returns from the United States tomorrow for an interesting meeting.

If Bournemouth are to be wound-up this week they at least left their fans with one last good memory after a 1-0 win at Millwall. John Bailey scored what might be the Cherries' last League goal. Brighton, who look like they will survive as a club, took a step backwards on the pitch losing 3-0 at Hull while above them at the bottom of the Third, Adrian Foster's hat-trick lifted Hereford four places.

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