Football: City's mistakes prove costly

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The Independent Online
The crisis at Manchester City deepened last night with a 3-2 defeat at home to Port Vale. All three of Vale's goals were the result of defensive errors, yet City had twice taken the lead in a match littered with mistakes.

Gerard Wiekens and Paul Dickov both scored soft goals for City, but Mark Snijders, Stuart Talbot and Tony Naylor replied for Vale. The winning goal came when Tony Vaughan, with time and space to clear the ball, headed it straight to Naylor. There was more misery for City with the news that Lee Bradbury could be out of action until the New Year. A scan has revealed Bradbury, who has missed his side's last six matches with a back injury, has fractured a small bone in his back.

West Bromwich Albion and Sheffield United maintained their promotion campaigns with single-goal victories. Lee Hughes hit Albion's winner five minutes from time at home to Norwich, while Mark Patterson's 52nd minute goal gave United victory at Reading.

Charlton wasted a series of good opportunities at Sunderland, but extended their unbeaten run to seven matches with a goalless draw. Dougie Freedman and Kevin Muscat scored the goals in a 2-0 win at Crewe Alexandra.

A hard-working display by Oxford United earned a goalless draw at Stoke, while Brett Angell's two goals gave Stockport County their second away win of the season at Ipswichd.

In the Second Division, Shaun Goater's brace helped City beat Rovers 2-1 in the Bristol derby, while Peter Kennedy's hat-trick gave Watford a 3-0 win at Southend.