Football: Birmingham sound promotion warning

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The Independent Online
PAUL FURLONG'S goal was enough to shoot Birmingham into second place in Division One and earn the praise of the Blues manager, Trevor Francis. Furlong's effort was all that separated Birmingham from struggling Port Vale at St Andrews but Francis declared: "We now go into every game expecting to win."

The win moved them above Ipswich and made them the nearest challengers to runaway leaders Sunderland, who were held at QPR. Francis added: "It's our third double of the season and with 19 league games to go everyone is confident of being in the promotion race. Confidence is sky-high."

Bradford's Paul Jewell celebrated his manager of the month award with another success. A Peter Beagrie goal sealed a 2-1 win at Stockport.

West Brom's Lee Hughes grabbed his 27th goal of the season to help see off Barnsley at the Hawthorns. Shaun Murphy got the first in a 2-0 win. Elsewhere in the division, bottom-placed Crewe staged a tremendous comeback with three goals in the last 10 minutes to beat Norwich 3-2.

Substitute Kevin Street scored twice, including the last-gasp winner, and Mark Rivers got the other as Crewe hit back from first-half goals by Chris Llewellyn and Lee Marshall.