Football: Birmingham denied summit by Gooden

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The Independent Online
A 74TH-MINUTE equaliser from Swindon's Ty Gooden cost Birmingham a place at the top of the First Division at St Andrew's last night. Gooden's strike levelled Chris Marsden's earlier effort to earn a 1-1 draw, a result which was enough to move the Blues into second, a point behind Huddersfield.

Paul Danson's dismissal of City's Simon Charlton after he brought down George Ndah was further cause for disappointment for the manager, Trevor Francis. "The incident took place well away from the goal and I thought that in the circumstances it was only a yellow card offence," he said.

It was also a bad night for Ipswich who, in front of 22,000 at Portman Road, went down 1-0 to Norwich in the East Anglia derby. Craig Bellamy's 10th goal of the season secured the Canaries' victory.

The Sheffield United manager Steve Bruce lamented costly errors as the Blades were forced to share the points with Stockport at Bramall Lane, Marcelo's goal enabling them to come from behind to draw 1-1. "If you don't stop conceding silly goals by eradicating the errors it makes life difficult for you and tonight that's what happened," Bruce said.

A 2-2 draw against Macclesfield enabled Preston to swap places with Stoke City to lead the Second Division as Brian Little's men tumbled to a 1- 0 loss at Bristol Rovers. Manchester City's agonising descent received a further nudge as a 2-1 defeat at Lincoln shunted them from seventh to eighth place.