Football: Bristol the best home and away

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BRISTOL FOOTBALL has not set the world alight of late, but yesterday was a bonanza day for the city's two clubs.

Rovers, who are proving hard to beat since Ian Holloway tightened up his defence in the summer, were once again indebted to their prolific young striker Jason Roberts for the 2-0 win at Scunthorpe that took them to the top of the Second Division.

Roberts struck a goal in each half for the Pirates against last year's promoted rivals, who were further hampered when Ashley Fickling was sent off in the 55th minute for using foul and abusive language.

Blackpool's visit to the West country seemed to be going well. They were leading 1-0 at half-time through a Brett Ormerod goal in the 15th minute and appeared to be containing Tony Pulis' Bristol City side with ease.

Even when City's Mickey Bell heartened the 8,000 crowd at Ashton Gate with a 49th-minute equaliser there seemed little for the visitors to worry about - until the last 20 minutes that is.

Then the home side found their scoring boots with four goals, two from striker Tony Thorpe and one each from Carl Hutchings and Jim Brennan. Even John Murphy's late strike was no consolation for bruised Blackpool. For City, who were relegated last season and have made a sluggish start to the new campaign, this might be just the result to kick-start their season.

Another West country side to find their shooting boots were Torquay United in the Third Division. They overcame dismal Lincoln City 5-2, and were 4-1 up within 25 minutes.

Tony Bedeau and Brian Healy both scored two goals, each striking in the first three minutes to put Torquay on their way, and the other goal came from their summer signing from Barry Town, Eifion Williams. Lee Thorpe and a Terry Fleming penalty were the only bright spots for Lincoln.

Torquay's neighbours Exeter City, who have made an impressive start to the season, cling on to top spot but fell to a last minute goal from Darlington's Craig Russell at Feethams.