Huddersfield, in fact, moved up to second place after a hard-earned 1- 0 win over West Bromwich Albion. With supply to the Terriers' strikers Marcus Stewart and Clyde Wijnhard cut-off by Albion's packed midfield - "I have to admit they caught me out," their manager, Steve Bruce, admitted. "I thought they would play with five at the back but they went out 4-5- 1 and blocked out midfield" - it was left to their former Ajax winger, Dean Gorre, to grab the vital goal 10 minutes into the second half.
Barnsley, whose manager, Dave Bassett, has been strongly tipped as the man Blackburn Rovers think can lead them back to the Premiership, made it six wins in seven games with a 2-1 defeat of Birmingham City at Oakwell. After a tame first-half against resolute Brum defence, the Tykes scored twice in six minutes just before the hour through Eric Tinkler and Craig Hignett's penalty. The defender John Curtis, on loan from Manchester United, made an impressive debut.
Yorkshire's third First Division club, Sheffield United, is faring less well. A 1-1 draw against Stockport County, who played for an hour with 10 men, leaves them a place above the relegation berths. Marcus Bent put the Blades ahead after 17 minutes and 11 minutes later County's Chris Byrne was dismissed for serious foul play. But they earned a point with Laurent D'Jaffo's seventh goal of the season.
Bolton put Grimsby Town under pressure for most of the first half at the Reebok Stadium but had to wait until five minutes into the second before Bo Hansen scored the first of his pair to set up a 2-0 win and take his tally to four goals in as many games. "When you have had a week like we've had and you end up with only 13 fit players, you wonder which way it will turn out," Sam Allardyce, Bolton's relieved manager, said.
Crewe Alexandra won 2-0 at Portsmouth to move off the bottom, a place now occupied by Swindon Town, who will have been encouraged none the less by their 1-1 draw at Wolves. Colin Lee, the Molineux manager, was not impressed with his side's first-half performance. "We got paid for playing only 45 minutes today. We have to make sure we don't start like that again."
One place above Swindon are Walsall, 2-1 losers at Queen's Park Rangers. Two goals in three minutes from Stuart Wardley and Chris Kiwomya put the Londoners ahead on the half-hour.
Nottingham Forest, beaten 3-0 at Tranmere, their fourth consecutive defeat, had Andy Johnson sent off at 1-0. "The sending off dictated the way the game finished," David Platt, Forest's boss said. "They were not three goals better."