Football: Albion chase history

Nationwide League
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Despite the efforts of Ray Harford to play down West Bromwich Albion's early success in the First Division, a fourth successive win at Ipswich today would represent their best start in 50 years. History is against Albion, who have won once in 14 visits to Portman Road.

Wolves take on Bury, the self-styled "new Wimbledon", at their bogey ground - Molineux. A draw and a defeat have maintained last season's sorry pattern. With Keith Curle the latest injury doubt, Mark McGhee may be down to 11 fit men.

No such problems for Nottingham Forest, who could afford to rest key players against Doncaster in midweek. Queen's Park Rangers challenge Forest's 100 per cent record having failed to win there in 18 attempts.

Sir Stanley Matthews will officially open Stoke's 28,000-seat, pounds 14.7m Britannia Stadium against Swindon, while neighbouring Crewe and Port Vale tangle tomorrow in a battle of wits between the League's longest-serving managers, Dario Gradi and John Rudge.

Rudge, in charge of Vale for 13 years, wondered yesterday what might have happened had he accepted Tony Waddington's offer to become his player- coach at Crewe.

Gradi, better known for selling players during his 14 years at Gresty Road, yesterday signed defenders Julian Watts on loan from Leicester and Marcus Bignot from Kidderminster for pounds 100,000.

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