Football: Bradford on the rampage

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The Independent Online
BENNY LENNARTSSON, Bristol City's new Swedish director of coaching, was given an all-too vivid illustration of the extent of the job in hand when his Nationwide Division One team were thrashed 5-0 by Bradford City at Valley Parade.

Lee Mills put the home side ahead after seven minutes; Louis Carey's own goal doubled the host's first-half lead. In the second period, Isiah Rankin, Peter Beagrie and Robbie Blake completed the rout. "I don't think it was the best performance," Paul Jewell, the Bradford manager, said. "We can give a lot more, we can do better." Sentiments Lennartson no doubt shares.

Fifth-placed Watford overcame a tricky proposition to beat Bury 3-1 at Gigg Lane. Tony Ellis put the Shakers ahead but goals by Darren Bazeley, Michael Ngonge and Allan Smart produced the right response for their manager, Graham Taylor. "We could have lost the game in the first 20 minutes," he admitted. "Bazeley's goal brought us back into it. It did not belong in this game - it belonged in the Premier League. It rocked Bury and gave us confidence."

Which is what clubs struggling in the division's dungeon need. Swindon Town's 3-1 defeat of the bottom club, Queen's Park Rangers, moved them out of the danger area. To add to Rangers' woe, Paul Murray was sent off. Colin Little's late equaliser gave Crewe hope and a 1-1 draw at Oxford.

Tranmere Rovers' revival continued with a 1-1 home draw with Stockport County. Brett Angell gave County the lead with three minutes left but Scott Taylor equalised a minute later. There was more excitement to come when the Rovers defender, John McGreal, and County's Alan Moore, on loan from Middlesbrough, were sent off for violent conduct.

Port Vale, whose winger Gareth Ainsworth moves to Wimbledon this week, came back from 2-0 down at home to Sheffield United but Dean Saunders' late goal won it for the Blades.

"That's two away victories in a week," Steve Bruce, Sheffield's chuffed manager, said. "Quite an achievement considering we went a year without winning on our travels."

Ashley Ward was Barnsley's hero and villain at Wolves. His 52nd-minute penalty salvaged a point but he was sent off four minutes later. Crystal Palace went one better. They had Craig Moore and Fan Zhiyi sent off as they lost 2-0 at Grimsby.